Why would your corporation buy a Chinese machine with a history of rootkits... maybe so that Xi and his communist party knows you have been a good boy?
Lenovo has bucked the trend for vanishingly slim bezels and a paucity of ports with a conservative take on the corporate laptop in the form of the latest T14s ThinkPad. The T series first put in an appearance over 20 years ago, when IBM was in charge, and 2021's second-generation T14s is a relatively svelte example of the …
I think I've worked for 4 companies that didn't have Thinkpads as the default device - 2 of those went for HP, 1 went for Dell, and 1 went for a local PC store that had repair lead times for the simplest of things being somewhere around the decade mark.
Out all of them, I'd take the Lenovos every time (with the HP a close second).
I don't. We used Thinkpads before (we used to buy a mix of Lenovo, Dell, HP), actually since the IBM dats, and while they are generally pretty robust there have been a number of very annoying design flaws over the years.
On top of that, the average Thinkpad battery had been dead in less than two years tops. HP EliteBook batteries easily lasted double that, and we still have a few EliteBooks which are now >5yrs old and the batteries are still good.
Add a widely varying support to the mix and the decision was made that Lenovo was out. Now it's mostly HP and some Dell for the rest where reliability doesn't matter that much.
Let's assume you are purchasing a new laptop and the vendors are, Dell, HP, Apple and Lenovo.
All three US companies can have their data grabbed by the US authorities. Assuming this is also the case for Lenovo and the Chineses authorities, which of those options is the one with an extradition treaty with the UK?
Given that the UK has no extradition treaty with China why would you be concerned about spying by Lenove, given that they have no power over you? Whereas, the US can easily extradite UK nationals.
It should also be noted that US citizens will be free from the threat of extradition to China.
How worried you might be probably depends on how much you think you might annoy the Chinese state, and how touchy they are on whatever subject that might be.
Random IT guy doing some rather dull website coding or similar? Probably not worried.
Human rights activist with a particular interest in China? Well now, let me think about that one, just for a bit.
Whilst the Chinese state may well be pissed off and irritated by external criticism I have never heard of any issues arising from that for western nationals.
The nearest I've heard is allegations that Chinese dissidents living abroad may have been approached by teams from their Chinese ministry to intimidate or harass ethnic Chinese to return to China voluntarily. I would have thought that if this was the case western media would be banging on about it. Our media do this with with Russian interference so why would they ignore this if it was China?
Nonetheless in the context of a comment section about a Lenovo laptop review I think it's safe to say that western born and bred nationals have little or nothing to be concerned about from Chinese "spying" on their personal IT devices. Whereas spying from countries with which there are extradition agreements could be a matter for concern.
I'd be interested to hear of anything to the contrary.
I'm not going to take a position on the likelihood of such spying, but an extradition agreement is not needed to implement an unpleasant campaign of harassment, disinformation, or misrepresentation aimed at either an individual or their wider contacts. Such actions might well be made more effective by spying on their personal IT devices.
The presence of an extradition agreement is also not necessary - and may indeed be totally irrelevant - if the hostile state is prepared to go to the lengths of actions like that against (e.g.) Khashoggi, either.
If your hypotheses was correct then surely western governments and media would be making a lot of noise about it.
Just to make sure we are clear here; are you saying that a western user of Lenovo kit has more to be concerned about from Chinese spyware than they would from their own and other western nations spyware? For me this is the crux of the matter.
I'm just saying you need to work out where the assumed threat is from. If you are worried about the Chinese state, perhaps avoid Chinese built devices, as they might arrive natively compromised. If you are worried about hostile actions from some other state, then perhaps worry about devices from there, for essentially equivalent reasons.
But then I suppose you *still* have to worry about your "safe origin" device being (later) compromised by whoever your adversary is, even if it might have been originally (in principle) "safer".
> The nearest I've heard is allegations
Then I respectfully but emphatically urge you to widen your information sources, and to dig a hell of a lot deeper than you have to date.
China has a _documented_ history of kidnapping and renditioning people out of Australia for over 20 years. Came to light via a defector who could name some names -- cleared up some missing person cases, brought to light a lot more that had been kept secret by families in serious fear.
It is routine for Chinese nationals in all foreign countries who step slightly out of line to get nervous stressed phonecalls out of the blue from family members who have just been dropped back from the police station or Party office, urging them to think more "correctly". If they persist, family members start losing their jobs or being imprisoned.
