The Decline of the ThinkPad

As some of you know I started a new gig a couple of weeks ago at teebeedee. One perk was that we could pretty much choose any laptop we wanted. The other two guys had MacBook Pros and while I almost got one of those I decided to just stay on Windows and I had been really wanting to get away from Dells and go back to a ThinkPad. They have the best keyboards and have always been rock solid from a build aspect.

Well, I would have liked to have tried out their new T60p or Z61p but it was not to be. Why you ask? Well, it never arrived!! I originally wanted a T60p but there was a minimum 4 week wait to get one from Lenovo and the new ones hardly ever make it into the channel or they don’t have the configuration I want. CDW had them but they were $3300 before adding RAM, a docking station and extra battery. Through Lenovo’s site that same configuration was about $2800 for everything. It’s not my money but jeez, I can’t in good conscience do that. I decided to compromise and get the Z61p. It’s not quite as small but comes with a 1920×1200 15.4″ screen and 802.11n draft support. Also, it should ship within 5-10 working days. I got it ordered in early November.

I started my job and it hadn’t arrived yet. Lenovo backed up the ship date to December 7th. December 7th rolls around and on that date they move it to January 9th. January 9th! So you’re telling me, Lenovo, that you didn’t know you were going to delay it again before the 7th? That’s pretty pathetic in my book.

At this stage I needed a laptop, though. I went online and find that the HP nc8430 is getting good reviews and the price is definitely right. I tried configuring one through HP’s site but the ship date was a bit far out. I was reluctant at first to use one of their resellers because of the markup I saw on the ThinkPad’s resellers but it turns out there really wasn’t any markup or at least it didn’t seem like there was that much. So on Monday I should get my Core 2 Duo (2.16), with 2GB of RAM, 100 GB 7200 RPM drive, ATI X1600 w/256MB, Wireless, bluetooth, CD/DVD writer, docking station and extra battery after ordering it yesterday (Thursday!) from CDW for less than they want for the base T60p (sans extra RAM, battery and docking station). The stats are almost identical with the only exception being that the ThinkPad has the FireGL 5250 which is an ATI X1700 with crappy directX drivers. The X1700 and X1600 are nearly identical so that’s not a big deal there.

Sorry Lenovo, but if you can’t manage your supply chain better people are going to find other options and if the quality is pretty close or as good you can guess what they’re going to do. So maybe the ThinkPad is still as good as it was before Lenovo took over managing the brand but I don’t really know since I was never able to get one from them.

One thought on “The Decline of the ThinkPad

  1. I will be getting a new Thinkpad as soon as Vista is released. I was looking at getting the 15.4″ widescreen to replace my current Thinkpad 15″ but it looks like the widescreen is wider but shorter than a standard 15″. Can you do me a favor and physically measure the height and width of the actual LCD. You just can’t find that information anywhere. I know you got the HP but I’m sure just about all of the 15.4″ screens are basically all the same.

    I was originally looking at the HP 17″ widescreen.

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