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Thinkpad X60 — the Tablet Goes Ultraportable

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the send-review-units-no-return-postage-necessary dept.

122

Rovi writes "Lenovo had a gift for Thinkpad fans this season- they finally released the successor to the X41 Tablet. The Thinkpad X60 Tablet weighs in at about three and a half pounds and has great tablet functionality. The updates from the older model include a 2.5" hard drive (the X41 used a 1.8"), automatic screen orientation, and an Intel Core Duo processor. For performance seekers some serious upgrades are available, such as a 120GB 5400RPM hard drive, 100GB 7200RPM drive, SXGA+ monitor, or up to 4GB of RAM."

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But will it... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17353970)

Run Linux or OpenBSD or my favourite, FreeBSD? Can I actually use the tablet features with those OSs?

Just asking.

Re:But will it... (3, Interesting)

heho (837859) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354090)

You would need a linux distro that has native support for the tablet to effectively use the tablet portions of the machine itself. Many of the tablet features, such as the "always-up" dialog toggle, and many other features interact directly with the Windows API unfortunately

Re:But will it... (1)

OriginalArlen (726444) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354164)

You beat me to it - all that info but nothing to answer the most important question, will it run proper (Free) software, or am I shackled to Microsoft if I want to use the hardware? This post comes from an R51 running GNU, Mandriva Linux 2006 flavour, and very nice it is as well (tho' I broke the wifi support trying to get it to support EAP - that's what comes of tinkering with your kernel when you don't really understand what you're doing :( )

Re:But will it... (5, Informative)

heho (837859) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354190)

Yes the X-series tablet will run linux distro's to your hearts content, however like I said many of the features will be unavailable, including any of the ThinkVantage Technologies that Lenovo puts on them such as the RapidRestore, or Access Connections programs. http://www.thinkwiki.org/ [thinkwiki.org]

Emperor Linux provides preloade X-series thinkpads (1)

MCRocker (461060) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356188)

I bought a Raven X60 from Emperor Linux [emperorlinux.com] this summer. It's a very nice machine and is just perfect for cafés where my nine pound Dell is inconvenient. Amortized over the last six months, my café drinks are down to less than $100 each!

Although Emperor Linux claims that they have many of the key laptop specific features working out of the box, I've found that not to be the case. Sleep, hibernate and dial-up modem capabilities never worked for me from day one. Also, you have to pay the Redmond Tax, so I had them not uninstall Windows XP and make it a dual boot machine. It's a good thing too, because it turned out to be the only way I could get online at some motels.

I've also run into problems with WiFi because one of my favourite coffee shops, Bluff City Coffee [bluffcitycoffee.com] , because they provide access through a Cisco access point with WPA and a security protocol I'd never heard of before. It works easily with Windows, but it was tough to get it to work with Ubuntu. Evenutally we got it figured out, but it still blocks apt-get packages, so I have to download them manually, which isn't exactly a common thing for me to do in a café anyways.

Re:But will it... (1)

captjc (453680) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354532)

But Will it Blend?

Re:But will it... (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 7 years ago | (#17355252)

blend schmend, the real question is how well does it make toast?

Re:But will it... (0, Redundant)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356432)

That's something that the T4*p series and the older A3*p series do as a function of their hot processors.
Want toast? Make your own heatsink and launch Doom 3.

Lunix still chasing MS's tail lights, as usual (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17354916)

Of course Lunix will not support the Tablet features. Since when has Lunix ever innovated?

All they are ever doing is providing the "God I wish I were Microsoft" desktop wannabe platform. They blatantly rip off features from MS all the time, but do it poorly... and multiple times. Heck, how many text editors does Lunix have?

Maybe they should focus on getting something like an application installer instead, or a way to make installation possible by someone other than a Lunix guru. Lunix STILL isn't as good as Windows 95. How can they be a viable option for the desktop, when they can't even do what MS was doing OVER TEN YEARS AGO?!?!?!

In closing... if you want a Tablet PC, make sure it has a real operating system installed on it.

Re:But will it... (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 7 years ago | (#17355620)

Run Linux or OpenBSD or my favourite, FreeBSD?

Well, if it's like the earlier models, it's selling with pre-installed linux in Asia, but in the US you'll be able to buy it only with MS Windows installed, and you won't be able to find the drivers for the proprietary components that don't work with any of the online linux distros.

One of my questions would be whether it can handle languages like Mandarin and Arabic. Most computers sold in the US don't have software that do such things sanely, since everyone knows that Americans only understand English. Maybe what I should do is take a flight to Hong Kong and buy one there ...

Re:But will it... (1)

daevux (626542) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356252)

Indeed it can. [shameless-plug] EmperorLinux [emperorlinux.com] offers the laptop pre-installed with any of the major Linux distros and full hardware support under the name Raven [emperorlinux.com] . [/shameless-plug]

linux support? (1, Informative)

wwwrench (464274) | more than 7 years ago | (#17353992)

So, I'd get one if it had linux support for the tablet functions. It seems like right now, if you really want to explore the full functionality of tablets, you have to be running a non-free operating system. One would think that IBM, with all its talk, would help in this regard. Anyone have positive experiences getting full tablet functionality under linux? Including word recognition...