The PLA's & wossname's foreign arms are in active presence and impact in most countries, operating publicly as "spontaneous" "voluntary" "citizen" swarmings. In Australia, that goes back to at least the 60s. Recent example, well publicised: coupla years ago, 300 turned up at my old uni to attack a small group publicly supporting Hong Kong. The uni bureaucrats kept the police out, and excluded (ejected from uni enrolment) the group's organiser for being provocative. The uni has a United Front department occupying a third of the main building and running "courses" which Chinese students are "encouraged" to attend. Federally, China demanded an extradition treaty be ratified (with key normal protection excised) and the intelligence services only just managed to block it -- the incompetent Julie Bishop was mad keen to sign it.
Etc etc etc.
I suggest you need to stop reading PR documents and start reading news. As a quick catch-up, a whole lot all in one place, you could do a lot worse than getting "Red Zone" by Peter Hatcher. He's a solidly left-wing journo who just got too many wake-up calls to be able to maintain the approved fictions. If you've been paying attention, it only scratches the surface and misses a lot of what's going on, but what he DOES include is correct and he includes a lot. (eg https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1760642169/)
If you have NOT being paying attention --and you clearly haven't-- you will find it startling and possibly upsetting.
You evidently chose to dishonestly selectively quote from a particular post I made.
You ignored the following paragraph:
"Nonetheless in the context of a comment section about a Lenovo laptop review I think it's safe to say that western born and bred nationals have little or nothing to be concerned about from Chinese "spying" on their personal IT devices. Whereas spying from countries with which there are extradition agreements could be a matter for concern."
I have no difficulty believing that all nation states will do whatever they can to suppress their own dissidents. That includes all western nations as well.
If you wish to believe the west is all innocent sweetness and light then that is your choice.
You are using the appeal to extremes fallacy to address the point I have been making that western born and bred users of Lenovo IT devices have nothing to fear from the Chinese authorities "spying" on them.
That is the conext for this thread. If you wish to push it further then that is a very different debate.
Ah, you're a troll. I'll just say this then:
quote: "Just to make sure we are clear here; are you saying that a western user of Lenovo kit has more to be concerned about from Chinese spyware than they would from their own and other western nations spyware? For me this is the crux of the matter."
This is your "crux". Hence:
You are clearly living in a dream world or deliberately pushing apparently politically-driven fictional narratives.
I demonstrated a substantial factual distinction within your false equivalence. Your crux fails.
I gave you a good starter-point reference to get you started on acquiring real-world facts. This would require that you have any interest in the real world. Be aware that believing you live in toytown is not the same as _actually_ living in toytown.
documented history of kidnapping and renditioning people out of Australia for over 20 years
I call this an own-goal: there is a documented case of an Australian citizen arbitrarily held in detention by the UK for years, with suspicion for torture and in danger of extradition to the US, where he faces death penalty, all for having disclosed war atrocities by the 5-eyes governments.
Don't mention the Australians.
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Let's assume you are purchasing a new laptop and the vendors are, Dell, HP, Apple and Lenovo.
All three US companies can have their data grabbed by the US authorities. Assuming this is also the case for Lenovo and the Chineses authorities...
If you are really worried about the country of manufacture of a computer, you need to look at where those "US companies" actually get their kit made. Even the machines assembled in the US will have components made elsewhere ... and most things seem to come from PRC these days.
ThinkPads have nothing to do with the consumer leg of Lenovo. They never have.
Also, no matter what you buy, it's predominantly from China.
Mind you, I am waiting for a British built laptop.
I suspect it will be insanely fast, weigh about 3 tonnes but will be lavished in walnut, chrome and beige leather and come with a canvas laptop cover that smells like a waxed jacket. The Rolls Royce of laptops.
We'll be assured our laptop operators will love to use it for us.
"Mind you, I am waiting for a British built laptop.
I suspect it will be insanely fast, weigh about 3 tonnes but will be lavished in walnut, chrome and beige leather and come with a canvas laptop cover that smells like a waxed jacket. The Rolls Royce of laptops."
I have a British built laptop.
Made in Lancashire.
It's insanely fast, weighs about three tons, and drinks power like its going out of fashion. Sadly, it goes more for the supercar look of black carbon with added black carbon rather than the walnut with Connolly leather approach.
