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I am a traitor and I love it

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Temetka
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I am a traitor and I love it

#1 Post by Temetka » Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:29 am

As some of you may know, I am a sysadmin. More importantly, I am a consultant in sysadmin clothing.

What does this mean? It means that I have clients who gift me old hardware. In the last 2 years one of my best clients has rained laptops on me. I have received almost a dozen Dell's. Now being a Thinkpad guy, i'd sell them off. I'd cling to my T61 and feel superior in my smugness about how much better my laptop was. And most of the time I was right. But the 14" 4:3 LCD was beginning to hurt my eyes and I needed a larger screen for multiple RDP windows. So I started to keep a Dell or 2 as they came my way, looking for a machine that would just feel right. After going through about 5 machines and even getting so desperate as to acquire an X61T because all the Dell's had crap keyboards, I finally found it. The machine that called to me. It even sat by as I replaced it with the X61T for a stint. Knowing that I would come back to it. For weeks it sat un-touched, patiently waiting for me to realize what I already knew.

I freaking love this laptop. It is a Dell Latitude E6500. Featuring a C2D at 2.4GHz, 4GB of PC-6400 DDR2 800MHz RAM, a 500GB HD (pulled from a Dell I sold), a 15.4" WXGA LCD and a dual layer DVD burner (from another Dell). It is very fast. It looks great, and I love the screen. I can also replace the keyboard with a back lit unit, which I will be doing once funding is available. It's a pure black machine with a few minor blue LCD's and looks amazing. The keyboard is a joy to type on, the speakers produce good sound and it's just a very smooth and fluid machine. I can upgrade the CPU to a P9500 from the P8600 it has now. I want to do that not for speed but to double the L2 cache from 3MB to 6MB. That will make a noticeable improvement in an already fast computer. I can go to 8GB of RAM, which my client said they would buy for me. I can add a 2nd HD if I want.

So I am a traitor. After years of singing the praises of Thinkpads, a Dell sidled up and cozied into my heart. I want for nothing more in a laptop. It does everything I could ever ask of one and it does it with style. I will always keep a candle lit for Thinkpads, and might use one again if it's cheap or free from a client. So this one goes out to Dell. Great laptop. The machine has zero flex, a magnesium lid and very robust hinges and solid chassis. The entire innards are very easy to get to. Remove 1 screw from the bottom and slide the metal panel off. It's a very solid panel too, so don't think they gimped the structure. The machine handles the rough and tumble life style of an admin on the go. It's handled every VM I have thrown at it and it just purrs. I could go on and on, mainly because I love to write and have been searching for a writing computer for a while. But why have 2? This is my work, play and relaxation machine. It's like they reached into my brain and whispered, Temetka we have your laptop ready. Your. Laptop. Is it wrong to have feelings for a machine? I think about this computer all the time. The upgrades I can do. The love I want to shower on it by replacing some aged plastics. This machine saw years of service at a construction company and still look 8/10.

Best laptop I have ever had the pleasure of owning.

Bar none.

If anyone needs me, i'll be reading more about this machine. It's design history, user stories and so on.

I think I may be in love.
Last edited by Temetka on Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Temetka
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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#2 Post by Temetka » Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:40 am

So more info:

The battery, is in perfect 100% condition.

But the best part is, I can add a 2nd one to where the DVD drive is. On the main battery I get about 5 hours of life. With 2 I can get about 9. And, I am not even using the extended battery. With that, Dell claims I can get 14 hours. I'd be happy with 11 to 12.

It just keeps getting better and better. Oh and I can add the Broadcom HD 70012 HD card to go in the WWAN slot. Not that my CPU pegs or anything with HD video, but hey why not?
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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#3 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:08 am

Those specs sound very much like a T500/R500 with a basic 1200x800 LCD.
I've seen that very Dell E6500 from a customer of mine.
Personally I don't like it at all. IMHO it is overweight, has poor quality touchpad and lousy working trackpoint!
You can't even open the lid fully. And it closes poorly as well. :roll:
Give me a T500/R500 any day!

And a CPU cache of 3MB vs. 6MB is a lot less effective than you think, as e.g. explained here:
A 3MB L2 cache has only half of the storage capacity of a 6MB L2 cache. However, due to its larger size, the L2 cache is slower than the L1 cache in granting data access. Thus, a 3MB storage bank is faster than one that offers 6MB.

