Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Rethinking the Thinkpad

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the if-it-aint-broke dept.

268

Octiaviane writes to tell us that XYZComputing has a review of Lenovo's Thinkpad X60 with a look at not only the current specs but the evolution of the Thinkpad line. From the article: "One constant which has remained throughout the evolution of the notebook computer is the Thinkpad. Processors and operating systems have changed, designs have been updated, and ownership has changed hands, but the Thinkpad remains. This product has never stopped being a top choice for demanding consumers and corporate buyers, whether they are looking for size, power, or features."

cancel ×

268 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

frist crost (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032167)

The utmost post

IBM Ugly (4, Funny)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032181)

Thankfully they don't seem to have changed the apparance yet. IBM Ugly doesn't get many plaudits, but it definatly says "this is a laptop with which I could beat you to death for your stupidity and using your rubbish little Acer as a shield isn't going to help you one bit".

Re:IBM Ugly (-1, Flamebait)

legoburner (702695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032206)

The only thing I can think of when I hear 'thinkpad' is the horrible nipple mouse they used to all have. Want to scroll from one side of the screen to the other? Best set aside 5 minutes!

Re:IBM Ugly (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032222)

They still have it, and that model only has that horrible little thing (some other models also have a regular trackpad)

Re:IBM Ugly (5, Insightful)

bubkus_jones (561139) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032238)

I must be the only one here who prefers the "nipple" to a trackpad. I tend to have more control with it than the trackpad, and it's quicker to get to than a trackpad, as it's in the middle of the keyboard. I barely have to shift my hand to be able to control it.

Of course, half the time I use a USB mouse, but still. I'm not a fan of the trackpad style control.

Re:IBM Ugly (4, Informative)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032278)

I must be the only one here who prefers the "nipple" to a trackpad.

No, you're not the only one :)

I remember when some laptops came with trackballs, or with optional trackball add-ons. From today's perspective it's clear that you can't fit a trackball into a decently thin laptop. There were probably also cost and durability issues that led first to trackpoints (nipples) and then to trackpads. For example in my previous laptop, a Toshiba Satellite, I had to replace the rubber bit in the trackpoint every two years or so. The current IBM version with a larger, flatter nipple seems much better in this respect.

Unfortunately, the pointer is not the only deciding factor in buying laptops, so I've ended up with a trackpad in my current machine. I believe it's the most durable of the technologies with no moving parts, but it's far from practical IMHO. For example it's distracted by the palms of my hands while typing. Fortunately it's easy to disable and enable on demand (rmmod|modprobe psmouse :).

Re:IBM Ugly (1)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032322)

rmmod is a nasty way to do things. Please use modprobe -r.

Thank you

Re:IBM Ugly (2)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032717)

Unfortunately, the pointer is not the only deciding factor in buying laptops, so I've ended up with a trackpad in my current machine.

It's the deciding factor for some of us - not a touchpad fan - I don't want it anywhere on my system. Such a difficult attitude on my part prevents me from buying many otherwise great systems, as they don't offer 'em without the touchpad.

Re:IBM Ugly (2, Informative)

burner (8666) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032737)

You may prefer to use QSynaptics to module tweaking: http://qsynaptics.sourceforge.net/ss.html [sourceforge.net]

And the nipple is way better. My T30 has both, and I just disable the touchpad.

Re:IBM Ugly (4, Interesting)

rah1420 (234198) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032285)

/me raises my hand

Our corporate IT staff refreshed us with a T42, but the software image didn't have the trackpoint wizard or whatever it's called. A few phone calls and I was able to disable the bloody thing - if you're a power typer, you will find yourself quickly losing focus from your working window as the heel of your hand exerts force on the trackpad and emulates a double-click.

My [personal] T23 doesn't have it, and they can have it when they pry my cold dead fingers from around it (well, as soon as I replace the fluorescent lamp.) It has the dreaded red tint [thinkwiki.org] on the screen and someday I will be annoyed enough to get it fixed, but I love it.

Re:IBM Ugly (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032425)

if you're a power typer, you will find yourself quickly losing focus from your working window as the heel of your hand exerts force on the trackpad and emulates a double-click.

If you're a power typer with a trackpad, you've desactivated that bloody hellish feature.

That's the first thing I do everytime I start using a new laptop.

I have buttons, they're more than enough, and they never do something I didn't ask for.

Re:IBM Ugly (1)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032724)

If you're a power typer with a trackpad, you've desactivated that bloody hellish feature.

I cna't even stand the feel of the damn thing.

Nipples for Great Justice (2, Insightful)

psychosquee (614621) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032335)

Fortunately for you, you're not. I've become so accustomed to using the Tracknipple that I actually become infuriated when I have to use a touchpad... so hideously inefficient!

Re:Nipples for Great Justice (2, Insightful)

hpavc (129350) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032633)

Agreed, I love it as well. I couldn't go back. When I think of switching to a Apple, the keyboard is what stops me.
IBM has a great keyboard especially with the trackpoint + trackpad setups. The synergy features are great.

