Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 8th Nov 2012 12:52 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Something truly interesting is currently happening in the PC space. Ask any random internet commenter how the PC market is doing, and I'm pretty sure you're going to get something along the lines of 'everybody but Apple is failing'. Turns out this isn't the case - Lenovo has just become the world's largest PC and laptop vendor, after three years of steady growth in sales and profits. "During the second fiscal quarter, Lenovo's worldwide PC shipments grew 10.3 percent, in a difficult market that was down eight percent year-over-year, the 14th quarter in a row that the company has grown faster than the PC industry as a whole. In this challenging environment, Lenovo achieved its highest-ever worldwide market share of 15.6 percent, gaining share points in every geography, every product category in which it competes, and in every respective customer segment." Very impressive.
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Reasons
by dnebdal on Thu 8th Nov 2012 13:34 UTC
dnebdal
Member since:
2008-08-27

I wonder if this is because they're genuinely better for the money, or because most of the competition has had more time and exposure to build up people's loathing of them?

(I rather like their T-series thinkpads myself, but that's probably not the best-selling line.)

Reply Score: 1

IBM
by MOS6510 on Thu 8th Nov 2012 13:46 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

It makes you wonder if IBM should have stayed in the desktop/laptop business.

I just love my old IBM keyboard.

Reply Score: 2

RE: IBM
by kwan_e on Thu 8th Nov 2012 14:00 UTC in reply to "IBM"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

It makes you wonder if IBM should have stayed in the desktop/laptop business.


If they did, then the not-Lenovo division probably wouldn't have grown. IBM is probably too immobile to keep with the desktop space.

Reply Score: 5

Keeping true
by Chrispynutt on Thu 8th Nov 2012 13:46 UTC
Chrispynutt
Member since:
2012-03-14

Even if you don't like what they stand for there are three brands in the computing space that stand for something; Apple, Thinkpad and Alienware.

All three and doing well, all three stick to their guns and all three are long lived in the face of adversity.

Thinkpad survived a complete change of owner.
Alienware has remained focused and autonomous inside of Dell.
Apple survived the mess of the 90s.

I admit Lenovo's other lines are less well known to me. But their Ideapad ultrabooks look rather nice and I really want that LePhone keyboard-case for my Cloudmobile.

Lenovo is on the line between being identified as a definable thing, and something for everyone. The Thinkpad provides a great halo effect for the rest of their machines. Even if they are only as good as the competition, that extra +1 for desirability pushes them over the line.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Keeping true
by Morgan on Thu 8th Nov 2012 15:27 UTC in reply to "Keeping true"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I have nothing but love for both my Lenovo ThinkCentre workstation at the part time job, and my fiancée's IdeaPad laptop. The design and "fit and finish" are top-notch, and they are competitively priced.

As much as I like Apple's design aesthetics and OS X itself, I'd take a Lenovo over an Apple machine any day.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Keeping true
by Chrispynutt on Thu 8th Nov 2012 16:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Keeping true"
Chrispynutt Member since:
2012-03-14

Which Ideapad does she have out of interest?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Keeping true
by Morgan on Thu 8th Nov 2012 17:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Keeping true"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

It's a Z565, she got it in November 2010. A quick search shows that the current version is likely the Z575; very similar design and a modest bump in specs.

She tends to get about two or three hours of battery life when she brings it to my house. Performance wise it's not quite on par with my quad-core i5 system at work, but it's no slouch either. The built in graphics are good enough for casual gaming, and for what she does with it (internet and watching movies/TV via HDMI out to her TV) it's overkill.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Keeping true
by Chrispynutt on Fri 9th Nov 2012 10:54 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Keeping true"
Chrispynutt Member since:
2012-03-14

Thank you for the info

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Keeping true
by StephenBeDoper on Fri 9th Nov 2012 02:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Keeping true"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

I have nothing but love for both my Lenovo ThinkCentre workstation at the part time job, and my fiancée's IdeaPad laptop. The design and "fit and finish" are top-notch, and they are competitively priced.


Yeah, Lenovo's business class gear* is great - or, depending on how you look at it, they haven't managed to screw up the already-great designs they bought from IBM. I've been using a Thinkcentre as my desktop PC (one of the "pizza box" models) for about 2 years now, and I'm genuinely surprised that there isn't the same kind of geek-reverence for them that there is for Thinkpads.

They're fairly small, very quiet, relatively expandable (most have at least 1 PCI slot, many also have a PCIe slot), incredibly easy to service (replacing the PSU is about the only thing that needs a screwdriver), and built like damn tanks. In many ways, the pizza box Thinkcentres remmind of the old Sparc 20 - not just because of the similar form factor, but because there was obviously significant effort put into making maintenance work as simple as possible.

