I happened to get both a Dell Inspiron 1525 (for $700) and a Lenovo Thinkpad T500 (for $1800) at the same time. To my amazement, I like the Dell better and may return the Lenovo. Here's why.
1) Display: I'm surprised by how much better the Dell's display is for basic work (word-processing, writing emails, surfing the web); and equally surprised that I haven't seen mention of this in various reviews. Both laptops have a 15" WXGA display. (The Dell happens to have Vista; the Lenovo has XP, but both are brand new.) Are reviewers getting caught up in the technical details, and forgetting to report on what matters most: how easy on the eyes the display is when one works, 8 hours/day? ("Not able to see the display, for the specs"?)
(a) The Lenovo T500's display sucks. Characters look fuzzy, because the dots that comprise them are visible. Diagonal lines, as in the "/" character, have jagged edges (whereas on the Dell they appear more like solid lines, crisp, clear). I almost have to squint to read the Lenovo, whereas characters on the Dell stand out. [UPDATE: Swarmer helpfully points out that ClearType is not the default in XP, one must turn it on, and that doing so vastly improves the legibility of script. See below.]
(b) The Lenovo's background display color is a sickly blue-green off-white (which shows less contrast for the default blue-colored hyperlinks), whereas the Dell has a healthier peach off-white that contrasts well with links.
I don't know if taking screen-shots or taking a digital picture of the two screens side-by-side would show what I'm talking about, but I'm willing to try if anyone wants. I use my laptop for work, so I don't care how they perform on gaming or watching HD videos. I just want to type and read (with an occasional low-def YouTube video), with the best laptop display I can find!
Has anyone else been able to compare both notebooks side-by-side? I'd love to hear some confirmation that I'm not crazy or making this up.
(a) The Inspiron's keyboard is almost an inch wider than the Thinkpad's, even though the two laptops are the same width overall. That's because the Lenovo has 1.5" of wasted space on each side of the keyboard, which makes the keyboard cramped -- how stupid is that? (I'm guessing the Lenovo T500 and T400 use the same size keyboard, whereas the Dell 1525 uses a wider keyboard than the Dell 1420 -- taking advantage of the width, as it should.) Having a 3/4" narrower keyboard on the Lenovo means my fingers touch each other when lined up asdf-jkl; whereas the Dell keyboard is just enough wider that they don't touch, which means less cramping/fatigue/karpal-tunnel.
Small keyboard things:
(b) The Inspiron puts the left Ctrl key on the outside where it belongs, whereas on the Lenovo it is tucked one key in (with Fn on the outside) which makes it hard to find (unless your left little-finger is especially dextrous at curling down and in -- mine isn't, and I have to look every time on the Lenovo).
(c) The Lenovo puts the Esc key on a row above the function keys, rather than on the far-left. I suppose one gets used to it, but I'm constantly hitting the F3 when I reach for F2.
(d) I have no use for a track-point device, so it and the extra mouse-buttons for it are wasted on me, and the Lenovo's track-pad is smaller than the Dell's (although I do like the surface-feel of the Lenovo better -- slightly matte, vs. the too-polished Dell track-pad).
(e) Likewise, I won't ever use the Lenovo's keys for "browser Back" or "browser Forward", located in the cursor-key group. What a waste of keyboard real-estate. Make the darn keyboard bigger and simpler, Lenovo!
3) Battery: I have 3 batteries and swap them on long flights (14 hours non-stop to Asia). The Lenovo's battery is a pain in the butt to remove! It's a struggle every time, turning the unit around, trying not to break a fingernail when I try to pinch and wiggle the battery out. On the Dell, it pops right out easily.
Just so no-one thinks I'm pimping for Dell, the Inspiron's case is shoddily made -- a hinge completely broke in the first month of normal use, rendering it unusable, which is outrageous. Then the left-button on the touchpad broke! (The rubber 'spring' crumbled, necessitating replacing the entire "palm rest" which is 1/2 the case, a major operation.) The Dell's physical parts are less-well made overall -- the hinge, case, etc. -- they have a cheap, WalMart feel to them and I fear they will break again. The Lenovo has a very nice Porsche/Mercedes feel to the workmanship -- tight, well-built. If I could have the Dell's display, keyboard and battery, but the rest from Lenovo, I'd be happy. (Funnily enough, the only complaint I've read about the T500 keyboard is that it is not as "solid" as the older Lenovo models, which I really don't care about.)
I'm sure the Lenovo has better "specs" (by the #s). But if you hate staring at its screen, does it really matter?
I have a T420 Thinkpad and have 2 external monitors connected; one using VGA into the docking station and one using DVI into the docking station. The laptop does not recognize the mobile PC display as an option when I attempt to extend to a 3rd monitor. The ultimate goal is 3 monitors extended: 2 external and 1 (the laptop display). Is this possible?
I recently upgraded my Lenovo ThinkPad T400 with a Crucial M500 (240GB SATA SSD 7mm) and 8GB Kit (DDR3 PC3-8500 NON-ECC) RAM.