Re:IBM Ugly (1)

mpbrede (820514) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032363)

Add me as a fan of the Trackpoint. I can't live without it. If I ever have to use a keyboard other than my Thinkpad's, I'll have to get those IBM ones that have a trackpoint in it. I don't need to move the base of my hands from their typing position to scroll the mouse or to click a button. With the scrollpoint, page scrolling is effortless. Vive le trackpoint!

Re:IBM Ugly (1)

Duds (100634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032657)

No I'm with you, I hate trackpoints, they're not accurate, they're not quick, unless you turn it off they randomly click the mouse for you if your finger is in the same postcode.

The nipple is a perfect control means, it's accurate, it's quick and you don't accidentally click.

Re:IBM Ugly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032714)

the "nub" or "nipple" is INFINITELY better than the pad or trackball, which are both very inefficient and require actual motion, rather than just a little force.

Re:IBM Ugly (4, Informative)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032234)

> The only thing I can think of when I hear 'thinkpad' is the horrible nipple mouse they used to all
> have. Want to scroll from one side of the screen to the other? Best set aside 5 minutes!

Or simply push the nipple harder - works for me.

Re:IBM Ugly (3, Informative)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032260)

Or simply push the nipple harder - works for me.

That's correct. The thing that people who don't like the TrackPoint often don't realize is that it's force sensitive. A few hours of usage and it's way more convenient than a mouse.

The Thinkpads also come with a trackpad, which I don't use. The best pointing device I ever used was a trackpad on the old Apple Mac 540c (Blackbird). The first time I got a PC laptop with a trackpad I was amazed how a different implementation of the same idea could work so much poorly. It's amazing to refelect on the fact that that old 540c had only 4MB of RAM and a 33MHz processor, but with the exception of compiling and running a modern web broswer, it did everything I needed to do almost as well as my current laptop, a Thinkpad T42 with half a gig of memory and a processor running 30x faster.

Re:IBM Ugly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032237)

You need to adjust the mouse acceleration accordingly. After you get used to it, you can get from one side of the screen to another as fast as from a GUI button to an adjacent button - both in a split second. A human finger is adaptable, and even though both are accomplished by only a few millimeters of movement, after a while the trackpoint is a remarkably accurate control method. Whoever was it that said that the nipple is the only intuitive interface...

The only real issue with the trackpoint in my experience is that it takes half an hour for a new user to get anything done with it, and a few days for the new user to become proficient. But I still think it's a great device, even though I've learned to like the trackpad as well. My current system has both, and I use either, depending on mood, and where my fingers happen to be.

Re:IBM Ugly (2, Insightful)

rah1420 (234198) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032269)

Boy, you don't know how to use it, do you? I'll bet you scrape your finger across it like a trackpad and think that it's gonna make the mouse pointer move.

Think of it like a joystick without the handle and you'll do much better. Five minutes, huh?

Re:IBM Ugly (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032607)

Oh, it's a NIPPLE. I guess I better quit sniffing my keyboard then.

Re:IBM Ugly (2, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032214)

Your thinkpad cannot hurt me, my wings are like a shield of IBM Model M keyboards.

Re:IBM Ugly (1)

Zarhan (415465) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032261)

The Z60 series was, for a short while, available with silver cover instead of IBM black as well. Too bad I only good get the black Z60m (they ran out of the metal-cover versions just as I got the go-ahead from my boss to place an order for a new laptop...)

Who would win in a fight? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032268)

A thinkpad or a toughbook? My money on the toughbook [emperorlinux.com] says thinkpads are pussies. Bring it on!

Re:IBM Ugly (2, Informative)

adam1101 (805240) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032384)

No kidding: ThinkPad anno 1992 [aichi.to] .
ThinkPad anno 1997 [aichi.to] .
ThinkPad anno 2002 [aichi.to] .
ThinkPad anno 2006 [aichi.to] .

Re:IBM Ugly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032474)

Shouldn't that last one say 'Lenovo' not 'IBM'? Lenovo bought Thinkpad last year.

Re:IBM Ugly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032650)

I just bought one two weeks ago and it arrive last week with the "IBM ThinkPad" (not "Lenovo Thinkpad") logo.

Re:IBM Ugly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032412)

Those "rubbish little Acers" are certainly making a name for themselves. Take a look at the latest Notebook sales figures and you may notice that Acer is indeed number 1 in most European countries as well as making strong headway in the US. Incidently also reached number 1 in Australia during Q2...
Feature-wise, they have always been a leader. I was quite surprised with the recent Thinkpad claims of being a market leader in integrated security with the built-in fingerprint scanner. An Acer notebook I had 4 years ago already had a built-in fingerprint scanner!
Nowadays all new models come standard with built-in webcam.
I am not trying to trash the Thinkpad but they certainly don't make 'em like they used to...

Re:IBM Ugly (1)

fuego451 (958976) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032591)

Me-Reconsiders 1/4" Titanium diamond-plate case mod with frikkin' lasers for 'rubbish little Acer'.

sucky (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032184)

these things are not concieved for the public. they are concieved so they can produce more money , so we have to buy anothert battery pretty soon , etc

Bias? (4, Insightful)

Filik (578890) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032186)

That excerpt from the review made me not click on the link. The reviewer blatantly admits bias to the whole line of laptops instead of concentrating on reviewing the latest model...

