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I havent personally owned a tablet, but with our now ex-parent company, a bunch of them had the X61 tablet, and they liked them a lot. It adds a few ounces of weight... The only drawback to a tablet is the increase risk of display failure due to binding/splitting connections. I definitely wouldnt let a 6 year old play around with it.

Another thing I really like with the Lenovo lineup is the quick and easy system rebuild. Yes you lose a gig or two for the recovery partition, but you can have your system rebuilt in no time, even if you are on the road and far away from your cd's. The battery consumption is pretty good, run time 4-5 hours easily. For classes I just throw the X into the notebook case, no power adapter or other gadgets.

Whatever you get, be sure to add in something like a 3 year accidental damage warranty.

The one thing I really do not like about Apple products is their battery configuration. Why do they make it that you have to send in a ipod or iphone to the company for a battery replacement? I'm not sure about their air book, if its the same way, Id say frack those beans, they can keep it.

Sony... I wouldnt buy Sony anything because of their proprietary memory cards and other things. The Lenovos, at least the ones I have, have at least SD memory slots which is the standard among camera memory. If you have a camera that uses compact flash, Id look for a laptop with that built in.
 

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The one thing I really do not like about Apple products is their battery configuration. Why do they make it that you have to send in a ipod or iphone to the company for a battery replacement? I'm not sure about their air book, if its the same way, Id say frack those beans, they can keep it.
To make money...duh. The only bad thing about the air book is there is no built in optical drive. So I'm sure that would be a hassle at times.
 

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To make money...duh. The only bad thing about the air book is there is no built in optical drive. So I'm sure that would be a hassle at times.
Duh... so why would a consumer buy into such a POS? Looking closer at the air book, it has a mini dvi... yippee. No VGA either, so that means you have to lug around a converter cable if you want to plug it into a external monitor, projector or tv.

Most ultraportables do not have a internal optical drive, the new X300 is one exception. Hmm, that thing looks more tempting each time I look at it. I just noticed it has both the touchpad and trackpoint. I'd give the solid state drive another 6 months to come down in price first.

The air book doesnt even have a option for a docking station. I find a docking station a requirement, to plug in the external drives, lcd monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc. Rather then plugging in each individually the DS is just a simple drop in and you are done, except for the surround sound pc card I use.

Heres a nice tablet...
PC Connection - TopSeller ThinkPad X61 1.6GHz processor Win XP Tablet PC
 

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Discussion Starter #44
So much good feedback. Only one choice...

A couple of points about the macbook air...I don't typically use CDs, but wouldn't have a problem buying an external drive for them if I did need to use one. I actually haven't used one on this computer except to install the printer driver (which Apple claims will be taken care of simply by plugging it in...). Anything I really have to do for work (or school for that matter) typically requires use of the internet (money, email, etc.)

Lenovo is a word that I have heard thrown oaround here quite a few times...the only thing I know about Lenovo is that most of our computers (all desktops) are Lenovo products.

The whole issue about the battery probably having to go back to Apple to be replaced does kind of bother me, and if that's the case with the macbook air, it might be more of a turn off, even though I love the sleek design and whatnot. Luckily for me, my iPod (three years old now) and iPhone (replaced the iPod, gave it to mom) have not had to have the battery replaced. I can only hope that I experience the longevity with the iPhone that I got out of the iPod. If I get two years or longer of decent battery life, I'd be incredibly happy. I presently get about 3.5 days with pretty extensive use (iPod mostly). If I use the internet or run YouTube for long periods of time, obviously it eats the battery more...

Another thing that may become an issue is the lack of VGA - use of the laptop for presentations is pretty important. I will have to talk with some of the Apple geeks to find out how much MORE it's going to cost me to make my revolutionary laptop functional if that's what I decide to go with. I don't use a docking station either, because I am mostly away from my desk (there's a desktop on it lol) so I don't need to hook it up like a desktop.

Can someone explain the importance of the solid state drive? I'm technologically illiterate when it comes to this stuff...the macbook air does have the option to upgrade to one...
 

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Solid state drives do NOT have any rotating or moving parts. Basically, think of a SSD as being like a usb flash drive, except for greater performance, its all solid state memory. The difference between SSD and the many flavors of flash memory that can be either IDE connected, USB, PC card, etc is that you can only write so many times to flash so you wouldnt want to run XP, Vista, etc (which reads and writes constantly). The only way to run a flash drive with Windows with longevity is to use a embedded version (CE, XP Embedded). Solid state is a different type of memory which isnt write cycle limited.

