View Full Version : This morning was I convinced that the X41T would
06-17-2005, 06:31 AM
This morning was I convinced that the X41T would be the better machine for me, but after I spent some time doing a side-by-side comparison I found that you can get the TC4200 with almost equivalent specs for considerably less money. Here's what I compared:
IBM/Lenovo X41T model 18666SU
$2499 base price
$279 for Powered USB 2.0 Port CD-RW/DVD-ROM Drive
$119 for Warranty upgrade; 3 yr onsite repair 9x5/next business day
$129 for 3 Year ComputraceComplete
Total $3026 plus shipping & tax
$1849 base price (HP web site)
$169 for PA850A MultiBay II DVD/CD-RW Combo
$169 for U4411E 9x5 Pickup and return service for Tablet PC with accidental damage protection service, 3 years – electronic
Total $2187 plus shipping & tax
IBM X41T Advantages:
- Longer battery life
- Slightly smaller physically
- Fingerprint reader
- IEEE 802.11a
HP TC4200 Advantages:
- Expandable to 2GB total memory
- Faster 1.86 GHz processor
Am I missing anything? Why would you buy the X41T machine over the TC4200 when it is over $800 more?
06-17-2005, 07:06 AM
My friends swear by their ThinkPads. They love the quality of the machine in all aspects. The service from IBM is legendary, also. These factors might play a role in your decision. In addition, the X41 is lighter and has a wide angle viewing screen. I'm not sure if the HP has the wide wiew screen, but that is a biggy in my mind. I'd have a hard time deciding between the many excellent convertibles right now, if I was in the market for one.
06-17-2005, 07:41 AM
I have a Thinkpad T40 at work and agree, it's the best laptop I've ever used. I'm not familiar with the HP machines but the reviews of the TC4200 have been stellar.
The TC4200 also has a wide-angle viewing display like the X41T.
06-17-2005, 09:10 AM
I think you're comparing the wrong models. Try the Think Express X41T versus the baseline TC4200. My comparison gives this. Both have the same screen size and wide viewing angle, as well as hard drive capacity and graphics adapter.
Higher clockrate (1.73GHz to 1.5GHz)
Lower price ($1599 to $1899)
Higher Max RAM (2GB to 1.5GB)
Faster Hard Drive (5400RPM to 4200RPM)
Out of those I would only consider the price and hard drive speed to be deal breakers. The difference in speed between 1.5 and 1.73 processors is negligible, especially if your machine is trying to save power and automatically throttles down. The higher max RAM might be taken into consideration, but I doubt you'll bringing the machine to a standstill doing CAD work or video editing on a portable or ultraportable.
Longer standard battery life. (Preliminary reports give about 6 compared to 4.5 for the HP)
Less weight (3.5-4 to 4.5)
IBM reputation (These things are built tough, they use actual metal instead of plastic for most of the case. Don't forget they're the official laptops of NASA)
IBM service (I personally hate HP, some people don't, but almost no one can deny the amazing support and service for IBM laptops.)
IBM extras (Best laptop keyboard, Best trackpoint implementation, Fingerprint scanner, Battery/Handgrip = genius)
That was a bit lengthy, but my eventual point is two-fold. First, IBM designed this laptop to be a smalled and lighter as well as longer lasting. This forced them to cut back on some of the features where HP dominates. Now, you may think the TC4200 has the weight and battery life for you, in which case the TC4200 would probably convince you with it's extra features. But point two is the logo on the laptop. IBM is considered the best PC laptop maker. There's a reason businesses and people trust them so much. Look at my last three points in the IBM advantages. They all start with IBM. The reason for this is that no other company equals IBM in these areas. I was initially going to buy the HP, but when the IBM rumors came around I knew I would buy that machine. There is a premium in a higher price/less features but I think it's worth it.
A few notes on why I chose the base models and did not include the other costs. First buying extra crap like external cd drives is ridiculous from the manufacturers. They will charge an arm and a leg for it. Second you're HP warranty didn't include onsite repair, that costs $368 instead of $169. Lastly, I think the base models are very capable for anyone wanting to buy a laptop. Upgrading will only get you more RAM and more hard drive space, something manufacturers are happy to sell at high margin.
06-17-2005, 10:00 AM
If all of your recommendations are based upon the IBM name, you must remember that ThinkPads are now a Lenovo product, not IBM.
I'm sure that Lenovo will work hard to maintain the sterling reputation of the ThinkPad brand, but that does remain to be seen.
The Computrace add-on (software that can track the computer if is stolen and connected to the Internet) for the X41 is not really necessary and shouldn't be used when comparing with the TC4200 as HP offers no equivalent.
Additionally, the 6-hour battery life for the X41 is only if you are using the extended battery, not the included battery. So, you must add the cost of this if battery life is a factor in the comparison.