Re:Bias? (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032191)

And you, sir, did well not to read it. The article started with "Squee Thinkpads are the best things since sliced bread and have always been, let's see that the x60s is the bestest bestest thing since hot water!"

AND you had to go through 6 pages to be told repeatedly that the x60s is the best thing ever, without any objective comparison against the competition though, because that may have required actual work.>/p>

Ouch (4, Funny)

Can (21457) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032187)

That was one of the most painful articles I've read in a while. It's hard to take a review seriously when there's a typo or missing word in almost every single paragraph. It was almost like I was reading slashdot...

OFFTOPIC BUT INTERESTING? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032248)

Slashdot has its millionth [slashdot.org] registered user. (Actually, this isn't strictly true because some of the UIDs are unused.) It would appear that Mr Peterson create a couple of hundred sock puppets [slashdot.org] to bump up the UID.

Re:OFFTOPIC BUT INTERESTING? (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032259)

I noticed this after bananastewguy created an account to respond to an article a couple of days ago.
I wonder if any parts of slash are limited to short formatted uids.

Looking at the list, it does look like someone made a script to create accounts, but there is no indication it was mr Peterson who did it, and actually more likely that NiceRoundNumber was the guy who did it (since it seems he was aiming for it).

A bit offtopic, but... (2, Insightful)

svunt (916464) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032188)

The current Lenovo ThinkPad ads in Melbourne have either a man saying something about how he wants to change the world, not back up his data all day, or a female, staring vacuously into camera with a smile that could start drooling any second, saying "I don't care how it works, as long as it works". If my pee-pee was a woo-woo, I'd be hunting down their marketing department with a sledgehammer in each fist. How fucking patronising.

thinkpads?! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032195)

thinkpads are shit

i'd rather have a case of rotting seafood than a thinkpad

thinkpad owners should all be rounded up and shot

Re:thinkpads?! (1, Informative)

frause (234486) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032201)

Why don't you keep your rotten seafood, I keep my Thinkpad and everyone will be happy?

This is the one laptop .. (3, Interesting)

cheros (223479) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032198)

.. I'd use to put my jack on if I ever got stuck in a muddy field. It would survive - they are seriously robust pieces of kit. Having said that, I'm happy with my dual core VIAO now, about the only thing I miss is the keyboard LED.

At least it finally has a Windows key..

Re:This is the one laptop .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032264)

Why do you care if it has a stupid Windows key? I mean, come on, Windows is part of that Microsoft sh!t. I removed the Windows keys from my keyboard because I was tired of seeing that stinking Windows logo long after I removed Windows from my computer. I would rather not have a Windows key there at all.

Re:This is the one laptop .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032502)

Why do you care if it has a stupid Windows key?

Because I use it as a meta-key -- which along with the arrow keys -- let me move around my 2D virtual workspace/viewports/windows under X.

I mean, come on, Windows is part of that Microsoft sh!t.

Oh shit, I didn't realise that. Do I have to stop using my laptop now cause I've only ever used Linux with it?

Re:This is the one laptop .. (1)

philhyde (986376) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032299)

I agree. I've had a T42 for over a year now, and this thing is solid. I've had two full glasses of water spilled on it and after drying out, it's back to business. Only downside is the keyboards aren't quite as good as they used to be.

$la$hdot (0)

squarooticus (5092) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032200)

I didn't realize Slashdot was shilling for Lenovo these days. I thought that activity was limited to Apple.

Fantastic Thinkpads, but PLEASE makeover the X! (3, Interesting)

lonesometrainer (138112) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032229)

I'm a road warrior and I've been using Thinkpads only since '99 and never looked back. A-series, T-series and now a Z-series thinkpad. Even though my current thinkpad is one of the first models designed and produced by Lenovo it's still a real thinkpad.

Why I love them:

[1] High mechanical quality, e.g. look at the hinges holding the display, that's solid metal! My last one, a T41p looked like brand new after 18 months and I used it every day for at least 8 hours, look at a typical Sony/Dell/HP after that timeframe!
[2] best keyboard in the industry, actually I even prefer my Thinkpad keyboard over Cherry keyboards
[3] the thinkpad light above the display (I love it), the docking solutions are very advanced, support is great

I personally don't care whether it has the latest GPU, fastest harddrive, etc. - and - I'm not gonna buy a glossy screen either.

BUT _please_ give me a new thinkpad X-series tablet! I absolutely need a higher resolution than 1024x768. I would immediately (tomorrow morning, before breakfast and shower) buy a X61s tablet with resolution > 1024x768, core 2 duo and 3rd generation mobile data service (e.g. HSDPA).

But, as far as I know, it's not gonna happen. The x60/x61 tablet will still have 1024x768 :-(

Re:Fantastic Thinkpads, but PLEASE makeover the X! (0, Troll)

hotfireball (948064) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032355)

> I would immediately (tomorrow morning, before breakfast and shower)
> buy a X61s tablet with resolution > 1024x768, core 2 duo and 3rd generation
> mobile data service (e.g. HSDPA).

