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  • yuhong - Friday, September 03, 2010 - link

    I wonder when will the Nile version arrive, though. Reply
  • skrewler2 - Friday, September 03, 2010 - link

    I've used almost exclusively Thinkpads throughout the years. Their build quality is incredible. I've dropped my T61 on tiled floor or it's fallen from server racks too many times to count, and it keeps chugging on.

    My only wish is that they still came with DB-9 ports.
  • Aellynh - Friday, September 03, 2010 - link

    I still use them to this day with virtually every modern access control security system. Low speed 9600 baud DB-9 port and if you're lucky.. I mean really lucky, you MIGHT find one that has an optional network module at 10/100Mbps. Not even gigabit yet! Long live the serial port. Reply
  • Flunk - Monday, September 06, 2010 - link

    You guys have to realize that that's a niche market, and you still can get notebooks with DB-9 ports, just not most models since the space can be more effectively used by a few USB ports or video outputs.

    If anything expect less serial ports in the future. At some point you're going to have to walk around with a 10 year old system to interface with those old integrated systems. They're only going to be replaced when it's impossible to interface with them at all.
  • hausdave - Tuesday, September 07, 2010 - link

    I just use a USB-Se3rial converter. Even works with minicom in limux.
    The keyspan works with everything.
  • tobrien - Friday, September 03, 2010 - link

    I've got a Dell E6400 (the current-gen Latitude E6410 might be worth looking into reviewing :)) and it's got the single panel on the bottom that's also removable by undoing a single, captive screw, it's so nice!

    I see friends' HPs and Toshibas and Acers and see how they've still got a million screws that hold the bottom panel on. I'd be interested to know who implemented the "single screw bottom panel" idea first, not that it matters though.

    But AT should consider reviewing a Dell Latitude E-series. I've owned by E6400 since it came out in 2008 and it's never broken in any way. I upgraded the HDD and RAM but that's it. I love mine!
  • ThomasA - Friday, September 03, 2010 - link

    I've owned Thinkpads over the years and found them reliable. For the last 6 mos. I've been doing business on my Dell E6400 (bought from the Dell Outlet). Exc. value and also a solid tool. Reply
  • ExogenBoy - Monday, September 06, 2010 - link

    A bit off-topic but are you guys kidding with the build quality comments of E6400? I've had mine for one and half years and I would be surprised if it will hold together for another half a year or so. I paid a premium price for this and it has nice features but solid is certainly not a correct word to describe this machine. Plus the Intel Matrix driver problems causing audio pops on Vista, a problem which still exists after various driver updates. Luckily their on-site support is premium at least here Northern Europe, the only thing truly premium related to this laptop in my opinion. Reply
  • Stuka87 - Tuesday, September 07, 2010 - link

    The E6400 was a good attempt by Dell to have a notebook that looks like a business class machine (ie: A ThinkPad clone). But the quality certainly does not match a ThinkPad. And Dell has major issues with using their docking station and a pair of external monitors. We employ a lot of them here, and many have this issue.

    But with that said, its a huge step up compared to the previous generation Latitudes which were utter junk.
  • Devo2007 - Saturday, September 04, 2010 - link

    About the only thing I'm not sure on is whether it makes sense to pin the improved battery life on the swap to the SSD. Moving from 1GB of RAM on Windows 7 to 4GB is bound to have at least some impact on battery life in itself, since it wouldn't be accessing the swap file as much on the HDD.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my SSD (Intel X18-M 80GB), but it seems the editor was focused more on SSD performance than the benefit from adding more RAM (PCMark Vantage's HDD test aside).
  • Dustin Sklavos - Saturday, September 04, 2010 - link

    That's true and it's an oversight I was somewhat conscious of during the review. In the end I went the direction I did because while more RAM can improve system responsiveness a bit during multitasking, the SSD shores up the whole package. Reply
  • Rick83 - Saturday, September 04, 2010 - link

    Well, with modern Windows you also get lot of caching going on, further reducing the IO-load, and thus saving some more power.

    I think that actually the RAM-upgrade makes just as much a difference, as the SSD.
    Did the same upgrade to an old thinkpad x60 tablet early this year, and the usability boost was huge (Also going from XP to 7 to have trim around..)
  • Megadunder - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    Did you do a SSD upgrade also? I have a x60 with 2GB ram and I'm thinking about a ram upgrade aswell as a SSD upgrade... Reply
  • allasm - Saturday, September 04, 2010 - link

    When I needed a small portable laptop I bought a used Thinkpad X61s for about $500. It is a 12" unit (with matte and relatively low-res 1024x768 screen) and a low-voltage Core2Duo @1.6 (old tech 65nm though). Mine has 4GB DDR2 as well, and I got an intel 80GB SSD for it.

    The keyboard is excellent, and for me lower res on a screen 12" big is just right. Despite being older and 12" (and not 11") it weights the same 3.3lbs with the standard 4-cell battery, which is enough for about 3.5 hrs with a properly set up OS. It is a bit heavier with a larger 8cell battery, but then it is good for about 6-7hrs of internet surfing.

