12-23-2009 12:25 PM
during my time in the IT field i have seen a lot of IBM thinkpads. Starting from the T23 up to the T61 all devices i held in my hands were of very good quality (all the ones with the IBM stamp on it!). They all had a very good keyboard and not a single one had a pixel error. For an engineer and computer scientist like me who spends many hours a day in front of his computer the user experience is more important than the computing power. That was why i always bought IBM.
Now i ordered my first Lenovo Thinkpad (a T500) and i'm really disappointed. Especially regarding the price i have to pay. It feels like being tricked into paying for a Mercedes S-class but only getting a Honda Civic or something. The keyboard does not feel like a Thinkpad keyboard any more. It just feels cheap compared to my older IBM Thinkpad.
My new display has an annoying pixel error which Lenovo refuses to fix. I have seen hundreds of IBM Thinkpads in my live and i can not remember a single one that was shipped with a pixel error. Lenovo also refuses to take the notebook back. So far my experience after 2 hours. I think this is the last Lenovo device i have ordered. I also would not recommend to buy a Lenovo Thinkpad if you know the IBM Thinkpads. They are just not on the same level of quality, although the price is still the same.
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12-23-2009 12:58 PM
Welcome to the Lenovo forum.
I'm sorry to hear that you have been disappointed with your new T500. As you may be aware, there were many complaints about the keyboard when the T500 came out. For awhile Lenovo would supply you a free T61 keyboard if you complained (I did). They have since redesigned the support for the new keyboard to reduce flex. I have an R500 with the new keyboard and while it does flex a bit around the "W" I'm generally ok with it. If yours is really driving you nuts you could try asking Lenovo nicely if they will swap it for a T61 keyboard with solid backplane. If that doesn't work you could just buy one yourself on eBay or similar, for about $30. I don't have the part number in front of me, but the T61 Hardware Maintenance Manual does. All of the T61 keyboards are compatible, many people like the NMB one the best, so you could search for that P/N.
Other than the keyboard I find my T500 to be essentially physically identical to a T61. They both feel solid to me.
It's too bad about your screen having a pixel error. For the record, here is Lenovo's bad pixel policy.
12-23-2009 01:32 PM
Lenovo has already pointed me to this site. I'm aware that this is an ISO norm, but for the price i pay i expect an error free device and no excuses. That's why i bought IBM before. I doubt i would have ordered this notebook if someone would have told me how the Lenovo support is treating pixel errors and the like. For the keyboard i could really try if your advice works out for me, but after the experience with the pixel error i somehow doubt they will help me in any way...
12-23-2009 02:01 PM
dhommel, welcome to the forum,
Lenovo actually reduced the number of pixel failures qualifying for a replacement by half than what IBM would accept. If you had had the same experience with a system built in IBM times you would have received the same answer.
I've been selling ThinkPads for over nine years and have only ever sold two with bad pixels. A customer ordered an X40 which turned up and had two dead pixels which he complained about. We discussed the industry norms etc. and thankfully he understood the position; the norms are set by the screen manufacturers and not the notebook manufacturers. As he was a good customer I ordered another system for him to replace the first one. It turned up and had three dead pixels. - Murphy's law.
I had agreed with the customer that if the new X40 had dead pixels, he could choose which he kept.
He kept the first one and I sold the second one at a loss. He's still a good customer.
Dead pixels are nasty, nobody wants them, but they do regrettably happen.
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12-23-2009 02:08 PM
To the best of my knowledge Lenovo considers the keyboard issue resolved by the redesigned support. So if they decide to help you out, it would be as a favor to keep a customer happy. I truly believe Lenovo does want to keep us customers happy, and sometimes goes out of its way to do so. But at the same time they are in a highly-competitive, low-margin business and need to control costs in order to survive.
I don't know how it is in Germany, but in the U.S. prices on new ThinkPads have come down 50% or more in the last several years. As a customer I very much appreciate being able to buy a new ThinkPad for less than I would have paid for a used one several years ago. Of course costs must be cut *somewhere* to make such price reductions possible. The pixel replacement policy appears to be one such place. That's not to say I like the policy, but you can begin to understand why it is necessary. I suppose in an ideal world Lenovo could bin LCDs the way Intel bins CPUs, and you could pay a premium for a guaranteed defect-free screen if you choose, or a smaller price for a screen that may contain up to 2 visible defects. But practically, it would probably cost too much to inspect each screen so carefully and then match them up with corresponding orders.
A more workable system might be to offer "LCD assurance" at the time you configure a new system. You'd still get a screen at random, but if you found it had a defect and had purchased the LCD assurance, they'd guarantee free replacement. Wonder how many customers would pay the premium?
Sorry again that you got unlucky with your screen. If the defect in your screen is driving you nuts, then I suppose your best course of action would be to forget about remedying the keyboard and either return your ThinkPad and pay a restocking penalty or replace the screen yourself. I did this recently to fix a faulty, out-of-warranty screen. It's a bit delicate but doable. You can buy a new screen from a vendor who guarantees no dead pixels. You must be sure to get an exact replacement LCD for your particular ThinkPad, because the connector pinouts are not standardized. Anyway -- I don't know if it's worth the trouble or expense to you? Maybe the pixel fault is something you can learn to ignore?
