If you have been following our podcast (Technobabble) you know that both Dan, Kevin and I have gotten back in to World of Warcraft. With the launch of Classic we all had to jump in and relive our memories of grinding weapons skill levels and playing hours just to level up our characters.
This has been a lot of fun but as I am a truck driver it has really become hard to keep up with the others as they level since I am on the road a large majority of my time (typically 5 to 6 days a week or more).
Realising the fact that I was falling behind I decided I needed to get a new laptop. I had two basic requirements. The laptop had to have at least 8GB of memory and it had to be a quad-core. Oh and preferably under $400 CAD. Yep that last one is killer.
Having a budget of under $400 CAD really meant I couldn’t buy anything new worth-while. During my search I learned that even a modern Ryzen dual-core laptop with just 4GB of memory was enough to put the prices in the $650 CAD range. This was no good. So I proceeded to look for something a bit older and happened upon the Lenovo Thinkpad E555.
I found my E555 on Ebay for $360 CAD upgraded to 8GB (and the seller would upgrade to 16GB if I wished but I decided I can do that later if I decide) and also had a 250GB SSD on board. I dug those specs absolutely. What was even better, since I am an AMD fanboy, it was powered by a Kaveri era A10-7300 quad core with low power R5 M200 graphics and R6 3D graphics for when things get real. This cpu is basically a 14W lower speed variant of the A10-7850K that I had in my main rig a few years back.
When the E555 arrived it came pre-installed with Windows 10 Pro and a bunch of anti-virus junk I didn’t need so I promptly plugged in a USB drive with the latest Media Creation Tool on it and reinstalled Windows 10 Pro from scratch. That is when I discovered I had a problem. Once Windows was installed the E555 would randomly shut down. To me it looked like it was having a power issue. It wasn’t simply powering off but instead hibernating.
Rummaging though the Event Viewer confirmed that the device was powering down due to a critical power issue. I immediately turned to the battery. Batteries are finicky things especially in older laptops and I had already had my suspicions. When a laptop goes from 74% to 99% in thirty seconds it has a problem. Either some kind of chip on the battery that communicates with Windows is faulty or the battery cells themselves are bad. I ordered a battery and voila! No more issues.
I do find it hard to believe the seller didn’t catch this during the memory upgrade, upgrade to Windows 10 from 7 and installing all the software they did but I choose to think there was damage on route from the seller to me (even though it was packed better than new laptops typically are).
Anyways, the real test was to see how well it performed with World of Warcraft Classic, perhaps retail World of Warcraft, Pinball Arcade and Zaccaria Pinball. I am happy to say the E555 performs very well. I have not had the chance to run any real benchmarks on it and I may do so in the future but it does exactly what I need it to do.
I only wish it was not a 15.6 inch monstrosity of a machine. I had gotten used to my little 10.1 inch asus laptop but it was not nearly capable enough to play World of Warcraft.
I am confident, with new battery installed, that this ThinkPad E555 will last me for quite some time. I have had a lot of good luck with Lenovo laptops. In fact most of the ones I have had in the past have continued to function well past their best before date.