I recently obtained an IBM ThinkPad T43P and I have several thoughts. It is important to keep in mind that I am comparing this new machine to a Dell Latitude D600 laptop which I have had for about a year.
First, the wireless networking on the IBM just seems to be better. I'd often turn on my Dell and have to sit there for about a minute or more while it figured out what networks were available and/or what it wanted to connect to. The ThinkPad just seems to jump right on pretty quickly so I'm not held up.
Second, the ThinkPad has no Windows key. I can't believe that in this day and age ANY keyboard would be manufactured without this key (a key that I've grown to depend on because it provides quick access to many things). This is a major drawback, but it's obviously not a showstopper.
Third, the screen on the Dell seems brighter and more brilliant. They're both equally as clear, but that extra brightness does seem nice. Again, this is something that isn't a showstopper.
Fourth, The IBM just seems to be built better. It seems more sturdy. I can't really say much more than that on the subject.
Fifth, the IBM seems slower than it should be. The IBM is a Pentium M 2.13 GHz while the Dell is only a 2.0 GHz. I'm pretty convinced that this is a factor of all the third-party crap that came installed with the thing (such as the all-important IBM "Message Center" which is trying really hard to teach me how to be productive). There are lots of system tray applications that came with the IBM that I'm pretty certain are just not needed. There is one thing that I do like - the battery meter that is superimposed on the task bar. That's handy. But I'm sorry - an IBM Message Center? Excuse me?
Sixth, I am starting to find the Norton stuff very annoying. It seems like every time I try to install something Norton is warning me that it could be a terrible virus and ruin my world. That seems a little childish and behind-the-times to me.
Seventh, IBM chose to put the Fn (function) key on the far left on the bottom row. There is no doubt about it. This position should clearly be reserved for the CTRL key. IBM, in my opinion, was short-sighted in putting the Fn key, one that is used not nearly as often, on the far left. Call me nit-picky, but what's right is right.
Eighth, the Bluetooth in my Dell never worked. I confirmed that I bought it and even had Dell tech support on the phone, but I never was able to be without my laptop long enough to send it in and wait for them to repair it. Having it up and running (and running WELL) on the ThinkPad was pretty cool.
I'll post more comparisons later but all in all I'd have to say that with a fresh, clean install of Windows (to get rid of all of IBM's dumb stuff) I'll bet this thing would be awesome.