Re:linux support? (1)

httpdotcom (749192) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354050)

I had been looking at the Lenovo tablet for some time, and one found an offering from Emperor Linux that supported several different distros on the Lenovo hardware (named "Raven"):

http://www.emperorlinux.com/systems/tablet/ [emperorlinux.com]

They also have a new "Wasp" tablet using the Panasonic Toughbook series.
The pricing on these models is a little higher (especially with upgrades), but the warm fuzzy of not running proprietary software should be worth it.

Re:linux support? (3, Funny)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354118)

That's quite an expensive warm-fuzzy you've got there ($1775, in fact). I just use my socks. Well, after they're washed, of course.
 

Lenovo != IBM (2, Informative)

FatSean (18753) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354116)

IBM sold off the laptop division quite a while ago.

I will say.. (4, Informative)

Junta (36770) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354236)

Towards the end, IBM's choice of laptop hardware and their BIOS ACPI tables worked very well with Linux. IBM's support may translate some, since Lenovo started from a good position and were not necessarily inclined to deviate for no reason (Also, Lenovo bought the employees too, so the tendency would be strong). My biggest concern is if they continued to take care to do the ACPI tables properly or not going forward, but having the same firmware developers gives me hope.

IBM? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354614)

Why would they help out? Thinkpads are not their product anylonger.

Speaking of,what is up with the ibm logo on that picture of the tablet?

Re:IBM? (1)

Koenkai (1043322) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354820)

When Lenovo bought IBM's PC business, they also bought the right to use the IBM logo for five years...which means they can use it until 2009.

Re:linux support? (3, Informative)

LunarCrisis (966179) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354944)

Just to clarify, since the parent post might have been misleading, there IS support for the tablet under GNU/Linux. I'm quite happy with my X41 tablet running gentoo (had to install from a knoppix live-USB though), the thinkpad buttons and screen rotation work fine, and support for high precision tablet coordinates and pressure sensitivity work great in GIMP, Inkscape and Xournal (minus pressure since Xournal doesn't use that). Hibernation with Suspend2 seems to work fine too.

What isn't really available, and I'm sure this is what the parent post was talking about, is handwriting recognition software. AFAIK there isn't really any available for GNU/Linux (please reply if I'm wrong here). I knew this when I bought the system, but I really couldn't care less. Handwriting on a computer sounds like a waste of time to me (unless you can't type), I wanted the tablet for drawing =).

PS. Not linux-related, but the pen on the X41 tablet doesn't have an eraser, this isn't a big deal for me, but you might want to find out whether the X60 tablet's pen has one if you're used to having them on other wacom tablets.

Re:linux support? (1)

Monkeyboy4 (789832) | more than 7 years ago | (#17355988)

x60 pen does have an eraser.

Re:linux support? (1)

Babillon (928171) | more than 7 years ago | (#17357372)

Just out of curiosity... Why in the world would you use The GIMP for drawing? The thought of that just makes me want to hurl.

If it's because you don't want to fork out the cash for Photoshop/PSP/Painter, that's understandable. But OpenCanvas (the old free version that allows networking) is far superior to anything The GIMP could crap out.

Re:linux support? (3, Insightful)

nostriluu (138310) | more than 7 years ago | (#17355256)


I ran Debian on a Toshiba M200 (1.6ghz Pentium M, 2 GB RAM, 7200rpm HDD, dedicated NVidia video card). Good specs (at the time) for a 4 lb system, plus the tablet features. It was fast enough, and had a high res (but small) display so it was my primary dev system, although like the x60, it's a convertible, not a true tablet (big difference).

I never did focus on word recognition since I consider it awkward, and I didn't end up exploring the MS tablet integration features (some of which sound interesting) much before the XP partition died of a virus. Unfortunately, under Linux it was a challenge keeping the stylus, touchpad, rotation, power management, and video out working (or not). Not to mention the proprietary SD card reader. I'm no expert, but it was an unreasonable amount of very frustrating try-this, scanning outdated bulletin board conversations, etc work, and the implementations kept changing so if one thing is fixed, another breaks. This was 2004 - 2006, btw.

I did use it for some occasional drawing, and it was nice to be able to fold it down for some situations.

Having a vendor supported model would be a tremendous boost for Linux, and people like myself who want full vendor support. The kernel and the environment are of course separate, so it would really just take a 'certified' list of open source friendly hardware.

Re:linux support? (1)

bettse (826786) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356962)

I use a m200 as well and am writing this comment from it. As a regular laptop it works perfectly, and as a tablet its pretty well supposrted. The pen is detected as a wacom tablet, and with proper scripting hooking to acpi, you can detect the lid being closed into tablet mode and rotate both the screen and the tablet interface correctly. The biggest thing missing right now is software; handwriting recognition, note taking software, Open Office support for OneNote format, etc.

Re:linux support? (2, Informative)

grcumb (781340) | more than 7 years ago | (#17355738)

Anyone have positive experiences getting full tablet functionality under linux?

I can't speak for this tablet, but I do know that Lenovo as a company not only supports Linux on their desktops, they ship it as the default OS for their domestic-consumption PCs.

I'm working on a systems integration project for a small nation in the South Pacific. The Chinese government provided all the IT equipment through its foreign aid programme, and every Lenovo machine we received had Kylin linux [kylin-linux.com.cn] installed, along with a Chinese variant of OpenOffice.org. Kylin Linux appears to be a derivative of RedHat.