Also, swapping a cool-running P9400 for a hotter-running T9600 makes no sense whatsoever!
http://forum.notebookreview.com/dell-la ... aches.html
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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#4 Post by Tõnis » Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:35 am

I'm excited that you're excited about this Dell. What you're saying is familiar to me because that's how I felt about my R61 when I got it and still do now. Yes, my R61 has lots of wear and tear on it, but it still seems to suit my everyday needs, and I'm able to tinker with it and do a host of repairs as needed. When I read what you wrote, it was hard to imagine that you weren't talking about a ThinkPad; my ThinkPad, that is.
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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#5 Post by Cigarguy » Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:48 am

Never could get into Dell's laptops. Beside older Thinkpads, I do like some of HP's Elitebooks.

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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#6 Post by pianowizard » Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:07 pm

Temetka wrote:I have received almost a dozen Dell's. Now being a Thinkpad guy, i'd sell them off....After going through about 5 machines and even getting so desperate as to acquire an X61T because all the Dell's had crap keyboards
On this forum, no one has praised Dell more than I. As much as I like most of Dell's desktops and a few of its laptops, I have to echo what you said above: most Dell laptops, including nearly all consumer-class ones and many business ones, are crap. If you talk about the percentage of good models, Thinkpads trump Dells really bad. However, the finest Dell laptops (including most of the Precisions, about a quarter of the Latitudes, and a couple of Inspirons or XPSs) are quite impressive indeed, and I congratulate you on discovering one of these for yourself.
Temetka wrote:...I finally found it. The machine that called to me....I freaking love this laptop. It is a Dell Latitude E6500....It looks great, and I love the screen...Best laptop I have ever had the pleasure of owning. Bar none. If anyone needs me, i'll be reading more about this machine. It's design history, user stories and so on. I think I may be in love...The keyboard is a joy to type on, the speakers produce good sound and it's just a very smooth and fluid machine...I want for nothing more in a laptop. It does everything I could ever ask of one and it does it with style...So this one goes out to Dell. Great laptop. The machine has zero flex, a magnesium lid and very robust hinges and solid chassis. The entire innards are very easy to get to. Remove 1 screw from the bottom and slide the metal panel off.
I previously owned a D820 and now a D810. I have also played with a D800 that I picked up from a recycle bin, and I have seen several E6500s up close. The D800 had a disgustingly large footprint, weighed 7.2 lbs, and was fairly thick. The D810 had a more reasonable footprint size and was also slightly lighter, although it got even thicker. The D820/830 was another pound lighter, much thinner, and extremely darn attractive -- it's hands down the prettiest laptop I have ever owned -- but unfortunately the Nvidia models suffered the same defect that ruined the T61 Thinkpads, and their hinges remained a weak point. With the E6500, Dell finally overcame its infamous hinge problem, and of course Nvidia GPUs were no longer an issue. I haven't typed on an E6500 but used to own a 2.2-lb 12.1" E4200, whose keyboard was amazing. If the E6500 uses a similar keyboard, I would say it's better than those of the D8** Latitudes. However, in several other ways, the E6500 was a step backward: the display lid became less strong, the design was not as attractive as the D820/830's, and the sharp edge on the palm rest was uncomfortable. I am much less familiar with the more recent 15.*-inch Latitudes but as far as looks are conerned, the E6510 got even less attractive, and the E6520 was downright repulsive. According to photos, looks improved with the E6530 and E6540, but only marginally. Based on these considerations, I consider the best 15.*-inch Latitude to be a non-Nvidia D830 with the screen upgraded to WUXGA (I believe Intel-based D830's were limited to WSXGA+, which is why it would need to be upgraded).