It will need it's own special version of Windows.
And before installing a program you will need to know what year your British laptop is, whether it was built at the start of the year or the end, which plant it was built at, if it was one of the ones built during the strike when they used a totally different offset-flange-fibrulator because they were out of stock. if it was one of the ones Jim built because he did the trunnion-turbulators backwards
Not sure why you have been downvoted, after all Lenovo has a solid track record of delivering malware with its laptops.
Also, while the UK doesn't have an extradition treaty with China like it does with the US, the Chinese government has its fingers in all Chinese companies and actively seeks to exploit that path to gather industrial secrets.
If Huawei is considered a security risk then so should be Lenovo.
There's a decent set of options, including discrete GPUs on the range.
However, Ethernet is via a proprietary extension cable. Can they please stop making laptops thin and ensure an Ethernet cable can be plugged directly into it?
For a home system I expect many people use wireless, but for work locations or places with lots of people Ethernet rules.
The other obvious solution is to put the Ethernet socket in the charger as there is already a USB-C connection and if you are going to pug in for Ethernet you might as well plug in for power at the same time with the same cable.
I would still like this thin and fragile fashion to die in a cement mixer. What good is a laptop if you cannot threaten to whack a mugger with it?
Well, no, because there are various possibilities from not having your charger at all (a slightly risky but usable possibility if the laptop is achieving 10+ hours), to using a third party charger.
I'll grant that if it's a fully featured USB-C with a modern USB-C monitor it can both take an output from the laptop in addition to charging it and providing network connectivity but that does rely on a very recent monitor.
However, I've still got my IBM X61. I'm not sure laptops need to be much slimmer - it can still fit in a shoulder bag and is comfortable to carry around for hours.
Ditto phones, once they can fit in to a trouser pocket without weighing it down, they don't need to be much slimmer.
Apparently I'm in the minority, but why? Are you really PXE booting laptops that often? I can see for somebody running updates by hand on lots of machines the speed difference could be a factor, but really are you doing that? If you are couldn't you plug in the dongle or dock for that instance? Even if you not it's not a loss of functionality. It's only a win with a fast mirror anyway.
Don't get me wrong, I like ports, 3.5mm audio and mic jack is much more useful than a dongle. For the minute some form of HDMI or displayport is still really useful until there are more USB-C monitors about (okay, you can get passive cables for this, so less of an issue, but takes up your USB-C port if you're not using a dock/hub). Having 3 or 4 USB-A/C ports is pretty handy since it gives you flexibility about sticking in a thumb drive or something without having to worry about what else you need to unplug. USB-C PD is useful, but again using it for power eats up a port, so either you now need a dock or monitor, or you sacrifice a connectivity port to power. And while you can fix all this with a mini dock, it's more expense and one more thing to carry for the sake of making the laptop a bit smaller, seems like a mixed blessing. Also, in PD pass through that dock will knock up to 15W off the power to the machine, so a 100W PSU will only power your laptop at 85W. And of course an SD card slot is super useful compared to yet another tiny widget to get lost. But ethernet? On balance most laptops don't need to connect to it that frequently. The only use case I can see where it's really an issue and a dongle doesn't help is PXE, and really it's a shame there isn't just an ethernet Alt mode for USB-C that would let a BIOS support this (or even just BIOS support for network dongles, if my BIOS can recognise a USB mouse or or boot from USB mass storage then a standard network adapter should be possible too, after all onboard ethernet also needs drivers).
Anyway, if you disagree then you disagree I suppose. It just seems like the least necessary port on a modern laptop.
Remember, this place is filled with old farts who desperately miss the serial and parallel ports that laptops used to have. /sarcasm
And while I sort of miss a built-in serial port, I have a nice USB to serial adapter that doubles the length of my console cable, and most of the networking gear we have now has the adapter built into it, so that all we console jockeys have to do is to plug in a USB A to mini B cable. (The serial adapter is for the storage systems which haven't caught *quite* up- although an increasing number of those have their own dongle which breaks out a full set of USB, Serial, and a VGA port with various levels of functionality.)
Anon to shield the inevitable downvote storm.
>However, I've still got my IBM X61. I'm not sure laptops need to be much slimmer
In general they don't, I save more weight and space by carrying less paper around. In simple terms carry a 50 sheet pad instead of a 200 page Pukka pad...