I must say I was impressed by the quality of the hardware, too. All the components were decent quality, perfectly adequate for a typical office workstation, and better than many donors provide. If this example is anything to go by, then I'd assume that you'll be able to get decent Linux support for your tablet, though perhaps not until the Chinese rip off someone else's hardware drivers. 8^)

Automatic screen orientation... (5, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17353998)

If the tablet is facing a mirror, will the display properly orientate itself to be readable in a mirror?

Re:Automatic screen orientation... (1)

NeuroKoan (12458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354398)

I think the proper thing to do would be to turn into a mirror itself, and then you could have your very own hall of mirrors at any time.

Re:Automatic screen orientation... (1)

cybereal (621599) | more than 7 years ago | (#17355780)

You've misunderstood the term "orientation"...

If you use a Clay Aiken signature pen the screen will turn all rainbow-colored.

Great commercial. (5, Insightful)

skitz0 (89196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354036)

When does the regular show come back on?

I really want to buy a tablet pc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17354066)

but the processor isn't fast enough and the screen's to small. The graphics card isn't great either.

Re:I really want to buy a tablet pc (1)

Makito (518963) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354100)

The low voltabe CPU is definitely a perfect match for the use of this laptop (7hours!), but I agree the onboard video really drags this and like all tablets down the drain if you plan to do any 3d work or gaming so to speak.

Re:I really want to buy a tablet pc (1)

The Clockwork Troll (655321) | more than 7 years ago | (#17355550)

Exactly.

Slashdot demands a laptop that can play PenQuake and DoomWrite for hours on end AND at a minimum of 10sps (strokes per second).

Re:I really want to buy a tablet pc (1)

spootle (1033314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17355928)

I refuse to do ANYTHING in under 15 sps.

Re:I really want to buy a tablet pc (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17358506)

I agree the onboard video really drags this and like all tablets down the drain if you plan to do any 3d work or gaming so to speak.

If you plan to run Linux on it, on the other hand, the onboard video is perfect -- yay Intel GPL video drivers!

Re:I really want to buy a tablet pc (3, Informative)

heho (837859) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354114)

The idea of a tablet is to be portable and not bulky, ideally, the size of an 8.5x11 sheet of paper. In terms of processing power, what do you need a more powerful processor for? I could only imagine playing CS or any other game with a digitizer pen. "The guy fragged me! as I slammed down my pen!" In terms of graphics, is due to battery life consideration. Running an ATI or NVidia chip will increase the power required to run everything and greatly reducing the battery life. On an average ThinkPad system running an ATI or NVidia chip decreases the battery life by almost 1/2 as compared to the integrated 128MB Intel graphics card.

Re:I really want to buy a tablet pc (1)

heho (837859) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354212)

I forgot to include the link to where I referenced the battery life http://www.lenovoblogs.com/insidethebox/?p=40 [lenovoblogs.com]

Re:I really want to buy a tablet pc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17354372)

You're assuming it can only be used as a tablet, but that's not true. More powerful graphics would be helpful for gaming, etc. if the laptop were reverted to normal notebook functionality.

I have a powerful desktop for gaming, but when I'm traveling or visiting family for the holidays, it's nice to be able to take a few games on the road with me on my Thinkpad T42. The tablet functionality of the X60s/t is nice, but if I had to choose between that notebook/tablet and a beefed up pure notebook that can do some simple gaming, I'll go with the pure notebook.

Re:I really want to buy a tablet pc (1)

gtada (191158) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354476)

What about Vista?

Until you get to the two grand range, it seems like Lenovo is adverse to using decent 3D videocards even in their regular laptops. I know you can still run Vista without the fancy 3D effects, but the lower-end 3D chipsets don't take that much power.

Re:I really want to buy a tablet pc (1)

nostriluu (138310) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356030)

This isn't a tablet, it's a convertible. Very different features and audience.

Re:I really want to buy a tablet pc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17354334)

but the processor isn't fast enough and the screen's to small. The graphics card isn't great either.

Tablets will always tend to be smaller and lighter than the average laptop. So, almost by definition, the processor will never be fast enough, the screen always too small, and always have a mediocre graphics processor by whatever the current standard is.

A high-performance tablet computer is almost an oxymoron.

I want a laptop with a replaceable video card (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17354450)

I never understand, how with how much laptops cost, that they don't build in the ability to exchange the video card. You know, like mini-pci or something so you can pull out the card and put a DECENT VIDEO CARD into the system. Let the manufacturers sell them with their cheap-ass waste of time i810 shares-all-the-memory and drags-down-the-cpu. Then I have the choice of going out, getting a decent 6800 or something in a compatible package, and installing that instead.

I would snap something like that up in a heartbeat. As it is now, whenever I need to buy laptops for people I always have to scour tons and tons of systems just to find one with a non-intel-graphics video subsystem in them (the CAD people will never forgive you if you buy them laptops with intel graphics).

Re:I really want to buy a tablet pc (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354866)

I don't have a problem with the CPU speed or graphics card, my problem with it is the OS sucks.

Now, a machine like that with OS X running on it...

