Your confusion is easily cleared up. Forget the Toshiba. If your getting the IBM at good price take it. If you don't you will regret it. Take a toshiba and throw it down a flight of stairs. Then throw the IBM down there. You will have to send the toshiba for repair. The IBM will still be happy as Larry - No problem.
No other comp manufacturer can build a pc like IBM.
Read the reviews. The IBM may not be as flashy looking as the Tecra, but it doesn't need to be. The Thinkpad is a different breed of notebook - a Superior breed!
Hi, I really think I could use your help!
I am a university student trying to decide between getting an M2 and a ThinkPad T41. My "reason" tells me to go for the IBM, because I can get it cheaper than usual thanks to a university-vendor deal, and so I can get better specs with the IBM than with the Toshiba for the same price.
But somehow I'm having some difficulty convincing myself that I actually like the appearance of the IBM: I definitely like restrained, classic elegance, but the IBM frankly looks a bit flimsy and rough to me, and the black plastic looks rather cheap in places. Just looking at the pictures on the Web, the Toshiba looks sturdier and classier to me.
I guess I understand how the technical specs of the models I'm considering compare (I'm buying on the cheap, so I'm looking at the 1.4 GHz models in each case, the Toshiba would have 256 RAM, the IBM 512 - I don't know how important that is considering that as a humanities student I only use basic applications, but then would the Win XP Pro not eat up most of the 256 memory?)
What is more tricky to know is the more intangible stuff: built, appearance, comfort of use. The problem is, the Tecras don't seem to be available in retail, so I can't see or feel a real Tecra, even though I am in Boston area. I'd love at least to get a feel for the keyboard, how quietly the laptop runs etc. This is important for laptops, right? And I tend to be sensitive about ergonomics... often more than about speed etc. I don't want to be imagining the appearance and ergonomics of the Tecras is nicer than the IBM's if that is quite false.
So, in lieu of seeing a real specimen, I could really use some comments from you guys Tecra M2 users (as specific as possible, please) on the following (And of course, I am also looking forward to opinions on the same topics from T41 users!):
1) Do you feel the Tecra M2 is well-built? Sturdy? "Tight" when opening and closing? Are the hinges reliable? Does anything creak? Does the plastic strike you as good or mediocre quality? And the "magnesium" cover? Does it look more like metal or more like silver-painted plastic?
2) The Tecra is about half thicker than the IBM (although as light). Do you feel this is an issue? I will probably carry it quite a lot in my messenger bag on campus? You think I'll feel the difference in thickness?
3) VERY IMPORTANT: How quiet/noisy is it? The fan? The hard drive? Does the hard drive turn on and off frequently? Does it "purr" as if writing data even when it sits perfectly idle? (I had that with a loaner laptop used in a library) The CD-ROM when playing music? (less important). As for the types of noises (if I can get that specific I guess I would mind a steady, calm background "shhhhhh" type sound much less than a more "electronic", high-pitch sound or buzz, if you know what I mean
3) IMPORTANT: How warm does it get? I'm not so much concerned with the warmth when sitting on the lap (I'm not going to do that much), but about the warmth on wrists.
4) How do you assess the screen? (I'm looking at the XGA version, but that's fine since I don't like the icons and text too small).
5) IMPORTANT: What about the keyboard? The IBMs are reputed to have great keyboards, I don't know about the Toschibas. I guess I wouldn't mind if it was less clicky (crisp? whatever people call it) than the IBM's, as long as I don't feel there's excessive resistance from the keys (like from some old desktop keyboards, for example) and as long as they all work clearly, evenly. Is it on the quieter or noisier side, the keyboard? I have not had a laptop before, by the way.
5) Other points of ergonomics? For example, the touchpad seems to be positioned asymmetrically, to the left of centre. Why is that? Is it unnatural and uncomfortable?
How have you felt the Tecra/ThinkPad has been performing overall?
If you could help me get answers to the above questions, that'd really help me a great deal.
All the best!