Still Not Working

2009-March-11th

As you may know, it's been nearly a full month since I received the ThinkPad T400, and as you may also know, the T400 has been a huge pain in my side the entire time. Crashing in the middle of classes, randomly locking up, and a variety of other instability issues. I've had to send it in twice, once for the issue of locking up, and another time to fix the fact that the first time I sent it in, they sent it back with the wrong motherboard.

In the past few days I managed to find a retail Vista64 disc and install it successfully, plus the drivers from the Lenovo or Intel websites, where necessary, and it was stable for about a half of a day, and promptly resumed instability.

After a few more days of weird registry versions, experimenting with just about every combination of driver versions, I've come to the conclusion that there either is something wrong with the hardware, or the drivers. Either way, it almost seems like I'm not going to be able to get this machine to be stable.

Tonight's project is to call Lenovo again. I am going to try to either get a full product replacement, possibly with a bigger drive and more memory installed at the factory, to eliminate one possible source of problems, or I may see if I can get a return authorization for the T400, and either get a different ThinkPad, or go to a different vendor.The biggest problem with returning the T400 is that I don't know where to go inside the ThinkPad lineup, or with another vendor like Dell for the new new machine. The problem with finding another ThinkPad is that there are no other machines in the ThinkPad lineup offering the same balance of size/weight and power. The W500 would be a very powerful machine, but it would be as big as the R61i, and have a shorter battery life. The R and SL series are nice budget-minded machines, but I would be unable to get one with as much power or as nice a display as the T400.

I could also make the decision to return the T400 and most/all of the Lenovo accessories and get a Dell Latitude, however the main problem I see with that is that the current generation of Dell Latitudes are all using slower DDR2 memory, and none of them have switchable graphics available. I suppose it's a small sacrifice to make in the quest for reliability.

The big other option, however, is simply to get this T400 fixed or replaced. I would honestly prefer that option because I don't really have a lot of money (mainly after having bought the T400 and the stuff for it) and because I still believe the T400 is simply the best computer in the "Thin and Light and still powerful" category.

Unfortunately, in either case, I suspect I will be using ye olde X24 for a very long time to come, for a huge variety of reasons.