Tuesday, February the 28th, 2006

I was a little distraught when I wrote the last post, but I plan to be more rational this time. This post will contain a careful comparison between the Macbook Pro (MBP) and the Thinkpad T60p (T60p) to, you know, help me rationalise what it is I was thinking when I hit that cancel button on the MBP and chose the T60p instead. These are just notes to self.

Update: Here are the factors supporting my decision to pick the T60p over the MBP. The factors countering my decision are still being written up.

Criterion Macbook Pro (Z0DF) Thinkpad T60P (2007C8U)
Customised Price* $2,818.54 $2,617.14
Mouse Buttons 1 3
Processor Intel Core Duo: 2 x 2 GHz
(2 MB Cache, 667 MHz FSB)
Intel Core Duo: 2 x 2.16 GHz
(2 MB Cache, 667 MHz FSB)
Memory (RAM) 2 GB (PC2-5300) 2 GB (PC2-5300)
Maximum Memory 2 GB (PC2-5300) 3 GB (PC2-5300)
Graphics ATI Mobility Radeon X1600
(256 MB GDDR3)
ATI Mobility FireGL V5200
(256 MB GDDR3)
Native Display 15.4″ 1440 x 900 Widescreen
(Millions of colours)
15.0″ 1600 x 1200
(Millions of colours)
Hard drive 100 GB Serial ATA drive (7200 rpm) 100 GB Serial ATA drive (7200 rpm)
Networking 10/100/1000BASE-T (Gigabit)
54-Mbps AirPort Extreme (802.11g)
Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
Intel PRO/1000 Gigabit Ethernet
Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG
Bluetooth 2.4 GHz
Verizon Sierra CDMA2000
Expansion 1 ExpressCard/34 slot 1 Type I/II slot
1 ExpressCard/54 or 34 slot
Dimensions 1.0″ (h) x 14.1″ (w) x 9.6″ (d) 1.4″ (h) x 13.0″ (w) x 10.5″ (d)
Mass 5.6 lb 6.00 lb
Battery 60 Watt-hour lithium-polymer 9 Cell Lithium-Ion (14.4 V)
Battery Life** 3.5 Hours 5.2 Hours
Basic Warranty 1 year limited warranty 3 years limited warranty
Cover Material Aluminium Magnesium
Supported OSs Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) Windows XP Professional
Windows 2000
PC DOS 2000
Bootup Technology Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) Flash ROM BIOS
Gimmicks Magsafe connector
Apple remote
Isight camera
3G Wireless
Fingerprint reader

* Final-final price, after all academic discounts and taxes.
** Averages of values I’ve seen reported under minimal use.

The following is an example of the aforementioned “academic discounts”.

T60P Academic Pricing

This is a printer-friendly version of the journal entry “Thinkpad T60P vs Macbook Pro” from actuality.log. Visit to read the original entry and follow any responses to it.

15 Responses to “Thinkpad T60P vs Macbook Pro”

  1. pUl| says:

    Ah PC DOS, those wonderful days…

  2. pundit says:

    I don’t even think I’ve used PC DOS. Unless MS DOS was a bastardised variant of it.

    And how were they wonderful days? Do you remember having to boot-up using “special disks” that bypassed many things on your autoexec.bat so that games will fit in the 640KB of lower memory? Do you remember the pains supporting the sound card—ARGH!!

    Do you remember you could only run one task at a time?

  3. pUl| says:

    PC DOS was the first one and quite popular. Until about version 4, when IBM messed up big time with memory stacks and such, that Microsoft was forced to pull the code away from it and continue serious development from that point on. Having said that it is no surprise that MS was behind PC DOS development since the beginning. In fact if you pull a random executable from a PC DOS installation and open it up in EDIT.COM, you’ll see a lot of references to MS. The last time I did this I even remember having seen Copyright Microsoft Corporation in one of the Help -> About menus or some such. Nearly everything in PC DOS 2000 is borrowed from MS DOS 6.22, even fdisk!

