I recently picked up a second hand Thinkpad T440s laptop as a replacement for my Macbook Air. The Macbook was stuck with 4gb of RAM with no option to upgrade it. For a few hundred dollars I got a Thinkpad T440s with the following specs
- Intel i5-4300U dual core CPU @ 1.90GHz
- 12gb RAM (maximum for the model)
- 128gb HDD
- 14” 1600x900 screen
I replaced the hard drive with a new 480gb SATA SSD. There are guides on the internet for replacing the screen with a 1920x1080 panel. You can also replace the keyboard and trackpad. The keyboard is really nice to type on with plenty of travel in the keys. I find the trackpad fine, though the internet consensus is that the trackpad that ships with this model is crap and you’re better off replacing it with a trackpad of a later Thinkpad model.
I’m running the latest version of Xubuntu with tlp installed for better power management. All of the hardware and function keys work out of the box, suspend as well. The batteries last around 3 hours when running a typical development workload of IntelliJ, Firefox, and some Docker containers.
Overall I’m really happy with the machine. For the type of development work I do there really is no need to buy a modern laptop. Well built hardware from 4 years ago does a fantastic job.