I'm a web designer/developer and do all of my work from a desktop, but I have decided in the last month that I need a relatively portable notebook (12"-15") to increase my productivity. I've spent the last month or so researching multiple models from a number of popular makers (chief among them being Apple and Lenovo). All of my work is done in a PC (Windows) environment, but I've been seriously considering making the switch to Mac OS because of its simplified and elegant aesthetics (Windows, while I'm well accustomed to working with it, falls short of Mac OS on usability). Here are my options: Lenovo Thinkpad X201s: 2.13GHz Intel Core i7 640LM; Windows 7; 8GB RAM; 160GB SSD; 12.1" 1440x900 LED-LCD w/ matte finish; Integrated Intel HD Graphics; external DVD drive Apple MacBook Pro 15: 2.66GHz Intel Core i7-620M; OS X (Windows 7 Optional); 8GB RAM; 160GB SSD; 15.4" 1680x1050 LED-LCD w/ antiglare finish; Nvidia GeForce GT 330M GPU; DVD SuperMultiDrive I've been [over]contemplating the advantages and disadvantages of my options for some time now and would like to appeal to MacBook Pro (and ThinkPad, if there are any here) users for help on coming to a final decision... ---------- Pros: Thinkpad X201s: My reasons for considering a [Lenovo] Thinkpad are as follows: (1) I've owned a few notebooks in the past and they have all been Thinkpads (before Lenovo bought IBM's PC division), so I know what I'm getting; (2) The construction quality of the Thinkpad line is far superior to all PC competitors, with their magnesium-alloy top and bottom covers, roll cage, sturdy metal screen hinges, and mil-spec standards (most of them have a rubberized finish, and the plastic is very strong compared to the recycled-wafer feel of most notebooks); and (3) the trackpoint mouse (the little red dot in the center of the keyboard) - my prior exposure to Thinkpads has allowed me to master the trackpoint, even to utilize it as precisely as a standard mouse. The specs available on this model match my needs as well. Also, I like that there is no DVD drive as I very rarely use discs on a mobile computer, so an external one will suffice. MacBook Pro: My interest in a Thinkpad primarily stems from past experience, of which I have none with the Apple line. But there are a few advantages, as I see it, to a MacBook Pro: (1) The option to run Mac OS appeals to both my user side (the environment seems more simplified, better organized, and, as I mentioned before, more aesthetically pleasing) and my developer side (the ability to run the Adobe applications that I use, the option to run Windows alongside Mac OS, and the [purported] long battery life for when I'm unplugged); (2) its construction also appeals to me: relatively high-resolution antiglare LED-backlit screen; beautiful and durable aluminum uni-body case; thin and minimal design; and an exceptional glass touchpad for everyday use. ---------- Cons: Thinkpad X201s: Screen: 12" is a bit smaller than I would like - 13"-14" would be ideal. Also, the thick bezel is appalling - reminds me of something from the 90s, or one of the current Fisher Price-style netbooks (Lenovo could easily have reduced its size and added an inch to the screen without changing the size of the entire unit). Also, the resolution on the 12" (1440x900), while respectable (better than the 13" MBP) is a bit shy of what I desire for productivity (though it might be asking too much given the current standards for that screen size). In contrast, the MacBook Pro has a significantly higher-resolution (1680x1050) 15" LCD with a relatively thin and proportionate bezel. Battery: This is a minor gripe, and one hardly worth considering, but I don't like that the higher-capacity (6-cell) battery adds a bit to the thickness of the notebook. It's not one of the batteries that protrudes from the rear by an inch or so (that would be the 9-cell), but the unit is thick enough for an ultra-portable as is. Also, I've read a number of reviews that say the battery is not exactly flush with the casing and wobbles around a bit - again, a minor gripe, but it makes me wonder why Lenovo didn't address it early on. Graphics: The X201s doesn't have a dedicated GPU and relies on the integrated "Intel Graphics Media Accelerator HD" for its graphics acceleration, which is not ideal. I don't do much gaming, but it would be nice (though, I need to emphasize, not necessary) to have the option. But I do want to make sure that high-resolution videos are playing at decent frame rates, and that the graphics that I produce are rendering out well and quick. In contrast, the MBP has a dedicated 512MB 330M GPU that reports a 6746 3DMark06 score, compared to the X201s which scores 1486. OS: Last minor gripe ... no OS X option. I'm perfectly able to be productive with Windows 7, but OS X seems a cut above Windows for [at the least] daily use. As a designer I admire the consideration for usability that was put into it - it's as if they built it bit-by-bit from the ground up, analyzing every aspect and giving attention to every detail that went into it, to create a perfectly crafted operating environment. Windows, while having outdone itself with the latest version, seems like it was just designed in the quickest possible way at the expense of usability. I don't want to say that Windows was poorly done, but it falls short with its excessively flashiness. MacBook Pro: Size: This is the single biggest factor that draws me away from this model. As I mentioned before, 13"-14" is ideal, and if I had to go a touch above or below I would choose to go below, which is why the X201s wins out on size. However, there's a clear screen trade-off with size: the 15" MBP has a larger view at a higher resolution, which I could get a lot more work done on. But sitting with a larger notebook on my lap, or trying to fit it onto my cramped desk, isn't exactly appealing. On a side note, if the 13" had a better processor and a high-resolution antiglare option, I wouldn't need to write this. Heat: I've heard some stories about the i7 MBPs overheating under heavy workloads, or at least getting so hot that they are uncomfortable/unbearable to have on your lap. If I'm watching videos or listening to music while I'm working in Photoshop or Illustrator, the last thing I want to worry about is the system overheating and shutting down (and losing my work) or my legs burning. Navigation: As I mentioned earlier, I consider myself a trackpoint extraordinaire - there's no manner of work I can't complete with it that can be done with an ordinary mouse. The touchpad, however, is nearly impossible for me to draw out pixel-perfect shapes with. For everything else it's adequate, but when I'm creating a layout with multiple shapes that need to be a specific height/width on the canvas, the only thing the touchpad serves to do is frustrate me at best, and give me ulcers at worst. I don't mind using a mouse if I'm on a surface that can easily accommodate it, but when I'm on my lap or a carpet, etc, then my options are limited. It's nice to have the on-board option that works as well as a mouse for me, so the MBP falls short here as well. Flash: I'm not too familiar with the operational discrepancies of Flash on the Mac OS, but I've heard a lot lately about it crashing the browser, unreasonably tasking resources, and generally under-performing. Perhaps this is a misconception that I have based on misinformation, but given how prevalent and essential Flash is to everyday use on the net (videos especially), it's something I would like to have some answers on before I sign on to Mac OS. Cost: The MBP, similarly configured, is nearly $1000 more than the X201s. This isn't a major drawback for me given the amount of use I expect to get out of it (hoping it will quickly pay for itself), but being that it's 1/3 more than the X201s pricetag it does weigh a bit on my budget. Emphasis here, though, is on use rather than cost - I would rather wait and buy something better when I can afford it than hastily purchase an item that I can't get the same use out of. ---------- Similarities: To be fair, they aren't all that unlike one another. A few of the aspects they share: both are able to run Windows; they essentially contain the same processor (i7 640LM in the Thinkpad, i7-620M in the MBP); both support the 8GB RAM and SSD options I plan on upgrading to; both have antiglare/matte finish screen options; both have an n-protocol wifi option; and both have highly respectable construction standards. ---------- So there you have it, my thoughts and questions on both options. Now I reach out to the MacRumors community to help me decide which is best. If you can dispel any of my criticism (or confirm it) you are more than welcome to do so. Anything you can share that would help me to arrive at a final decision would be much appreciated. Thanks!