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Thinkpad T40/t41 or Dell Latitude

Hello All,

I know that laptops were dicussed a few weeks ago here.  I'm considering getting either the ibm or the dell d600 and would appreciate your opinions on these machines.

Primarily I'm looking for something lightweight that I can do some development work on while on the train.

Tuesday, January 6, 2004

I've got the T40p model and I'm pretty happy with it. T41p even comes now with a better hard-disk and processor...

Tuesday, January 6, 2004

If you have the money go for IBMs

Tuesday, January 6, 2004

I know this is going to sound petty, but Thinkpad keyboards aggravate me (I'm using one now).  The control, windows, and alt keys on the bottom-left of a normal keyboard are Fn, control, alt on a thinkpad. 

So the control key is out of position and it's replaced by a completely useless Fn key.  The Fn key uses some low-level interrupt that prevents it from being mapped to something more useful.

Since there's no windows key, you have to hit control-escape to bring up the start menu.  only the escape key isn't above the tilde, where it should be, it's above the f1 key, so you constantly hit control-F1 by accident. 

they're little nuances, but they make a difference when you're on a keyboard all day.

Steve H
Tuesday, January 6, 2004

I've had the D600 for several months now as my primary machine, and everything about it is great--relatively light, bright screen, nice keyboard, good specs--except for one thing: Dell has moved to allowing the screen to touch the keyboard when the lid is closed, so there's a gradual wear pattern that develops slowly on the screen, which becomes noticeable after a year or so on a dark or dim screen.  Dell replaced the lid/screen for one laptop I had that this happened to, but I don't know how much longer they'll do that.

Justin Johnson
Tuesday, January 6, 2004

I have a T41 and it's unbelievable. Nice and thin, spec'd out beyond my needs (impressive considering I'm a developer - the only modification I made on my model was to get a CD-RW instead of a DVD). they cost a bit more, but I don't think I could go back.

I've always like the craftsmanship of thinkpads - the full size keyboard and the strong case make it an ideal laptop. also, the T4* line has a hard drive protection feature turned on by default - it senses when you move your laptop (it's pretty sensitive) and pauses the hard drive from writing to prevent any damage. so that's another key feature for mobile users.

I don't know about dell customer service, but IBM's has always been very prompt. as with any laptop (no matter what the company), I recommend spending the extra $70-100 and getting a 2-3 year warranty. in the case of IBM, if you call with a problem, they'll overnight you a box and you can send it out to them to be fixed - takes about a week depending on how complex the problem is. I've only used it once (lightning strike - cable modem - don't ask) and it was pretty painless.

Tuesday, January 6, 2004

For quality no questions about IBM is way better

the artist formerly known as prince
Tuesday, January 6, 2004

I've been very happy with the build quality of my ThinkPad (T30), and the one time it needed service, the response from IBM was excellent.  I would definitely buy from them again...

Tim Lara
Tuesday, January 6, 2004

IBM are expensive. And AMAZINGLY good. The thinkpads all come with a 3 year warranty. They boot Linux witout grief. Two and a half years old, my thinkpad has yet to develop the creaks and flimsinesses other laptops do. In fact, the main problem with my thinkpad is that I've used it so much that the lettering on the keyboard is wearing off...

I've never had a Dell laptop. My other half has. He tends to prefix "Dell" with a word starting with "F". I don't think he's a fan.

Tuesday, January 6, 2004

I've always used Dell equipment, because of the convenience of ordering and the price.

I have just received my first IBM ThinkPad, an X31. Paid more than the D400 i was considering, but I am SOOOO glad I coughed up for this one instead.

The craftsmanship is superb. Even though this sucker only weights 3.6lbs, it feels SOLID.  The Dell laptops at my company only seem to last 12-18 months or so, and feel flimsy from the getgo. 

I was also debating between the X31 and the T41.  A new model of the T series is due out in Feb (T50 ?  with the new 1.8ghz 2nd gen Pentium M).  X40 will be out soon too, even thinner and lighter than the X31, but with a low voltage 1GHZ 2nd gen Pentium M.

Tuesday, January 6, 2004


Cellular phone.

Third mouse button/wheel.

Windows key.

I find some things are hard to give up, once they've been integrated into your life. IBM should stop their "design whine" about OS/2 losing to Windows, and add a Windows key to their laptops. Stupid as it might sound, it would definitely prevent almost every hardcore user I know from using an IBM laptop.

Brad Wilson (
Tuesday, January 6, 2004

Like almost everyone else here, I'd vote for the Thinkpad. It's ugly, boxy, boring as hell, but utterly solid and dependable. I've had mine for nearly three years and have never had anything go wrong. I've never even had a system crash, although that's to Windows 2000's credit, not IBM's. I use it primarily as my desktop machine, with an external keyboard and mouse.

Tuesday, January 6, 2004

Wow, people actually use the Windows key?

I don't think I every seem anyone press that dman thing deliberately.

Tuesday, January 6, 2004

What's a Windows key?

Proud owner of several Model-M keyboards
Tuesday, January 6, 2004

Oh my god, people. Win+M. Win+R. Win+L. All used multiple times per day. That doesn't even mention the fun you can have when you install WinKey!

Brad Wilson (
Wednesday, January 7, 2004

Recently i've used it to bring up Explorer (winkey-E).  With my new ThinkPad, it only took a day to stop doing that and use the QuickLaunch instead.  No biggie.

Wednesday, January 7, 2004

The standard IBM keyboard customiser utility can map, say, the right ALT key as the Windows key.

There are also a few utilities available to map the Thinkpad Fn key to the windows key. As far as I'm told, they only do the combinations (ie, Fn on it's own will not bring up the start menu). I'm not sure if they handle the Win-Break combination either.

Rhys Keepence
Wednesday, January 7, 2004

"Wow, people actually use the Windows key?"

