You have not read any of the posts in the last 2 months on this notebook forum as they are flooded with people who have considered the HPZT3000 or its cosmetic sister Compaq X1000.
Also, when you say the prices are similar you have not gone to X1000forums.com (also all over this board -- site for Compaq X1000/HPZT3000 and business HPnx7000) to see all the discounts.
If you order an HPZT3000 custom online you can get the new Briteview (similar to Toshiba Trubrite or Sony Xtrite) XGA LCD for $50 more than the standard XGA. Also, you can get SXGA or UXGA resolution if you want but be careful as you have only 1 native LCD resolution.
If you note the order posted here on the boards on 9/13/04 for the HPZT3000 he got a $100 instant discount (back to school). That is gone now.
But you can still get a $100 custom order rebate (see how to get this instead of the $50 one posted at X1000forums.com) and a 6% HP APP student discount (did you consider these in your pricing with IBM?)
You should order 256mb of RAM and then add your own Crucial or Kingston or PNY PC2700 notebook memory later for much less -- I upgraded my X1360US Compaq from 512mb to 1gb (512mb RAM 2nd slot) for $69.99 after rebate on sale for a Kingston.
Pentium M 725 1.6 Dothan processor ($125 less than 1.7)
60gb 5400 hard drive (50% faster than 4200 hard drive)
Intel 2200b/g wi-fi with Bluetooth ($19 more)
CD-RW/DVD ROM (DVD burner costs about $200 more)
256mb RAM (order 512mb later yourself-only 2 RAM slots)
15.4" Briteview XGA (Briteview just available last week
64mb dedicated video memory (can't upgrade later)
**** IBM's are more durable and they came out recently again as #1 in service for PC's -- they only sell business models so they are built for more abuse. Their hard drives use a 'air bag' like technology that will park the hard drive if it detects a severe tilting of the notebook or a fall. They also have excellent keyboards.
For most IBM's you are going to get a 14.1" LCD and a higher price versus the 15.4" widescreen HPZT3000/Compaq X1000 series.
It is up to you to decide whether the IBM is better for you but you will pay much less for the HPZT3000 with the 6% APP student discount and the $100 custom mail in rebate (you missed the $100 instant discount)
I am at somewhat of a complete loss as to what I should do. The prices will come out to be pretty similar, with the T42 being a couple hundred more. Also, the 42 will have a 40gig HD instead of a 60gig, and the 42 will have a smaller screen, 14.1 compared to 15.something.
It would be nice to have the bigger HD, but it's not that important. Also, the screen isn't really a big deal.
My main concern is reliability. I just want something QUALITY. The reviews for both of these notebooks are great on this site, and I'm just not sure what I should do.
There are some features on the HP that are cool, like the scroll section on the touchpad, etc.
The specs of either one I get would be 1.7ghz, screen resolution not the lowest (not exactly sure what I would get with the HP). Ideally for now, I would want at least 512mg ram, but it seems in the thinkpad, I would go for 256mg of ram, as that is the standard amount. I guess I can always upgrade later.
I have heard a bit about the "ghosting" effect on the Thinkpads during certain animations, and I was wondering if this was something to be concerned about.
Also, I definitely need out of the box wifi. I understand what comes with the HP, but the specs of the T42 are foreign to me. I've never heard of the options available, and don't know if I need to upgrade or not, or if it's fine how it is.
As you can probably tell, the idea of a notebook PC is a bit new to me. Since this will be a one-time investment for a long while, I just want to make sure I am not making a mistake.
I'm not a big gamer, and watching DVDs really isn't that important. I just want power, reliability, and the least problems I can have. Since I'll be in school, sending it back to get it fixed could cause some huge problems. I keep hearing about the "bulletproof" design of the Thinkpads, and it just makes me want one.
ANY info on the two will be greatly appreciated, as I have not been able to find any specific info from any real users of these notebooks.