Lenovo = IBM. from my understanding all laptops and desktops wear the Lenovo name, while the servers wear the IBM logo. We arent strictly IBM/Lenovo here at work, but I'm trying to make it that way as long as they offer a product that meets the need at a comparable price. 3 Dell pc's, 1 Dell laptop, 1 acer laptop (POS), 1 dell server.

I've heard about iPhone battery failures after a year. So if you pay $400+ for a phone, then have to pay another $100 for a new battery within a year, while being without a phone while they replace it... screw that. And the thing doesnt even support real GPS. Looks like I'm about to pick up a Blackberry...

My opinion about ultraportable is not having to carry attachment peripherals. I have yet to need a optical drive with my X at work or on the road. If I need a driver, etc I either snag it off from a shared server drive or download the latest and greatest. But, as for the VGA that would be a big downfall for the Apple. The more small cheesey adapters you need, the more apt the thing will break or lose connection.

If you get a X (but not the X300) you can always use any aftermarket external optical drive, so you arent limited to a expensive proprietary drive like the Apple. Yes, the Apple does look pretty sweet, but just keep reliability, function, price, ability to add devices, etc in mind.
 

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Heres a size comparision between the X and the T61.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Solid state drives do NOT have any rotating or moving parts. Basically, think of a SSD as being like a usb flash drive, except for greater performance, its all solid state memory. The difference between SSD and the many flavors of flash memory that can be either IDE connected, USB, PC card, etc is that you can only write so many times to flash so you wouldnt want to run XP, Vista, etc (which reads and writes constantly). The only way to run a flash drive with Windows with longevity is to use a embedded version (CE, XP Embedded). Solid state is a different type of memory which isnt write cycle limited.
This is obviously better I assume, otherwise it wouldn't come at a premium cost. So the benefit of no moving parts (I assume based on simple knowledge) is that the less moving parts there are, that minimizes the chance of breaking. I'm sure there are also some technological benefits as well...

Lenovo = IBM. from my understanding all laptops and desktops wear the Lenovo name, while the servers wear the IBM logo. We arent strictly IBM/Lenovo here at work, but I'm trying to make it that way as long as they offer a product that meets the need at a comparable price. 3 Dell pc's, 1 Dell laptop, 1 acer laptop (POS), 1 dell server.
Shows how little I know about computers huh? We have all sorts of miscellaneous computers in our office and region; I haven't seen the servers, so I don't know what they are but I know that in my office alone they support the function of fifty people and there is no delay at all.

I've heard about iPhone battery failures after a year. So if you pay $400+ for a phone, then have to pay another $100 for a new battery within a year, while being without a phone while they replace it... screw that. And the thing doesnt even support real GPS. Looks like I'm about to pick up a Blackberry...
To me, based on how much I love my iPhone, even having the replace the battery in a year is worth it. I love the functionality of having one device (that is HUGE for me). As far as the real GPS is concerned, I have the navigation system in the truck. I have used the Google maps function on the iPhone on many occassions for miscellany. I thought about getting a Blackberry but decided against it - again simply because of the functionality of one device...

My opinion about ultraportable is not having to carry attachment peripherals. I have yet to need a optical drive with my X at work or on the road. If I need a driver, etc I either snag it off from a shared server drive or download the latest and greatest. But, as for the VGA that would be a big downfall for the Apple. The more small cheesey adapters you need, the more apt the thing will break or lose connection.

If you get a X (but not the X300) you can always use any aftermarket external optical drive, so you arent limited to a expensive proprietary drive like the Apple. Yes, the Apple does look pretty sweet, but just keep reliability, function, price, ability to add devices, etc in mind.
I don't need to hook up to projectors and stuff too often, so this is not a major downfall. Unfortunately, I am not well informed about the reliability. Function seems pretty much where I want it to be, with the exception of a few minor details. Price is obviously pretty steep on the mac.