When I get tired of my current D810, I will move up to an E6500. It's good to hear that you like its speakers. The D810's speakers are fairly loud, which was the main reason I bought it -- I play MP3 music on it often. So, whatever laptop replaces this D810 should also have strong speakers.
Temetka wrote:So I am a traitor. After years of singing the praises of Thinkpads, a Dell sidled up and cozied into my heart.
Welcome to the club! I used almost only Thinkpads between 2002 and 2010. During those years, I did have two Dell Inspirons. The first one was an 8200, which was sheer garbage, and the second one was a 700m, which was actually very nice but I still prefered my Thinkpads. After selling that 700m, I didn't own another Dell laptop for several years. Then, about 3 years ago, I stumbled upon a nicely priced D820 on eBay and bought it, with the intention of reselling it quickly to turn a profit. BUT I TOTALLY FELL IN LOVE WITH IT, like you fell in love with your E6500, and I ended up keeping it for a year and a half. As many forum members know, I use desktops >90% of the time and so I didn't really use that D820 very much, but I loved it so much that I took it out of the drawer at least daily to admire it. It was an intense love affair, and I had never been so obsessed with any of my 45 Thinkpads.
Temetka wrote:I will always keep a candle lit for Thinkpads, and might use one again
Yep, this is my attitude as well. I haven't had a Thinkpad since I sold my i Series 1124 in Oct 2010 (at about the same time that I bought the above D820), but have been hoping to use one again.
RealBlackStuff wrote:Those specs sound very much like a T500/R500 with a basic 1200x800 LCD.
I've seen that very Dell E6500 from a customer of mine.
Personally I don't like it at all. IMHO it is overweight, has poor quality touchpad and lousy working trackpoint!
You can't even open the lid fully. And it closes poorly as well. :roll:
Give me a T500/R500 any day!
I have seen two R500's in person, both of them with 1280x800 screens, and without exaggeration, they were by far the most awful laptop screens I have ever seen. Once you get over your "Thinkpads can do no wrong" mentality, you would discover your favorite brand actually has lots of shortcomings. As I said above, on the whole, Thinkpads are indeed much better than Dells, but the belief that even the crappiest Thinkpad beats the best Dell is just silly -- in fact this is statistically impossible.
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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#7 Post by Ash » Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:07 pm

Gotta join the Dell party

As IT guy i worked quite a bit with Optiplex 745/765 desktops, they are nothing short of awesome machines regarding quality. And have very few hardware problems compared to other PCs i worked with

The notebooks. We bought 2 over the years. Both were chosen by me and intended for mom. The 1st is a Dell Inspiron 1300, entry level first notebook. After a couple years she wanted to upgrade. 2nd one became is Thinkpad R400 which she uses curently. I got the Dell, threw in more RAM and now it is my primary notebook

It have good (allthough not very bright) LCD, fairly solid plastics (not feeling flimsy like many new laptops do), working on it does not make you tired (so screen quality, keyboard etc are good), and the battery is still intact after 7 years. Whil meant to be entry level computer with Celeron processor it is well built computer and it handles well all low load tasks like internet/coding/watching movies

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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#8 Post by ajkula66 » Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:36 pm

I've had the absolute top-shelf of the previous Dell generation - 6700 Covet - in my possession for a couple of weeks.

A pretty impressive machine. Great screen. Very good keyboard for a non-ThinkPad. Horrendous - effectively useless - trackpoint.

And the finish...no, I just couldn't do it.

The top-end Dells are not missing a lot to be stunning machines. The problem is that the stuff that they're missing is not being worked on whatsoever.

Fix the trackpoint, lose the shiny plastics and I'm game.
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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#9 Post by A31 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:08 am

I'm not really a laptop guy at all but since I got rid of my ThinkPads I haven't missed them at all. If I were to buy another laptop, there are several brands I personally would look at before Lenovo: Dell is one of them (I like their newer laptops). I also like ASUS, some of HP's offerings and of course if I had the money to spend, I'd look at Sony's offerings too.

I have used most of these alternatives (clients and friends have them) and I like them.

But the chances of me getting another laptop is very slim anyway, so don't throw rocks and stuff at me because I said I probably wouldn't buy another ThinkPad, OK? ;)
Lenovo ThinkPad T440s Touch | Core i7 4600U | 12GB 1600MHz RAM | 1080p IPS Touch Display | Samsung 850 EVO 500GB | 720p Webcam | 68+ 6 Cell Battery | Windows 10 Pro x64

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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#10 Post by ajkula66 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:13 am

A31 wrote: so don't throw rocks and stuff at me because I said I probably wouldn't buy another ThinkPad, OK? ;)
That's perfectly fine. Most of us around here are unfortunately in the same boat, thank you Lenovo... :evil:
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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#11 Post by A31 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:17 am

ajkula66 wrote:That's perfectly fine. Most of us around here are unfortunately in the same boat, thank you Lenovo... :evil:
At the end of the day, they're just laptops. Competition exists and there are alternatives available which other people can buy if like us they didn't want a ThinkPad.
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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#12 Post by pianowizard » Sun Nov 10, 2013 1:49 pm

ajkula66 wrote:Horrendous - effectively useless - trackpoint.
Is it too slippery? The trackpoints of both the D800 and the D810 Latitudes are virtually identical to Thinkpads' Classic Dome, and so was the one on my very first laptop, an Inspiron 8200. I think my D820 had one of those slippery and thus useless types. I am so sick of laptop designers introducing "improvements" that actually make things worse, sometimes MUCH worse. Dell has been doing that for years, and unfortunately Lenovo recently started to do the same to the Thinkpads.