After a couple of days of trail and error I eventually installed (successfully, I might add) Windows 7 via USB. I leave my laptop on when I sleep, but in the morning it's shut off. When I power it on I get to the Windows did not shut down properly and I always select the "Start Windows Normally" option and additionally Google Chrome informs me that it wasn't shut down properly and restores my tabs.
Why it randomly shuts itself off... Also, when I try to run my system rating after one or two flashes of the screen my laptop turns off, so I am unable to do this as well.
As a finance person I need to use the F1, F2, ....., F12 keys on a regular basis. My issue is that I need to always use FN+F1, FN+F2, ....., FN+F12 to work, which is not the most convenient thing to do.
Is there any way to switch these two? Going in the BIOS offers me only the opportunity to switch between Ctrl and Fn.
I'm tried hard-booting the device, but no dice. When I push the power button, I show activity in the status lights and can feel heat coming out of the heatsink. I think I see the 'ThinkPad' screen displaying very faintly at that time, but it seems not to proceed through the regular boot process. I'm definitely not able to get to a BIOS post.
I'm experiencing problems with a Lenovo Laptop. I cannot log into Windows because the keyboard is not functioning as normal. The 'H' button is operating as a backspace for example and because I cannot see what I'm typing in the password bar, I don't know which keys are what. Only some keys produce characters and when typing other keys the system just beeps. I had this problem yesterday and I fixed it by holding the FN button and F4 or F7, I think it was F7 but now the same combination isn't working.
I have a T430s and I love it so far, except one negative thing is that it keeps "skipping" around whenever I type. During typing, on random occasions it will skip to wherever the cursor is placed at that moment, often in the middle of a word I had already typed previously. (It has done it 4 times while typing this message) Obviously, this makes it very annoying to have to re-do a word or sentence over and over. I definitely don't type extremely fast and try to be careful with my hand placement, but as a normal sized adult male, can it be possible that the new Chiclet Keyboard makes it easier for my fingers or palm to inadvertantly move or press the touchpad which causes this problem? Or is this a software defect?
This is my second Thinkpad and I've never had this problem before.
as i have learned there is no mechanical reason not to use classic keyboard-layout of the 7row model in a t530. but what are the effects of the bios no being able to support the 7r keyboard? which buttons will not work properly?
I am unable to enter the BIOS (or the boot device and application menu) of my T530. When I press Enter at the 'Press Enter to interrupt normal startup' prompt, nothing happens. It just ignores my input completely. F1 doesn't do anything either.
Otherwise my ThinkPad is working fine, but I would like to change some settings (especially change the boot device, to boot from USB).
I'm running Win 7, and I have the most up-to-date drivers from the Lenovo site. I have turned on loudness equalization, but it has not worked. This is an across-the-board problem. What I mean by that is, this problem persists regardless of the application, which I happen to be using. For instance, I use Media Player Classic: Home Cinema to watch movies. If the volume is at 0%, as I begin adjusting it upward, the volume level rises. However, as I reach about 70%, the volume stops increasing. There are audio adjustments w/in the application to boost the volume, but they serve to provide minimal effects. Overall, the volume is incredibly low. If you're sitting more than a few feet away from the laptop, it is inaudible.
I purchased a manufacturer refurbished Lenovo Thinkpad T410 2522EC8 a few days ago. My USB ports are simply not responding to anything. I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling the drivers. The only sign the USB ports show is when I plug in my mouse, the mouse lights up, but it doesn't actually work. Also, when I look under disk management, the only drives that show up are System Reserved, C: Drive, and D: Drive.
i have purchased an 8 gb Kingston Ram module ( KTL-TP3CL). My plan was to upgrade my thinkpad T540p with 12 gb of ram. My configuration is ( i5/4gb ram/hd 4600/W7 pro/500gb hdd). The thing is that I am having second thoughts about having two modules from a different manufacturer and of different capacity.
I just got myself a thinpad T440p and was planning on getting a docking station. Since i have never gotten one before i was confused on which one should i get. I wanted to get the thinkpad Ultra Dock but was confused on how i would determine if i should be getting the 90W, 135W or the 170W. I live in Canada, Ontario if it makes a difference.
I was also curious, whats the main difference between the basic dock and ultra dock. Is it worth it for me to get the ultra for work?
This computer originally had an issue with the 2100 Detection Error. This computer was previously built with no issues when it was imaged with our company's Windows 8 configuration in which I am highly sure our IT engineers have worked closely with Lenovo on. Also out of the tens of thousand computers that were imaged this way this is the only system I have dealt with that has this issue. I luckily had a good T440 I could test this system's SSD in. The hard drive appears to be fine with no issues. So that rules out to be the SSD. I ordered a system board under warranty and installed it. Everything so far responded fine with the system board replacement until I performed the model type/serial number and UUID update using my 1.86 maintenance update USB thumb drive. After that completed the computer froze on the Thinkpad Logo screen. I verified again for my piece of mind that the memory module and SSD was fine. Sure enough those components were tested fine in a known working T440. So I submitted the system board as a DOA with an explanation. I received another system board to replace with the DOA. I installed that system board to once again update the Model Type/Serial Number and UUID using my USB maintenance disk 1.86 thumbdrive to once again end up with a locked computer at the Thinkpad Logo screen. I have replaced a couple of other T440 and T540 system boards during this time also with using the same USB maintenance disk thumbdrive used for updating those system's model type/serial number and UUID. So I know the issue is not with the USB thumb drive. I am very frustrated with this system. I hate to keep submitting DOAs for the same system.