Re:I really want to buy a tablet pc (1)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356522)

A very good tablet that can run GNU/Linux and Windows XP, and has an internal 3G antenna for Internet access on the go, is Flybook [flybook.biz] . I own two. The only problem with them is their price (up t0 4000 EUR for a fully equipped top model with accessories, etc.). The old models I own, A33i, also had that Transmeta CPU that slowed down the machine a lot, but the new models, V33, have a Pentium M at 1.1 GHz which ought to be enough.

IBM versus Toshiba? (5, Interesting)

Makito (518963) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354082)

The X60 looks like a Toshiba M400 without a CD/DVD drive - much like the M200.

My question is, how does the Core Duo 1.8Ghz Low Voltage CPU performance compare to the standard Core Duo 1.8Ghz CPU in the M400.

Re:IBM versus Toshiba? (4, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354152)

My understanding is that they should perform identically. The low voltage one was just able to pass the test at that voltage where the "normal" one would have failed the test at that low voltage. They make them all the same, then bin them based on which tests they pass. The exception to this is if they have high demand for 1.6 GHz chips but are producing lots of extra 1.8 GHz chips they may re-mark them and sell them as 1.6 chips (which is why sometimes the slow speed grades overclock so well).

This is my understanding. It's a bit like military spec chips. They perform identically, they are just designed for different conditions (in this case, less voltage).

Re:IBM versus Toshiba? (1)

Makito (518963) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354184)

That's good to know. I was a little suspicious that they might have tuned down the FSB bus speed to help acheive the lower voltage, but if that's the case. Time to swap out my M400's power hungry CPU for this one instead...

Re:IBM versus Toshiba? (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354242)

In mobile processors, that may indeed be the case (I hadn't thought of that). But I know that there are low power versions of server/desktop chips that are designed for blades and such that obviously they don't pull such tricks on. You'd have to look up the specs at Intel's site, I'd guess, to be sure.

Very poor graphics compared to Toshiba (1)

Morgaine (4316) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354982)

As the author of the article states, "1024x768 resolution could use an upgrade".

What he failed to mention though, was that this resolution was already very poor and uncompetitive in a well-featured tablet PC back in 2004 !!! As a clear fan of his X41t and X60s, I think he's reviewing the new Lenovo through rose-tinted spectacles.

I looked at the X-series along with many others when I was researching for my own tablet PC some 2+ years ago (before that I had a Thinkpad), and the Toshiba Tecra M4 [notebookreview.com] tablet came out miles ahead on so many fronts that it was like something out of the future, yet it was very cheap compared to its rivals: 1069 UK pounds in 2004.

Graphically, there was just no comparison: the Tosh has a terrific 1400x1050 screen (driven by nVidia 6200 Go), and as this is a convertible tablet (the laptop screen swivels around and folds back down flat for tablet use), this lovely screen supports pen-proximity sensing too, as well as the usual touch pad and Thinkpad-like nipple on the keyboard.

The Tosh is tightly packed with other features too (Wifi, Bluetooth, Firewire, SD card, PCMCIA, gigabit Ether, excellent Linux support), but graphics is the killer advantage that decided the choice. Lenovo's 1024x768 was pretty poor even back in 2004, but now it is simply unacceptable on any but the most basic laptops, and in an otherwise-sexy Lenovo tablet it is so completely out of place that I find it just totally incongruous.

I liked my old Thinkpad, but if Lenovo are going to attract people like me "back to the fold", they need to take a very serious look at their specs compared to the competition.

Re:IBM versus Toshiba? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17354354)

It's not IBM

Re:IBM versus Toshiba? (1)

Makito (518963) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354366)

Right right...IBM - $$$ :Lenovo = China, etc hehe.

Lenovo (Not IBM) versus Toshiba? (1)

NeuroKoan (12458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354378)

Just a quick correction, not that it really affects your post. But, IBM sold off the Thinkpad line to Lenovo. So, this isn't really IBM versus Toshiba, but Lenovo versus Toshiba.

Plug? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17354106)

Sounds like an unnecessary or "sponsored" plug. ... or maybe I just hate my Thinkpad lately.

(Maybe its both.)

IS this new? (1)

ender_wiggins (81600) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354128)

I thought these have been out a while. I've seen them at microcenter for months...

Re:IS this new? (1)

heho (837859) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354172)

Technically no its not new, its been "available" on the market for about a month now, however Lenovo had no stock available for them, however shipping on these machines is still 1-2 weeks delivery time - fairly reasonable for ordering directly through Lenovo's website.

Re:IS this new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17356392)

I've had mine (X60s) since May, so I'd hardly call this a gift for this season. I live in Finland, so maybe they released the X60 model in USA only now?

asthetics dont count anymore ? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17354178)


man is that one hell of an ugly laptop, looks circa 1992
complete with Intel/Windows/product stickers all over the handrest
style does count in the boardroom (see Apple) regardless of what some might say, if it didnt we would be wearing a 20$ suit on a billion $ pitch

Re:asthetics dont count anymore ? (-1, Troll)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354254)

You mean you'd rather have one of those bathroom fixture-lookin' Apples that just exude indecisiveness and shallow fashion obsession?

Taste is in the eye of the beholder. Thinkpads are still the best looking portable hardware on the planet, bar none.

