Friday, 17 December 2010

Lenovo vs Apple (Why I chose a Lenovo)

Don't get me wrong, I love the design of Apple products but when my trusty Lenovo T400 had a problem, I chose to replace it with a Lenovo T410 instead of an MacBook Pro.
I realise that a 15" Apple MacBook Pro hs a better screen resolution than the Lenovo 14" and the Apple also has better graphics capability. One could also argue that the MacBook Pro has a better construction. Even so, these are the reasons that I STILL chose the Lenovo:
  1. Keyboard - The Lenovo has a great keyboard that feels a lot more positive than the MacBook keyboard. There are more keys on a Windows machine so I don't have to remember short cut keys (i.e. keys like PgUp and PgDown are missing on the Mac Keyboard). The Mac has backlit keyboard but I touchtype so the "ThinkLight" is fine for me.
  2. Price - The MacBook Pro with very similar configuration (500GB hard drive, 8GB RAM) was about £500 more expensive and I would still not have built in 3G Connectivity
  3. Analogue VGA out - The Lenovo has an Analogue VGA out compared to the micro digital display out plug of the Apple. The VGA analogue socket of the Lenovo has much better compatibility to most projector systems that I may find on customer premesis. The MacBook Pro may actually have a better signal but I would need to carry some sort of adaptor cable.
  4. Second internal hard drive capability - The Lenovo, by virtue of it's multi-bay, allows me to swap the DVD drive for a hard drive. This allows me to run with a second hard drive. The MacBook Pro DVD drive cannot be replaced.
  5. Swappable bay options. The Lenovo swappabl bay can also support an extra battery and even a BluRay drive (albeit very expenseive). These options of course do not exist with the MacBook.
  6. Better warranty - Whist Apple and Lenovo both support three year warranty, only the Lenovo is next day on site and also has options for "Accidental damage"
  7. Better connectivity - My Lenovo has the option of built in 3G support which means I do not have to use a dongle to connect to the internet via EDGE or GPRS networks. Much neater without the dongle and it has always seemed to me that dongles can be broken off so easily...
  8. Security - By this I mean the fingerprint reader. It is a great security feature of the Lenovo and is yet to appear on a MacBook Pro. Not sure if MacBook Pro has build in Anti-Theft Technology but I know the Lenovo has it.
  9. Portability - The MacBook beats the Lenovo on chic factor but is slightly bigger and certainly more stealable... I needed a laptop that would be easy to use on the Train.
  10. Usability - This is of course subjective and I know Apple are world renown for usability but this is from the perspective of a Windows/Linux guy that expects a right click! I am also a fan of the tiny joystick in the center of the Lenovo keyboard which I would really miss on an Apple.
  11. The Aluminium case - A masterful piece of engineering and beautiful to behold. However, scratch it and you will feel gutted (and it is SO EASILY scratched).
  12. Compatibility - I am in no way a Windows fan but there are SO MANY applications that I want to try that mandate Windows...
  13. Mini-DVD capability - Don't use this much but when necessary, I really want the DVD drive to handle small DVDs and CD's. Unfortunately the Apple built in drive can only support full sized DVD's
  14. Lenovo Enhanced Experience - Windows is actually usable again with fast boot and shutdown.
Other things that I needed to consider
a) Since I run virtual machines, I wanted a laptop with 8GB memory. Added to that, I need a hard drive that will store those VM's This menat a 500GB hard drive at 7200 minimum!
b) Latest offering from Lenovo (T410) comes with multi-touch capability (for the apps that support it)
c) I already have a 256GB SDS drive that I wanted to use as my primary drive and the 500GB drive would then become my secondary drive - This meant that I had to have a laptop that would support a secondary drive