From time to time I wonder how much differentiation vendors can put into desktop computers, there’s not too much they can do. I have a slim HP dc7800 behind me, still boxed, that I’ll tell you about in the coming days. However, in notebook computers there are subtle and glaring aspects of differentiation vendors are still able to cram into these mini marvels.
In particular Lenovo’s ThinkPads continue to lead with innovative designs, at a price premium, in particular in the area of (sub 3e) mobility. Lenovo’s newly released X301 series notebook, in fact the X300 as well, is worth taking note of.
The ThinkPad X301 notebook provides on average nearly 20 percent better performance over the ThinkPad X300 notebook due to its DDR3 memory and its Intel Core 2 Duo ultra low volt processor, according to Lenovo’s press release.
I can remember sitting in briefing meetings some years ago, with IBM, prior to Lenovo’s purchase of IBM’s computing division and getting a detailed “cover to guts” review of the the ThinkPad line. It was quite impressive. ThinkPad’s were the first notebooks, I’m aware of that had a reading light so you could see your keyboard in a dark room. They also were built light (the X series) but tough with special caging to protect the fragile hardware components of the notebook.
Finding the right notebook for YOU is like buying a home or mattress. There are dozens of different options. A home for your neighbor might not be the home for you. You have to find the house, with those small and big differences that are most important to you.
Lenovo’s new notebook for example, has built in WiMax connectivity options (for when the technology becomes available) and GPS navigation. Dell’s new Vostro line has the DVD/CD sliding into the notebook (like on a Mac), as opposed to a tray coming out of the notebook and holding the media. I’m sure HP, Sony and Toshiba have a range of differentiating factors in their notebooks as well.
You’ll start to see more notebooks with sold state drives, as in the case of the X301, making them more durable and giving them longer battery life.
A relatively new line of mobile computer, “netbooks” is on the market as well. These notebooks have small screens (sub 10″), very light (under 3lbs), often embedded operating systems
What should you look for in a notebook?
When shopping for your next notebook keep these things in mind.
What you will be doing with it.
- Do you travel a lot and need the ultimate in feather weight mobility?
- How important is security to you? Should your notebook have the ultimate in security features (biometrics, encrypted hard disks and more)
- Will you be giving demonstrations to clients, from your notebook? You need a very large screen with good speakers.
- No matter what kind of notebook you get, the hard disk and memory should large and you need the fastest process you can get.
- Support is critically important and you want to ensure you invest in support that will be able to repair your notebook or get you a new notebook as fast and as easy as possible, if something should happen to your notebook.