The following is a cut and paste from an email I sent to a mailing list today:
Thinkpads have been my favorite laptops for a long time. In fact, they’ve effectively been the *only* laptops for me. Unfortunately, that seems to be changing. Since Lenovo bought out IBM’s PC division, the company has seemed to be angling for emulating most of the rest of the laptop industry. With the 3000 family “notebooks”, Lenovo is creating new laptops that look almost exactly like the main lines of laptops available from HP, Gateway, Dell, Sony, and others. These other laptops they’re emulating look like fashion accessories rather than professional tools, feel like cheap plastic toys, and lack the reputation for rock-solid reliability and quality associated with Thinkpads. I don’t know if Lenovo’s new 3000 series will be as reliable and high quality as Thinkpads have been, but from what I’ve seen so far, they look like fashion accessories and feel like cheap plastic toys. I don’t even know if Thinkpads are going to continue to be as reliable and high-quality as they have been in the past. They also lack the trackpoint mouse that has been a part of every Thinkpad for years in addition to the touchpad that’s built into every other laptop in the universe these days. Some of us prefer the trackpoint, and I for one am glad the Thinkpad gives me an option. I’m typing this on a Thinkpad R52 with FreeBSD installed. All the hardware was supported without any weird finagling necessary. I fear that the next time I want to update my laptop, though, I’ll have to find a new favorite laptop — and that there won’t be anything as good as the Thinkpads to which I’ve become accustomed. Has anyone else run across any laptops other than Thinkpads that might satisfy my needs and preferences? Should I just resign myself to a future of pining for the days of yore like some old fart sitting on the porch exclaiming over the cost of a candy bar?