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Old Apr 11, 2007, 08:35 PM   #1
wwhitmire
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MacBook vs. ThinkPad T60

OK, I know that this is a mac forum, however, I need your honest help!

I am headed to medical school in the fall and need to buy a new computer before then. I have used a PC my whole life and was almost set on buying a macbook.

As I wait for Leopard to come out, I am wondering if I am making the wrong decision. I'm pretty good figuring things out, but I am a little afraid that I'll run up against issues that I'm unfamiliar with and won't know how to fix. With PC's I've spent enough time with them that most common issues I can deal with fairly efficiently.

So, what advice do you have? What should I go with between a MacBook and a IBM ThinkPad T60? (This is assuming the main hardware being equal ie 2.0GHZ core duo processor, 120 GB Harddrive, 2.0 GB RAM)
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Old Apr 11, 2007, 08:38 PM   #2
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I'd say go with the MacBook, as with the MacBook you can use Bootcamp and go back to windows if you don't like Mac OS X for some reason. But you don't have the luxury of going to Mac OS X with the ThinkPad.
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Old Apr 11, 2007, 08:44 PM   #3
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Get the MacBook. It's a great comp, can dual boot, and forums like this provide a level of free and almost instant support you'd be hard pressed to find elsewhere.
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Old Apr 11, 2007, 09:01 PM   #4
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The T60 with the same specs should cost somwhere around 1700. So the Macbook would not only be cheaper but also you have the benefit of havin two operating systems. So even though I probably have a biased opinion I say go for the Mac, unless you think that you are going to need an indestructable notebook.

But if you are set on getting a PC the T60 is the way to go.
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 12:00 AM   #5
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do you really think that someone here will advise you to get the PC?? anyhow, there's nothing to think about because the MBook can run both operative systems
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 12:23 AM   #6
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which T60 you looking at? Cause some come with the 128 video card vs the onboard. That would be one concern I would have. Also, the T60 can take abuse. Mind you it has drain holes so if you do spill a drink, chances are it won't affect the laptop (speaking from experience).

however the macbook can run OS X and Windows. Its just not rugged at a T series thinkpad.
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 12:59 AM   #7
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It's a bad choice coming to a mac forum and asking for honest advice, but I'll see what I can do.

I own a MacBook Pro, and I have a work supplied T60.

If you want OSX, go the MacBook, they're nice machines. If you don't like OSX or get the *****, run BootCamp... you can't lose in that department. The T60 feels sturdier, but not as nice as the MacBook. I don't feel worried to throw my T60 round as much as I did with my iBook or MacBook Pro, and the MacBook is like a splice of both.

The *real* difference is the screen resolution. My T60's res is 1400x1050... which I must say is fantastic... much better than the 1280x800 you'll get with the MacBook. But having said that, i'd prefer OSX over res... if only you could get both...

Hope that helped.
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 01:55 AM   #8
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I'd be interested in finding out myself.I love MacOS X, But always liked the ThinkPads. I think my next computer will be a T60 because of the many problems with the Macbooks. Lots of failed HD and batteries.
I'm wonfering if anybody knows how the T60s fair. I know the batteries are an industrywide problem. But what about everything else?

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Old Apr 12, 2007, 02:08 AM   #9
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If you want an unreliable machine, get the thinkpad. Since they are made by Lenovo they are not really good quality anymore. I know 2 people who own one, and both had logic board issues and had to be sent in for repairs a couple of times.

Of course this can happen with a macbook too, and pretty much any hardware from any brand.

But the argument that a thinkpad is oh so durable and reliable is just plain wrong.
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 07:53 AM   #10
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Well i love mac for the last 20 years have used them, BUT so many issues ..went back to Vista, and I am loving it....I will come back to Apple as soon as the QC gets better......
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 07:54 AM   #11
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I'd be interested in finding out myself.I love MacOS X, But always liked the ThinkPads. I think my next computer will be a T60 because of the many problems with the Macbooks. Lots of failed HD and batteries.
I'm wonfering if anybody knows how the T60s fair. I know the batteries are an industrywide problem. But what about everything else?


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Old Apr 12, 2007, 08:29 AM   #12
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 08:36 AM   #13
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Can you say more about what drew you to the T60 in particular in the Thinkpad series? To me it depends somewhat on what you want. I wouldn't get a T60 over a Macbook personally, but I would / am seriously considering an X-series 12.1" ... C2D 1.83, combo, 120GB / 5400, 1GBx1DIMM, fingerprint reader, bluetooth, for about $1550. Once a second gig of RAM is added, the price still isn't bad. It's a lot lighter than a Macbook, and smaller. But those are priorities to me. What're your priorities?
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 09:07 AM   #14
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Heres the deal with the lenovo.. I was thinking about buying this model too..