It is called a "MacBook".

Re:Fantastic Thinkpads, but PLEASE makeover the X! (1)

lonesometrainer (138112) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032375)

It is called a "MacBook".

No, it's not.

WTF are you talking about?

The Macbook is...

[a] no tablet
[b] has a glossy display and
[c] has no core _2_ duo

Do you read before you post?

Re:Fantastic Thinkpads, but PLEASE makeover the X! (2, Funny)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032440)

Do you read before you post?

Welcome to /.

reduced market (2, Informative)

TexNex (513254) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032231)

IBM made some great machines and it seems that Lenovo has continued to support quality over looks. Unfortuneatly, Lenovo will have less oportunity than other brands due to the US govenrment outlawing them (the purchase that is) in Federal facilities.

Re:reduced market (2, Insightful)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032386)

...which is funny -- because, before IBM sold the brand name to Lenovo, guess where the laptops were made?

(Hint: Not Ohio.)

This is just politics, pure, xenophobic, and simple.

It's true that you need to watch your back when doing business in China. I've had too many Chinese friends, with too many frightening my-dad-the-doctor-was-approached-to-sell-organs-on -the-black-market type stories to be naive about that. There are plenty of good people, but Communism, poverty, and the greedy allure of soul-crushing Capitalism got together and twisted China into a horrendously corrupt anything-for-a-buck place that makes Enron's board room look like an ivory tower. It makes me thank God for my heretofore suburban American life. But that doesn't mean that Lenovo is a disreputable business, and it certainly doesn't imply that other suppliers should be trusted any more.

I personally own a Dell. My company gave me a Thinkpad. The Thinkpad has a broken monitor latch (plastic). The Dell has thermal problems that cause hard drives to fail with annoying regularity. So neither is perfect. But, broken latch notwithstanding, the Thinkpad feels solid. It also has the perfect dimensions for a laptop, and it runs Debian like a champ -- with rare kernel support for my wifi adapter! (A Cisco Aero, if you're in the market). So of the two, I'd take the Thinkpad.

Besides: When you're running MS Windows as your OS, worrying about the security of your hardware seems like misplaced attention! Why would Beijing design motherboards when they can just hire script kiddies?

I like my HP Comapq nc6400 Business Notebook (1)

nxtw (866177) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032235)

People mistake my laptop for a ThinkPad when they don't see it up close. It's obviously not a Thinkpad, and it's lacking some of the ThinkPad features. But it's built pretty well. It's got an excellent 14.1" WXGA screen that's surprisingly about as bright or brighter than my desktop LCD panels. It's got the ambient light sensor and hard drive accelerometer. It actually has *more* battery options that the equivalent ThinkPad model -- there's a 12-cell addon available that brings total estimated capacity to 16hr.

Most importantly, it was hundreds cheaper than an equivalent ThinkPad.

The perfect laptop (2, Interesting)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032247)

Forgive me for being slightly off topic, but the discussion regarding the thinkpad has got me to thinking. The thinkpad has come in iterations that are physically robust and sturdy, but still are (to me) a little too fragile. Most laptops are far worse, and it's always a little nerve racking to carry around a $1k piece of equipment which appears as if it would shatter if dropped from more then four feet.

I've never had a laptop where I didn't wear out the keyboard in less then a year. Screens go bad too easily (and I'm scared to death to let anything touch them). Batteries, while they have improved over the last decade, still have far too little life in them.

Yet, with improving technology and manufacturing, the focus seems to be on faster processors and high performance graphics chips (which in turn eat up more power). How is it that there is no market out there for a good, cheap notebook that does the essentials (runs a browser and an office suite) that's as durable as a, well, an actual traditional paper notebook?

I'd love something that I can throw in a backpack or satchel and not have to worry if it's going to get broken by other books, or scratched to heck, or have the screen go bad from being crushed. Something that can last 15-20 hours between charging, so I don't have to always be looking for a power port. I don't need it to play games or do any high end video work. A decent, durable display that'll do 1024x768 would be fine. I don't need excessive power; a 1.6ghz processor with 128m of ram and a 50gig hdd would be more then enough. Finally, put in a keyboard that is indestructible.

I guess what I'm getting at is that I'd be more then willing to sacrifice performance for durability. Am I the only one who thinks this way? Or are there laptop manufacturers out there who make decent, cheap machines that are built like tanks, but don't necessarily have a higher end hardware inside?

Re:The perfect laptop (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032270)

Isn't the laptop you just described the One Laptop Per Child [wikipedia.org] ? If so, then yes someone has thought about it, but it's for a completely different market.

Re:The perfect laptop (1)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032302)

I had forgotten about that. It's a brillient idea and i's comforting to know the desingers realized your run of the mill school children would break your typical laptop the first week they received it.

But yes, that's more or less what I'm looking for; those seem to be pretty durible and designed for heavy use. Heck, I'd spend up to $400 on one if they could design it so it didn't look like a Play-School toy, included the OS, an entry level version of MS Office suite, and had a good battery.