However, the loss of a full sized ethernet port is really felt when you have to do updates, typically the port will run at 1Gbps, whereas the WiFi will typically be 2x2 MiMo so significantly less bandwidth is available...
Whilst it is a little fiddly, the Dell Vostro 5155 has a spring flap that enables a full-sized LAN port to be used, but when not in use the flap nicely hides the 'hole'.
I think the real issue hee is that the Thinkpad is an enterprise laptop and the T14 is intended for wide usage, so consideration of support issues should be a standard part of the design and specification.
>Ditto phones, once they can fit in to a trouser pocket without weighing it down, they don't need to be much slimmer.
My Nokia 5300 XpressMusic wasn't particularly thin even by the standards of the day (2006). However, it was small enough entirely fit and thus be secure in a trouser front pocket.
I really miss my a800.
5-7 day battery life, fully functional and usable (design triumph), and, key point!, you could pop it in your pocket and forget about it: you could thoughtlessly sit down any way you liked as fast as you liked without thinking about it, without it either breaking or cutting your nuts off. It even fitted in my jeans' fob pocket.
Ditto phones, once they can fit in to a trouser pocket without weighing it down, they don't need to be much slimmer.
I've never had a phone flexible enough to be comfortable in a trouser pocket ... and if I had I don't imagine it would have lasted very long.
Did you leave out the joke icon? It charges over USB-C, so this is entirely possible, though I don't think there's any charger that actually does it.
There's an interesting factor too, USB-C PD is currently limited at 100W, and if it's put through a hub (for ethernet) then the hub needs to downrate the output to account for its own power needs and loses. A charger or a dock with non-USB-C power can internally power its own logic and ports and also put out the full 100W to the laptop.
To be honest, for the sake of a £10 dongle...I really don't mind losing ethernet. I have both a T480s and an X1 Carbon the T480s has ethernet but the Carbon doesn't and you know what the lack of ethernet on the carbon has never been an issue because it has plenty of sockets for stuff.
Also, I typically pick up the X1 and go because it means I dont need to carry a larger bag to contain it and I can stash more stuff in the bag with it. Folded headphones, tablet etc. The extra space you save with those additional millimetres does make a difference.
If you have a chunky laptop with a padded pouch that could fit the original ThinkPad in it, then I guess the thickness of the laptop is irrelevant, but I carry a single strap shoulder bag (which has a padded sleeve, but is very thin so it makes a huge difference to me.
> To be honest, for the sake of a £10 dongle...I really don't mind losing ethernet.
I'm in two minds about this.
In day-to-day use, ethernet isn't generally of much use on a laptop, but even with Windows 10 (and presumably, Windows 11), getting wifi working during installation can still involve crossing your fingers and hoping for the best.
If wifi configuration fails, getting things up and running with ethernet is generally easiest, since then Win10 will generally sort its drivers out and/or you can download things without having to faff around with having another PC and a USB drive handy...
Admittedly, it can go the other way. I've got an IdeaPad Z570, which works perfectly when you slap Win10 onto it, wifi and all. But then Win10 updates itself, and the wifi stops working.
Rolling back the update seems to work, but only until the next time Win10 decides to give it another go. And the various online suggestions I've found haven't helped at all. So at some point, I'll probably either sell it or just slap linux on it...
Linux isn't necessarily a cure-all. I run Kubuntu on a Lenovo P1 (Gen1, so not strictly approved for Linux) and every so often a BIOS update borks the WiFi or loses the Linux boot option, or both. The boot option is fairly easy to recover, but if the WiFi goes it takes another BIOS update to fix it (this is the official line from Lenovo support). Which is when the Ethernet dongle comes into its own, although I'd prefer a normal Ethernet plug.
But most of the time it's great :-)
Windows 11 Installer is currently missing lots of drivers and if you're upgrading from a Win 10 box that has EVER had the Home version installed, even if now Pro, you don't have the option of NOT phoning home, and dud wifi non driver can mean you're stuck, mid-install.
A regular USB-Ethernet cable adapter will work, they're about £8.
However, from experience with other Lenovo laptops, these don't work from boot, so you can't use them to boot from the network, they're fine once you're in Windows and most flavours of Linux
A regular USB-Ethernet cable adapter will work, they're about £8.
