I have gone completely insane. Within the month of May, I have ordered four ThinkPads.
My first purchase was an X201 Tablet, with an i7-640LM, and 4GB of RAM. It came with a battery and a charger, but no storage. I slapped in a 120GB SSD with Arch Linux, and all was well. I also spent $18 on a new pen for it. The laptop itself was $57 off eBay. The listing only claimed booting to BIOS, and showed no supervisor password. After playing with it for a bit I upped the RAM to 8GB and bought a 512GB SSD and installed Windows 10 on it to give to my sister, who told me about how my nieces struggle to play educational games on their current X201 non-tablet because they keep trying to touchthe screen instead of using the trackpad.
Next, I won an auction for $60 for an L450 ThinkPad. I regretted bidding at all, because the listing claimed it was untested (the seller lacked a charger for the device). It didn’t even list the amount of memory, whether it included a battery or storage, or any details beyond its physical condition. Anyway, I received it, plugged it in and powered it on, checked the BIOS for a password and for Computrace (both were configured favorably), and saw that it included a 180GB Intel SSD, 8GB of RAM, and an i5-5300U. I tried to boot to the SSD, but was unsuccessful. I wiped the drive and installed Linux Mint. The screen is a 1080p IPS panel - it does have a blue circle on the screen where the Trackpoint rests, but that’s acceptable, especially considering what an absolute steal it was otherwise. It did include a battery, which has about 90% of its capacity left.
Finally, I won an auction for $90 for a lot of two X230 ThinkPads with no battery, no storage, and no chargers. They each had 4GB of RAM and i5-3360m CPUs. I ordered a cheap battery off Amazon for one of them, and an eGPU adapter as well. The one with the battery I replaced the thermal paste in, and added another 4GB DIMM, giving it 8GB total. The listing claimed each unit could boot to BIOS and some minor cosmetic damage.
I plan on using the X230 in slightly better condition as my new personal daily driver - in fact, it is what I typed this blorg post on, and what I started playing Shovel Knight on. I plan on posting about my eGPU adventures soon enough.