I’ve had my new laptop at work for a couple months now, so I wanted to give you a little review. To start, I LOVE this machine. It’s a 1.8 GHz Centrino with 1 GB of RAM, 802.11 G and Bluetooth, a 50 GB hard drive with monitors to protect it in case of droppage and the biometric fingerprint scanner built-in. It’s got a 15 inch screen with a max resolution of 1400 x 1050 pixels, and the legendary IBM keyboard that just feels more solid than any I’ve ever used. This laptop is built like a battleship.
Normally when I get a new laptop I basically blow everything away software-wise and start with a clean OS, but IBM has a bunch of utilities built-in that are actually quite good. This may be the first time I’ve left most of the manufacturer’s software on a machine. The main one I like is IBM Access Connections. This little wonder lets you set up profiles for every type of network connection you have, and allows you to set defaults for each. Everything down to what your browser’s home page is, as well as what your default printer is. I have profiles including Work Wired, Work Wireless, Home Wired and Home Wireless. The software does a good job automatically switching between each depending on where I am. And if it stumbles, it’s a simple keystroke combo to allow me to choose the right one. Saves a TON of time. Especially since you can switch seamlessly between static and DHCP IP addressing in different profiles. Awesome.
However, the coolest thing about the laptop is the fingerprint scanner and security subsystem. There’s software that allows me to use my fingerprint to enter passwords on websites and programs, and I can even log into my machine simply by swiping my finger. The only problem I have is that the scanner can be a little temperamental and it sometimes takes a few swipes to get it just right. But, for the most part it works great. I can even encrypt files on my machine simply by giving them the finger. 🙂
All in all I’ve been very impressed. Many times I’ll have all three Lotus clients up, and possibly Photoshop and Flash, and she never hiccups. Well except for when my machine was infected with Google’s Enterprise Desktop, but that’s another story!
Anyway, if you are looking for a rock-solid laptop with great connectivity, great security, and great build quality, I recommend an IBM T42 Thinkpad.