I Heart my ThinkPad

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?

2 comments On I Heart my ThinkPad

  • Preach on, man.

    One thing that I discovered somewhat recently is how outstanding their driver support is. I decided to try taking my old ThinkPad down to Windows 2000. They not only had all of the drivers, but they were easy to find and the downloading center included a lot (or maybe all) of the ThinkPad Utilities. It gives me the option of choosing which components to install and which not to in order to optimize performance.

    Also, speaking of bombproof, I dropped the laptop. It bounced off a chair and onto a concrete floor and the damage was minimal. My old Sony Vaio fell out of a backpack and it was never the same again.

    I could go on and on… too many stories to tell. We should be careful not to start sounding like Mac enthusiasts!

  • What a timely review. 🙂 My husband picked out a Lenovo as my next laptop so I’m very pleased to hear about all this. He said "Everybody seems to love ’em."

    My company pretty much demanded that I get a Dell last time, and I have been very unhappy with how not-modular the laptop is (if one thing needs replacing, five other things get replaced at the same time whether they need it or not) and the fact that I have to mail it in for the replacement when my husband has built all his computers himself and could probably do it if they’d just send us the damn part.

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