Brian H. Madsen
Computer says no

Dell XPS M1330 vs Lenovo Thinkpad T61

December 30th 2007 in 6442, 6443, 6444

My wife has been speculating on getting a laptop and naturally asked me to look into this for her.

One of the aspects that she’s been stipulating is size. She does not want a monster laptop like my Dell XPS M1710.

So, bearing in mind the size i went out to look for other options. Having heard a lot of good about Lenovo from Michael Kleef I decided to take a look at their range.

Immediately the T61 came to mind – it’s small, mobile and fairly well priced at just $2,099.00.

The T61 comes, at that price range, with 2Gb of Ram..plenty for what my wife will be using it for.

I went over and looked at the specs of the T61 and started comparing it with the M1330 from Dell.

Out of the box, the M1330 has more features and it’s smaller with just a 13.3″ screen. It’s also lighter which means a lot for my wife and being scottish, cheaper.

So on the surface it looks like the obvious choice.

But, having had previous experience with Dells from both the corporate side of things as well as on the residential side of things i know that Dell used to put a lot of unwanted software on their machines and the first thing i always did was to blow all the crap away and rebuild.

Having said that, i took a look at what the M1330 comes with…

nylon bag..yes, tick that one

but then i noticed a BIG issue for me..massive to be honest…Google Toolbar..my worst enemy and on #1 of my banned software list!! WTF? they seriously still ship with that crap.

I thought that Dell had finally understood that people that knows about computers DOES NOT WANT CRAP TO BE INSTALLED. You just want the OEM so you get a clean build, with the newest drivers and that’s it.

Dell, you’re seriously putting a dent into any kudos you may ever have gained in the last 1-2 years.

They also spin nearly 2Gb of drive space off for “MediaDirect” – a feature on my M1710 which i’ve never, ever used and are most likely never going to use. But that may be just because i’m a geek – who knows?

So, now i’m at a crossroads, literally..do I put my own personal experiences into the equation or do i advise my wife to go for the M1330. It’s sleek, nice looking (good job Dell), and cheaper than the T61. Or do i advise her to get the T61 – which by all appearances is just an IBM rebadged? The Dell definitely seems like the better choice, but i’m majorly put off by the stock software that comes with a new laptop from them.

She wants to play a few “older” games that she likes, surf the net, email..etc..the usual home stuff, but will most likely also use it as a desktop replacement (she’s still on the Dell 8400 we bought years ago) and do a bit of work from home.

Who uses (besides Kleef that is) the Lenovo T61 and can give me some pointers on pros and cons on the machine?


5 comments to...
“Dell XPS M1330 vs Lenovo Thinkpad T61”

skware

One way would be to add the “charge” of your hourly rate x the number of hours that it will take you to reformat reinstall to the cost of the dell to get a more accurate figure of what the dell really “costs”. You should then factor in that you need to buy a cheaper Dell to make it match the IBM’s price.



John

Brian, the Dell XPS1330 is very nice. I got mine fully spec’d out with 2.4Ghz cpu and 4GB RAM, I run 64bit Vista without issue. My old laptop is a 17″ 9300, same chassis as your XPS.
I recommend getting the LED backlite screen, it is amazing.
I did a complete rebuilt after the standard burn-in week test, Unreal Tournament 3 as it happens ;). Vista is so easy to install these days, the rebuild took an hour and was painless, 64bit is a little more fun if you need to support 4GB RAM, sounds like you don’t.
The laptop is thin and light, super powerful, SuperPi 2million digits ran in 50.45s, thats quick. HDMI port is great to connect to a bigger monitor, dual headphone ports, webcam and large laptop keyboard format. The 9 cell battery is the heavy part of the lappy, it actually lift the back up a little to improve airflow.
Only issues I have had is only 2 usb ports, use hub in my 24″ Dell if i need more, resolution is little low (used to 1920×1200), again I use a Dell 24″ at the office and the touch senceitive audio control are easy to trigger accidently as you stuble around the non-standard keyboard layout.
If you want something slick, small and powerful I recommend the XPS1330, keep in mind the 15″ version with higher resolution has come out a little cheaper.
John.



Brian Madsen

hey skware,

yeps – that’s pretty much the equation i’m going to go by…the wife is paying for the laptop though…not me.

the Dell is loosing out the more i consider the problems.

Another issue i’ve found rather annoying is the fact that most of their drivers are custom drivers that you cannot get from the vendor itself..rather, like the NVidia 7950GTX GO that i have in this machine..that driver cannot be found on NVidia’s site. So we have to wait for drivers to come out from Dell themselves if there’s issues.



Stewie

I have had mine for a week & yes, I removed Google Toolbar & everything else I don’t want & it works great (verdict is still out on Vista). 4gb of RAM, 20gb hard drive … this machine is great.

There are some faults like the loud optical drive & its slow to charge w/ the 65w charger … but nothing yet has made me regret this purchase.

Did I mention that it is sexy?



Brian Madsen

My wife settled with the Dell XPS M1330 for two reasons…

1) this is the brand she knows the better (has never heard of Lenovo) and has used before.

2) more bang for her buck.

It arrived thursday afternoon and i have to admit it is very sexy.

I did notice that VERY loud optical drive and she has yet to recharge so i’m not sure how long that’ll take.

She did however settle for the 9-cell battery instead of the 6-cell that comes with the laptop by default.




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