That's not the point. It's an extra thing to forget to pick up when you leave home/base, and an extra thing to get tangled up in your bag. When you've had to rush out and buy yet another USB-ethernet cable for the umpteenth time it will have cost a lot more than £8.
FAR better just to built an ethernet socket into the laptop itself.
however, while my son's b4 has ethernet, it won't work with a large, but 4-year old monitor in full resolution (non 4k, mind you), nor with our, similarly sized, 5-year old telly. Both of which 'just work' with any of our... probably 7 - 8 by now, laptops that run (gulp) windows... plug and play. Pi... not so (and seriously, I tried 'eeeeeverything'). And I was so hoping to carry the pi around and plug it into any screen in my (not-so-regular) travels... Yeah, about that keyboard thingy... well ;)
I've got a P14s which is near identical form factor and has a proper Ethernet port on it. I agree with you about the dongles and don't really understand why this model would even need to do that.
Just this evening a friend asked for help with his Dell XPS laptop and had to get a dongle out just to be able to connect a USB-A device - this kind of nonsense was a big driver towards me staying with Lenovo
Then the T14 Gen 2 is for you. It has a Ethernet adapter built-in, no dongle. This review is of the slightly slimmer T14s variant.
Not that the T14s is all that slimmer WxDxH 327.5 x 224.4 x 16.81 mm vs 329.4 x 227.5 x 17.9 mm for the T14. 1.36 kg vs 1.47 kg.
We get the T14 for our staff. We stopped getting the s variants of the T series when they dropped the ethernet port which was the T480s from memory and there was so little difference between them at that point.
They do listen to their customers (or at least their sales figures), and the fact is, most people don't care about having an ethernet port on their laptop. Hell, most of them probably don't even know what it is*.
Those of us who do want an ethernet port are firmly in the minority, and tbh we're probably lucky that any machines with ethernet ports get manufactured at all.
* (except perhaps as a strangely shaped USB port that doesn't work. Yes, I have seen people jam a USB plug into an ethernet socket before)
... the "proprietary" port is the docking station connector that you are speaking about, which has the ethernet and a number of other additional ports, including charging. Lenovo also sells a USB-C 'hub' that functions as a dock as well. Generally, most enterprises that issue their workers a laptop usually also issue a docking station, or a USB "dock" that has additional ports and whatnot on it.
But yeah, there's no ethernet port built in; you'd need a USB dongle for wired ethernet whilst undocked. The T580 I'm typing away on still has one, but it doesn't appear to be available for purchase anymore. :(
I will mention that said docking station is a bit on the fiddly side- you have to have the laptop situated just right for the connector to lock in.
1920 x 1080
Wow. On a machine costing over a grand.
The 2560 x 1600 Retina Display on my 13" Macbook makes anything else less appealing on screen resolution alone. Yes you can hook it up to an external monitor but given it's a laptop with a _small_ screen, it's nice if that screen has a resolution that's commensurate to 2021 standards.
Yep, size is the limiting factor. I've got here: 1600x900 14", 2560x1600 16", 1920x1080 23". Which of these can usefully place the most windows on? You guessed it, it's the 23" screen. Yes, the QHD looks nicer, I can see the pixels on the others if I put my face a little closer than normal or really look for them, but the 23" I can sit a comfortable distance from and still have it take up a useful area.
Anything higher than FHD on a 14" screen actually makes stuff too small to read for most people, so they'll set screen magnification to 125 or 150% and negate the higher resolution.
Having higher resolution just for the sake of willy waving in a business laptop is akin to having a 200mph car to sit in traffic on the North Circular...
Indeed - don't see screen resolution as an issue here.
The soldered RAM is an issue though. Let's hope that Dell doesn't go down the same route - I'm not a fan of soldered RAM at all, and there's never any justification for it on a standard business machine: they need to be upgradeable and repairable.
Is it a real issue for the target market though? How many corporate machines actually get upgraded during their lives? I can't think of a single employer I've been with where upgrades to standard end user machines were standard practice. It's always been the case and appropriate spec is chosen, they're rolled out and replaced after X years still in their original spec things can differ for engineers machines but the same approach is common enough there too.
Don't confuse what you would want in a personal machine with the considerations of the target market. Soldered memory is either not a consideration or an actual benefit where DIMMs being "borrowed" for home systems is not unknown.