Can't live without it. Just imagine even just loosing Win-D and Win-E.

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, January 7, 2004

I need right ALT, for Virtual PC. You people are using Virtual PC, too, right? :-D

Brad Wilson (
Wednesday, January 7, 2004

>>You people are using Virtual PC, too, right?<<

Nah.  My vote is for VMWare.  You've gotta admire (pity?) them for refusing to sell out to Microsoft...

I have always wondered why ThinkPads don't have Windows keys.  Maybe it's so as not to offend Linux users.

Still, I maintain that if you're going to use a laptop for any extended period of time, you really should be using an external keyboard anyway.  I didn't last but a couple of months without one.

Tim Lara
Wednesday, January 7, 2004

We support hundreds of laptops. Dell's tend to fail after 18 months, as was said earlier here. If you want to be on a rapid replace cycle, or love to upgrade, perhaps that works for you. The whole C-series of Dell laptops were so buggy the Dell reps eventually told us to stop buying them and just wait for D. At least he was honest. In the end, we prefer the low lifecycle cost of the superior IBM construction/quality. One user still keeps a 701 with a 486 processer around as a terminal just because it has always worked without a failure (and the keyboard's so well engineered).

Thursday, February 5, 2004

I recently purchased a shipped with a bad cd-rom drive and the replacement was at my door step in less than 24 hours. I work in the IT dept and we are always ordering Dell and Gateway laptops..after showing off my IBM I think that will change..the IBM is lighter and feels a lot more rugged than either the Gateway or the for the windows key. I have mapped it to the left-Alt key using the keyboard configuration tool..also of note if you're going to use Linux is all hardware was recognized in Linux except for the wireless card...and that was fixed with a driver download...I definitely would recommend spending the extra money and going with the IBM...

Friday, February 27, 2004

"There are also a few utilities available to map the Thinkpad Fn key to the windows key."

What utility is that?

Mark Rideout
Tuesday, March 16, 2004

I bought an ThinkPad 560 in 1997 and it's still going.  I had to replace the hard drive (Toshiba, a great drive) and I use it for chat only now.

My second ThinkPad was a 570E in 2000 that I'm using now.  I had to replace the hard drive on it too (IBM, another great drive but I really push them hard).

I support customers with Dell, Toshiba, and Fujitsu.  The Dell is the best, but it's buggy as others have said.  I'm up for a replacement and I've chosen a T41p.

Perry Doell
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

I've been using my T41 since this December and so far I'm very impressed.  It's replacing a Dell, so I have some experience with both.  I feel that the IBM is the more durable of the two.  The screen seems nice and rigid and the rest of the construction is very solid.  I've called IBM a couple times with problems and they've been extremely helpful every time.  I can echo what someone said earlier about having parts delivered in less than 24 hours.  As an added bonus, the guy didn't talk to me like I was only 3 years old about the problem.  He was very courteous and seemed to place an actual value in my assessment.  As far as lack of a windows key, it doesn't bother me because I run Linux the majority of the time.  In fact I map Ctrl to Caps Lock so even the placement of control doesn't bother me.  I say go with the IBM.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Must be a bunch of paid IBM staffers posting here :-)
I've had a T20 for three years. Purchased new. Sent it back to IBM twice (not a REAL problem; I'm fussy) and they repaired & returned within 72 hours (in Canada). Came with a 3 year warranty up here.

I use this machine as a desktop replacement with a docking station, external backup, network, full keyboard, mouse, speakers etc. It routinely flies all over North and South America with me.  Been bumped, banged, dropped (in a laptop bag). No major glitches ever, never lost an application or file that was not my user error.

Battery starting to go (three years of daily use) and I will replace it. Don't see a need to upgrade this machine, will probably work with it for a few more years. BULLETPROOF. Never had a hardware problem. My partner has a Dell CPi. Constant run problems even after full reloads and Dell will not support us on parts as she is not the original owner (bought coming off lease, legitimately) poor support by Dell

Thursday, April 15, 2004

started with a Thinkpad 600, moved to a T21, just got my T41p a few weeks ago. Great laptops, excellent service. My only concern is that the T41p does not seem to be built as solidly as my T21, but that's just me.
Similar to what others have said here, the T21 followed me all around the world, with no problems.

My co-worker actually broke his T41, but I attribute that to him sitting on it. =)

Tuesday, May 4, 2004

I've to use the IBM T40 as well. And the same as you I was really annoyed about the keyboard layout (several times I accidently hit the "BrowserBack-Button" instead of the left key eg. while on a web forum, so my complete statement where sent to the bits&bytes black hole sky).

Here's what I've done -->

The best of it - it works and you can configure it as you want. Hope that helps. Have phun :o)

Thursday, June 3, 2004

hi, i'm thinking about buying an IBM T-series, i'm looking at the differences between T40 and T41.  what are the differences between T40 and T41? and is T41 really worth the money?? thank you!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

I had IBM ThinkPad T21 for over 3 years; it followed me around the world and remained faithful to this day.  Now I have bought the IBM T41 and im very happy with though I feel the built quality was better much especially the keyboard under IBM ThinkPad T21.

Though I appreciate the performance and the fact I get both point track ball as well as the touch pad. + I can have up to 2GB RAM. Now how many other laptops makers offer this? IBM ThinkPad’s chiefly the T-series are indeed WORLD CLASS. Worth paying the little extra for.

IBM ThinkPad’s are built like TANKS. Best build quality in the world, strong, robust and reliable and build to last.

Keep it up IBM - dont lose sight of why we remain loyal to IBM.

IBM ThinkPad T41P may well be the best laptop in the world. It has received 10/10 from most reviews

See review:
IBM ThinkPad T41p | The Register

cold siberia
Friday, July 9, 2004

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