I needed a new laptop for my trip to France. After shopping around I ended up buying the Thinkpad T60 with the ATI Radeon X1400 graphics card. It's a good compromise between powerful, light, and gaming ability. And Thinkpad PC hardware has a well deserved excellent reputation. But IBM recently sold the business, how is Lenovo doing?

The hardware quality is good. Same solid keyboard, rugged screen hinge, ugly industrial design of Thinkpads for years. Temperature and power management seem good. The screen isn't as bright as I'd like; I don't have the "FlexView" option, maybe I should have gotten it. The laptop lacks S-Video or DVI output. But basically it's a good solid machine and I like it.

The software is surprisingly good. By which I mean there's almost none. The only non-system stuff is a bunch of Google software that uninstalls very simply (or may actually be useful!). And the IBM ThinkVantage suite of system tools is not too bad. You have to convince it not to turn your wireless off every 3 minutes and you have to disable the mysterious "BEEP" driver, but overall the laptop works.

Now the big problem; customer service. The online order system is awful and buggy and confusing. And then Lenovo screwed up somehow and sent me a machine with a bad part. The promised replacement took four weeks to arrive and the salesguy who was my contact mostly avoided returning my phone calls. Bad customer service, a bad omen for Lenovo's taking over the business.

I'd probably buy another Thinkpad. Depends if build quality is maintained.

  2006-09-01 00:46 Z