All that said, I, too, have had a ThinkPad (A21p) and loved the machine! I decided to go with the Toshiba Tecra M4 this time because I really need the extra resolution and liked the larger screen for writing. While it's missing a couple of nice features that the ThinkPad had, the M4 is a great machine and I have no regrets for leaving the ThinkPad camp.
For me it's mainly about service and reliability. I'm an American working in Kosovo where the electricity is horrendous. About six months after I got here the motherboard on my Thinkpad died. I hopped over the border to Macedonia where they replaced the mother board for free on a year old plus laptop.
Lenovo has made thinkpad for a long time. Your question is a good one, as is the questions about longer term service and quality are valid. However, since the basic X series platform is proven, and Lenovo does have a track record, we're all hoping the line will continue well,
06-17-2005, 04:33 PM
How many times will we hear this crap about it's Lenovo now not IBM. If you guys have payed attention to the world in the past decade, it seems there has been a lot of outsourcing going on, not only service like phone calls to India but also manufacturing. IBM hasn't manufactured its own laptops in a while, they've been made by Chinese companies including Lenovo. All the purchase did was sell the Thinkpad name to Lenovo. In fact Lenovo is still outsourcing a lot of manufacturing to the same Chinese companies. Plus thinking that since Lenovo is Chinese it will be bad quality is ridiculous. If we haven't noticed a general decrease in the quality of Thinkpads in the past few years why would one happen now? The biggest concern is the service handling something IBM never outsourced. They didn't sell it so there's no problem.
06-17-2005, 04:51 PM
Wait, so who's doing the service for the Lenovo Thinkpads? In the U.S., I guess I mean.
To me it looks like the more compact form of the Thinkpad compared to the more compact price of the HP. I've definitely read mixed reviews of the HP service, and really glowing ones of IBM's service, but who will service the new Thinkpads when they're sent in for a repair, and where?
(donkrabbi, that kind of looks like a flame. I'm sure you had the best of intentions)
06-17-2005, 11:44 PM
I think I read somewhere that Lenovo bought the tech support/service from IBM as well, so unless Lenovo fired them all, the support/service people should be the same.
Sure, Lenovo could change policies and stuff, but I believe they'll try hard to maintain the IBM support legends. If they give crappy quality now, no one is going to care about the ThinkPad brand, which Lenovo spent billions on acquiring.
Maybe reading this will help: http://www.pc.ibm.com/ww/customerqa.html
06-18-2005, 01:09 AM
Whoops, I read wrong then. i guess it's better to get your news straight from the horses mouth. Anyway Lenovo has retained most if not all former IBM employees by most accounts, and like Kai-Lapis said I'm sure that just because it's a new company in charge every IBM has worked for won't go down the drain.
Sorry for the flame-like response, but I've heard too many times that the Lenovo deal will destroy IBM quality and service.
06-18-2005, 01:34 AM
I was, at first, also confused about the Lenovo name. Hearing they were involved before gives me the confidence that the ThinkPad tablet will carry with it the same quality. Let's face it, nothing can change that quickly in the company so as to affect the product at this time.
The only long range concern I have is with quality control. This is a top-down directed part of development and production of a company, so changing those in charge (the top) may change the QC. But QC concerns are a long term concern and not anything that should bother the current ThinkPad line. IMO, the tablet ThinkPad will be just as reliable as the ThinkPads of old.
06-18-2005, 01:51 AM
I can't confirm this with any hard document, but logic would dictate the X41T was designed entirely by IBM. There's some more news to confort you if you're afraid of possible bad quality because of the transition.
06-18-2005, 06:50 AM
In this report from Impress PC Watch (Japanese), the reporter says that the development of the X41 was done by IBM developers (now Lenovo). It also reports that an official from IBM Japan said that the basic technology research teams like the one that developed the heat dissipation solution for the X41 will stay with IBM while still providing services to Lenovo and that they will provide their services to other companies as well.
06-19-2005, 07:54 AM
I'm sure the X41T will do quite well. It looks like a nice machine. I'm considering picking one up for myself to try out. I've owned several IBMs from the T series all the way up to a X40. They are all very capable machines and IBM support is excellent.