Pros:
Better graphics card

Cons:
More expensive
Inferior processor

Subjective:
I prefer the stability of OSX and have never had problems since I switched back in 2005


Quote:
Originally Posted by wwhitmire View Post
OK, I know that this is a mac forum, however, I need your honest help!

I am headed to medical school in the fall and need to buy a new computer before then. I have used a PC my whole life and was almost set on buying a macbook.

As I wait for Leopard to come out, I am wondering if I am making the wrong decision. I'm pretty good figuring things out, but I am a little afraid that I'll run up against issues that I'm unfamiliar with and won't know how to fix. With PC's I've spent enough time with them that most common issues I can deal with fairly efficiently.

So, what advice do you have? What should I go with between a MacBook and a IBM ThinkPad T60? (This is assuming the main hardware being equal ie 2.0GHZ core duo processor, 120 GB Harddrive, 2.0 GB RAM)
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 03:00 PM   #15
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I just sold my Macbook C2D for a Thinkpad T60p. I'll be one of the few voices here saying that I am VERY happy with my Thinkpad, which arrived this week actually. So my advice might be extremely biased or somewhat helpful. Hopefully it's the latter.

Some thoughts:
- The Macbook Keyboard looks nice, but my hands cramp after a long time using them. The smooth keys don't have much of a tactile feel and response, so it was difficult for me to type for a long time, and to type fast. For example, try "typing" on your flat desk for awhile and see how your fingers tire after awhile. My search for a laptop with an excellent keyboard led me to the Thinkpad.

- I spend a lot of time in Windows. Don't get me wrong, I love OS X and use it primarily at home on my Mac Pro. But at work I have to use Windows. The Macbook runs Windows XP with no problems. BUT, there are a lot of little quirks to keep in mind. Such as the two-finger scrolling was choppy for me, and the battery management is not as nice as in OSX. Also the backspace/delete key has different behavior in Windows. You will have to remap your keys, which is no biggie with Keytweak. If you will use OS X primarily, then definitely stick with the Macbook.

- Battery life. On the go, I got about 2:30 hours average use from the battery. The Thinkpad gives me 4:50 off of the 9-cell battery, and has room for a spare battery in the ultrabay.

- Ultrabay expansion. You can use it for another HDD or battery or Optical drive. I've ordered an extra HDD to install OS X. Yes, you can run OS X on a Thinkpad T60, but AFAIK you have to get a seperate wireless card since no drivers are written yet for the one supplied with the Thinkpad (I'll find out when I try to install later this week).

- Macbook trackpad is very nice. The new Thinkpad T60's trackpad area is very small, and doesn't have two-finger scrolling. I'm getting more used to the Trackpoint Nav (red rubber tip) and it's nice because you don't have to move your hands from the typing position to move the cursor. But I do miss the beautiful trackpads of the Macbook and Macbook Pro.

- Durability. The macbook has a much more durable case than the macbook pro. But neither have anything on the Thinkpad, which is rock solid. Since I travel quite a bit, I felt like I had to baby the macbook. Even though I cleaned the Macbook religiously, the trackpad wore away where my index finger was (I blame the insane hours spent playing Warcraft).

- Gaming. The Thinkpad T60p with the 256mb card is very nice. I can run World of Warcraft with high settings and still get a nice framerate. On the Macbook, I couldn't run a lot of games, and warcraft only on lowest settings (still playable). The point is that having the dedicated graphics card is nice. Still the 950 card in the Macbook did everything non-gaming just fine.

- Light on top of screen. Not anywhere nearly as cool as the backlit keyboards, but the T60 does come with a LED that will light up your keyboard space at night.

- higher resolution. I get 1680x1050 on my T60p which gives me great real estate for layout programs and design/coding with Dreamweaver.

- Security. One of the big selling points for me was the fingerprint reader, which I can use to log in, or access websites like Gmail. Also, the Thinkpad comes with some nice programs from IBM (the Thinkvantage suite)

Most of these points are more comparable to a MBP, and honestly I was considering upgrading my MB to a MBP or a Thinkpad T60p, but luckily because of a corporate discount I was able to get a 8744J2U T60p for $1749, which came with a C2D 2.0Ghz, 2.0GB mem, 100GB 7200HDD, 15.4" widescreen WSXGA+, Windows Vista Business (yuck) and fingerprint reader. A few hundred more than a macbook for sure, but it's a beast of a machine.