BTW, speaking of slippery trackpoints, many Thinkpad Soft Domes I have used became slippery when they aged. Thus, my favorite Thinkpad trackpoint is the Soft Rim, followed by the Classic Dome, and I like the Soft Dome the least.
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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#13 Post by precip9 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 3:10 pm

It's nice to have a laptop that "feels right" to you. Ergonometrics is important, but it is highly personal. But look for good thermal design. I have little experience with Dells, except for my Dad's old Inspiron. But it has bad thermal design. Some HP laptops, like a DV5z that was gifted to me, also have bad thermal design.

The lifetime of a lithium battery has two components: charge/discharge cycles, and calendar lifespan. Every 10C of temperature rise, according to the generally applicable Arrhenius reaction rate equation, cuts the calendar lifespan of a lithium battery in half. So let's look at how hot the battery gets in various laptops. Examples:

1. My Dad's old Dell has the battery buried in a slot in the interior of the laptop. In that position, the temperature of the battery equilibrates to the rest of the chassis.

2. In my old Compal CL-50, the battery was located up front, in a thermally insulated compartment, far away from the CPU. The batteries remained extremely cool. I'd get five years out of a battery.

3. The HP DV5z roasts the end of the battery located next to the CPU compartment. Even though there is an air gap, the battery gets hot.

The mainstream Thinkpad design is the coolest I've seen. The battery projects out the back, and is protected from the chassis temperature by an airgap. And, almost uniquely, Thinkpads allow customization of the charge thresholds.

The newest "ultrabook" Thinkpads do not have good thermal design. The non-user replaceable battery is located in the chassis. It is the wrong place for a lithium battery, if the user is concerned about lifetime. A flat battery attached to the bottom of a laptop is also bad thermal design.
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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#14 Post by Temetka » Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:31 pm

RealBlackStuff wrote:Those specs sound very much like a T500/R500 with a basic 1200x800 LCD.
I've seen that very Dell E6500 from a customer of mine.
Personally I don't like it at all. IMHO it is overweight, has poor quality touchpad and lousy working trackpoint!
You can't even open the lid fully. And it closes poorly as well. :roll:
Give me a T500/R500 any day!

And a CPU cache of 3MB vs. 6MB is a lot less effective than you think, as e.g. explained here:
A 3MB L2 cache has only half of the storage capacity of a 6MB L2 cache. However, due to its larger size, the L2 cache is slower than the L1 cache in granting data access. Thus, a 3MB storage bank is faster than one that offers 6MB.

Also, swapping a cool-running P9400 for a hotter-running T9600 makes no sense whatsoever!
http://forum.notebookreview.com/dell-la ... aches.html
I do a LOT of video encoding. So the extra 3MB of cache would come in handy. Yes, the L1 will be slightly slower, but the overall gain is still in the positive. Thus it is a worthwhile upgrade for my usage patterns. I am a heavy multi-tasker with browsers, Outlook, OneNote, handbrake and iTunes running on a typical day. On a hard usage day i'll have some visio action thrown in there as well as doing HD backups from other machines and other techy type stuff. SO the extra 5-10% increase will be useful.

Secondly, the comparison was between a P8600 and a P9500. Both have the same TDP and so that's not an issue. When I made the original post, I made a typo - it has since been corrected.

Thirdly, because I intend for this machine to last me a long time. I have been searching for years for what would be the perfect laptop for me and it turns out it's not a Thinkpad. Shocker, I know.

I just heard back from my client, they are going to order the 8GB of RAM for me because as in their words - "We love the work you do for us and your personal touch makes us feel like you really do care, so we'd love to help out." I knew treating clients like people would help out in the long run.
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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#15 Post by Temetka » Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:48 pm

pianowizard wrote:Stuff
I was really hoping you'd chime in. I know you switched to Dell's a while back as I have read a lot of your posts related to them. I found your input to be very insightful, thank you.

I also figured I would take some back lash from the community at large - it's to be expected. Heck even people who have known me for years are shocked that not only am I using a Dell, but that I love it.In the last few months of owning this machine it has saved my bacon more than once. No laptop I have ever owned minus a dual battery Apple G3 Pismo, has come close to the battery life I am experiencing on a daily basis with this unit. This machine is fast, and fluid and really just begs me to use it.I don't have any issues with the keyboard, trackpad or trackpoint. They all work as expected. Meaning they do their job, and they do it well. The keyboard for example is a joy to type on and is one of the few keyboards where I can completely type out a multi-page project description by using touch type without having to glance down to often.