Re:asthetics dont count anymore ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17354318)

Indecisiveness? Shallow fashion obsession I'll grant you (though I disagree that fashion needs be shallow), but indecisiveness has me scratching my head. What does indecisiveness have to do with a computer's appearance?

I'll admit I like Apple's current white/clear plastic look (I'm a proud iMac owner myself). It would be nice if they had some variety, though. Sadly, Apple is one of the few companies out there that's actually trying. Everyone else seems to be content with black plastic and the odd blue LED. Blah. I just refuse to buy black.

Re:asthetics dont count anymore ? (4, Funny)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354522)

>You mean you'd rather have one of those bathroom fixture-lookin' Apples that just exude indecisiveness and shallow fashion obsession?

>Taste is in the eye of the beholder.

Indeed.

And vision is in his mouth.

Re:asthetics dont count anymore ? (1)

Tx (96709) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354458)

aesthetics - the study of the nature and expression of beauty
assthetics - the study of a (usually female) person's J-Lo rating
asthetics - ???

Re:asthetics dont count anymore ? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17354830)

style does count in the boardroom (see Apple)

I've NEVER seen an apple in a boardroom, so WTF are you talking about?

The only boardroom i can imagine seeing one in is at some kind of faggot rights group or something. all you fanbois of apple are flaming homos.

Re:asthetics dont count anymore ? (2, Informative)

LunarCrisis (966179) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354990)

Beleive me, the swivelling screen makes jaws drop. It also doesn't have that ugly sealing ridge around the edge of the top screen that most thinkpads do.

3.5lb - is too much - give me 2 pounds (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17354222)

Ultraportables are 2.5 pounds and lighter. 3.5 pounds is just too much.

Some companies (Apple, IBM(Lenovo),Acer, etc) just do not know how to build small and light. If Sharp, Sony, Fujitsu, Samsung can build 2 pound laptops and lighter why cant Lenovo and Apple?

Re:3.5lb - is too much - give me 2 pounds (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 7 years ago | (#17355042)

Maybe because those other manufacturers are sacrificing too much weight for durability. It's VERY rare to see a badly built Thinkpad line.

Re:3.5lb - is too much - give me 2 pounds (1)

xetovss (17621) | more than 7 years ago | (#17355392)

Though I know its not heavily reported but the Thinkpad R40 line has an issue of where it will stop seeing any UltraBay drives, and the Thinkpad A31 will stop seeing the sound and modem devices both of which require the replacement of the system board as its an issue with the southbridge chip. Also the T40/R50 series of laptops with ATI video chips has an issue where the video chip will come loose causing intermittent video(pressing down on the video chip will make it work for a lil while). That happened to my personal T42 which I sent to a company called MicroMedics in IL and they were able to fix it somehow without needing to replace the board(verified by same serial number and NIC MAC address), and haven't had an issue with it since(and I known I just haven't had that problem as I've seen people saying there T40/R50's are doing the same thing). I wouldn't call the video issue a Thinkpad issue as I have heard of it happening on HP/Compaq's, Toshiba's, Sony's, and Clevo based laptops(Sager/Prostar/Alienware and others) along with desktop video cards with both ATI and NVidia chips so I would guess there is some issue with the BGA mounting technique or the solder used for it perhaps just doesn't take too well to heat stress. I've even read on a couple different forums tha the T23's have an issue with coils falling off of the system board and causing the system to not turn on. So I guess while IBM/Lenovo Thinkpads are generally more reliable they still have their own share of issues, just not widely reported or known about.

Re:3.5lb - is too much - give me 2 pounds (1)

syncrotic (828809) | more than 7 years ago | (#17355998)

Those 2lb ultraportables make major compromises of functionality for size. The X60 is essentially sized around its 12.1" screen, while a lot of the machines you're talking about have 8.9" displays, 1.8" hard drives, and previous generation CPUs.

Re:3.5lb - is too much - give me 2 pounds (1)

modeless (978411) | more than 7 years ago | (#17358480)

This computer is heavy because it is a tablet (with a reinforced screen and hinge). The non-tablet X60s is thinner and lighter (2.7 lbs). Not the lightest on the market but the lightest with a keyboard I'd want to use for any length of time. Those tiny Sony things are atrocious.

What has become of the 3 year warranty? (1)

gp310ad (77471) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354268)

I visited the Lenovo web site this AM looking for a machine for my daughter to use in grad school. Parts availability and the 3-year warranty add a lot of value. Where'd the warranty go?

Re:What has become of the 3 year warranty? (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354388)

You can purchase different repair service contracts which is where the warranty becomes worthwhile. Otherwise they just stare at you and tell you to ship the machine back to them.

I purchased a 3 year local depot drop off repair service contract as well as Lojack for Laptops. They added about 170$ to the cost but if the unit is dropped, broken at least I can go somewhere locally and get it fixed, they know who I am, what the terms of the agreement are and so on. And if it's stolen or lost, Lojack makes and attempt to track it down and alert the cops for you. I guess if you lose the data you're screwed unless you backup regularly. I have a big USB drive just for that purpose.

Re:What has become of the 3 year warranty? (1)

rfunches (800928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356506)

I purchased a 3 year local depot drop off repair service contract as well as Lojack for Laptops.

