Saturday, December 31, 2005

IBM Thinkpad R52

Logically, this blog should be an extension of the previous one about my journey but I had decided that the first blog I wrtie on my new Laptop - IBM ThinkPad R52 - will be about the laptop itself. It all started with a casual discussion with phantom when I was defending the fact that I done need a laptop right now, I won the talk but he won the final battle. I ended up buying one within 10 days of the discussion. All that I have analyzed below are not first hand experience but based on the research on the net.

I had a faint idea in my mind regarding my needs. In reality money was not a constrain but I did not want to go above $1200. My roommates had bought Dell Laptops for around $800 but that didnt impress me much. I wanted something stable, something that I can bestow my trust upon given my carelessness attitude ( at times ;-) ). There was not much variation in the processor speeds available in the market under $1.2k. It ranged from low end celerons around 1.6Ghz to newer 1.86Ghz Intel Pentium M centrinos. The RAM was usually 256 MB but some also offered upto 512 MB. 1 GB was the best of the lots. On the lower side HDD was 40GB with 4200 RPM disk speed and higher ends towards 100GB with fastest speed as 7200 RPM. Other things that was considered were screen size (12" - 15.4"), weight (4lb - 6lb - see I have already started talking in American unit system), frills like number of USB port, firewire, DVD writer, good quality speakers, egronomics of keyboard, mouse etc. All in all, given the best of all these a laptop would cost around $1.6k which meant there had to be a compromise somewhere.

Either I could have gone for a Dell with low egronomic qualities and low sturdyness but higs frills and good HDD or there were other companies like Toshiba, HP that could have been considered but for me stablity was the prime issue which I did not want to compromise. So the contest was between IBM and Apple. Both are reputed for their performance and stability. Apple is surely good but... So I finally decided to stick with IBM Thinkpads.

Now with ThinkPads there are three series - T R and Z. Z is the latest one more of the multimedia kind of PC with high degree of frills. T series are the flagship product with T43 being the latest kid on the block but EXPENSIVE. The R series offered the same performance as the T series but did not have the same body material so were heavier. The same configuration T series was expensive by around $300 dollars. I wanted to go for T43 but at a price of $1400 it was well above my limit. So finally I got a great deal with 1.86Ghz Pentium M centrino, 1 GB RAM, 14" screen, CD writer - DVD reader, IBM trust and stability. The downside 40GB HDD (4200 RPM) and weight of 6lbs. But at a price of $999 I dont even call it a compromise :-).

The first looks are in accord with the speculations. A complete black body giving it a corporate look, the IBM trademark red colored mouse pointer, special lights on the top of the monitor for ease in typing in lowlight conditions. Yes its heavy but that not a problem for me. (I hope!). Right now the 4200 RPM does not seems to slow down the performance but the systems virgin right now so my fingers are crossed on that. The keyboard is definately better than Dell. It feels sturdy but only timetest will bring out the reality. Finally, it is surely the best buy if thousand dollars is all you can spend. Maybe still the best even if you have a few hundred more than that.

More after using it for a while.


At 10:19 PM, Blogger Ankush Garg said...

What is this stability issue with Dell?

At 10:29 PM, Blogger Zia said...

Daddu... I am also planning to buy a decent laptop with all the looks, sturdiness, stability and features like desire within INR 55000~1200$ because thats all I have ;-). So money is an issue here.
Could you please give me some idea of the price differences in India and US also help me out a bit when you get time.
Lenovo took over IBM Thinkpad. Is that right?

At 2:01 PM, Blogger Nikhil said...

bhatti - there is no stability issue with dell, its good and runnign strong but ppl have had complains like the screen gets bad after some time, the HDD stops working or crashes kind of stuff(this is inspiron serires - the new latitude series have not heard such complains). With Thinkpad there are never such complains.

zia: sure. but i cant tell you the price diffrences. if you find out indian price i can suggest over that. (or you want to buy from US?)


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