IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad love fest
Some of the content in this post may be a bit stale, started this post on the 16th of January and never finished it until now, just after Lenovo's official X300 announcement. There seems to be some sort of love fest between Business Week and Lenovo. In January, Business Week had a nice reflective article on Richard Sapper, designer of the IBM (now Lenovo) ThinkPad. If you would like to dwelve more into the history of the ThinkPad's design, Tomoyuki Takahashi, Yamato Design Center Manager, has a great write up here. Some of the hardcore fans will be familiar with the bento-box story.

More recently, leading up tothe X300 launch, David Hill divulged that a BW journalist had been allowed access to the team that designed the X300 early in the design phase. That resulted in this interesting article, Building the Perfect Laptop.

Yearning for more IBM / Lenovo ThinkPad information? Check out a book titled IBM Design from Japan. I had to order my copy from Japan, fortunately the book is in English as well as Japanese. Came across the book in 2004, finally got it in the middle of last year. Some of the images in the book can be found in this PDF from MIT (thanks to Gator from the ThinkPad forums).

So what of the X300? Looks great, though I was disappointed with my T61, the difference in build quality is noticeable compared to my T42 (prior to Lenovo's purchase). The plastic covers on either side of the keyboard don't give when you press on them, saving you from the annoying popping sound I always get from my T61. Anyway, I suppose I'd pony up the cash for the SSD on the X300, but I've been thinking for a while now that the next laptop would most likely be a tablet. The idea of purchasing a desktop has been dead for a while now, I'd say in five years the same thinking will apply to just regular laptops. Tablets or bust! Loved the amount of attention and thought that went into the rubber feet for the ThinkPads. Just fondled mine, yup they are lovely.

And before I end my IBM/Lenovo post, will someone please tell them to make TrackPoints standard on everything. Not including them on the IdeaPads line was dumb dumb dumb. The screen and hinge as well as the finish looks great on that line, but it'll never sell to individuals like me who almost NEVER use the touchpad.

And as for other laptop builders? HP's marketing has gotten better over the years though the talking bodies of celebrities are beginning to wear thin. This HP Office Orchestra is new to me though not as impressive as the Honda Acapella commercial. Then again, not many commercials have approached the level of Honda's marketing efforts in the U.K. Not even this funky Ford commercial.