"Anything higher than FHD on a 14" screen actually makes stuff too small to read for most people, so they'll set screen magnification to 125 or 150% and negate the higher resolution."
'Retina' resolutions often aren't about fitting more on the screen; they're about making what IS on the screen crisp and smooth, and giving flexibility in scaled resolutions. My 13" MacBook Pro has a resolution of 2560x1600, most of the time I use this with the default settings of 'looks like 1680x1050', so approximately FHD. The difference is that text & graphics looks amazing, and if I want I can scale the resolution up/down with no loss of quality.
But then my MacBook does run MacOS, which is infinitely better at managing high resolutions than Windows.
Heh. I bought a brand-new iPad Pro for the express reason of "more screen real estate for drawing pictures on". I might have made a mistake of also buying the fancy keyboard cover to make the thing look and act like a laptop, but the thing detaches from it easily enough. (MAGNETS! HOW DO THEY EVEN WORK?!?! :D :D :D )
The screen looks beautiful, although I'm going to have to get a protector or something to clean the finger smears off it..
I'd like to add to everything others said regardingresolution: your retina display is attached to a mac. These lenovos will most likely run windows, in corporate environments, with decades old legacy programs based on pixel raster graphics. These don't work well outside 100 dpi on Windows. So it makes sense to go for a display were you can see single pixels, barely, but you can, so that you don't need to set other DPI value than 100. I'm told users of Apple computers are not exposed to such difficulties.
” Your screen is impressive however I'd wager that the Thinkpad will still function after a spill, be repairable and wont explode or be banned from aircraft.“
T-series ThinkPads of yesteryear had the anti-spill bathtub and modular componentry; not sure if this budget model does. Safe to say it’ll still be a damn sight more repairable than a MacBook though (although despite this MacBook TCO is proven lower than ThinkPad in a large corporate environment; just ask IBM)
T14 (no S) is the actual laptop preferred by IT. It is only slightly thicker, but has better cooling, better keyboard, ethernet jack, and a faster RAM. It is also cheaper. There is little reason for T14s except for a slightly bigger battery. X1 Cabon is something that C-suites will prefer. P1 or X1 Extreme is something you give to developers or IT. Regular T14 is for regular worker bees.
it seems 'nothing' is available with (current) amd processors. Or has been the case - generally - for the last... 9 months or so (I know because I chased a couple of models, various brands, for my daugher), they simply never materialised on the market. In the end, I went for Intel, and I was pleased to discover that current intel onboard graphic is not much worse than the 'light' GPUs on those amd models and for her gaming (minecraft) it's more than enough. Though I would go for amd for my own use (on principle more than for real need ;)
This is what I thought, but the current T14 gen 2 (and T15) list soldered RAM for most models https://www.lenovo.com/gb/en/laptops/thinkpad/t-series/T14-G2-Intel/p/22TPT14T4N2 The T15g doesn't specify soldered RAM, so might have both slots available. Found this out when looking at new laptops recently since I quite like Thinkpads. Mostly it seems to be one soldered slot, so you can upgrade the other, but still limits how much you can upgrade to and I'm not sure that works for dual channel memory (didn't used to), which may also mean your onboard graphics no longer work as Iris and falls back to UHD.
These are dev workhorses here as it hard to find light laptops with a 40Gb ram (our dev standard) and the cheapish on site support is offered by no one else at this price. We opt for 4 years onsite.
There are very good if a bit boring looking, hook it up to a docking station with 3 monitors and off you go.
Specs and delivery lag can vary greatly from week to week.
Sadly, Lenovo stuck a "DO NOT REMOVE" sticker over one of the screws in the base so we were unable to poke around the internals. The company makes much of the fact that customers can opt to retain the SSD during servicing so it's likely removable.
You could always download the service manual from Lenovo support. I can't go digging around for the URL just now, but it's not that hard to find.
Spoiler: the SSD is removable.
- ram - 8 gb - wtf
- soldered - wtf (yeah, we know why)
- 256GB SSD - wtf
- 720p web cam - wtf (yeah, I don't care, yeah, I know it's the 'standard', but still wtf, given it's 2021)
- "DO NOT REMOVE" sticker on a an IT workhorse, wtf
- keyboard is shit. Not that I would expect otherwise. So what that it's 'not as bad as others'? Others are total shit, this is just shitty keyboard.