I still don't see, however, how there can't be a market for things like that outside of education?

Re:The perfect laptop (4, Informative)

Zarhan (415465) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032291)

I guess what I'm getting at is that I'd be more then willing to sacrifice performance for durability. Am I the only one who thinks this way? Or are there laptop manufacturers out there who make decent, cheap machines that are built like tanks, but don't necessarily have a higher end hardware inside?

    Cheap, not. But you can try Panasonic Toughbook [panasonic.com] or even beyond, check out Itronix [itronix.com] .

Re:The perfect laptop (1)

Kumochisonan (704897) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032347)

Panasonic Toughbook, built like a tank, weighs like a tank...

Re:The perfect laptop (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032727)

Panasonic Toughbook, built like a tank, weighs like a tank...

Don't be a pussy. The "Rugged" series Toughbook-29 weighs 8lb. Sounds like you need the exercise anyway. That's about the weight of a standard 17" notebook (though TB-29 is 13.3") and it is still lighter than those desknotes and is rated to run 5-8 hours on batteries.

They also have their "Semi-Rugged" line which look more like consumer notebooks.

Re:The perfect laptop (1)

Blackknight (25168) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032296)

Cheap or Durable.

Pick one.

Personally I think laptops are cheap enough now where it's not worth worrying about how long it will last. A $500 laptop should last a few years and by the time it breaks the machine will be obsolete any way.

Re:The perfect laptop (2, Insightful)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032314)

Actually, I see it as a choice between Cheep, Durible and Performance. You won't get all three, but I don't think it's a reach to expect you get two of them.

A $500 laptop will last a few years if it's handled carefully. You still wouldn't throw one in your backpack full of books and other assorted hard objects.

Re:The perfect laptop (1)

rah1420 (234198) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032297)

I've had my T23 [Thinkpad] for years; carried it everywhere, replaced the keyboard once already, and (as mentioned earlier in the comments) need to worry now about the fluorescent lamp as my screen is dying from red tint. I count things like lamps and keyboards as "FRUs" to use IBM-speak, even in a laptop. Lamps have a service life, keyboards are a moving part... while I sympathize with your desire for a ruggedized laptop, I wonder whether a high-end Thinkpad would fill the bill if you simply acknowledge that some things will just break after a while.

I have a friend who works for Mitre whose job it was, a few years ago, to "put TCP/IP in tanks." That phrase tells me that if you want a ruggedized laptop, you may be able to get one; but you may pay MIL-spec prices for it, too. At some point, you need to draw your cost/benefit curves and figure out what you're happy with.

Refurbished Thinkpads (1)

SIGBUS (8236) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032309)

There are plenty of places offering refurbished Thinkpads at bargain prices. I got both my T22 and T30 via that route, and they've been solid performers.

Re:The perfect laptop (2, Interesting)

beaverfever (584714) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032460)

Is this the mandatory apple post? Perhaps, but I don't think of myself as a shill.

Having said that, I bought a 12" powerbook three years ago (almost to the day) and it has been solid from a hardware POV (well, software too). What has impressed me most is the keyboard - it is very nice for a portable. Personally, I suspect all the negative publicity apple got recently over hardware problems in portables was blown out of proportion.

I haven't dropped the machine except when in my well-padded bag (and then only two or three serious knocks), but it has been picked up by the lid/screen more than once and suffered no damage (my boss's boss did this - I nearly had a heart attack each time and tried to keep it away from him). The screen is 1028x768, and still has no dead pixels. The machine is solidly made, and gives a firm "thud" when placed on a table - no buzz or rattle from loose fittings.

This laptop has always been used heavily every single day (except when I'm on holiday). The machine can get hot and the fans are a bit loud, but I have the processor running near/at max a lot every day. Despite such intense usage, the only hardware failure I had was the original hard drive, which went after a year and a half.

On the downside, battery performance is nowhere near your ideal (although what comp has such specs?) and the batteries have "gone bad" and lost lifespan - after about a year and a half I need a replacement. My second one is losing noticeable lifespan now and will be replaced soon.

This portable is from near the end of the run for the first generation 12"machines from apple. I got the new product early enough to be nervous about "v1 curse" but late enough that I think the bugs were ironed out. Still, admittedly I was fairly sceptical when I bought this machine, but it was a compromise based on needs vs budget. "Very pleasantly surprised" describes how much I have liked this machine. The size is very nice. I don't even know if apple still offers a 12" pro book, but I will certainly consider buying another when replacement time finally comes.

Re:The perfect laptop (1)

loyukfai (837795) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032510)

I can't tell exactly how you treat your notebooks just from your words, but it seems to me that you're asking too much for a traditional design, even that of a ThinkPad, which is renowned for its quality, durability, and occasionally fly-ability (like being thrown from the 2nd floor of an apartment but still survived...)

