Sunday, September 28, 2008

What's a good laptop to buy?

I just bought a Lenovo T500 ($2000) with

- Core2 DUO T9400 CPU (2.53GHz)
- 160GB 7200 RPM hard drive
- Vista Business

I've heard people complain about Lenovo deliveries. This machine took 2 weeks to build and 1 week to ship, and arrived on the date originally predicted.

After using it for a couple of weeks, and comparing it with my previous machine, a Dell D620 with 2GB RAM, I can tell you I am delighted with the Lenovo.

Here are the highlights.

- Runs cool. Developing with the Dell, or watching videos, the fan was always blasting and it ran so hot that when an external monitor was plugged in, the image would shake. You rarely hear the Lenovo fan on the other hand and you can have the machine on your lap without being cooked.

- Runs fast. I have four or five instances of Visual Studio running, and switch between them, Word, and Firefox, with no delay at all.

- Well built. The Dell felt flimsy and poorly made. While the T500 does not feel as well built as a G40 and a T60 I had before, it is better built than the Dell. I broke out my 2004 era G40 recently while I waited for the T500 to arrive, installed VS 2008 on it, and although it was slow it performed faultlessly despite having spent most of the last 2 years under my desk gathering dust.

- Awesome screen. The display is beautifully clear and crisp.

The only problems? The 3 USB ports are too close together on the left hand side of the machine, as is the Ethernet port. If you are left handed cables hanging out of that side might get in your way. Fortunately I'm right handed.

Other than that and at the risk of sounding like a shill for Lenovo I think this is an absolutely outstanding machine and I am very satisfied with it.

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