Good luck. Either way you will end up with a very nice laptop!

Last edited by Digidesign; Apr 12, 2007 at 03:10 PM.
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 03:25 PM   #16
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- Battery life. On the go, I got about 2:30 hours average use from the battery. The Thinkpad gives me 4:50 off of the 9-cell battery, and has room for a spare battery in the ultrabay.
Is there an easy way to understand which of the batteries fit completely inside of the laptop and which stick out / etc? When Lenovo offers, say, a 4 or 6 cell battery and then an upgrade to an 8 or 9, are they the same physical external size, or is the upgrade battery bigger?
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 03:38 PM   #17
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Is there an easy way to understand which of the batteries fit completely inside of the laptop and which stick out / etc? When Lenovo offers, say, a 4 or 6 cell battery and then an upgrade to an 8 or 9, are they the same physical external size, or is the upgrade battery bigger?
The upgrade batteries are bigger, and stick out of the thinkpad a bit. mine came with the 9 cell and it has an extra 1" that sticks out from the back. My guess is that the 4-6 cells would be completely flush with the machine and do not stick out.

The battery that fits in the ultrabay will be flush.

for more info, Here's a page describing the various batteries
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 04:20 PM   #18
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The upgrade batteries are bigger[...]
Ahhh, thanks!
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 09:16 PM   #19
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I really appreciate all of the help! I'm still torn and will try to figure it out over the next couple of months. My parents have had two Thinkpads...one from IBM the other from Lenovo and have liked them. I have used both of them and like the size, the toughness and the track button.

I'm actually not a fan of the fingerprint security feature. It seems it only works sometimes. Maybe I have a bad fingerprint.

I like the 14" screen of the Thinkpad (a good compromise between the 13.3" and the 15").

I'm very tempted to try OS X and give apple a shot. I don't forsee any major issues in switching, but I am a little nervous about compatability issues. Most of my concerns are minor, but I'm afraid it will be a bigger inconvenience than I want. For example, and I know that this is minor, but my sister and her family live in India and have a pc. I want to be able to video chat with them, but it seems like there aren't many good ways to do this (except maybe through skype, which works, but isn't as high quality as some others).

I also am hesistant to have to deal with scratches, stains, etc. on a nice white computer body.

I really don't know exactly what sorts of programs I'll be using on it for school, but I think both will do the job just fine. If I need to use excel, word, etc. how well does apple deal with these programs? Also, how well does it convert between pc versions of office and mac versions?

These are currently my thoughts. Thanks for your help!
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 09:43 PM   #20
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I also am hesistant to have to deal with scratches, stains, etc. on a nice white computer body.
For what it's worth, aside from the staining issue peculiar to early (?) macbooks, the white is very durable. Periodically using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, my three-year-old iBook really looks fairly new. The Eraser does a great job of cleaning the palmrests and keeping the rest of it clean and white. The only place where it really looks worn is the trackpad. Gets more compliments than most brand new Windows notebooks.
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 09:52 PM   #21
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As I wait for Leopard to come out
I haven't had any experience owning either of the notebooks you mentioned, so I'm afraid I can't help you there. I just want to point out though, that Leopard is now pushed back until October.
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 11:23 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwhitmire View Post
I'm very tempted to try OS X and give apple a shot. I don't forsee any major issues in switching, but I am a little nervous about compatability issues. Most of my concerns are minor, but I'm afraid it will be a bigger inconvenience than I want. For example, and I know that this is minor, but my sister and her family live in India and have a pc. I want to be able to video chat with them, but it seems like there aren't many good ways to do this (except maybe through skype, which works, but isn't as high quality as some others).
Although I'm not an expert on this I thought that the quality depended on the webcam, the iSight camera is pretty good quality in my opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wwhitmire View Post
I also am hesistant to have to deal with scratches, stains, etc. on a nice white computer body.
You might consider getting a hard case for the MacBook like this one. I'm going to get one of them for my MacBook Pro pretty soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wwhitmire View Post
I really don't know exactly what sorts of programs I'll be using on it for school, but I think both will do the job just fine. If I need to use excel, word, etc. how well does apple deal with these programs? Also, how well does it convert between pc versions of office and mac versions?
NeoOffice J is a free alternative to MS Office and can handle the MS formats for all of it's programs.
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 11:27 PM   #23
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Apple has better after sales support. IBM's support was pretty **** when it was still owned by IBM. I can't imagine how it is like now.
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