Maybe a Toughbook or something like that will suite you more...? http://www.panasonic.com/business/toughbook/home.a sp [panasonic.com]

Re:The perfect laptop (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032687)

You can get an ultralight notebook that should last for about seven hours on batteries. That would currently max out at about 1.2GHz. They use ultra low voltage chips. Intel marks them with a "U" in front of the model number, such as U2400. The L series will still get you better than average battery life and 1.66GHz Core Duo.

I have a couple old ordinary business class notebooks, four and five years old and they still work fine, so I don't understand what your durability issues are. I would suggest that you would get a Toughbook-29. It uses a 1.66GHz chip and if you stuff to batteries into it, it is rated for 12 hours. It's tested for military toughness, which means that sand and water won't hurt it. It's 8lb.

a feature... (2, Insightful)

Fanther (949376) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032250)

This product has never stopped being a top choice for demanding consumers and corporate buyers, whether they are looking for size, power, or features.

Or just a single feature - like the TrackPoint... Few other brands have them nowadays.

Multi Search [friskr.com]

Re:a feature... (1)

Momo_CCCP (757200) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032305)

I'm personally not a big fan of the trackpoint but if you're looking for an ultra portable that has one you might want to give the Dell D420 a look.

Re:sadly, it's not as popular as you might think (1)

Psykechan (255694) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032418)

From the artice: Rather than having a trackpad the X60s uses a one of IBM's signature red pointing sticks. This choice may be a bit disappointing to some people, but I have to say that I very much prefer it to a trackpad.

I have used many different pointing devices on laptops over the years and I love the TrackPoint. Sadly the de facto standard is the touch pad due to sloppy TrackPoint implementations from companies like Toshiba and things like the UltraNav [ibm.com] which sacrificed usability for a better sales feature.

The TrackPoint will remain a niche market until it finally fades away and most people won't even care. On the plus side, at least there have been new things like "two finger scrolling" that are making touch pads nicer to use... just make sure you turn off "tap to click".

This is just wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032253)

The Thinkpad line, in my opinion, only still exists because of its reputation which stems from models available decades ago. The newer Thinkpads are WAY overpriced and come in inexplicably stupid combinations of accessories, the only intent being to get the customer to buy an even more expensive model.

While it may be true that IBMs got the first usable laptops, nowadays there are many other vendors with much better models around.

Re:This is just wrong. (1)

Sepodati (746220) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032273)

What other models/vendors are available that are as durable as a Thinkpad and cheaper?

See June 2006 ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032331)

Consumer Reports.

For Budget Laptops, the HP dv5002 ($845 list)came in tops overall score 74: Lenovo score 76 ($1325).

Top scoring laptop - Apple Macbok Pro overall score 77 ($2100 list). Those three points cost $1255.

Although, Apple blew the doors of of everybody when it came to tech support!

Re:This is just wrong. (1)

nxtw (866177) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032596)

I've heard that the HP Compaq Business Notebook line is very comparable to a ThinkPad and they tend to be cheaper.

Note that this is NOT the dv- or V- series line of their consumer notebooks.

I personally own a HP Compaq nc6400.

Emacs Hostile Keyboard (1)

sofayam (582239) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032254)

From the article: "The only complaint with the keyboard is the positioning of the Ctrl and Alt buttons on the bottom left, it is very easy to hit the Function (Fn) key when you mean to go for Ctrl."

That might be because they GOT THEM THE WRONG WAY ROUND!!!

Idiots

Re:Emacs Hostile Keyboard (1)

jamiethehutt (572315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032369)

Oh I'm sure Emacs will have a function that can move your keys around.

Stubborn to the end... (1)

jpellino (202698) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032262)

All models retain the "Bambi-On-Ice" TrackPoint. Talk about legacy computing. I know people who have been so inurred to this device that they'll shove aside a mouse or forsake the also-installed-trackpad on some of these to a point-stop-click dance or a two handed (RH point, LH click) dance. Yikes.

Re:Stubborn to the end... (1)

jamiethehutt (572315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032319)

All models retain the "Bambi-On-Ice" TrackPoint. Talk about legacy computing. I know people who have been so inurred to this device that they'll shove aside a mouse or forsake the also-installed-trackpad on some of these to a point-stop-click dance or a two handed (RH point, LH click) dance. Yikes.

I quite like the TrackPoint. You put your finger on it and push it in the direction you want to go, not like a pad where you put your finger on it and drag and drag and drag and drag.

Re:Stubborn to the end... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032332)

Tons of people at my school have ThinkPads and most of them DON'T do the two-hand thing, including me. I use my right hand with the index finger on the trackpoint and thumb on the trackpoint buttons. What's so hard about that?

Re:Stubborn to the end... (3, Insightful)

Sepodati (746220) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032344)

You should teach the idiots how to use the TrackPoint correctly, then. You only need one hand. Index finger is on the TrackPoint and the thumb is on the buttons. You can press any of the three buttons with your thumb and it's easy to hold them down while you're dragging something. The contours on the buttons make it real easy to press, too, not like the sunken buttons on the Dells.

The first thing I did on my Thinkpads was disable the horrible trackpad thing.

---John Holmes...

