"Great hardware once you reload OS."4.5 starson by a101010
Pros: fast hardware, solid construction
Cons: 32-bit XP only (at the time I ordered it), no eSATA, bloatware.
Summary: Got the new one with the T9300 (Penryn) and 9-cell batt.
First off, I have to say that this is my first IBM/Lenovo notebook. Purely subjective here, I know, but....
I love the keyboard, and overall feel. All my previous Dell notebooks feel like toys (other than the old i5000). I've got several HP notebooks in the company and this (so far) is right up there in quality and performance.
For the fluff factor, I like the white LED in the lid (not a backlit keyboard, but still handy). Oh, and I admit that I am now a fan of the Blue Button (yes, back to normal even on Vista-64). The fingerprint scanner is faster and less prone to "try again" than my old HP. Not THAT important, as this is just a "nice to have" feature says I.
Other than the bloatware, which is a Lenovo problem, not a hardware issue, my only complaints are a) no 64-bit XP option or support. b) 3Gb SATA controller, but a 1.5Gb SATA drive?
After slicking the hard drive of 32-bit XP, and reloading 64-bit Vista Business, this thing SCREAMS. I don't chalk that up to Vista, but instead to the 64-bit OS, and the lack of bloatware.
Anyway, nothing I did to this thing in the last week got the heat above comfortably warm. Gaming, CAD, multiple VMs, etc.
Ran it for just over 4 hours on Friday on with wired network doing SSH sessions the whole time. On Saturday got 3.5 hours of wireless web and email. Got through Lawrence of Arabia on DVD on one battery charge today (not doing anything else, and wifi off.)
I opted for the 1650x1020 screen. I was a little nervous after reading some reviews that slammed the high-resolution screens. I've been on the 1440x900 mode for a couple years now. After getting this, I can't go back. Docking at work sets me back to 1440x900 and it's annoying. My screen is plenty bright too. Sucks in direct sunlight, but so what (my opinion).
Suggestion to Lenovo: Built-in eSATA would be nice as an option.
Lastly, IMO, this notebook is LIGHTER than it looks.
So comparison-wise I prefer my Macbook Pro 15" over this one for the most part. But, outside the Macbook Pro, this is a great notebook. So why did I get the Lenovo?
a) no camera
b) dedicated hardware wireless switch
[can ya guess why now?]
But I got this particular model due to the CPU, quality build ratings, and screen resolution. HP couldn't match my specs at the same or better price at the time.