12-23-2009 04:13 PM
I have seen hundreds of IBM Thinkpads in my live and i can not remember a single one that was shipped with a pixel error.
would not recommend to buy a Lenovo Thinkpad if you know the IBM Thinkpads
You were every fortunate then, and I have seen thousands of IBM manufactured ThinkPads and there were certainly some with stuck pixels which IBM was not the least bit interested in doing anything about under warranty.
On the whole, as a corporate user over the transition from IBM to Lenovo, my expereince is that Lenovo are building much more robust and useful ThinkPads than any of the IBM branded models.
12-23-2009 04:48 PM - edited 12-23-2009 04:50 PM
For your information T61 is also a Lenovo Thinkpad, starting from T60 (while in actuality the transition from IBM to Lenovo started during the mid lifecycle of the T43 range), all Thinkpads are officially manufactured under Lenovo brand, basically a logo change, but the manufacturing site is still the same. So you got one laptop with a faulty pixel and you are generalizing the entire product line of a company, given the fact that you were unknowingly using this company product thinking it was made under IBM (i.e. T61).
In Australia we pay more for an entry level BMW 735i (made in Thailand not Germany), then what a resident of USA pays for a 760iL. A Toyota Corolla in Thailand is about the same price as a BMW 320i in USA..... this is due to taxation and tariffs in addition to different sales volume... this is also one reason why electronic goods are more expensive in Europe than in USA (even if your sound system is made in Europe)...
You could also complain about how expensive the same litre of petrol or diesel is in Europe compared to Saudi Arabia or USA....
12-23-2009 05:05 PM
Thanks for your comments so far.
I understand the position of Lenovo and that they have to do something to hold the competition. On the other hand i always bought a Thinkpad not because it was cheap but because it was very comfortable and robust and generally of high quality. The price was always secondary to me. Not completely of course, but i'm generally happy to pay a bit more to get a good product and good service. For the prices in germany i have to say that i don't see that big differences. At least 50% off sounds a bit much to me. But i don't sell computers so you might know better.
This extra fee for being able to replace displays with pixel errors is a good idea in my opinion. If it would have been offered to me i guess i would have ordered it. For the future i might have to adjust my expectations for displays to fault class 2 of this ISO norm (also with other vendors, not only Lenovo), but somehow it still feels wrong that displays with pixel errors are not considered faulty (Would you like a new expensive car with just two or three scratches?). You already pointed out that compared to IBM it even got better with Lenovo, at least according to the specs. As i never have seen a newly shipped Thinkpad with pixel errors even though i have seen a lot of them in former jobs i might just be a little shocked now. I might look for a replacement on my own cost later, but as long as there is no guarantee for an error free replacement display it feels like playing Poker. Lenovo, please consider me a possible fault class 1 customer if that helps. :-)
BTW, i know that the T61 is also a Lenovo Thinkpad somehow, i think even my R52 has Lenovo written somewhere. I was referring to the Thinkpads with the IBM stamp on it and the old keyboard and to the new ones without it.
After typing on the new keyboard for a while i think i can get used to it over time. Maybe i just have to get over the fact that it feels different compared to the old ones. What i find a bit odd is that every time i press four keys around the track point (the red mouse pointer thingy) at roughly the same time it beeps (e.g. "fghj"). Is that normal?
At the end of the day i think i'll stick with the notebook for a while. I hope in my case it was also just Murphy who caused me the bad first impression. The combination of a new keyboard feeling and an issue with the display must have screwed it up. We'll see...
12-24-2009 01:04 AM
Regarding the price of machine, this is due to tariff and taxes difference, also USA has the cheapest of cars and electronics, all the benefits for residents in the largest economy of the world. Consumers in China pays the same price as the European customers for thinkpads, even when it is made there. There is a lot of money to be made from exporting Thinkpads to USA and reimporting them back..... this is just stupidity of the respective governments and their inflexible policies/legislations.
Regarding dead pixel policy, Lenovo have been much better than IBM on this, which is reflective of the fact that LCD manufacturers have better manufacturing methods, which improve LCD yields by decrease defective pixel counts. However, at the moment no large laptop company can offer zero dead pixel policy without hiking the price of the laptop further, which makes it uneconomical for customers for you. Scratches on cars are not a manufacturing fault, which is the case of dead pixel.
IBM as part of the deal on the sale of Think brand, allows their IBM logo to be used by Lenovo on their thinkpads and Thinkcentre for three years after the sale. So IBM logo on your T61, means that your Thinkpad is made before 2008.
The beeps are normal.
12-24-2009 04:23 AM
I hate my T500 and I can say that it’s the worst ThinkPad I ever used in my life! The keyboard is a nightmare a total nightmare cheap plastic palmrest squeaks and moves whenever I put my hands on it, the bottom of the laptop is thin like an onion shell!
3 of my best friends all hardcore IBM ThinkPad users wanted new ThinkPad’s after consuming their T60’s & T61’s but after checking my T500!!! They could not believe that it’s a T series ThinkPad! they bought Macbooks I ordered my supposed to be ThinkPad online so I’m stuck with it anyhow I’m sorry you had the same bad experience I had next time I’m not going to buy a Lenovo ThinkPad before checking it up ill check the keyboard + built quality if I’m not 100% satisfied Lenovo will lose my business and ill shift to Mac to me build quality is everything I hate cheap products!