- presumably, ethernet port is gone too, because like, who needs cables in IT these days, eh? But I'm sure you can 'easily' fix this, by spending another 25 quid on a dongle? And ALL THAT for, what did you say... 'starts from 1.2K'?
"- 720p web cam - wtf (yeah, I don't care, yeah, I know it's the 'standard', but still wtf, given it's 2021)"
As you so "I don't care". It's a webcam being used to focus on a face 12" away for 99.9% of it working hours. Why would anyone want more or complain about not getting 1080p? It's not as if anyone is going to be holding their laptop out in front to shoot HD video with it. Well, a very few might do so as the only option available at the time, but hey, who cares :-)
there are TWO reasons 'why would anyone want'. No, make it three reasons...
- because it costs (most probably) nothing extra over 720p
- because once in a blue moon that 1080p might be a difference between a job and no job (other borderline decisions too)
- I forgot the third reason, probably something to do with No 1: lighter's better than heavier, prettier better than uglier, tougher better than breakier, etc. The only downside might be higher power consumption. Yeah, right, like it would make a serious difference.
I have a gut feeling about those 720pi webcams on (almost) all laptops, all brands: 15 years ago, an unknown Chinese manufacturer, produced 200 billion of them, and all the brands bought at least 10 billion each and they won't let go until they've put every single last (...) one of them into their latest-greatest machines, probably well into 2130...
"Although, on second thoughts, T-users are not exactly top of the ticktock / insta-influencers club! ;) "
Exactly. Those people are NOT using cheap webcams built into a laptop. They have much better quality, near-Pro level (at least) add on devices like cameras, mic, lighting etc.
While I see no reason to defend 720 over 1080, I also don't really see the killer requirement. Laptop cameras are only ever so-so: no autofocus, fixed location, microphones mounted on an entry level machine that's running fans full blast to keep Teams going. A webcam on a laptop is really useful, but it's always compromised. You're probably right about there being some chip that's used for all of them, though I guess it's more that there's still some fab churning them out cheap than everyone is holding massive stock.
there's one 'killer' requirement which is a no-brainer: since cost is not a factor, and 'every' brand use 720p, when you put 1080p and brag about it in your (...) flash presentations, it _does_ make it stand out, never mind the real difference. It will get noticed in 'reviews' (inverted commas appropriate), ultimately, it will sell more units, presumably that's what those things are designed for. Sure, it's more of a factor on a consumer lappie than a workhorse, but 'better' works across the board, even on techie front. If you can't make it faster, lighter, tougher, cheaper or in any other way 'better', even a 1080p webcam becomes attractive... Even an ethernet port, even a card reader (remember those?)
I agree it'll look better on the spec sheet. I recently watched quite a few laptop reviews and they generally all say "the webcam is only 720p", as if this is in contrast to a whole swathe of 1080 cams. Almost certainly wouldn't cost a lot more (I suspect a bit more, probably a supply difference). But it's not something that there's really competition on and very few people are going to choose one model over another on that when there are other factors in play, the ones who really care will be using separate cameras anyway. I guess that's why manufacturers haven't bothered.
(Actually, as mentioned in the review, there is an option for a 1080 camera on the T14s. Not sure how much extra it is as the custom options available in the UK only offer the FHD camera, not the 720 one. I guess this is up-selling...)
Card readers! You can still find them, XPS15 has it. Lenovo seem to have gone microSD for T14 and T15 (none for T14s), which is less useful as you can fit a microSD into a SD slot, but not vice-versa.
"Card readers! You can still find them, XPS15 has it. Lenovo seem to have gone microSD for T14 and T15 (none for T14s), which is less useful as you can fit a microSD into a SD slot, but not vice-versa."
He may have meant smart card readers. I see a lot of kit which have them, or the blanking plate because it's an option. Many NHS users have them because that's how they log into certain system. Even the desktops will commonly have a keyboard with a swipe card reader.
Making expensive useless s*xy looking things seems to be the big trend these days.
My employer decided Dell XPS were the hit.
Lean looking alu thing, just a few USB-C connectors. The rest of the connectivity, HDMI/RJ-45 and a few USB ports, is provided by a clunky external box connected with USB-C. It costs $ 150,-, screaming to be forgotten on-site and is a nuisance for engineers needing it to connect it with networking equipment in 19' racks.Everything on that connection box is black-on-black, requiring a flashlight in low-light conditions to connect things.