Why does this have to be so hard? lol
 

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This is obviously better I assume, otherwise it wouldn't come at a premium cost. So the benefit of no moving parts (I assume based on simple knowledge) is that the less moving parts there are, that minimizes the chance of breaking. I'm sure there are also some technological benefits as well...
longer battery life, less heat. I'm not too sure about the disk read and write times compared to hard drives. The new sata drives are pretty fast already and are a little more efficient then ide. If the $ is a concern, go for the sata. With regular hard drives, the average platter speed is 5400rpm, so if you drop the laptop, or it takes a really sharp impact there is a risk of the heads hitting the platter. The Lenovo lineup uses a shock sensor, which will park the heads if it feels abrupt motion, so I think the hdd are relatively safe. If you drop it, chances are you'll damage the screen or break the enclosure. Thus the reason for the accidental damage, then you dont have to worry about it period...


To me, based on how much I love my iPhone, even having the replace the battery in a year is worth it. I love the functionality of having one device (that is HUGE for me). As far as the real GPS is concerned, I have the navigation system in the truck. I have used the Google maps function on the iPhone on many occassions for miscellany. I thought about getting a Blackberry but decided against it - again simply because of the functionality of one device...
Id like a all in one device too, for driving and other things, and so far the iPhone is minus the GPS. The blackberry has it and everything else builtin, the only disadvantage is the screen is smaller and the regular keys. I'll probably use my aging v3 for a while longer, maybe give Apple a chance to pull their heads out and offer the iPhone with real GPS.


Why does this have to be so hard? lol
Well, you have to find what fits your needs.

Apples are relatively reliable, a publishing company I worked at a few years ago had quite a few Apples. We had a couple of them fail, including a G5 and a Power Pro. One thing I really like about OSX is the ease of setting up scripts. The biggest dumb thing I saw was how close the Apple screens fit against the keyboard. So close that the keys rubbed on the screen, so companies started offering a felt cloth to place between the screen and keyboard. Pretty lame considering how much their laptops run. I havent taken a close personal look on the air book, I suggest at least going to one of their centers before splurging.

Be sure to check out the keyboard layout, and mouse controls. Make sure its a comfortable fit for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
longer battery life, less heat. I'm not too sure about the disk read and write times compared to hard drives. The new sata drives are pretty fast already and are a little more efficient then ide. If the $ is a concern, go for the sata. With regular hard drives, the average platter speed is 5400rpm, so if you drop the laptop, or it takes a really sharp impact there is a risk of the heads hitting the platter. The Lenovo lineup uses a shock sensor, which will park the heads if it feels abrupt motion, so I think the hdd are relatively safe. If you drop it, chances are you'll damage the screen or break the enclosure. Thus the reason for the accidental damage, then you dont have to worry about it period...




Id like a all in one device too, for driving and other things, and so far the iPhone is minus the GPS. The blackberry has it and everything else builtin, the only disadvantage is the screen is smaller and the regular keys. I'll probably use my aging v3 for a while longer, maybe give Apple a chance to pull their heads out and offer the iPhone with real GPS.




Well, you have to find what fits your needs.

Apples are relatively reliable, a publishing company I worked at a few years ago had quite a few Apples. We had a couple of them fail, including a G5 and a Power Pro. One thing I really like about OSX is the ease of setting up scripts. The biggest dumb thing I saw was how close the Apple screens fit against the keyboard. So close that the keys rubbed on the screen, so companies started offering a felt cloth to place between the screen and keyboard. Pretty lame considering how much their laptops run. I havent taken a close personal look on the air book, I suggest at least going to one of their centers before splurging.

Be sure to check out the keyboard layout, and mouse controls. Make sure its a comfortable fit for you.
After all this I realized that you are in Keene, NH...and you have been a tremendous help. I'm most definately going to take a look around at an Apple store and definately consult a few other smart people I know (including several members of our IT department). Before I make any certain decision, I'll definately report back and get some confirmation as to whether or not I'm making the right decision...

thanks again...I added to your rep power thing (I think) because of how helpful you've been...
 

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The MacBook Air is designed to take advantage of online apps, documents, online access to your home or office computer and so on as part of the overall computer system. Google Apps are one example of a growing trend, and Apple produced the Air to fit it.

If you already own a Mac, it's easy to access your main computer remotely through the Internet with a .Mac account. If I wanted to travel light, I'd get an Air and a .Mac account. My friend accesses his Macs remotely, and swears by it. Of course, you need 2 Macs to do it.
 

