Picking a Laptop

I was wondering about buying a new laptop but having some issues with my previous choice I decided to do a bit mode in depth investigation. Currently I own Lenovo ThinkPad T410 (type: 2518 Q6G). I bought it some time ago because display of my Thinkpad T41p broke down and I needed a laptop urgently. Most people spend a lot of money for things like cars or TV, but I spend the most of my day in front of PC so I think it can be a bit more expensive, as long as it has the features I like. What I like about Thinkpad T series is their durability, and matte display, and keyboard layout.

  • The eSATA is not the same as eSATAp. The eSATA port is not common with USB port, so it does not provide power for external SATA drive. From what I have read online, that is the condition for eSATA to provide power, then it is also called a eSATAp. The design of regular eSATA port does not include providing power. It means that if you do not have eSATAp port and want to have external SATA drive you need to carry a kind of docking station for it, with external power source.
  • After travelling for a bit, I decided to upgrade my hard drive to SSD drive. AS it does not have any mechanical parts it does not stop from time to time when the laptop gets shaken (like in train or plane). I bought Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB. But, my laptop’s internal SATA port does not support SATA III, so it does not use the whole speed of my SSD drive – at Lenovo Forum you can read that T410 does support only SATA II.
  • The volume changing buttons seem to be software controlled as they stop working while a website with YouTube is active, or even with Spotify – maybe those buttons have problem wth some solutions in flash/html5. Sometimes it gets pretty annoying.
  • From time to time the laptop seems to turn on itself while in the bag/backpack, unless you take out the battery. I thought it might be caused by always enabled yellow USB port, but switching it off did not help – for those who do not know this port should be used to charge phone while your laptop is turned off.

I still consider ThinkPad T series as a great brand, but when picking next laptop I will put more attention into detailed specification. Still the main features I will look for will be:

  • matte screen (I cannot work with mirror like glossy displays);
  • screen resolution (1440×900 is a bit too low for me);
  • dedicated memory for a graphic card;
  • the most up to date USB/SATA port (backups take less time);
  • the fastest internal SATA port (at the moment SATA rev. 3.2);
  • I do not care about CD-ROM drive, I would gladly switch it for additional hdd bay;
  • fingerprint reader (quite handy login solution);
  • maximum amount of RAM, and its speed (running virtual machines is RAM consuming);
  • weight (is not essential, but quite crucial if you travel only with hand luggage);
  • SSD card reader (apparently not all laptops have that);
  • IPS type screen (I do edit some pictures in Lightroom/Photoshop).