But at least it is cheap, like $ 1500,- excluding the $10 banggood looking connectivity box.
Why is Dell becoming so retarded ?.
Why is Dell becoming so retarded ?
Because people keep buying their shit so they can get away with this cost-reductio ad absurdum. I'm glad I didn't pay for the POS I was given for work, but then I wouldn't pay for 128GB SSDs and lo-res screens and announce that they were an upgrade from the previous machines.
> My employer decided Dell XPS were the hit.
We went down that route, well partially. When they started failing and dropping like flies we held off and went for better cheaper models.
We still have them. The users like them till they try and plug anything into them and they realise they need adapters and docks just to use the HDMI cable in the meeting room. Usually that ends up with use being called down to rummage through our junk piles to find an adapter that we have not loaned out yet, that is to say we still possess it as they never come back.
After many BIOS updates they seem to run ok, till the MB dies and Dell cancel your replacement request as due to the chip shortage there will not be any dell XPS parts in the UK for the next half a year (Dell's estimation).
>"- 720p web cam - wtf (yeah, I don't care, yeah, I know it's the 'standard', but still wtf, given it's 2021)"
Well yes, this is circa 2007 calling...
I note, what is perhaps more telling, the mic and audio don't get a mention. For decent Zoom etc. these also need to be reasonable. Personally, I prefer to use an iPad (ok it's on an adjustable stand, set correctly for decent video) as it has 1080p video and decent mic/sound processing and leave the PC free for the hands.
Lenovo's notebooks are only "Impressively average" in specs and appearance. They're tops when it comes to things like the "drop down a stairwell" test, which is why they're good. They're durable and since the design changes so slowly you can keep them out there for up to 10 years without the tech-clueless users complaining their machine "looks old". That's why they're so good for enterprises.
I also buy them for older family members, and in that use case they're nearly unbeatable. Literally, they stand up to a beating very well.
We deployed 40 to our fleet not long ago. The lack of Eth on everything past the T480s is a bit of a pain, especially if you PXE build your fleet laptops. Not so bad if you still have some dongles laying around from the T480s, absolute pain in the ring if you can't find one. I'd rather have a port and not need it than not have a port and need one!
Also, we had a problem with the hard drive filling up after about 10 days or so. Turns out the qualcom modem driver logs were filling the %programdata% entry with "modem not found" messages every few seconds. That was fun, and undocumented on the Lenovo forums.
Good luck buying one though, we were quoted 16 weeks for delivery next order. So, went to a different manufacturer. YMMV however.
Unexciting devices but well built and reasonably serviceable. That's why businesses like them. The little red trackpoint is so useful that I don't understand why other laptops don't adopt it. I remember having a Toshiba a very long time ago had a green equivalent, but these days all you get is some crappy track pad which is better than nothing but nowhere close to as useful when you're doing fine movement of cursors around in word documents and suchlike.
What vile looking laptops they are, my eyes bleed a little just looking at it. We give our employees Macbook's , decent screens, best trackpads, decent speakers, decent microphones, battery life between 10 and 20 hours. They appreciate it too as most spend their own money buying protective cases for them.
Try not to sneeze on your macbook. They cant handle any increase in dampness, heck they even detect the stuff to inform Apple of your "accident" when you take it in for repair which wont be too long from now I bet.
Apple standard repair cost is to give you a slight discount on a new model as they cant repair thing that they are not legally forced to.
640 GB ought to be enough for anyone, as it seems.
Totally agree. Our Dells have 8GB and the way finance use them, buy opening every f*cking speadsheet that exists on the shares and never saving anything, let alone understanding the concept of closing something, the poor machines run all day with ram use above 90%.
Then we get the "my laptop locked up, all my unsaved spreadsheets, are they gone now?" or the "Hello IT, everything is slow". Or my fave (when in a masochistic mood) is "My Excel just closed. Its installing an update that I have been avoiding for the last 2 weeks. IT can you recover my unsaved spreadsheets?"
I have a Lenovo Thinkpad L15 Ryzen Pro 7 that was a disappointment on battery length and CPU performance, but I have bought a T480 with i7 on eBay last week best as still better as I can swap battery and upgrade to 64GB best laptop overall!
Hoping swapping of batteries comes back!