"Excellent Machine"4.0 starson by irploss
Pros: Light weight, great keyboard, good speed, good writing area
Cons: Lack of Optical Drive, Took a long time for it to arrive
Summary: I am a practicing lawyer who also teaches night classes to graduate students at a local university. I have owned by Tablet X41 for about seven weeks. Prior to purchasing it I was using a Dell Lattiude (an old 810). I purchased a tablet pc because I wanted a machine that I could actually use at my desk and also use in court or client meetings, and potentially in both the classroom and at seminar presentations. I believe that the X41 Tablet has met and will eceed will these expectations.
The biggest negative experience with the machine was the waiting period it took between the date that I placed my order and actually received the machine (almost 6 weeks). At the same time I purchased the machine I also purchased the docking station, CD/DVD cache device, an extra pen, 8 cell lithion battery, sleeve and carrying case. Within a week of my order, I began receiving the parts of my order and after about four weeks, I had received everything except for the computer itself. Fortunately, since I purchased my machine through the university I teach at, I had a Lenovo sales representative with whom I was able to follow up, and he (and his colleagues when I could not reach him) greatly helped me. I finally received my machine around Labor Day. This was obviously not much fun.
Since purchasing the machine, I have been extremely pleased with it. Admittedly the screen size (12.1) is not as large as what I was used to, but I have adjusted very well to it and I cannot complain. I have not had occassion to employ the BlueTooth technology on the machine, but the Centrino mobility (this is the first machine that I have owned that has it) has been a great experience.
I ordered the additional 1GB memory chip (pushing my total memory to 1.5 GB) which has definitely been a plus (In addition to having a slow prcessing speed, my old Dell Lattitude had 256K memory which greatly slowed me down so I was determined not suffer the same fate with this machine) and I also upgraded my hard drive to 60GB. I also purchased the security fingerprint reader which has also been interesting. It works marvelously when the computer is in tablet mode, but unless you are right handed and good at using your thumb, it can be a little challengint to use it when the machine in in laptop mode. Consistent with some other reviews on this website, the machine can be a little slow at start-up, even when it is s coming out of stand by mode. The processing speed (1.5 GHz) has been more than adequate for the applications that I use.
The machine operates beautifully in laptop mode. The keyboard is excellent although it took a little bit of time to get used to not having a touchpad. The lack of a Windows key has had no impact on me since I never use the key anyway. The screen resolution is also good. I have not felt at a disadvantage having a smaller size screen. The computer is very sturdy (unlike my Dell which did not feel very sturdy). Overall I consider it to be an excellent laptop.
Converting the machine to tablet mode is very easy. The swiveling hinge at the base of the screen (which you use to conver the machine to tablet and back to laptop) is very sturdy and the transition is good. As a portable tablet, the machine is excellent. I use it in all of my client meetings and it is both a great productivity tool and conversation piece (all of my clients have commented on it). The tablet screet is excellent and I do not think that the small indent between the frame and the writing surface is an issue. I have used the tablet sleeve, but must admit that I really do not feel that I need it. The machine is very easy to carry around and I feel very comfortable taking it into meetings.
Initially I thought that the lack of a built in optical drive would be a great hindrance to me, but I must admit that except for loading software form a CD, I do not feel that I am at a disavantage. I would strongly recommend purchasing the docking station and cached CD/DVD since it is useful to have access to one when you are working at your desk.
The additional IBM accessories on the machine (i.e. access IBM button, connection manager and power manager) have been a revelation to me. I do have a problem utilizing the Rescue and Recovery Function, but I believe that I have overcome this issue by uding a jump drive. I have had occassion to call IBM technical support (walking me through the installation of my additional memory and also questions about the Rescue & Recovery). The technical support group is located in Atlanta. I found their technical support service to be unremarkable.
I would strongly recommend that anyone who purchases the machine should also purchase MicroSoft OneNote. It is a great program and its find function is invaluable especially when I am trying to locate data regarding my notes. Overall I have found the machine to be indispensible to me both in tablet mode and laptop mode. I did look at other manufacturers models but found them to be too heavy to carry around (Toshiba), poor quality (I used to only purchase Gateway computers but now I would never purchase one unless they were the last manufacturer left on earth), or too pricey (I was impressed with Motion Computing L1500 and its progeny but for what I wanted it would have cost me more than $5000 and not worth the money).
I am very pleased with the computer. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in a Tablet PC. I am impressed with the Tablet PC Technology but I also realize that there is more that Microsoft could do to support the platform