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After all this I realized that you are in Keene, NH...and you have been a tremendous help. I'm most definately going to take a look around at an Apple store and definately consult a few other smart people I know (including several members of our IT department). Before I make any certain decision, I'll definately report back and get some confirmation as to whether or not I'm making the right decision...

thanks again...I added to your rep power thing (I think) because of how helpful you've been...
You're welcome.

Apple, Lenovo and others pretty much have stores you can visit. Another one to look at is the Fujitsu. HP used to make a ultra, some of the reporters loved them... I cant think of the name, started with a J. Then there is the OQO and other really compact ones 7"+ displays. That would be ideal for IT work, or mounting in the truck for GPS, playing the mp3's, etc.

Now this would be cool for the Tacoma...
MP3Car G4 powered by StreetDeck - Double Din Car Computer
 

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Mac laptops will allow you to use them as desktop computers. Plug in your USB keyboard and mouse (or wireless transmitter) and a monitor, close the lid and tap any key to wake up the laptop. I know of several people who do this.

The MacBooks are tiny 13", but good computers with excellent wireless. They come with 2GB of memory. Check for refurbs, and on eBay.
 

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Mac laptops will allow you to use them as desktop computers. Plug in your USB keyboard and mouse (or wireless transmitter) and a monitor, close the lid and tap any key to wake up the laptop. I know of several people who do this.

The MacBooks are tiny 13", but good computers with excellent wireless. They come with 2GB of memory. Check for refurbs, and on eBay.
The problem is they dont have docking stations, which allows a great deal of expansion without having to plug/unplug numerous items. PC docks capabilities range from a second hard drive, vga/dvi, optical drives, a pci card (great for surround sound or a 3d gaming video card, etc), etc. Definitely figure in a powered USB hub if you are going to limit yourself to one or two usb ports, which looks like thats the case with the Apple's.

The best thing that has ever happened for Apple is that they now run Intel processors and are Unix based. After comparing the performance of the Adobe CS (photoshop, acrobat, golive, indesign, incopy) running on both PC's and G5's the publishing company I worked for bought two G5's for the photo editors, and bought everyone else a PC. For the photo editing, it was very very close in performance, some things were quicker on the G5, some were faster on the PC. The main decision maker was the photogs were pro Apple, because they are... well, kinda like the yuppies having to drive Beamers... its more of a symbol then anything else.

I've heard Apple's wireless is pretty stable, but I cant put any personal opinion into it.

The functions and keyboard commands... Apple lovers always say PC's do not have the ability to run function commands/quick key shortcuts... which is BS, especially in Adobe CS, they are relatively the same. They just say that because they just dont like PC's and they dont know any better. If you really want quick keys, take a look at the Logitech G15 gaming keyboard. The version I have has 108 special functions you can set up, just a matter of remembering which key does what :)

I'd also look for something that supports esata (1.5gb), which is far superior to USB2 or Firewire400/800. If you want external storage, esata is the way to go, especially for video, music or large files.
 

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The problem is they dont have docking stations, which allows a great deal of expansion without having to plug/unplug numerous items. PC docks capabilities range from a second hard drive, vga/dvi, optical drives, a pci card (great for surround sound or a 3d gaming video card, etc), etc. Definitely figure in a powered USB hub if you are going to limit yourself to one or two usb ports, which looks like thats the case with the Apple's.

The best thing that has ever happened for Apple is that they now run Intel processors and are Unix based. After comparing the performance of the Adobe CS (photoshop, acrobat, golive, indesign, incopy) running on both PC's and G5's the publishing company I worked for bought two G5's for the photo editors, and bought everyone else a PC. For the photo editing, it was very very close in performance, some things were quicker on the G5, some were faster on the PC. The main decision maker was the photogs were pro Apple, because they are... well, kinda like the yuppies having to drive Beamers... its more of a symbol then anything else.

I've heard Apple's wireless is pretty stable, but I cant put any personal opinion into it.

The functions and keyboard commands... Apple lovers always say PC's do not have the ability to run function commands/quick key shortcuts... which is BS, especially in Adobe CS, they are relatively the same. They just say that because they just dont like PC's and they dont know any better. If you really want quick keys, take a look at the Logitech G15 gaming keyboard. The version I have has 108 special functions you can set up, just a matter of remembering which key does what :)

I'd also look for something that supports esata (1.5gb), which is far superior to USB2 or Firewire400/800. If you want external storage, esata is the way to go, especially for video, music or large files.
The old Powerbooks used to have docking stations, but no more. A USB hub is almost a necessity, as is an external backup hard drive of the same or larger size than that in the laptop. I use an external drive as a boot drive because it's faster than the OE one in my Mac Mini.