Lojack for Laptops sucks. It's Windows only and requires IE. Plus they reserve the right to terminate the contract if your computer doesn't connect to their servers after x days.

Re:What has become of the 3 year warranty? (1)

gp310ad (77471) | more than 7 years ago | (#17357384)

A service contract is not a warranty!
Totally different animals.
No 3 year warranty = no Lenovo for me.

Re:What has become of the 3 year warranty? (1)

oneeyedelf1 (793839) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354496)

If you are looking to purchase one with 3 year warranty check out this site, 3year accidental damage are only $150 http://www.universitycomputers.com/ePOS?this_categ ory=92&store=210&item_number=560R-IB-6364U&form=sh ared3%2Fgm%2Fdetail.html&design=210 [universitycomputers.com] . Its a good deal

Long overdue? It's in the wrong sales channel (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354348)

Color me cynical but when I hear something is long overdue I wonder if it's been thrown together quickly out of desperation. This model or models which check in at 4+lbs are not ultraportable. One would think that with a smallish screen it would come in a little lighter.

Moreover, Lenovo clearly has a demarc between consumer models (N series, V series, etc.) and their corporate customer brand (Thinkpad). I have to wonder how they're going to support a consumer model like this out of the corporate channel since obviously there are zero corporations out there who are going to stock their inventories with this. It's at least $900 too high for that. I'm sorry but to me this sounds like another one of those glitzy PC's your Director gets while you toil away on a 3 year old T-40. Frankly I'm shocked they haven't built seamless functionality with a Blackberry and/or Treo 700 into it since that's the sweet spot of the people who are bound to get one of these. And of course it needs a docking station and massive audio.

But in either case, if you Joe Shmoe picks one of these up for your own use, what kind of support are you going to get from the channel that typically handles big customers who buy hundreds or thousands of units at a clip? Think they'll put your pissant problem at the top of the queue? /Yes I am bitter and slaving away on a 3 year old T-40 while my managment chain tells me that anyone with a 900Mhz CPU or higher is not eligible for a hardware upgrade, indefinitely. That puts my 3 year old machine at least 2 more years from replacement. That ought to be fun trying to run, support and patch XP Pro on a 5 year old machine in the 2008-9 timeframe while MS has its hands full trying to keep Vista from running off the rails.

And for the record. I have a Lenovo N100 as well and while I love it, someone needs to shoot the person in the head who decided on the price points for hard drive upgrades. Lenovo wants more than $120 to upgrade an 80GB drive for a 120GB. That is patently insane.

Re:Long overdue? It's in the wrong sales channel (3, Informative)

jgennick (59014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354538)

But in either case, if you Joe Shmoe picks one of these up for your own use, what kind of support are you going to get from the channel that typically handles big customers who buy hundreds or thousands of units at a clip?

I'm an individual, and I've generally gotten very good service from IBM on Thinkpads that I and my family own. I've never been stuck on hold. That's a great thing right there. The worst incident I ever had was when a rep sent me the parts to replace my own LCD panel, and she did that at my request, not fully realizing that I didn't have a clue. To IBM's credit, they took all the parts back once I realized I was out of my depth. Then they took the Thinkpad back and fixed that too. And all under warranty.

I'm sure other's mileage may vary, and surely there must be some bad experiences out there, but I've found Thinkpad service to be top-notch, so much so that there are only two brands of notebook that I buy these days: Thinkpad and Apple. (Apple, because that's what you need for OS X).

Re:Long overdue? It's in the wrong sales channel (2, Insightful)

crazy.tyae (711237) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354978)

Color me cynical but when I hear something is long overdue I wonder if it's been thrown together quickly out of desperation. This model or models which check in at 4+lbs are not ultraportable. One would think that with a smallish screen it would come in a little lighter.
Lenovo has been doing quite well, so I don't think this could be called a desperation move. 4+lbs is a bit hefty but you could always use the 4 cell battery which allows the unit to come in under 4 lbs. On the screen, this is certainly not smallish for an ultra-portable - average perhaps. I'm willing to accept the extra heft in return for the durability of the materials used to construct the tablet.

I have to wonder how they're going to support a consumer model like this out of the corporate channel since obviously there are zero corporations out there who are going to stock their inventories with this.
Although I've heard some horror stories regarding the standard "depot" service, I've also heard a tot of positive stories. (See the thinkpads.com forums for some firsthand accounts.) Also keep in mind that the average Joe care also order 9x5 NBD service for additional $. (I believe this may be handled, at least in the U.S., by the same service which was used before Lenovo became involved.)

And of course it needs a docking station and massive audio.
It has an optional dock. Massive audio? Are we still talking about ultra-portables? ;-)

Re:Long overdue? It's in the wrong sales channel (1)

syncrotic (828809) | more than 7 years ago | (#17355802)

First things first, the fact that your employer has ridiculous IT policies doesn't mean that all of them do. You're just giving us an anecdote and then using that to imply that no company would ever spend a relatively small amount of money to equip their staff with decent hardware. I'm sorry your job sucks; start looking for a new one.

Granted, a tablet is not something that most people really want or need, but let Lenovo worry about selling enough of them. The tablet, while not a huge success, has carved itself a comfortable little niche; the people who can put its functionality to good use often become very attached to it. I wouldn't be surprised if there were more corporate tablet users than consumers, as the latter tend to be far more sensitive to price.

