Two and a half years ago, I bought a ThinkPad largely based on the bombproof nature of the product and the customer support reputation.
It wasn’t clear at the time if Lenovo would maintain IBM’s legendary support (although it was hard to imagine why they would acquire the Thinkpad brand only to destroy it, but hey, sometimes new management does dumb things).
I just got off the phone with ThinkPad support because of an issue I’m having with my UltraNav touchpad (the left click button is going bad). In less than 15 minutes start to finish, the support rep determined that it’s a user serviceable part, had the part ordered, and had given me detailed instructions on how the process works (the part should arrive in a few days, and I can either replace it or take the part and machine to a local service center for complimentary replacement — and she looked up the local service centers for me and gave me info so I could determine which was most convenient, just in case I do that route).
At the time I bought it, the ThinkPad model wasn’t the flashiest (and certainly wasn’t the cheapest) as 14 inch WinXP laptops go. It was solid, but not cutting edge, in terms of the hardware. But the machine has largely been bombproof, Lenovo has maintained frequent software updates that are easily accessed with its update utility, and as I’ve just experienced, customer support remains first class.
ThinkPad users are famously loyal, and I think it boils down to the fact that IBM/Lenovo has long managed to do the little things right, and to act like they give a damn, even for a guy with a machine that’s nearly three years old. It will probably be time to replace this machine as it approaches the end of the three-year warranty period next summer. Can you guess what company will be getting my business?