On the other hand I have a couple of reservations about the machine. I base these issues on first hand experience with a couple X40 machines I owned. First, the hard drive is a 1.8" 4200 RPM drive. In english that translates to dog slow. I've owned four machines with the 1.8" drives. You don't realize how fast a 2.5" 7200RPM drive is until you try a machine with the slow 1.8" drive. IBM still sells the X3X models that have full size notebook drives and faster processors. Everyone thought the X4X series would replace the X3X, but people didn't want to give up speed for a few less ounces/millimeters. The X3X is stll a good seller. The second issue I have is with the Trackpoint. IBM has the best pointing stick devices in the world. I still don't like pointing sticks. Once you have a trackpad configured to have short cut actions and horizontal/vertical scrolling it's hard to go back to a pointing stick. IBM should add a trackpad to the X series just like they did to the T series a couple of years ago. The third issue I had with the X series is an over enthusiastic fan. Check out the IBM forums on the web and you'll get an idea how annoying the fan is capable of being.
Other than those issues the X is a good machine. Best of luck on the X41T.
06-19-2005, 12:11 PM
I work for IBM in the server group at RTP, NC. I know several people who used to work for the personal computing division (PCD) which was recently sold to Lenovo.
From what I have heard, Lenovo took the entire PCD personnel. The development and support for at least the next two years will continue to be done by ex-PCD developers in RTP. The hardware will continue to be manufactured overseas, like it has been for several years.
The majority of the first line tech support will remain in Atlanta. The second line tech support will remain in RTP.
A ThinkPad with the default configuration will always be somewhat slower, since the various background IBM programs slow it down somewhat. However, the X4x seems abnormally slow. Perhaps it is the 1.8" hard drive. You can look at the benchmark scores for the X40 vs. an equivalent Dell with a 2.5" hard drive to get an idea of the performance hit. That said, it's only slow in comparison to another brand-new machine. It's still faster than almost any ultra-light notebook that's over a year old.
06-20-2005, 01:39 AM
True, HDD performance matters. But it's also only a single thing in a lot of factors.
I'm thinking of maxing out the RAM to 1.5 GB once I get the machine and disable the virtual memory. My desktop's memory usage rarely goes over 1.8 GB while continuously running multiple memory hogging programs, so I think I can keep below 1.5 on this tablet. I could use a RAM drive for storing internet cache and stuff to improve internet browsing performance a bit also.
There's some things that you can do to get around a slow HDD. My current laptop uses a 4200 RPM HDD. Granted, it's a 2.5" and probably faster than an equal RPM 1.8", but I haven't experienced any problems with it. I expect I can deal with the 1.8" as well.
I'll see with the fan...I'm sure throttling the performance down will stop it. I hope. If not, I can always return it.
06-20-2005, 06:59 AM
I had a Dell X1 a few weeks ago. It has a 1.8" drive. I had 1.5GB of RAM installed on the machine. It was still slow. There isn't much you can do about the problem. You don't see it all the time only when the OS has to pull some data off the drive. On cached items it's ok. It's just annoying when loading programs or doing anything disk related since you have to stare at the hour glass.
You can't do much about the fan. The problem I (and others) had with the X40 is that the fan turns on when the unit warms up, but it doesn't turn off when the unit cools. It's like the fan is stuck on. Usually only a reboot will cause the fan to stop. It's an annoying habit that hopefully the X41T doesn't exhibit.
06-21-2005, 02:37 AM
Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts. Here's what I learned from the posts:
- IBM has a better reputation for building Thinkpads than HP has for their notebooks.
- IBM has a better reputation for their support than HP. I'm convinced IBM has a great reputation for support based on the stories posted. But nobody posted a negative story regarding HP. Does anybody have one?
- The X41T will be a slower machine than the TC4200 for several reasons, including a slightly slower processor and slower hard drive.
- I shouldn't buy an optical drive from the manufacturer, you can get more for your money by buying a 3rd party drive.
- The warranty comparisons I made aren't identical since HP doesn't provide on-site service.
- The 2.5" drive bay in the HP gives more options for upgrading the hard drive in the HP machine.
- Some of the X series IBM machines suffer from an over-annoying fan.
Based on the above I'm still planning on purchasing the $1849 model HP TC4200 directly from HP. I want this model since it includes the better processor, Bluetooth, 60-GB hard drive and embedded security chip. I will purchase the $169 accident damage warranty with it.
For an optical drive I'm considering buying the Sony DRX720UL optical drive:
I'll also buy an extra 1-GB memory stick, which I'll install myself.
Anybody have any last suggestions before I place the order?
06-21-2005, 02:54 AM
Good to hear you made a decision. Another HP vs. IBM tablet thread i was reading at tabletpcreviewspot.com made a good comparison. The IBM and HP are virtually the same except you pay a little extra for security and durability with the IBM and trade-off some performance. Knowing how clumsy I am, I went with the IBM, but to each their own. Also, a clarification on the warranty support issue. Personally, my bad experience was HP refusing to replace a calculator under warranty. I'm sure it doesn't happen too often, but I'll hate them forever for it. The support and service from HP is good, but IBM service and support is a gift from the gods. So it's not a choice between good and bad but between good and better.
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