Tech Talk – Favorite Laptop

Which one? – Matt Bidinger

My favorite laptop would have to be the IBM Thinkpad T series – from
their T23 through their T43 models.

These laptops are great quality and
can take the abuse that non-computer literate business people readily
dispense. It is hard to say how many laptops we have in production in
my company, but I know we have over 1000 T30’s, and I expect we have
at least that many T41’s and T42’s.

Issues with them can be readily listed:

  1. Hard Drive Failures… Not sure if it’s model specific – the 3 year
    mark is often around the time they quit, and not many people have had
    the newer models that long. This is seen in T23’s predominantly and
    also T30’s.

  2. Memory Problems… T30’s have a RAM slot that fails, which IBM
    covered as a defect. If you are using both RAM slots and your machine
    is showing half the proper installed amount of RAM, then it likely is
    suffering from this problem and should be looked into.

    We have had
    approximately 300 or more of our T30’s repaired by shops that IBM set up
    at our field representative conferences – there are many more with the
    issue which we are tracking down still

  3. Display Issues… Something on the system board goes to hell and the
    display appears corrupted or black entirely. This does not happen so
    often, but it is a hardware issue I see every so often.

That is all I can say that we typically see that I would consider a
defect – I’m 99% sure these three problems can be attributed to
heat + time. Throughout the entire range from T23 to T43, that is all I
can really say we see that isn’t isolated – pretty good in my opinion.

I would expect to find these issues in any laptop – the bottom line is
that for the sake of battery life and noise, often times cooling is going to be
moderate at best – the fans just do not usually run full out
unless you manually set them to.

Laptops still have a ways to go; however in my
opinion, when you look at battery life and cooling, I believe the
T series from IBM is about the best you are going to get as far as a
quality laptop is concerned.

Matt Bidinger – PC/LAN Analyst

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