Re:Stubborn to the end... (1)

gsasha (550394) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032478)

Well, there are people who prefer these. I've been downgraded from a Thinkpad to a Dell :(, and I find the touchpad mightily infcomfortable in comparison to IBM's red nipple. So, even if you prefer one way of doing things, remember that there are lots of people out there, and some might actually disagree with you...

And in any case, a mouse is more convenient than any *pad a laptop can give you. If I had to choose, I'd rather the laptop was supplied with a tiny rechargeable, optical, BT-connected mouse which would somehow dock for storage inside the laptop body (and would maybe have a small slide-out mouse pad for those situations that I'm not working on a table. OK, maybe it should be wired to lessen the chances of having it misplaced.

Imagine if Microsoft could re-think it (3, Funny)

Centurix (249778) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032263)

They'd make a 16 bit version and call it a Thunkpad.

Re:Imagine if Microsoft could re-think it (1)

pyroflower (999589) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032298)

Roflmao! thunk pad! That's great. What is the major advantage of the think pad, anyways? I mean, definitely not to knock it, but I paid less than half what that costs for an Asus a3h that's 1)easy to upgrade 2)great for travel conferencing (i.e., built in mike and cam) 3)Basically the same in hardware specs. Is it just a casing durability that adds the other thousand onto the thinkpad? I don't have dual core in my asus, but everything else is about the same... Just wondering. Ciao!

Re:Imagine if Microsoft could re-think it (1)

Centurix (249778) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032341)

I owned one many years ago and it was fairly rugged until I dropped it down 30 concrete steps in Singapore. I had accidentally poured beer over it the night before but it survived, although the little rubber nipple thing in the keyboard went kinda funky, turning to the same consistency as Silly Putty.

They repaired it at my cost, replaced the inverter, case and keyboard (they complained of a strange smell, I didn't tell them about the Tiger beer bath it had previously) and I used it for about six months until I traded for a Toshiba, which was practically bomb proof as I ran over it 8 months later and *nothing* broke.

Luckily, it wasn't a tram that ran it over, like the one that ran over my Motorola E398 phone. It was totally flat. I did take it in to show the repair shop for a joke, asked if it was a warranty job. They were very polite.

I have been impressed (3, Interesting)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032287)

Thus far, I have been very happy with what I have seen of Lenovo's actions. The newer Thinkpad models are better specified, a little cheaper and the warranty conditions have improved. I am actually more likely to buy Thinkpads now than when IBM was running the show.

I miss my Thinkpad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032295)

...but not the OS it shipped with.
I would love a modern Thinkpad with OSX, the keyboard is amazing and the thing feels bloody rock solid when closed (unlike my recent Apples... which are all squishy)

Ummm, what's going on here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032320)

I've seen a Lenovo Thinkpad before and It had "Lenovo" written on it. This one still has the IBM Logo. I don't think it's possible for Lenovo to use this logo. What's going on? are these the wrong pictures?

The model I saw also didn't have the stupid red nipple-button thingy.

Check out IBM's wrongdoing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032348)

It's right here: http://malfy.org/ [malfy.org]

SD Card Readers: Pointless? (1)

MulluskO (305219) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032349)

Seriously, does anybody ever use the card readers that come bundled with laptops now? Isn't this sort of thing obsoleted with USB and thumb drives?

Re:SD Card Readers: Pointless? (1)

AnimeDTA (963237) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032560)

Seriously, does anybody ever use the card readers that come bundled with laptops now? Isn't this sort of thing obsoleted with USB and thumb drives?

Quite the contrary

I've yet to see many cameras, mp3 players, cell phones or pdas that have a USB ports to plug thumb drives into. The cell phones I use either use miniSD or transflash memory, both come with SD card adaptors. My mp3 player at worst doubles as a card reader for my pc besides being able to play music off the memory. I'm thankful that my dell laptop came with an SD card reader. I use it to empty my SD cards when they're full.

As for thumb drives... they prove to be mostly useless, carrying around unaccessible data. The only use for it I see is to make it bootable and put linux on it for when i have to use someone else's laptop or pc. No laptop or pc... no use.

Re:SD Card Readers: Pointless? (1)

MulluskO (305219) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032570)

I guess at this point I should confess I use neither SD card nor thumb drive. I've always used my university's network storage.

T's for corporate Lenovos for personal use (2, Interesting)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032393)

Based on the some of the latest feedback of the problems that people have with the T60's it seems clear that Lenovo's plan is to niche the Thinkpad into the corporate market where it can be supported and doesn't have to handle the media/entertainment features that home users want. On the other hand the Lenovo N series is better suited to home users anyhow. I have Thinkpad T40 and a Lenovo N100 so I feel I'm qualified to have an opinion about this.

Re:T's for corporate Lenovos for personal use (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032577)

What are the problems with the T60? I think I'm about to get one (to replace my trusty T40). By only beef so far is it isn't available with Core 2 Duo.

Re:T's for corporate Lenovos for personal use (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032585)

Oh yeah, my other beef is the T60 is thicker than the T40.

aaaaarrrrggghh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032405)

...those bloody chinese motherfuckers have added Windoze-keyz on the ThinkPad !!!

