i wonder if lenovo will do better...
i finally got my shiny new work laptop today, an ibm t42p. it's got all the fixin's including a 15" 1600x1200 screen, 1GB of RAM, 128MB of graphics memory attached to an ATI mobility fire gl t2 chip, and a 60GB 7200RPM hard drive. so far, i'm really liking this machine but i'm pretty annoyed with my purchasing experience.
the first problem (though minor) was that ibm's website sucks. if i hadn't been set on this laptop, i would've just said forget it and went to dell.com. not only is the website unnecessarily slow, but there's an extremely limited selection available online and the product information is scattered everywhere. i literally had to open up 4 or 5 browser tabs just to compare the specs for two laptops. since i'm a big thinkpad fan, i'm able to gruel through this, but you'd think they'd make the purchasing process as smooth as possible. after all, they want people to buy their products don't they?
the next problem was that it took forever to get the laptop. the only customization i put on it was to upgrade the wifi to 802.11b/g (the default config only had 802.11b). seemed like a pretty vanilla order to me, but it took them a full 10 business days to ship the thing out. maybe i've just been spoiled by dell, but what's up with ibm's supply chain? the worst part was that when i called up to check the status of my order, the reps had no idea when my laptop would be ready. one rep would tell me that my laptop would ship in a week and then another would say that there were hundreds in queue and it would be until next month.
<side rant>speaking of slowness, anyone notice how laggy blogger is nowadays? *sigh* all the more reason to host my own blog i suppose...</side rant>
the last - and by far the worst - problem was that they shipped me the laptop without installing the 802.11b/g card. at first i figured this wasn't going to be a big deal; on my t30, it's extremely easy to access the miniPCI slot. however, after much head scratching, i finally looked online and found out that i would have to pretty much take the entire thing apart to install my wifi card. i had to slide out the battery, take out 20 screws, pop out the keyboard and remove the palm rest bezel just to get to the slot. it took a good 45 minutes, but after much tinkering, i finally got the 802.11b/g in there and put everything back together. i mean, if you're going to take 2 weeks to ship a laptop, at least put the wifi card in there!
so all in all, i'm really liking the laptop, but lenovo really has its work cut out for them. if they manage to improve the purchasing experience while maintaining thinkpad's legendary quality bar, they should do quite well - but i'm sure that's easier said than done :D