ThinkPad T400s Announced

I am somewhat surprised that the T400s stayed a secret as long as it did.  Based on past launches, I expected to see information flooding the Internet about six months ago.  As a commenter presciently declared, yes, I was alluding to the T400s several months ago when I mentioned that I was switching from my T61 to the X301. I hated my time with the X301.  Don't get me wrong, it's a fine box -- for someone else.  I'm a T series user through and through.  The X301's screen was too small, the processor too slow, and the battery was too anemic. About a week ago, I switched over to this machine as my full-time, production system.  To make things more interesting, I switched over to the 64 bit version of Windows 7 too.  Luckily, a beta version of our customer preload for Win 7 was ready, and I was able to use that as a base.  Most, but not all of the hardware drivers were there as well as a few of our ThinkVantage Technologies (Rescue & Recovery, Client Security Software, Access Connections, and Power Manager). Win 7 RC 1+ Lenovo Beta Preload = double beta or beta beta.  Not everything works perfectly. 

  • I suspect that while Power Manager loads, it's not really doing anything other than take up CPU cycles and act erratically. My battery life is poor right now -- nowhere close to the 5.5 hours we're advertising. For fun, I might uninstall it and see what Windows 7 can do on its own.
  • I've given up on Access Connections. Corporate users will want to continue to use it, but as an individual, it no longer makes sense for me. Windows 7's Wi-Fi/Connectivity manager is really that much better and faster.
  • I have not yet tried Rescue & Recovery. I'm sure it works fine. I'll continue to use it as it has many features over and above what 7 offers.
  • Most importantly, our Client Security Software Password Manager works. I have become so dependent on that piece of code that I would continue to use XP if it hadn't been ready yet.

My biggest hassle has been Lotus Sametime, our instant messaging client.  We've been using that bloated piece of garbage for years (I'm being kind), and though it will launch and chat under Win 7, half of its options are not available and it crashes unexpectedly 4 or 5 times per day.  I tried the usual tricks like installing as an administrator or running it in XP emulation mode, but today I just gave up.  I am now an ecstatic Pidgin user.  I'm sure our corporate IT team won't like it, but hey, our Beijing colleagues have been using MSN messenger for years.  Companies need to provide the IT that their employees need to do their jobs, and most have their heads stuck in the sand.  (But that's probably another blog post for another day.) In addition, I downloaded and installed the XP virtual machine.  It works as advertised.  Our expense tool didn't play well under Windows 7 but runs perfectly in the XP virtual machine.  I think Microsoft will find that this will be quite a popular feature with corporations.  It does what it says. I didn't mean for it to do so, but this T400s post actually turned into a Win 7 post.  That said, after you've read the extensive press coverage today, I'm sure you may have some additional questions that weren't answered on the T400s.  Feel free to ask them, and I will try to answer them.  (I may later regret offering this, but it's worth a try.) I will ignore any questions that ask about future product offerings or strategy.  If you want to know what the fourth BIOS interrupt on the second register does, I don't know.  Finally, for those who have a lot invested in this issue, I don't know if the DisplayPort passes audio, but I'm trying to find out.