IBM Thinkpad T43

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IBM Thinkpad T43 Overview


  • Intel Pentium M (Dothan) 1.6, 1.73, 1.86, 2.0, 2.13 or 2.26 GHz CPU (socketed)
  • 256, 512MB or 1GB module PC2-4200 memory standard, 2GB max (Intel 915 chipset)
  • 14 and 15 inch laptops share the same model name using different chassis:
    • 14.1" TFT display with 1024x768 (TFT) or 1400x1050 resolution (IPS)
    • 15.0" TFT display with 1024x768 (TFT) or 1400x1050 resolution (IPS)
  • Graphics adapters (one of the following):
    • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 (shared VRAM)
    • ATI Mobility Radeon X300 (64MB dedicated VRAM)
  • Intel AC'97 Audio with AD1981B codec
  • 40, 60, 80 or 100GB 5400rpm PATA HDD
  • Ultrabay Slim with DVD-ROM or DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo or DVD±RW
  • MiniPCI slot with one of the following:
   none (empty, WLAN upgradable)
   IBM (Atheros) 11a/b/g Wireless LAN Mini PCI Adapter II
   Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG Mini-PCI Adapter
   Intel PRO/Wireless 2915ABG Mini-PCI Adapter
  • Proprietary internal connector for optional Bluetooth 1.0 module


  • Stereo speakers (downfiring)
  • 2xPCMCIA Slots
  • VGA Output (DVI, only on docking station)
  • IrDA (infrared) communication, Fingerprint reader (on some models)
  • 10.8V 4800mAh Li Ion rechargeable battery
  • 2xUSB 2.0, Dual PS/2, Parallel ports
  • 16V power supply (separate)
  • Windows XP and Vista support (slow on Windows 7)

IBM T43 14.1"

Best retro purpose

Mid Windows XP era gaming (DirectX 7-8 target, DirectX 9 usable) or as office computer. High resolution display models are not a good choice for a couple of reasons. First, since videocards are not powerful enough for 3D accelerated games in native resolution, performance is lacking. Secondly, the Windows XP GUI looks way too small in native resolution with no magnifying applied and if applied, looks odd due to Windows scaling issues. Moreover, high resolution screens are of the IPS type, using old technology that doesn't refresh fast enough, leaving noticeable trails on fast moving objects. Contrast is also lower for IPS screens. Intel graphics models are cooler running than ATI ones but noticeably slower in 3D games. Windows Vista or 7 runs quite slow, mainly due to the graphics chipset and RAM limitations. The safest choice, also the cheapest, for long use is an Intel GPU T43 with 1024x768 screen.


Durability and Repair-ability

Good plastic quality means that case cracks are less common than on other models but the model by itself is not immune. Removable and fixed drive bay are easy to access and the case itself is easy to disassemble due to obvious markings on the laptop's underside as well as masking black tape placed on screws. Many generations (series) of laptops, such as the T40/T41/T42/T43 use the same easy to find screws, trackpads and buttons, keyboards, cooling systems are interchangeable while screens, palmrests, bezels are specific to laptops sizes.

The LCD screen's fluorescent backlight is somewhat hard to replace since screens are slim. LCD screens can be inter-changed to suit a specific native resolution requirement if the proper original cabling is available. Fans and the fan blades can be easily cleaned and bearings can be easily greased, providing long service life since fan casing stud mountings can be pried open and placed back again.

Greatest features & flaws

Features Flaws
Very slim yet configurable laptop No major improvements compared with T42 laptops
Powerful ATI Radeon X300 chipset Insufficient cooling, no DVI/HDMI output except on docking station
Durable, stiff keyboard Shorter life trackpad buttons
The same design style of the T4x series Annoying IBM/Lenovo BIOS limitation of approved Wifi cards


A mainstream, quite slim, powerfull, business laptop, released in 2005. It had a good mix of performance parts, although it departed from the Windows 98 compatibility, had DDR2 ram but not yet SATA or a webcam, even if these features were available at that time on other manufacturers' laptops. Overall, there are very small changes between T43 and the previous T40, T41, T42 series, making the T43 series to feel very dated and slightly underpowered.

The LCD screen has quite good specifications but high resolution models are slightly dimmer overall and on the screen edges. Response time is very high on IPS screens, with lots of ghosting, making the laptop having this display suited only for office use. Also, due to the medium quality screen resizing, running 1024x768 or lower resolutions on 1400x1050 screens looks quite blurry. Screens can be easily replaced between similar models but the connector must also be replaced if using different T4x series screens.

It has a high performance CPU, with a mixed video chipset. The CPU does not release too much heat compared with previous Pentium 4 models. Unfortunately, the higher performing models with ATI graphics require serious cooling, are noisier and operate warmer. The keyboard is durable and with good tactile feedback. The trackpad buttons are not very durable even if the trackpad itself is so. The trackpoint and keyboard are at the level of the classic, renowed IBM quality.

The removable drive bay can house an optical drive or a hard drive, if you can find a compatible caddy. was a very poor choice, since the belt driven disk rotation fails after many years, compatible belts being harder to find unreliable. The rechargeable battery can be easily removed or replaced. The BIOS and timekeeping battery is a standard CR2032 3V button cell.

The chasis was slim, light, very comfortable, even thinner than later IBM or Lenovo models. The laptop's case is very durable, but plastic can still crack due to age or shocks. The display hinges are overly engineered, eternal. The integrated speakers are quite good, although their position, size and technology is not the best.

The standard HDDs supplied by Western Digital are reasonably fast and quite silent. The only drawback is that IBM started using BIOS detection to nag users if an unsupported drive is used. The same annoyance is even more severe in the case of wireless cards as only supported IBM branded or accepted cards can be used.

Software support is great in Windows XP. However, if you use web browsers you may notice the severe lackluster performance compared with modern expectations. The same goes for wireless as this mode of connectivity was not considered for low-latency or high speed transfers, even if, on paper, it supports well established standards.