Publishers and photographers seem to prefer Macs for photo manipulation. The friend I mentioned who does the remote access between his Macs is both. He uses Apple wireless in his house without any problems.

I use a Microsoft wireless keyboard and mouse with my Mac. It worked out of the box, but once I downloaded the driver for it from the Microsoft website, all the function keys became operational. I've only bound 3 of the "favorites" keys to specific functions, but it has zillions of options, and a nifty slider on the left side that zooms web pages.

Macs have a cool factor, there is no doubt. I got a 24" iMac up and running for a client last week (long story short; I was remodeling her bathroom, saw it still in the box, she was afraid to start it up). She was switching from a 4 or 5 year old Dell with a 15" screen, running Windows 98. It was fun to watch her reactions. She got it as a refurb. on eBay for $1010.00 shipped, but that's an unbelievable price.
 

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I know that you're probably not considering the Macbook Air, but here's a funny story about an early adopter, and airport security.
 

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I know that you're probably not considering the Macbook Air, but here's a funny story about an early adopter, and airport security.
I was actually highly considering it, even though there are many downfalls to it. And I had read that thing about the airport security. I only travel by air about once a year, so that won't be that big of an issue...
 

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I hate my HP. It gets so hot it burns my legs. And right now it's burning my left hand, where I rest my palm. It's a piece. I spent 5 hours reformatting it when it crashed (about 6 months old at the time) and spending like an hour on the cr*ppy HP customer service where I couldn't understand a lick of what they said. The fan is terribly loud, and annoying in the Library on the quiet floor. Also, I've gotten the blue screen of death multiple times. My battery lasts less than 2 hours with only Word running and on power saving mode where nothing else is running. Umm...My battery is unreliable and sometimes when I put it to sleep it'll wake up with 6% remaining then shut off. It's an annoying piece to say the least.

Anyway, my recommendations are the IBM (now Lenovo) or the Apple. My dad has an IBM ThinkPad and that thing is a tank. The Apple is a very reliable computer, and I don't really have any past long term experience with them.

-rockstate
I've had my Gateway for two years now. It's been pretty decent to me, but now it's getting so hot that it burns my legs (I have to have two blankets in between me and it...). So that is part of why I'm looking to get a new one...
 

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I was actually highly considering it, even though there are many downfalls to it. And I had read that thing about the airport security. I only travel by air about once a year, so that won't be that big of an issue...
This thread has gotten me thinking about the possibility of getting a laptop to replace my current desktop.

I would get a black iBook and use it the same way that I'm using my Mac Mini now: with my own monitor, keyboard and mouse. The decision is made harder after seeing the 24" iMac that costs almost exactly as much. It's got a beautiful monitor. My current 17" SyncMaster cheapo lcd doesn't compare to the 24" iMac.

I only need to disconnect it 2 or 3 times a year, so it would be worth the trouble. I guess I'll have to get the iMac for my wife, and the iBook for myself. :D
 

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This thread has gotten me thinking about the possibility of getting a laptop to replace my current desktop.

I would get a black iBook and use it the same way that I'm using my Mac Mini now: with my own monitor, keyboard and mouse. The decision is made harder after seeing the 24" iMac that costs almost exactly as much. It's got a beautiful monitor. My current 17" SyncMaster cheapo lcd doesn't compare to the 24" iMac.

I only need to disconnect it 2 or 3 times a year, so it would be worth the trouble. I guess I'll have to get the iMac for my wife, and the iBook for myself. :D
Good for you lol...I only really use my laptop on my lap...we've got a desktop on the desk...so I'm not real particular. I am just so indecisive...
 

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Gee, I really like the "innovative" patch panel that flips down on the airbook. Not! Just another flimsy piece to break off.

I still dont like the idea of having to carry a adapter just to plug in a vga/dvi.

Things I normally use with my laptops are the vga, audio and usb. If I have to open a panel just to plug that stuff in, I dont want it.

That x300 looks better everytime I look at it.
 
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