What on Earth Are They Thinking?

Ok Lenovo.  Let’s talk.  Man to company.

I used to be a huge ThinkPad fan.  Huge.  My parents worked for IBM for a bunch of years and we used to have at least 3 ThinkPads floating around the house at any given time.  They were great, tough little machines.

I had my doubts when IBM sold their ThinkPad line to you.  On one hand, IBM’s quality control had shrunk to the point where it was basically non-existent, so I couldn’t imagine another company doing worse than Big Blue already was.  Still, I was skpetical enough to start buying Mac.

But I was curious enough to keep my eye on you.  And you certainly did come out with some little gems. Your X Tablet series with the pivoting screen that turns into a writing tablet? Genius.  Really, you outdid yourself with that one.  My brother has had one since they came out and loves it.

So what’s with the W700DS?  What the heck is that?


To get you up to speed, let Wes Williams from the Lenovo product dev team pitch the new system to you:

Ok.  Back up just a second, Wes.  When you go on a business trip — a SIMPLE BUSINESS TRIP, say from LA to New York.  Or London, say — you used to schlep all of that crap with you?  Seriously?  You’re not just pulling my leg?  Because you’re starting to sound like a late night TV ad trying to sell me a single tool that combines 10 other tools that I never actually use. But ok.  Let’s say I’ll accept that as your inspiration.  Even though the idea of you trying to get all of that crap through security in your carry-on is more than a little laughable.

So what are you trying to sell me?  A laptop that combines 1) a Waccom writing tablet 2) an extra 10.6″ screen 3) dual integrated RAID-capable hard disks 4) 5 USB ports (wtf?) 5) integrated color calibrator (which does what, now?) 6) all in one media reader 7) dual cooling units (I can see why you might need those).

This is starting to remind me of a certain Simpsons episode, where Homer tries to integrate all of mankind’s automotive desires into a single car:


But alright.  I’m game.  How much would it cost me to buy the machine you’re demoing there?  Crunching some numbers here on your ‘Customize‘ page, it looks like:


And that’s with your 25% discount!?! Oh hells no! What kind of fool do you take me for!  I could buy a nice used car for that!  Or pay the rent on my apartment for 6 months!  And on top of that I’d probably have to pay to have someone else help me carry it, considering this ‘mobile workstation’ weighs a hefty 11lbs and measures 16 x 12 x 2.1.

But ok.  So what.  A fully loaded MacBook 17If I calm down for a moment and think about it, maybe you’re right.  Maybe there is something I could do with this hulking aircraft carrier of a laptop that would make it worthwhile.  Why don’t you show me what some of your ‘users’ are doing with it?

All right!  I get it now!  It’s a babe magnet!  Like a Ferrari or a yacht or something.  I’m not actually supposed to use the machine, I just have to carry it around town and opportunities for laptop stripping games will present themselves!  Games where I will always win! Because hot girls with Macs won’t be able to believe I could afford a machine like that in this economy!  Much less carry it!

And since all of the hot girls in Brooklyn are Mac users, I must be your target audience!  You made this computer especially for me!

So I take it all back.  You’re right Lenovo.  You’ve once again managed to distill everything I look for in a computer into one single inexpensive (cheaper than 2 MacBook Pros!) compact (smaller than a Smart car!) laptop.  You are a true industry leader.


Chief Geek
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