So Why Not a T61?

It's a fair quesion to ask.  After all, I've been crowing on about how much I love our new systems, so it would stand to reason that I would want to use one myself. In a perfect world, here is how I would describe my ideal work notebook:

  • ThinkPad T61
  • 14" Regular aspect (4:3 ratio) SXGA+ display
  • 2GB memory / 1GB Intel Turbo Memory
  • 160GB 7200 rpm HDD
  • Verizon WWAN
  • Atheros a/b/g Wi-Fi
  • Integrated graphics

Unfortunately, such a machine does not exist -- from us, or any other vendor on the market. Some things are impossible to have even if I had the ability to create a perfect machine from scratch.  For example, it is impossible to have Intel's Turbo Memory and WWAN on the same system.  There is only one mini PCI Express card slot left inside the notebook after Wi-Fi and Bluetooth/Modem take up their respective slots.  You pick one or the other.  I would definitely give up modem/Bluetooth, but that's not an option. I could live without Intel's Turbo Memory, but getting such a machine would still be close to impossible for me to get.  It might surprise some, but even being inside the company does not make it so that I can get whatever I want.  I have some of the same problems you all do, including availability and delivery.  Customers should and do get their machines first.  Sometimes I just have to wait.  In my case, we did not define my model as being a possible combination.  For example, choosing an SXGA+ display automatically means getting a discrete graphics card.  I want integrated graphics for the extra hour of battery life.  The major graphics chip vendors have done a great job at increasing performance, but what they forgot was that their uber chips were being used in mobile systems, not desktops.  In my opinion, they completely forgot about power management.  Intel integrated graphics, while not perfect, will run Vista Aero just fine.  For a work notebook, that is all I need.  In contrast to the discrete graphics card vendors, Intel has carefully managed power consumption, thus the large difference between discrete and integrated graphics battery life numbers. Also, I'm not sure that we're shipping 160GB 7200 rpm HDDs yet. All that aside, the biggest reason that I haven't jumped to a T61 yet is that I HATE widescreen displays.  Let me repeat that.  I HATE HATE HATE widescreen displays.  I don't like losing the screen height and I think they are a solution in search of a problem.  I know that very soon it is going to be impossible to get a regular aspect ratio display panel from anyone.  (We can thank LCD glass vendors which have optimized their manufacturing lines for widescreen television displays.  They can make more money and have less waste by cutting their large sheets of glass into 16:9 or 16:10 widescreen notebook panels instead of 4:3 sizes.) I'm eventually going to have to use a widescreen notebook, but I don't have to yet.  When that time comes,  I'm going to configure the biggest, baddest 14" regular aspect ratio T series I can find and then hold onto it like a baby with a favorite toy.  Today, my this means using my current T60. So after the last post, why would I not abandon Vista?  Readers did sense that I was rather negative on it.  Some of you are correct that inertia is preventing me from going back to XP.  I do have Rescue and Recovery disks of my image just before I upgraded, so it wouldn't be that hard of an undertaking, but it would take some time.  That's not really the issue. I'm sticking with Vista primarily because it's my job to be up to speed on the latest and greatest.  I need to be knowledgeable about issues and pains our customers are having with our systems.  The best way to do that is to simply use it myself and suffer right along with you. Waiting for Service Pack 1 is like waiting for Christmas.  It can't arrive soon enough.