  4. pundit says:

    So basically, they’re bastardised variants, right?

  5. pUl| says:

    IIRC I was fiddling with DOS around 98-ish before I moved to RH 6.0. At that time, I had a dozen programs at hand which would let me do much much more that the limitations you stated. Granted most of them were just plain freeware, but all I’m saying is that even *multi-tasking* was more than possible.

    Memory problems were more fun to solve and more of a learning experience. I even started fooling around with NASM just for the heck of it!

  6. pUl| says:

    Well, yes.

  7. pundit says:

    Ah, I see what the difference might be. I started experimenting[1] around RH 4.2, so DOS’s capabilities in these regards immediately seemed inadequate. Besides, computers were only a gaming platform at that time (hence all my brain can immediately recall is memory and sound card issues).

    And I can’t even remember the last time I used NASM. I think it was to compile a then-newfangled MP3 player—freeamp[2]—and it really enjoyed dicking around in assembly for performance reasons.

    [1] Worded to sound like I was into drugs or something freaky.
    [2] Now it doesn’t even exist. But there’s zinf—zinf is not freeamp.

    (And I hate it when my web log tool flags my own comments for moderation. And I don’t notice it for a few minutes.)

  8. Adi says:

    Speaking of discounts, in reality, there aren’t any. It’s a marketing trick.

  9. pundit says:

    I got that much. But it’s definitely better than being “marketed into” spending another 1.5 grand, no?

  10. Adi says:

    Well, that would be a retarded move in the part of the Company for the simple reason is that the consumers are too clever to compare and contrast between models. Now, say, if you wanted to spend another 1.5 grand, you will have to compare the same model with another one with almost identical pricing, say 4 grand, and see the differences in features. Obviously this laptop will lose out(unless its one of those “designer” models that comes with a designer leather bag and whatnot) heavily because its features are “comparable” to the 2.8 grand MacBook Pro.

  11. pundit says:

    Retarded or not, that is how they (IBM/Lenovo) seem to price it in the real world (as in outside education/government pricing). And people still end up buying them, after comparing them to a similarly configured, but much cheaper laptop from a different brand. In this example, that’d be picking up this Thinkpad for close to 4 grand when there’s an (arguably sexier) alternative that’s close to 3 grand available from a competitor.

    Actually, the other way around I am sure happens more frequently. I know people who’re totally into Apple products, and will gladly pay a premium for the equivalent of your “designer logo”. The company isn’t selling them a product, but some sort of lifestyle badge or something.

    Currently, “being poor”, I consider price (and even then, not really). But the moment I get a “real job”, I too will just pick up what I want, at whatever price the company (in my case IBM) is offering it at; just because it’s them. It’s probably lazy, but it doesn’t bother me.

    I think there are more subtle branding issues going on than I know how to explain or articulate. But you obviously know all this.

  12. ayaj says:

    Can someone let me know if autocad/maya/rhino/any type of rendering…. runs smoothly on the MBP? Also if someone has the t60p, can they compare the two? I am interested how in open gl apps, the ati 1600 compares to the ati 5200. Thanks.

  13. Drew Robson says:

    $3799 down to $2299 is an incredible discount if you ask me. Is that because you got it through Michigan REMC? I’ve been trying to get academic pricing in New Jersey but it seems that IBM/Lenovo only discounts the system to $3039, which is still quite pricey. Unless I’m missing something?

  14. pundit says:

    What is this REMC?

    I just went through the (online) university store, and figured this was the academic pricing they’d negotiated with my university. Unless I’m totally wrong and that’s not how it works at all.

  15. Archer6 says:

    I called Lenovo direct and negotiated a great price on my T60. Give that it’s OK to talk price here as opposed to the forum, I paid $1950 for a machine that lists for $2999. I have found that if ones spends some time they (reluctantly) will reduce the price. Just today I finally decided exactly which T60P I want, and managed to enjoy a similar discount.

    Thanks for the great report on the MBP! I have been agonizing over that one too, and have decided to wait for awhile before making that move.

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