I like the sharp edges of the unit. It adds to the styling in my opinion. This is no pansy soft corner laptop. That being said, the edges have never once caused me to feel uncomfortable in any way. Heck I look forward to being able to type out long documents. I love to write and this laptop is a joy to write on. Going back to the aesthetics of the unit, it's clad mostly in black with some silver on the rear of the unit and a few blue LED's. Speaking of those LED's, the power connector tip also glows blue which is extremely handy when crawling under a desk to plug in and being able to locate the power tip in a quick fashion. If there were a quibble with the looks, it would be the shiny dell logo on the bottom of the LCD frame. But really, I hardly ever notice it.

I have read online that some people had power issues with their E6500's, that has not been the case for me. Maybe it's because my unit was deployed in the field before I got my hands on it. Seeing as how I got my pick of the litter, I was able to test and try each machine before I chose mine. The rest were sent off to be e-cycled. Now on the front of the unit there are some scratches in the plastic. This would be on the edge that faces towards your chest by the lid catch. Not on the palm rest area. I think they are like battle scars. Like the laptop is saying to me, "I've been in the field little man, bring it."

This is an amazing piece of gear, and I am still feeling blessed that it came to me. I will take very good care of it, an upgrade or two here and there to round it out a bit, and use the heck out of it. Replacement keyboards, palm rests and plastics are readily available for very good prices should the need arise. I already have a 2nd battery for it in case the first one dies, but considering it's still at 98% of it's original capacity, I don't see that happening any time soon.

Come with my Latitude, we have servers to fix and networks to bring on line. 8)
New:
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Old:
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ThinkPad Tablet 16GB 1838-22U
IBM Thinkpad X61T, T61, T43, X41T, T60, T41P, T42, T410, X301

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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#16 Post by precip9 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:37 pm

Temetka wrote:
pianowizard wrote:Stuff
Seeing as how I got my pick of the litter, I was able to test and try each machine before I chose mine. The rest were sent off to be e-cycled.
This might be an opportunity to satisfy my curiousity. You say the rest were sent off to be recycled. Are you familiar with the details of this? Do they actually break up working laptops, and if so, why?

1. Because they are not in resalable condition?

2. Because there is a contractual obligation to break them up?

3. Because the parts are worth more? This would be hard to believe.

I just bought three spare WUXGA screens for my W500's. The screens are apparently from T61's. I'm curious how they got separated from the laptops.
W500x3 with T9900, , T400 highnit 1280x800 with P9600, X61sx3, X61Tx3.

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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#17 Post by ajkula66 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:45 pm

A31 wrote: At the end of the day, they're just laptops. Competition exists and there are alternatives available which other people can buy if like us they didn't want a ThinkPad.
Yes and no. If I could find a laptop with a proper 7-row keyboard and a trackpoint, I'd agree with you 10,000%. But I can't. There isn't one.
pianowizard wrote:Is it too slippery?
I don't know whether "slippery" is the term I would use, but it refuses to go where my finger tells it to, and I've encountered that issue on both well-kept Precision 4500 that I got from Temetka, and the almost new Covet. No such issues with EliteBooks, so I *know* it's not my imagination and/or user pattern.
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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#18 Post by Temetka » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:38 am

precip9 wrote: This might be an opportunity to satisfy my curiousity. You say the rest were sent off to be recycled. Are you familiar with the details of this? Do they actually break up working laptops, and if so, why?

1. Because they are not in resalable condition?

2. Because there is a contractual obligation to break them up?

3. Because the parts are worth more? This would be hard to believe.

I just bought three spare WUXGA screens for my W500's. The screens are apparently from T61's. I'm curious how they got separated from the laptops.