As for support, Lenovo gives individuals the same service that volume buyers get. They recognize that there are a lot of small businesses and contractors that rely on them, and they treat you well. The thinkpad line is a high end product with a price to match, and you get the kind of service you'd expect.

Re:Long overdue? It's in the wrong sales channel (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17355902)

Actually my employer is the former owner of Lenovo. I actually have some insight into how this works. Next, Lenovo support for consumer machines is in fact different from support provided for corporate customers. That difference is a hugely complex iteration of all the customizations that corporate customers demand such as custom hardware and software images. Believe me, it's real and one of the drivers for why Lenovo no longer belongs to IBM. The overhead to keep those corporate customers is enormous. Next, the point you missed is that there are 2 different product lines. One is the Lenovo line which Lenovo has done a good if not great job with on their own for years. The other is their newly acquired Thinkpad line. One need only go their own support pages to understand that big problem is the almost limitless expansion of models and submodels. There are for example more then 50 different variants of the Thinkpad T-40 alone. But corporate customers really don't care because they offload that level of support to the vendor. Corporate customers try to recycle their hardware on 3-5 year intervals because FASB rules allow them to depreciate them over 3 years but the hardware probably has up to 2 more years of technical life beyond their financial life.

So stuffing the channel up front with a new expensive model is generally not going to be attractive to corporate customers. With a 3-5 lifecycle they can only utilize at best 20-33% of their projected inventory turnover per year. And next year, the new model is now different, and the year after that and so on.

Are you starting to get it yet?

Uhhh... (1)

Compuser (14899) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354384)

4 hour run time. I'll pass. Wake me up when they make something competitive with Panasonic R5
laptop or Electrovaya tablets.

Battery life (0, Offtopic)

abradsn (542213) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354666)

My question is...
Does anyone have a laptop/tablet that can last for 4 to 6 hours on a battery. I'm sick of 5 minute battery life, and would be willing to use a 300mhz laptop if I could use it to read on for 4 or 5 hours.

Re:Battery life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17354794)

Depending upon how I configure the energy performance of my MacBook Pro running OS X, I can get close to 5 hours of use. This battery is almost a year old now. More intensive computing knocks it closer to 4 hours.

Re:Battery life (1)

dagamer34 (1012833) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354816)

My HP dv4000 I bought a year ago lasts 6-6.5 hours with the extended 12 cell battery (and it has an ATI x700 in it too) after undervolting, ATI Powerplay, and making sure the HDD turns off when possible. Sure, the battery sticks out a bit, but I always laugh at people who's laptops die after 4 hours. :P Just don't expect amazing battery life and a high powered laptop. Keep your CS:S and HL2 skills on a desktop where they belong.

Re:Battery life (1)

Shadow-isoHunt (1014539) | more than 7 years ago | (#17357270)

... and sacrifice mobility.


As an owner of an Inspiron e1705 with a core 2 duo T7200, and an geforce go 7900gs cross flashed with the 7900gtx bios and overclocked while attached to a WUXGA display, I can confidently say that I love my laptop, and because of the dual 8 cell non-exploding lithium ion batteries it still has great battery life. Although it's a little heavy, it's still nothing like what laptops used to weigh! Hell, my first laptop weighed more than my desktop.

Re:Battery life fujitsu stylistic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17354900)

the stylistic lt from circa 1999 has a tft screen standard 2.5 hdd and with the bigger battery 1400mah
i think it will last 'bout 6 to 7 hours with a 5400 rpm hd they can be had on ebay for a hundred bucks
plus you don't need a pen for it you can use your finger

Re:Battery life (1)

Nightspirit (846159) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354952)

My fujitsu t4010, with a modular battery (ie swap out the CD drive) gets on average 7.5 hours without wireless and 6.5 with wi-fi turned on. It's slightly slow by today's standards (pentium m 2.1) but it is worth it for the battery life.

Re:Battery life (1)

ASCIIMan (47627) | more than 7 years ago | (#17354958)

My Dell D820 consistently gets around 4-5 hours with the 9 cell battery. When I add the 6-cell media bay battery in place of the DVD writer I usually get 6:30 to 7:30 hours.

Re:Battery life (1)

dsoltesz (563978) | more than 7 years ago | (#17355014)

I just got a Fujitsu Lifebook 1610 convertible tablet/notebook [shopfujitsu.com] with the 6 cell battery pack, which brings the weight up to 2.5 pounds from the 2.2 pounds it weighs with the 3 cell pack. I'm getting 4 to 7 hours depending on how I'm using it - movies, books, drawing, etc. I'm very happy with the 1610 - it's actually the tablet I've been waiting for. 2.5 pounds is still too heavy, but the UMPCs that are coming in around 1 pound require so many add-ons (portable keyboard, USB-RJ45 dongle, etc.) and too tiny screens (4.5") they're less usable, less convenient, and ultimately more expensive. My second runner up was a TabletKiosk eo [tabletkiosk.com] .