Since the BIOS is part of the system board and I have not had these issues with the many T440 system boards I have replaced successfully that performing a BIOS update is not a good excuse why this doesn't work on this particular T440 and since after replacing a system board under "DOA" and updating with the maintenance disk and froze there is not a way I can run a BIOs update on this system now right?
I have a new Thinkpad T430 and I have an issue with the touchpad. My touchpad is disabled while holding a key on the keyboard which is extremely frustrating. If I hold down a key then my pointer will move a short distance before stopping and becoming unable to move any further until I release the key. I've learned that this feature is know as the palmcheck feature of the ultranav drivers. However, in the settings for my touchpad, there is no palmcheck setting. The feature seems to simply be on with no option to turn it off. I have updated to the latest drivers, but still there seems to be nothing I can do to fix this issue.
I has just upgraded my Thinkpad t440 from windows 7 to Windows 8.1 pro. But i could not find Power Manager software to install in my laptop. I want this software to manage my battery to ensure that it stop charging when 80% capacity. I think that it is useful for my battery.
I just bought ThinkPad T430 and optical bay adapter IB-AC642 [URL] for my ssd 128 OCZ VERTEX 4. I put ssd into optical bay but thinkpad doesn't recognize it. I try with different disc but I have the same problem.
My optical bay adapter with this sdd OCZ VERTEX 4 is working in my another laptop so the problem is only with thinkpad. I tried to change bios settings but it didn't work.
I recently bought a Thinkpad 540p and wanted to know a way for stopping the battery from getting charged after a certain level. Its a very common feature to stop a battery from charging say after 80% and run on AC power supply directly.
Other lenovo laptops do support it, under various apps like Energy Manager, or Power Manager but I am not able to find any such options/app on my laptop?
Had the laptop for 11 months no issues, I woke up to find the computer stuck on the startup screen. Tried rebooting, took out the battery, tried it pluged in, unpluged and it keeps stopping at the startup screen.
I bought a T510 few days ago and was surprised to see this machine has ridiculously low volume. I have tried everything including the tweaks in Smart audio and removing audio limiter but still the volume is very low. On my dell 1525, I never go past 40% volume on my headphones but on T51o, I am using 90-100% volume to watch videos on live streaming websites.
Is there any solution to boost the volume on T510? My system is with windows 7 ultimate (64-bit) and audio device is Conexant 20585.
I've owned a ThinkPad T430 for about one year now. Originally I was fairly impressed with the battery life (around 4.5 hours) but now after owning it for a year I am very unimpressed with it's short 3 hour life now.
I have read that batteries should be expected to do this, although I have friends with a MacBook Pro which has lost maybe 20% of it's charge over three years not one year like my ThinkPad!
My specs are listed below:
OS: Windows 8 (upgraded from 7) Ram: 8GB (4*2 DIMM - came with 4GB and I upgrade it with 4 more) CPU: i5-3210M 2.5GHZ Hard Drive: Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD (upgraded from the 320GB 7200RPM HDD before...if I have got those specs right)
I recently installed the new SSD and expected to see my battery life shoot up again (hopefully at least half an hour) but I really haven't noticed any such improvement.
I use the battery frequently for school and run the battery down to about 20% maybe twice a week on school weeks?
Is this kind of deterioration to be expected and should I simply purchase a new battery if I need that extra 1.5 hours?
According to the Windows 8 battery report the original full charge capacity was: 49,286 mWh, now it is: 39,780 mWh.
I got my thinkpad T530 last week. I tested the skype after opening the box and it works. Then I took off the original 320G HDD and put my 830 SSD on it, reinstalled the win8.Just last night when I tried to chat with my parents on skype i found out the the camera is dead. I tried by doing so:
1) according to others threads I uninstall most of the unnecessary drivers; 2) reinstall the camera driver; 3) deleted the ricoh media driver; 4) updated the BIOS; 5) tired to locate someone mentioned, the "privacy" problem. But the video/camera option is not even showing up by Fn+F6; 6) downloaded and installed the thirdparty AMCAM and it says no camera device can be found.
I use a T440 with WIN8.1 pro machine but for whatever reason the external battery has stopped charging. As this laptop is only 3 months old Lenovo send me a brand new one but the outcome was the same, the charge symbol comes up on my screen when rebooting the machine and shortly after stops completely. I have now had my internal battery pack changed and again no improvement.
I recently bought a Thinkpad T540P laptop. But there is always some noise made by the hard drive. The noise makes me feel uncomfortable. It sounds like it has been used for a long time, but actually only two days.