Our company has a deal with a local e-cyler guy. I neither know, nor want to know what happens to the units when they leave my shop. Out if sight, out of mind and all that.
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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#19 Post by 28CarsLater » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:40 am

I'm waiting for my new Precision but aside from my M90 and M6500 I have had nothing but trouble with Dell laptops. My current work rig is an Latitude E6520 and its either the Dell image or Windows 7 but this is the most annoying and problematic POS I've ever had to use on a regular basis. Thankfully none of the hardware has failed its just software and performance issues I run into, none of my co workers have these issues but none of them have Latitudes (all Precision 6500s). I was gifted a free Latitude whose model number I can't recall (core 2 duo/ddr2, basically a Dell version of my R60) and even with XP and hours of my time it still doesn't shut down correctly from within Windows. My brother quit using it and now just steals my 14in R60 for general internet usage. Right now used Thinkpad is my weapon choice and will remain so for some time I suspect.
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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#20 Post by pianowizard » Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:50 pm

ajkula66 wrote:I don't know whether "slippery" is the term I would use, but it refuses to go where my finger tells it to
By "slippery" I meant there isn't enough friction on the top surface of the trackpoint, so my finger keeps slipping off the trackpoint. What you are describing seems to be something else, and is a problem that I have never had on any laptop.
28CarsLater wrote:My current work rig is an Latitude E6520 and its either the Dell image or Windows 7...I was gifted a free Latitude whose model number I can't recall (core 2 duo/ddr2, basically a Dell version of my R60) and even with XP and hours of my time it still doesn't shut down correctly from within Windows.
Software problems like this happen all the time on laptops of all brands. On this forum, we hear about Thinkpads having incurable software issues all the time, and the best solution is usually reinstalling everything. Naturally, when this happens on a Thinkpad, it's Microsoft's or a driver's or the user's fault, whereas on a Dell, it's Dell's fault.
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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#21 Post by 28CarsLater » Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:33 pm

@pianowizard

The free Latitude I believe is a driver issue, but I'm using the drivers Dell provided via their website... so either they aren't providing me the best driver or the driver they did provide wasn't thoroughly tested. In any event I've done probably about a hundred 2000 or XP builds over the years from scratch, never had an issue like this with a Thinkpad driver. The E6520 is another thing altogether and with it I'm leaning toward the Dell factory image or some other kind of deeper O/S corruption as the corporate image (that MIS made and cloned) for similar Latitudes/Inspirons doesn't exhibit similar issues (this box is a Core i7 with 8GB ram btw, which was handed to me sealed on day 1). When my new one arrives I'm going to ask MIS to format it and use their Win7 Enterprise image.

EDIT: I loved my M90 for the three years I had it at my last job, to the point where I was the only one in the division still running one when they came to take it away. My former employer had a corporate XP image for it and the M6500s, it was only in late 2011 when I came here that I worked with Win7 and a Dell factory image.
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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#22 Post by A31 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:41 pm

ajkula66 wrote:Yes and no. If I could find a laptop with a proper 7-row keyboard and a trackpoint, I'd agree with you 10,000%. But I can't. There isn't one.
Then you're being too picky.

Granted, you're buying something based on the fact that you like the ergonomics and the design of it, but at the end of the day, does having an extra row of keys on your keyboard make a massive difference? Could you live without a trackpoint?

Given time, you'd get used to it I'm sure. If you speak to most people who have never owned a ThinkPad, you'll probably find that they prefer the touchapd over the trackpoint anyway - simply because most laptops don't have trackpoints. I remember getting my A31 and being utterly bemused by the trackpoint. At first, I had no idea how to use it since I was used to laptops having touchpads.
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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#23 Post by Temetka » Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:12 pm

pianowizard wrote:Software problems like this happen all the time on laptops of all brands. On this forum, we hear about Thinkpads having incurable software issues all the time, and the best solution is usually reinstalling everything. Naturally, when this happens on a Thinkpad, it's Microsoft's or a driver's or the user's fault, whereas on a Dell, it's Dell's fault.
Very well said and I could not agree with you more.

This machine is running an OEM Windows 7 that I installed myself and everything works perfectly. My client has seen me use it and they're like it never ran that fast for us, what did you do? My secret (no so secret) sauce is to reformat the HD, re-load OEM 7 (not the Dell image, just plain vanilla OEM 7), load basic drivers and let Windows update do it's thing. When I got this machine it ran like butt. Browser bars, java (ugh), some weather thing, some streaming radio thing, adware all over the place. It was a mess. Nothing my shiny Windows 7 DVD couldn't fix though. Now it runs like a champ and handles everything I throw at it with aplomb.