I'd just like to say (1)

Neuropol (665537) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032426)

Thanks to IBM for having created the thinkpad, and to Lenovo for continuing to carry the torch.

Pi and Thinkpads - two universal constants

mb-t40@mb-t40-laptop:~$_

The system software update feature (2, Informative)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032455)

The thing I like about the Thinkpads (aside from their ruggedness) is the system software update ability. It's like a Windows Update that is tailored to the software you have on your ThinkPad, and (unlike Windows Update) it works! :)

I run Windows 2000 on my ThinkPad and the drivers and programs for that OS are still being kept up to date. When I did a reinstall of Windows 2000 a few months ago, I just installed vanilla Windows 2000, loaded the ThinkPad update program from my archive, ran it, and all the drivers necessary to support the ThinkPad hardware features were downloaded and installed.

Nice, very nice.

No optical drive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16032527)

I was going to show off Elive CD on a THinkpad to my friends. My imaginary friends, though, can see the CD drive, but I can't. and they continue to mock me.

Seriously though, I still drool for the WXGA Thinkpads.

new thinkpads! hah the old one still works! (1)

gsn (989808) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032595)

Interesting timing /. - I have an old A22e from 2001 just after I started college. Its optical drive finally crapped out yesterday (getting a replacement) but its still very usable - no quake 4 obviously but it can handle your day to day activity with no sweat. I'll probably put DSL or Vector on it soon but it still runs xubuntu though a tad sluggish (been through 98se, xp, redhat). The stickydick (nipple) still works even. Every one of my college papers was banged out on that keyboard and its still more responsive than the piece of crap logitech I have for my desktop that I'm typing this on - the entire thing was built to last. I rather like the new color scheme and lack of red - much cleaner and I'm surprised hes whining about the Fn vs Ctrl - you kinda get used to that. I've seen my moms toshiba satellite bought later die earlier. Its going to outlive my friends lifebook. The only thing thats putting up a reasonable fight is my labmates Presario 3015 which is almost a year younger. Eventually I'll buy another thinkpad - slightly worried because I'm not sure how lenovo build quality compares to ibm proper but so far good reviews - but I can still eke out another couple of years. It was my baby and I'm not giving up on it yet! Ok

Re:new thinkpads! hah the old one still works! (1)

Hymer (856453) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032713)

"...slightly worried because I'm not sure how lenovo build quality compares to ibm..."
Lenovo build quality sucks... We've got T43's from before the shift and after the shift and the build quality on those after the shift are poorer.
I'll wait until I see some good stuff from Lenovo (or until IBM makes a PowerPad).

--

This sig. is emulated in hw.

ThinkPads no more (3, Informative)

bfwebster (90513) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032715)

I've also been a dedicated ThinkPad user since 2000 or so. I've owned three, all X-series to cut down on the weight of dragging my laptop around and to allow me to actually get work done in coach class. However, unlike some of the other posters here, I have had some mechanical problems with the ThinkPads; I've had to replace keyboards on two of them, the screen hinges on my current one (#3, have had it 2-3 years at least) are loosening, and the screen frame itself has popped a rivet. Beyond that, I have found in the last year or two that more and more when I travel on business that what I really need is a portable desktop system, i.e., lots of memory, lots of disk space, lots of processor power, and a large screen. This, of course, is mostly the antithesis of the ThinkPad X series. Beyond that, I've just been a little bit leery of how well quality has been maintained in the IBM -> Lenovo transition.

I did buy such a "portable desktop" laptop this week: a Fujitsu Lifebook N6410. Dual core T2400 @ 1.83 GHz, 2GB RAM (upgraded myself from 512KB), 80 GB hard drive + second hard drive bay (uses SATA laptop drives; be warned that it doesn't come with the bracing frame for the 2nd hard drive; I'm still working on that), full size keyboard + numeric pad, 17" display, stereo speakers + subwoofer, 256MB nVidia graphics (128MB dedicated/128MB shared), lots of ports, DVD-write drive, etc. Size of a boat anchor, weighs a ton, only lasts about 2 hours on battery, so it's definitely not my light, lithe ThinkPad X41, but it's right up there with all my desktop systems, and it's definitely easier than packing one of my Shuttles + a flat screen in a suitcase (which I've done before).

I'll see after a few trips whether and how much I miss my ThinkPad.

By the way, if you're looking at high-end laptops like this, avoid the Toshiba Satellite P105. I bought one earlier this week from Best Buy (the P105-S9312, w/2GB of RAM and a 200 GB hard drive), got it home, and promptly ran into problems: slow, flaky performance, occasional kernel faults, etc. I let it run all night and in the morning found it had powered itself down. When I powered it up, it went through three different kernel faults during bootup, rebooting each time, then finally got itself into WinXP--only to start reporting problems with previously working software. I tried four (4) times to do a system restore using the system restore disc--and had it fail each time. When I took it back to Best Buy to get my money back, I found that someone else had come in that same morning to exchange the same model. Not a good sign of high quality assurance. YMMV. ..bruce..
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>