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I am Principal Program Manager at Microsoft leading the Business Platform Division's (BPD) community team. BPD includes SQL Server, SQL Azure, BizTalk, AppFabric, and other technologies and services.

Lenovo Thinkpad X301

Lenovo Thinkpad X301

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A few weeks ago I got a new laptop – a Lenovo x301. As is the case with all new machines it came loaded with a bunch of utilities and trial software. Most of the time I just nuke the machine right away and lay down a clean image of the OS. This time I decided to give the default configuration a chance. I lasted 3 days!

The main problem is there are duplicate and triplicate utilities – how many things do I need monitoring my wireless network, my battery and my display settings? Honestly one is enough. And the utilities seem to fight with one another. Then there’s the additional memory and processing power consumed. I really wish the default machine configuration would come with the barebones stuff needed. Upon the first boot it could prompt you to add stuff if you want – I would always say no but others may want to try out some of this stuff.

So as I normally do I reinstalled the OS (Vista Ultimate) from scratch and everything is running terrific. I let Windows Vista manage my network, battery and display settings. Although I did have to install a few Intel drivers which seem to also install additional value. Oh well I guess I can’t have it all. About two weeks have passed and everything is still running great. I get over three hours of battery life under normal usage. I have the second battery (which replaces the DVD drive) on order. With this addition I should get close to 5 hours of life – depending upon usage.

I had reservations about the smallness of the machine. I’m used to big laptops with lots of screen real estate and lots of processing power. I haven’t missed either of these. The display runs 1440 x 900 which is nice and dense. Click here to see the full specs on the X301. Mine is configured with the 128GB drive and 4 GB RAM.

I absolutely love the size and weight. I can’t wait to try it out on an airplane. It should fit well on the tray table and the low screen height should avoid crushage when the dude in front reclines at warp speed.

I almost forgot to mention the keyboard – it has a great feel and sound to it. Although it’s taking me a little while to get used to where the Delete key is (the upper right-hand corner) rather than lower right-hand corner (previous laptop). I’m also thankful Lenovo added the Windows key. The original ThinkPads didn’t have this key. yes, you could remap a key to play the role of the Windows key but it was just goofy it wasn’t support out of the box.

Other than needing to reimage the machine (which is par for all machines) I have no complaints. This could be the best laptop I’ve ever owned. I guess if I had to pay for it out of my own pocket price might be a complaint. But MS was nice enough to cover the cost of the laptop. It’s not a cheap laptop but it is a great laptop.

 

Note: This is my third off-topic post in a row. I need to get back to talking about SQL Server. Though I don’t have the topic yet, my next posting will be about SQL. In my defense, all postings have been related to technology. I’ve managed to avoid any mention of the election or the economy. And no, those don’t count as mentions…

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  • Unfortunately, most of the users have to deal with such setup all the time.

    For instance the first crash I experienced with one Sony Vaio laptop was crash in Internet Explorer. Sony preinstalled Google Toobar and that just crashed.

    Another Sony Vaio laptop had more than 20 items set in Registry to start along with OS. This does not include several extra Windows Services. It was terribly slow to boot out of the box.

    Hopefully, one day MS Hardware will produce laptops and Windows Mobile phones on its own.

  • I use a Lenova at work and understand what you mean with all the duplicate utilities. I would think they would want to save every penny they could and not develop this crap and have the overhead of supporting it.

  • Hi,

    I am planning on getting an X301. Your post came up because searched for SQL and X301, could you tell me whats the db/sql script performance of the TP X301? I assumed an SSD would help with db performance but i have some misgivings about the low voltage procssor, I'd greatly appreciate any advice you may have on this.

    Thanks, my email is jsadhu@gmail.com

  • I don't have any concrete numbers I can share. I don't do any heavy duty SQL stuff on my laptop - mostly email, PowerPoint, and Excel. I'm 100% pleased with the machine. I've been running Win7 Beta since mid-January and have not had a single problem. The battery life is fantastic. I'll share my Win scores:

    Overall: 4.1

    Calculations per sec: 4.4

    Memory operations per sec: 4.9

    Desktop performance for Aero: 4.1

    3D business & gaming graphics performance: 4.9

    Disk transfer rate: 6.0

  • dtjones, appreciate the response!

  • thanks for sharing your thoughts

    but I think the T400 suits my needs better

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