I also have a D630 from another client. Same story. Ran like crap, now it runs great. People just don't know how to configure stuff.
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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#24 Post by ajkula66 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:37 pm

A31 wrote: Then you're being too picky.
I'd beg to differ. Read on...
Granted, you're buying something based on the fact that you like the ergonomics and the design of it, but at the end of the day, does having an extra row of keys on your keyboard make a massive difference?
Yes. It makes a huge difference for a touch typist who has used the 7-row layout for about 15 years. I have to re-learn to type. Not something I'm looking forward to whatsoever. Oh and there's two of us in this household that fit the aforementioned scenario.
Could you live without a trackpoint?
Well, I'm sure I could live without a kidney - let alone a trackpoint - but would prefer to have one anyway...
Given time, you'd get used to it I'm sure. If you speak to most people who have never owned a ThinkPad, you'll probably find that they prefer the touchapd over the trackpoint anyway - simply because most laptops don't have trackpoints.
I don't mean to sound rude, but I'll leave other people's preferences to them. Mine are very simple and clearly stated. I do not like touchpads, never have, never will. I'll take an external mouse if no trackpoint is available. That's what I've been doing with my (both work-issued and personal) ToughBooks since circa 2005...and I still have to keep my eyes open when I type on them.... :roll:
I remember getting my A31 and being utterly bemused by the trackpoint. At first, I had no idea how to use it since I was used to laptops having touchpads.
Let me put this into perspective for you: when I started using ThinkPads, none of the laptops had usable touchpads. All of them were outright garbage. The times have changed and touchpads have evolved significantly, but I'm way too old and lazy to learn new tricks.

So yes, I need:

a) A 7-row keyboard

b) A trackpoint

c) A decent LCD

Seems like I'm going to be building my first desktop since the mid-90's... :evil:
Last edited by ajkula66 on Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#25 Post by Tasurinchi » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:32 pm

I never been so excited about some Dells, we have tons of Dell Inspirons 6500 and 6400 at work and I find them ugly. The black plastic covers look and feel very cheap, the keyboards flex a lot. Screens are bright though (although our company always order the low end WXGA ones) :?
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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#26 Post by A31 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:57 am

ajkula66 wrote:Seems like I'm going to be building my first desktop since the mid-90's... :evil:
Good. It's definitely the way to go.

My desktop is the reason I've done away with any kind of laptop. If I had to buy a new laptop, as I've said, I probably wouldn't buy a ThinkPad unless I was looking in the second hand market but the specs on the older laptops are a bit too weak for my liking.

If I need to surf the web on the go, why bother with a laptop when I can just use my smartphone or my brother's tablet? Just easier and less bulky of course.
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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#27 Post by pianowizard » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:53 am

28CarsLater wrote:I'm using the drivers Dell provided via their website... so either they aren't providing me the best driver or the driver they did provide wasn't thoroughly tested....I'm leaning toward the Dell factory image or some other kind of deeper O/S corruption as the corporate image
I wasn't questioning that Dell had screwed up something. Instead, I was questioning "Right now used Thinkpad is my weapon choice and will remain so for some time I suspect", which seemed to mean you believed Thinkpads would never have similar problems.
Tasurinchi wrote:I never been so excited about some Dells, we have tons of Dell Inspirons 6500 and 6400 at work and I find them ugly. The black plastic covers look and feel very cheap, the keyboards flex a lot. Screens are bright though (although our company always order the low end WXGA ones) :?
The display lids use a magnesium alloy, not plastic. But my E4200's lid did flex a bit. Like I said above, I do prefer the D generation's stronger lids, and many other users have said the same. I think Dell tried too hard to make the E generation lighter, by cutting corners. While I don't find the E6500, E6400 and E4200 ugly, I don't think they are particularly attractive either. As mentioned, I much prefer the looks of the D420/430/620/630/820/830. The 4:3 D series (400/410/600/610) didn't look as nice though, and the D800 and D810 were rather ugly.
A31 wrote:My desktop is the reason I've done away with any kind of laptop....If I need to surf the web on the go, why bother with a laptop when I can just use my smartphone or my brother's tablet? Just easier and less bulky of course.
I feel almost the same except that I do use laptops about 10% of the time, because once in a while I do need to work on the go. I believe you are very young; when you get older, you will probably need to start using laptops again. But desktops are indeed much more comfortable to use than laptops. I went through a phase where I used laptops virtually exclusively. It felt okay at that time, but after "discovering" desktops, I will never go back to using laptops as my machine computers. And after I started using smartphones in 2007, laptops have also become less important on the road. ajkula66, I highly recommend you to start using desktops again!
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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#28 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:15 am