    (on a side note, I'm amazed when netbooks which are 3 years younger with a smaller 10" screen and a much slower atom CPUs - and about the same battery life for 3-cell units - weight about the same as this X61s! Of ocurse, it used to cell for almost $2K, but hey, 3 years is a lot!)

    Core2 @1.6 is more than enough for internet (including flash), and is good enough for some visual studio emergency development on the road as well. I never tried running any modern games though.

    Of course YMMV when buying a used laptop, but I think the X61 line is still a good alternative if you need a small laptop more powerful than a netbook and don't mind (or want) a lower-res screen & good keyboard. Oh, did I mention it is very solid, and can live undamaged through a few drops as well (unfortunately, that was tested, heh)
  • Edgar_Wibeau - Saturday, September 04, 2010 - link

    yuhong: I guess we won't see a Nile successor of the x100e because Ontario/Zacate aka Fusion is too close already. Don't know if IBM started developing a Nile based one and cancelled it for it's tiny time frame, I VERY STRONGLY hope that they'll have an x110e based on Ontario/Zacate soon in Q1 2011 though.

    I've virtually bought it already! :)

    Decent review btw!
  • Edgar_Wibeau - Saturday, September 04, 2010 - link

    Damnit, confused code names in my subject. Not Thuban but Ontario/Zacate of course :-/ Reply
  • Zak - Saturday, September 04, 2010 - link

    I had my hands on few Lenovo laptops recently, setting them up for the users, and they definitely feel more solid than Dell, HP or Toshiba. And they don't look hideous like most of the recent Toshiba and HP monstrosities. If I'm ever on a market for a laptop I would definitely look at the Thinkpads. Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Saturday, September 04, 2010 - link

    Don't count out Dell, or HP. The key is to look at their business-class lines, not their consumer models. Dell's Latitude line, and HP's Business Notebook line are good contenders.

    That said, I'm using my second ThinkPad , a T400 (my SO has my first, a T61, and loves it). They are very well built, and I can't do without a TrackPoint (though you can get those on Dell/HP business models as well). The keyboards are topnotch, too. The T-series and X-Series ThinkPads are great choices; the W-series is good too if you need a workstation-class powerhouse.
  • Yangorang - Sunday, September 05, 2010 - link

    Did you experience any sort of hanging or freezing issues with your review unit? Because my x100e is hanging and freezing every now and then under Windows 7 x86 and x64. It works with XP quite fine though... Reply
  • kizzmequik - Sunday, September 05, 2010 - link

    My girlfriend has one, and she's complained about some hanging when she first got it. A round of software updates apparently solved it. Or at least, she hasn't complained of any in a while.

    Unfortunately, those updates also included a wi-fi driver update that broke the wi-fi. I had to reinstall the original drivers, and it seems fine now.

    Except that the Fn+F7 command (to extend display) sporadically pops out of nowhere to annoy the hell out of her. And me. Mostly me. Probably I should roll back the drivers and software for that, too.
  • fire400 - Monday, September 06, 2010 - link

    msi wind u230 is garbage compared to the lenovo x100e Reply
  • FishyFish - Monday, September 06, 2010 - link

    I agree with allasm. The refurb X60s and X61s are basically identical to the X100e in size and weight, yet they are cheaper and faster. The X60s also lasts longer than the X61s: nearly 6 hours on a charge (8 cell). There's no webcam, but there's a fingerprint reader *and* a keyboard light... Reply
  • cosmotic - Tuesday, September 07, 2010 - link

    Eating your own dog food is a reference to using the products you make. I'm pretty sure that has nothing to do with this article or Anandtech's core business of reviewing tech products.. Reply
  • GMan123 - Tuesday, September 07, 2010 - link

    I've bought my L625 model about 6 weeks ago. They had a deal where you get 2GB of RAM (1 DIMM), 320 GB hard-drive, WIfi and BT for about $530 shipped. I re-installed Win 7 Pro 64bit (comes with 32bit) and added another 2GB of RAM.

    As for my impressions, I was upgrading from an ASUS 1000H and the difference is huge. First off (as noted in the review) is the keyboard. It is one of the best! The next difference is the screen resolution - moving from 1024x600 to 1366x768 is terrific. I did have issues with contrast and colors, but playing around with the ATI settings, it looks a lot better (and now I can distinguish the lighter grays from white). You really need to play with those settings - I can post my settings if there is any interest.

    Overall speed is better than the Atom, but I occasionally get the Win 7 spinning wheel of delay (not sure if this is a generic Win7 problem or not). Once I get this, I can really do anything on the machine until it stops. Really annoying, but maybe its the hard drive (there is no drive activity light!) so moving to an SSD may help. Outside the spinning wheel, I can do most productivity related tasks without issue or concern. Have not played any games on it yet, but Hulu and Netflix streaming is much, much smoother.

    One issue that I did come across is some weirdness with the "sleep on lid close" setting. I think this is generic to Windows 7 and not to this laptop, but occasionally once I wake the computer, the brightness cannot be changed! The shortcut keys or control panel cannot change the brightness. Outside of a reboot, the only solution was to change the setting from "sleep on lid close" to "do nothing on lid close". Then close the lid and reopen it. Now you can change your brightness.

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