Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thinkpad x300

The Lenovo Thinkpad x300 arrived this week for my wife which will replace her current desktop computer. It's a pretty impressive machine that carries on the Thinkpad reputation. I thought about taking some pictures and writing a review of the machine but there is already some detailed reviews out there. I found that I'm in agreement with a lot that was said here and he has a lot of pictures of the machine.

I knew that it was going to be very light, but I was still surprised when I held it in my hand. This machine is LIGHT, but at the same time felt very solid. The keyboard is the classical Thinkpad keyboard so it felt good to type on, but I do feel that the trackpad is a bit tiny even for me. After running it for a whole day burning back-up CDs, watching videos and basically continuous operation it remained very cool. No worries about burning the family jewels when you have it on your lap with this one.

The software offering for the x300 is a mixed bag. Thinkpads are definitely business oriented machine and I can appreciate heir approach to functionality. The applications' interface is not pretty but they work.

Along with the x300, I got the Lenovo enhanced USB port replicator to connect the ethernet, peripherals, speakers and monitor to. This worked initially, but the ethernet connection is flaky. After installing my own apps, the display driver seems to have gotten corrupted and whenever I tried to switch from expanded view to mirror view I would get the blue-screen-of-death. Removing, reinstalling, removing, updating new drivers all failed to solve the problem and it just was stuck on expand mode.

I ended up selecting the system restore function when the machine was booting and told it to put the machine back to it's original state when I got it. This was easy to do. Just hit F11 as it boot, select the option and let it do its thing. It deleted everything, reinstalled and went through the Windows setup. When it finally finished, it booted back into windows and I reinstalled the driver and things worked as expected.

Overall this is an awesome little machine that doesn't come with a lot of crapware preinstalled. The USB replicator's drivers are a little flaky, but the restore function worked like a charm.

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