September 2006

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Got my hands on a Thinkpad X60 at good price for a Core Duo 1.83GHz, 12.1″ laptop with 1GB RAM, 80GB harddrive, an 8-cell battery and the Ultrabase dock. Big thanks goes out to that great friend for saving me a small bundle of cash.

I bought it intending to pass it on to my sister when she leaves for Perth next year. I figure she will be needing a laptop for school and a reliable one (to save myself from being a cross-border tech support) will be best. The Thinkpad was only marginally more expensive than the Dell and Compaq alternatives that I was considering and I hear Lenovo’s support is fairly reliable. I was hoping to find a list of service centres locations in Australia, but all I can find so far is the Australia support number. It does seem like Lenovo has an online warranty support system known as the Electronic Service Call (ESC+) tool. If all goes well, I will have no need for it, but it is comforting to know that it exists. 🙂

I’m currently installing all the usual software suspects on the laptop, especially my usual set of antispyware software. My sister is not the most technically-inclined of users and will need help ensuring that she doesn’t thrash the laptop within 6 months of usage. I will be taking the laptop on an extended trial run. Hopefully any problems will surface quickly before it gets shipped to Perth along with my sister.

First Impressions

A Thinkpad by any model will look just the same. :) I have not owned a Thinkpad before but I have friends and family who do and really, I would be hard-pressed to identify one Thinkpad model from another.

The Thinkpad’s characteristic all-black chassis is well-built and the screen is nice and stiff. The lack of a trackpad takes a little getting used to, but not a big problem really. The keyboard feels good and responds well. A minor gripe would be the placing of the Fn button where I usually expect the Ctrl button.

In my completely unscientific opinion, the Core Duo processor doesn’t seem to be seem all that blazing fast although most of the online benchmarks have given it a good rating. The right palm rest area does run somewhat warm to the touch after a while and apparently it is a common problem. The X60 comes with the full gamut of ports and also a built-in SD memory card reader.

Unsurprisingly, I was underwhelmed by the quality of the onboard speakers. The speakers sound soft even when turned up to the max, but given that Bose quality audio isn’t a priority with the target user base, I can’t complain. Earphones are probably the way to go anyway if I want to listen to my MP3s while I work. I don’t expect the graphics on the X60 to outperform its audio but I’m not much of a PC gamer and am not too bothered.

In summary, I’m pretty pleased with the X60 so far. Battery life is great and I love it’s form factor and weight. A thumbs up from me.

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