I only use laptops when I repair or modify them.
And they are for 99% all Thinkpads, with only an occasional HP, Dell or Toshiba from a friend.
Plus when I travel I also use a Thinkpad.
This started with T23, followed by A22, T30, T40p, R52, T61 (all 14.1") and then the 12.1" X61s for the last few years.
Until I came across my current favorite travel companion, a top-of-the-line X200s with a 16:10 WXGA+ (1440x900) LED screen.
It is much lighter than the X61s, and has a better-sized keyboard than the X61s.
My daughter uses a 14.1" T61/Intel with SXGA+ in college, and my wife uses a 15.6" Lenovo G560 in her shop, because of its numeric keyboard.
I replaced its glossy screen with a matte one.
She is now also ahead of me, by using a Samsung Galaxy Tab for credit card payments in her shop.

Otherwise I work with my desktop for most of the time. Still on XP, but W7-Pro has been installed recently on another partition, and I am currently transferring loads of programs from XP to W7.
Since that XP install dates back to 2005 (and never crashed!!!), I didn't want a W7-Update over it.
I have built my own (and my family's) desktops since the late 1980s, probably about 50 or 60 by now.
Having been a mainframe programmer most of my life, I don't want to sit with my face glued to a smallish laptop screen.
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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#29 Post by Temetka » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:43 am

pianowizard wrote: The display lids use a magnesium alloy, not plastic. But my E4200's lid did flex a bit. Like I said above, I do prefer the D generation's stronger lids, and many other users have said the same. I think Dell tried too hard to make the E generation lighter, by cutting corners. While I don't find the E6500, E6400 and E4200 ugly, I don't think they are particularly attractive either. As mentioned, I much prefer the looks of the D420/430/620/630/820/830. The 4:3 D series (400/410/600/610) didn't look as nice though, and the D800 and D810 were rather ugly.
My son has a D830, and it looks great. If it wasn't slower than this E6500 we would switch machines. His display is slightly brighter than mine is also. It's also a great machine to type on. I really enjoy typing on this E6500, but typing is even better on his D830. It used to be mine until I got this machine, and his power supply and DVD burner caught fire (literally) in his tower.

If I could get the power of this machine in the D830, I just might be tempted enough to switch machines. But really, I am enjoying this machine very much.

I am thinking of adding an airbrushed blue celtic or tribal dragon to the lid. Something akin to these:

http://fc00.deviantart.net/images3/i/20 ... remita.jpg

http://images2.layoutsparks.com/1/15484 ... design.jpg

http://picsmobi.net/timthumb.php?src=ht ... w=240&zc=1

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Q0Zyv46rvI0/S ... Tattoo.jpg

http://www.freewebs.com/celticdragonscl ... dragon.jpg


Of course I would do it in blue to match the LED's and it would pretty cool on the black brushed metal lid. I am a huge fan of tribal and celtic design as shown here:

http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=112135

and on my right arm:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c163/ ... ewtat5.jpg

NOTE: That tat looks better now. I had it touched up a bit and that pic was taken right when the original ink was fresh.
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Re: I am a traitor and I love it

#30 Post by Temetka » Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:42 am

I received another off warranty Precision M4500 today. This one has a dual core hyper-threaded i5 CPU, 1Gb Nvidia Quadro 880M, 500GB HD, Dual Layer DVD-RW. It's one of the very few M4500's that doesn't have the keyboard issue where when you are typing out a long document, the cursor jumps all over the place. This is a very powerful computer. Much more so the E6500 I am using. It has a slightly smaller LCD but with a higher resolution. I am curious though if I can swap the LCD for a larger one for more vertical height. Other than that, it's great. Oh and it can use one of those mPCIE mSATA drives. Hmm.

EDIT: After some searching I discovered I cannot install a physically larger LCD, only one with a higher resolution. The price seem to about $75. The biggest 4 advantages of this machine as I see them are:

1. i5
2. DDR3 as opposed to DD2
3. Nvidia GPU
4. mSATA support.

#2 and 4 are hugely important to me. I can get a 128GB mSATA SSD for a decent price and use the HD for data storage. Also as well all know DDR3 is far cheaper than DDR2. So even though the E6500 will have 8GB from a client as a gift, I can upgrade this machine to 16GB according to some online sources I have found. So if I were to keep this as my primary machine, I could have a workstation class laptop with oodles of power, OpenGL certified GPU and 16GB of RAM. My tower has 16GB of RAM and it runs silky smooth. Currently this machine has 4GB and it runs rather smooth. I can only imagine the combination of 16GB and an mSATA SSD.
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