Leaving New Zealand without a Mac, May 21

For the past week I have been up in the United States — and I had a wonderful time! A couple of days before leaving I purchased a Lenovo ThinkPad X60 Tablet PC down here, to replace my Toshiba Tablet and another Toshiba laptop I regularly use. My new ThinkPad is running Vista Business and Office 2007 Ultimate — as I felt it was important to try them out. I was going to take my MacBook Pro and the new Tablet, but a few hours before leaving on Sunday last week, I decided to go for the “thrown in the deep end approach” and left the MacBook Pro behind on my desk.

Well — I was able to do all the things (minus photos) that I would have done with the MacBook Pro, so after a week of having the Lenovo as my only productivity option, here’s my reaction:

1. The battery life is fantastic. I had 200 pages of material to review on the way home for a new prospective client, and the Tablet worked for the whole time on battery life only. I was using Bluebeam PDF Revu to read the materials and mark them up with digital ink, and the Tablet ran for 5 hours as I read and annotated, and even once I’d finished, there was still 30% or so of battery life remaining. That’s much better than I’ve ever experienced on another laptop, Apple or not.

2. Vista is good. I like it. I like the interface. I like the stability. I like way you can tile all of your open windows with a single click. Sure, Apple Mac OS X has had it for a while, but it is still nice to have it on the Windows platform.

3. Pretty much all of my devices worked plug-and-play. The iPod will recharge on it just fine (I chose not to re-format it for Windows). My BlackBerry plugged in and sync’d and recharges just perfectly. The only thing that won’t work (so far at least) is my 4 year old digital camera. While I was away I couldn’t find a driver for it, and so couldn’t download the photos I’d taken. No big deal in the scheme of things; I’ll have another look this week, but if it doesn’t work, I can always plug in my newer digital camera. I took the 4-year old one because it is so much smaller.

4. I haven’t used Outlook intensively for a number of years (with Apple Mail being my email client of choice via the Mac now), but it worked fine. I like it. I could connect with no problem to my POP3 server, and a couple of IMAP4 servers I use. It sync’d fine with my BlackBerry for calendar, contacts, tasks and notes. I like the Favorite Folder concept. I like the color-coding of different things to a standard category list. All-in-all: thumbs up.

Categories: Miscellaneous