- User Rating: Excellent
Ease of Use:
Quality of Tech Support:
Pros:No annoying Windows keys! Quality, design, keyboard.
Cons:Price, graphics performance, price, graphics performance, price.
The Bottom Line: IBM could put the competition out of business if they would just take the shackles off the ThinkPad and give it a top of the line graphics card.
Let's get one thing straight right off the bat: IBM makes the best laptop computers period. Why? Read on...
#1 THE KEYBOARD
The keyboard is the most comfortable and natural of any laptop computer. (This applies to all IBM ThinkPad keyboards.) The key placement is most similar to a full size desktop keyboard, and the keys are full size. Keys like the Insert, Delete, Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down are in their proper positions at the top right of the keyboard in the usual 6-pack configuration. The Alt and Ctrl keys are double size like desktop keyboards. Other larger keys include Backspace, Enter, Tab, Caps Lock, both Shift keys, and a large Space bar easily within reach of both hands. Nothing else even comes close. Due to this, IBM opted not to put Windows keys on the keyboard. If you look, there isn't enough room for them without reducing the size of other more important keys. And who cares? Nobody really needs to use them anyway. And quite frankly, there are other operating systems out there besides just Windows. For a computer programmer that types frequently at 80wpm, I don't want anyone messing around with the key layout. For this reason alone, I would never purchase a laptop from any other company because the other guys ALWAYS treat the keyboard as if it were a $5 throw-in and give no attention whatsoever to proper ergonomics like IBM does.
#2 THE TRACKPOINT MOUSE
If you've used both a touch pad and a trackpoint like I have, you'll eventually find the TrackPoint to be faster and easier to use despite what some unscientific (biased) studies may have mentioned in a magazine. The reality of the TrackPoint is this: Less finger motion required, more precise, no accidental mouse clicks, and your hands never leave the keyboard to find it. In every possible way, it's better to use than a touch pad...BUT...it has to be configured properly (to the right sensitivity) and you do have to spend some time getting used to it.
#3 THE QUALITY
Most laptops are made by no-name companies that offer cheap quality. (There are a few exceptions like Dell, Toshiba, Sony, HP.) If you want something that will last instead of overheating and burning up, get an IBM. My friend bought an eMachines laptop just because it was cheap. I warned him not to, but now he has a laptop where the optical drive doesn't even open properly half the time, the exhaust for the fan is on the bottom which causes the laptop to overheat (and burn your lap). It's just bad design. That's what you get if you buy the cheapest thing in the stores. People don't realize it until it's too late. IBM at least knows how to make a laptop.
#4 THE DESIGN
Overall design is better than the rest. Everything is where it should be. And the little extras like the ThinkLight to illuminate the keyboard are just icing on the cake.
THE ONLY GRIPE
My only gripe with the ThinkPad T42 is that you really have to open the wallet to get something with decent graphics performance. ie: Radeon 9600 is the minimum I would expect for today's standards. My minimum is IBM's maximum in this case. Don't bother looking for the Radeon 9700, 9800, etc. You won't find them here. The T42 is a serious business machine, but it will never be a gaming system. If you demand the ultimate in performance, you'll have to look elsewhere.
Putting that aside, there is more than enough processing power to run any business application or handle multimedia.
The T42 is the best laptop in IBM's lineup. Forget the X40, the T42 should be racking up all the awards with its 15" screen, ~5 pound weight, and incredible capabilities.
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Amount Paid (US$): 4000Cdn
Operating System: Windows
Processor speed: over 1000
Screen Size: 15 inches
RAM: More than 256
Internal Storage: CD-RW and DVD
Hard Drive (GB): Over 50