The Good Provides a wide range of options; two modular bays; embedded security; port replicator or docking station offered on all models.
The Bad Most models are expensive; big and bulky; no trackpad; no design frills; so-so battery life.
The Bottom Line The desktop-replacement IBM ThinkPad A notebooks are some of the best available, with decent performance and loads of features to compensate for their slightly higher price.
|ThinkPad A series||Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (15-inch, 2017)||Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (13-inch, 2016)||Lenovo ThinkPad X230||Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display (13-inch, 2015)|
|Price||$3,699 MSRP||$4,099 Apple||$3,699 MSRP||$3,699 MSRP||$3,699 MSRP|
ThinkPad A series
IBM might consider renaming its brawny ThinkPad A series the H series, for high class. This desktop-replacement notebook offers an elegant combination of innovative design, solid construction, and a unique feature set, and it comes in a range of configurations and prices--from $1,399 to a wallet-busting $3,949--that will suit just about any user. We expected a higher performance score from the A-series Pentium 4-M configuration we tested, and surprisingly, the A series' battery life doesn't quite measure up to the competition's. But if you don't need the absolute top-of-the-line screamer, any of the A-series models makes a stellar choice for small or large businesses, even though it has an only average ValueWatch rating. Like most desktop replacements, the ThinkPad A series trades portability for power. Its size and weight would hardly qualify as thin and light, but both are average for a desktop replacement--not bad considering the ThinkPad A series provides even more features than most in its class.
ThinkPad Anniversary Edition 25 looks like an expensive oddity
You have to be a hardcore fan to spend $1,900 for this odd amalgam of old designs with modern components that Lenovo's offering.
Photos: Toshiba's Qosmio G45 multimedia darling
We've just spent an afternoon playing with Toshiba's Qosmio G45 entertainment laptop, and to cut a long story short, we think it's pretty sweet
Lenovo has eyes on consumer PC market
Chinese PC maker unveils new line of consumer-focused notebooks called IdeaPad, as well as a desktop line called IdeaCentre. Photos: IdeaPad notebooks
Why PCs aren't pricey anymore
CNET News.com's Charles Cooper remembers the mail-order makers who shook the mainstream computer makers out of their lethargy.
Lenovo announces operational shake-up
Job transfers, layoffs and reorganization are part of China-based PC manufacturer's attempts to keep growing in a competitive market.
MacBook Pro laptops upgraded with Core 2 Duo
Apple says the new Intel dual-core chips improve laptop performance by up to 39 percent over the previous version. Photos: Dual-core Mac notebooks
Lenovo scores deal with NBA
PC maker becomes official technology partner of NBA as it strives for publicity in the U.S. consumer market.
Sony joins laptop battery recall list
Electronics maker is recalling 90,000 of its notebook batteries; there are rumors Toshiba might sue Sony.
ThinkPad--now with Suse Linux
Novell and Lenovo are teaming up on a new ThinkPad laptop with Novell's Suse Linux operating system preinstalled.
"Trust us", says ThinkPad creator
Arimasa Naitoh, the inventor of the ThinkPad, has moved to quell fears that the sale of IBM's PC division to China-based Lenovo would result in a reduction in quality levels.
Asus Lamborghini VX1 roars into view
For sale: brand new Lamborghini VX1. This bright yellow stunner has just 2GHz on the clock, a rear spoiler and can pull the opposite sex from 50 paces. Maybe
HP: We're hurting Dell
HP claims to be winning orders from big businesses at its rival's expense. Dell's warning on earnings cited.