Re:Battery life (1)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356460)

What a wonderful notebook [shopfujitsu.com] . Unfortunately, I see no GPRS/UMTS/HSDPA antenna built-in. I wonder why notebook manufacturers keep releasing subnotebooks with no built-in Internet capability. An innovative company has released Flybook [flybook.biz] which can connect to the Internet with up to 1.8mbps speed through HSDPA 3G networks. While it's true that you can just put a PCMCIA card and have 3G in every laptop, I think that the internal antenna worths the extra money. All high-end PDAs, like HTC Universal, have 3G connectivity nowadays, but few high-end laptops have it. In this sense, PDAs seem to be more advanced than laptops. I just wonder when manufacturers will wake up and understand that built-in GPRS/UMTS/HSDPA connectivity in a laptop multiplies its value to the user more than one hundred times.

Re:Battery life (1)

LunarCrisis (966179) | more than 7 years ago | (#17355024)

My X41 tablet running GNU/Linux with the 8-cell battery (actually makes it much easier to hold in slate/portrait mode) lasts about 5 hours on battery with automatic CPU scaling on. It scales the clock speed down to 600Mhz when not in use, such as when you're reading =). I'm not sure if/how this works in Windows, but I'd be surprised if it didn't have a similar feature. Not because I any sort of faith in Windows, but because I don't see IBM/Lenovo putting in features that aren't usable from Windows.

Re:Battery life (1)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 7 years ago | (#17356414)

My IBM laptops last about 4 hours, and my HTC Universal PDA with broadband Internet and Opera browser lasts up to 8 hours. Manufacturers often sell extended batteries, and if not then you can always carry with you more than 1 battery and change.

Lenovo = Mafia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17354852)

Why would anyone buy a computer from a company that's owned mostly by the Chinese Government? People here make huges fusses if a western government restricts a classified document - then people glow about a Communist Chinese tablet.

Re:Lenovo = Mafia (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17355026)

this is slashdot where america is wrong because the british government kills a man by accident because of his suspicious activity and should be overthrown for it but if the chinese or the muslims execute thousands it's just part of their culture. welcome to the world of political correctness.

also be aware that if you are an american that:
we're the only ones with fat people
we're mostly illiterate
we're the only country that burns fossil fuels (and thus are the single country responsible for global warming)
we're responsible for every inkling of racism/religious intolerance (let's forget the holocaust, pol pot, rwanda and stalin, if you bring that up it's just Godwins law being true and not a real incident in history)
we're a nation of bible beating christians (even though we have no national church/religion, we have legalized abortion, we have openly gay/atheist/non-christians in our government/schools/corporate elite)

but at the same time we're the ones who are continually turned to to come up with solutions to the worlds problems even though we're the ones who cause all of them.

Re:Lenovo = Mafia (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 7 years ago | (#17355202)

Why would anyone buy a computer from a company that's owned mostly by the Chinese Government?

Because if we don't buy the laptops they will use them in their missiles?

mo3 0p (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17354892)

fact came Into

SXGA+? (1)

WMD_88 (843388) | more than 7 years ago | (#17355126)

1400x1050 (SXGA+) resolution on a 12.1" screen? That's suicide! XGA on a 12.1" is relatively small as it is.

Re:SXGA+? (1)

LunarCrisis (966179) | more than 7 years ago | (#17355264)

People have to stop thinking that higher resulotion means the graphics are smaller. Things like fonts specified in pt (which is a physical size, not a number of pixels) should appear the same size on any display. Of course, if you want to make use of the extra detail by making everything smaller, that's your choice.

Re:SXGA+? (1)

Your Pal Dave (33229) | more than 7 years ago | (#17355426)

Ideally, this is true; in practice a lot of applications and web pages break if you run at > 100 dpi. If you increase font size on many (if not most) web pages you end up with a bunch of unreadable, overlapping, and truncated items. Flash based web pages are worse as they have no zoom, you might as well break out a microscope to read them.

Application software fares somewhat better, most apps under linux handle high DPI reasonablly well, but there are still a lot of windows apps which were designed using pixels rather than length units.

FWIW, my laptop (debian) runs at 1400x1050 on a 15" screen, and I keep my work machine (XP) at 1600x1200 on a 19" CRT (about 115 DPI, discourages shoulder surfing). I like having tiny icons, menus, and tool bars; it leaves more room for for actual work (or /. as the case may be)

Re:SXGA+? (1)

syncrotic (828809) | more than 7 years ago | (#17355936)

There's a simple solution to the web browsing issue: use Opera. It's the only browser with zoom that works the way it should.

Re:SXGA+? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17355766)

Pff.. High-end laptops stuff 1920x1200 pixels in less than 15 inches. And I want that kind of resolution on my desktop dammit. Anyone fancy reimplementing T221 but with acceptable framerate? :)

Is BIOS broken? (1)

zdzichu (100333) | more than 7 years ago | (#17355696)

Problem number one: CPU crippled by Lenovo [thinkwiki.org] . Is this model also affected?
(Short story: Lenovo disabled hardware virtualization in BIOS, one of selling point of Core processors)

specs great, 1024x768 resolution too low (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17358378)

The new ThinkPad tablet looks great, except for the display resolution. Who would nowadays still buy a notebook or tablet that only has 1024x768 pixels display resolution? Anything below 1400x1050 is a pain to work with. You can only fit a fraction of a page on it, your eyes won't like the zigzag outlines of the characters, and your fingers get tired from scrolling up and down. As soon as they release one with a better resolution I will buy it right away.
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