Did you see any other brands with better matte screens?
I didn't differentiate between matte versus glossy because I am fine with either.
In what aspects did you feel the construction was better?
I looked for flexes, squeaks, and fit and finish. By these criteria, the Lenovo consumer laptops were slightly better than the Thinkpads.
I was burnt too many times by their products that are great on paper
When did you use Samsung laptops? In the States, Samsung laptops didn't become widely available until about two years ago, at most, and the ones I have seen ranged from "good" to "excellent".
Do you mean in terms of build quality, or other things?
The Asus UX31 was the best in terms of build quality, weight, and having a reasonable resolution of 1600x900.
Most laptop screens are junk. The one's I've seen from other brands aren't markedly better with a few exceptions like the Air. I'm surprised this is news to you. I'm typing this on an Air. While it does have some nice contrast, it doesn't have the angles and thusly can't be considered great, only good.
This was "news" to me because I hadn't owned Thinkpads in a long time, and also hadn't seen so many Thinkpads in a store until this visit to J&R. Yes, most laptop screens are junk, but there are several levels of "junk" and the Thinkpads' screens seemed to be the worst "junk" at the store. This visit did not convince me to start buying Thinkpads again. It also changed my mind regarding the Sony Z2, to which I had planned to upgrade from my current Toughbook Y5; now the Asus UX31 seems like a far better choice.
I can't speak for others, but my X220i is as good as any ThinkPad I've used.
I am not saying Thinkpad quality has declined. In fact, I have always said that Lenovo's Thinkpads are about as high quality as IBM's. Rather, I am saying that some of the other brands (including Lenovo's consumer lines) have surpassed the Thinkpads. Again, this is based on my brief experience at the above-mentioned stores and says nothing about long-term reliability/durability.
I find the difference between 1366x768 and 1600x900 to be so small, it's hardly worth mentioning.
1600x900 is 37.3% higher than 1367x768. To me, that's very significant.
Also, do you own an IPS screen lenovo? I don't think I can ever go back to anything that's not IPS ever after seeing what this can do.
Look at my signature -- I don't own Thinkpads any more. I bought about 45 Thinkpads between 2002 and 2009 and six were IPS: Two QXGA (2048x1536) and four UXGA (1600x1200). I liked them but am okay with decent TN screens, such as the ones my current Dell Latitude D820 and Panasonic Toughbook Y5 use. But I am not
okay with the rock-bottom TN screens that most current Thinkpads use.
For desktop monitors, I am much pickier and so most of my monitors are either PVA or IPS -- see my signature.
If you check my other posts, I mentioned my cousin get identically spec'ed Toshiba 13" with addition of DVD+RW drive and two ram banks instead of one for $300 less. It is also something to consider if you are in the market for a daily beater.
I am happy with my current laptops and am not shopping for any more. (What I said above about upgrading from my Toughbook to the Asus isn't going to happen any time soon.)
With regards to Lenovo having the "worst" screens of any business laptop maker... well... that's quite amusing, as many of the panels used in ThinkPads are used in -- you guessed it -- other brands of business laptop.
You need to understand that while other brands do use lousy panels in some of their laptops, they also use far nicer ones in their other laptops, so that on average
, these other brands have better screens. I should also reiterate that my review was entirely based on the laptops I saw at J&R and Best Buy. There were no other business laptops at these stores. I agree that some 14" Latitudes and Elitebooks have equally horrible screens -- this problem seems to apply to most if not all recent 14" business laptops.