Chad Perrin: SOB

1 May 2007

my Thinkpad dilemma

Filed under: Metalog — apotheon @ 06:05

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?


  1. I was assuming that the 3000s et al were Lenovo’s existing laptop models when they bought the ThinkPad line. They seem to offer both side by side, and since they have been introducing new models like the X60 that remain faithful to the IBM tradition, I have been assuming that they aren’t going to let ThinkPad fans like us down.

    Comment by Ratha — 1 May 2007 @ 10:48

  2. I admit I may have made an assumption — because I never saw a Lenovo 3000 series laptop some time after they bought out IBM’s PC division, I kinda assumed they were new. I also seem to have a vague recollection of going to the website for Thinkpads at some point and not seeing the 3000 series, but it’s entirely possible I just ignored anything non-Thinkpad at the time and thus don’t remember them.

    In any case, I really hope you’re right.

    Err . . . long time no Intarweb-speak! I’m glad to hear from you.

    Comment by apotheon — 2 May 2007 @ 03:43

  3. and lack the reputation for rock-solid reliability and quality associated with Thinkpads

    Hey, I’ll have you know my “cheap plastic fashion accessory” hasn’t given me a lick of trouble in nearly two years (knock on large block of wood)!

    Levity aside, I’ve had the same concern since IBM sold its PC operations to Lenovo. How ironic that the company which pioneered the PC has left its legacy with an offshore vendor.

    That said, it appears the ThinkPad series is alive and well. I’m glad to see they have touchpads now; for years that little pencil-eraser abomination was a deal-killer for me. I hated Toshibas for the same reason, even though they made very tough and powerful laptops. (I realize this is purely a matter of personal preference.)

    So I wouldn’t despair just yet, but you might want to make a purchase soon anyway . . . just in case.

    Comment by Brian Martinez — 2 May 2007 @ 11:12

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All original content Copyright Chad Perrin: Distributed under the terms of the Open Works License