Since December 2008, i’ve used my ThinkPad W500 as my work laptop. We’ve bought this as part of a promotion package.
The W500 i had had a 15.4″ 1920×1200 Panel, which wasn’t too great. While the high fidelity was certainly nice, the screen was very, very dark. It could only be used indoors, and required you to darken the room on sunny days.
Today i’ve had the chance to upgrade from the W500 to a T510, which i did. So far, i’m very much impressed with the changes Lenovo has do to this device. The W500 is running Windows 7 Enterprise x64.
- New controls for volume, microphone mute. Much easier to use than before
- New bigger and multitouch capable touchpad. As i prefer the touchpad over the TrackPoint, this is something that helps me tremendously
- Integrated Camera and eSATA connectivity
- Improved connectivity layout
There’s only one thing that i don’t like very much right now – the redesigned keyboard. As part of my job i deal with IBM’s IBM i platform, which still makes use the Function keys – which have all been shifted to the right for one key. So i regularly press F3 instead of F4, but chances are i will get used to it.
There’s one thing that worked very well – moving my Windows installation from the W500 to the T510. I’ve disabled Bitlocker protection, removed the OCZ Vertex SSD from the W500, placed it into the T510, booted it up, Windows installed several new drivers. Then, i installed the Intel LAN drivers from an USB stick, rebooted once more and installed the rest of the necessary drivers from Lenovo’s driver matrix. The whole process was done in less than half an hour, and reenabling Bitlocker protection was a breeze.
Windows 7 automatically reactivated by contacting our KMS servers, and i’ve had to reactivate my Office 2010 Beta manually, which also worked flawlessly.
While this portability is great (and also existed with Vista), it’s something I was able todo with Linux back in 2004 (assuming of course that the kernel had the storage drivers you required).
I’ve been using ThinkPads exclusively since 2004 – my first ThinkPad was an R51 and my first new laptop (my first laptop was a Compaq Armada i’ve bought used for 50.- CHF). When Lenovo took over the brand, i wasn’t to sure what to think of it, but having gone through several iterations of ThinkPad devices now (R51, T60, W500 and now the T510) i can see that Lenovo is commited to provide further well built, high performance devices.
Both the T60 and the W500 are still in service, neither of them are broken. The T60 is used by my apprentice and around 3 or 4 years old. We’ve replaced the Mouse and Keyboard to mitigate the wear and tear of several 40 hour work weeks on the device, but aside from that it stills works great.