It's funny, my workstation has unintentionally turned into a shrine to things that IBM used to make: Unicomp Model M clone connected to a Thinkcentre, which has a Thinkpad sitting on top of it.

*I've been decidedly-unimpressed with everything I've used from Lenovo that didn't have "Think" prefixed to its name. Same cheap crap you get from Dell, HP, Acer, et al.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Keeping true
by zima on Sat 10th Nov 2012 02:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Keeping true"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

It's funny, my workstation has unintentionally turned into a shrine to things that IBM used to make: Unicomp Model M clone connected to a Thinkcentre, which has a Thinkpad sitting on top of it.
*I've been decidedly-unimpressed with everything I've used from Lenovo that didn't have "Think" prefixed to its name. Same cheap crap you get from Dell, HP, Acer, et al.

I propose you run on that shrine the Hercules emulator, in the background, ~idling; though serving some files or smth would be even better ;) )

(hm, and over here consumer Lenovo laptops seem one of the nicer ones, with great value; they are really what's responsible for most of the growth)

PS. Oh my, and it took me whole 5 minutes to realise I forgot about OS/2. ;p
Too bad IBM Simon is non-functional in present mobile networks...

Edited 2012-11-10 02:42 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Keeping true
by lucas_maximus on Sat 10th Nov 2012 17:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Keeping true"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

To be fair, Dell's Latitude range has always been pretty solid.

But their consumer stuff has always been shit.

Edited 2012-11-10 17:14 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Keeping true
by StephenBeDoper on Sun 11th Nov 2012 18:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Keeping true"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

To be fair, Dell's Latitude range has always been pretty solid.

But their consumer stuff has always been shit.


I was just talking about the consumer-class machines (I should have been clearer about that), I haven't really dealt with their business-class stuff. Their consumer-class desktops are some of my least-favourite machines to do service work on - things that should be simple always turn into a puzzle (like figuring out how to take the case off, or remove a drive).

They do make nice servers though, at least the 2 or 3 models that I've worked on.

Reply Score: 2

Good for them
by bowkota on Thu 8th Nov 2012 14:35 UTC
bowkota
Member since:
2011-10-12

Back when I had a 12inch Powerbook, most my friends were using a ThinkPad. It was a great device. I'm glad Lenovo took over and they kept it alive.
Good for them

Reply Score: 2

Reliability and battery life
by sb56637 on Thu 8th Nov 2012 15:39 UTC
sb56637
Member since:
2006-05-11

Lenovo has a pretty good reputation for reliability, seems to be a carryover from their IBM laptop roots, which really were rock solid reliable. I wonder about how they compare to Dell and Acer now in terms of reliability.

What I most value in a laptop is battery life. The last time I was shopping for laptops, Acer and Asus offered quite a few light/thin laptops with a low power processor and a 6-cell battery that gave 8+ hours of battery life. I couldn't find any Lenovos that offered that, with the exception of huge desktop replacements with a bulky, protruding 9-cell battery. Any good new Lenovos in the category I'm interested in?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Reliability and battery life
by Morgan on Thu 8th Nov 2012 16:16 UTC in reply to "Reliability and battery life"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Their Thinkpad X series are good workhorses with reportedly great battery life. I don't have any direct experience but you may wish to look into them.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Reliability and battery life
by bouhko on Thu 8th Nov 2012 18:48 UTC in reply to "Reliability and battery life"
bouhko Member since:
2010-06-24

I've had Dell laptops for some years (Inspiron and then Precision Mxx), a Macbook Pro and then got a Thinkpad x201. It's by far the best laptop I've ever had. It's very solid, quite light, the keyboard is very good.

But, more importantly, it doesn't overheat. Even if I'm using the CPU at 100% for a sustained period of time, the palm rest temperature barely rises. The Dells I've owned have always had heating problem and after 2 years, they started shutting down unexpectedly due to that.

That being said, a friend of mine has a Thinkpad W510 (which is quite a monster) and he's got the same heating problems I had on my Dell. So maybe I was just lucky...

Reply Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

In my experience the Dell Latitude line (with the notable exception of the D400) has been pretty good with thermal issues. That is, they generally don't overheat and rarely get too warm to touch, despite a metal base construction and general thinness compared to similar business class laptops.

They are also a dream to upgrade or repair when something does go wrong. I could take one apart and put it back together blindfolded, and that's no exaggeration.

The only downside to that line is the persistent lack of good GPUs. You could get a D600 series with an Nvidia Quadro NVS, but even that chip was severely underpowered and really didn't deserve the Quadro name. Otherwise you were left with Intel integrated video. That was fine if you were using the machine just for presentations and email/browsing, and it was a boon for those who sought a pure open source environment, but for the rest of us it made for some lackluster performance.

Still, I wish I had held onto one of those D620s I had in my collection.

Reply Score: 4

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

I've had Dell laptops for some years (Inspiron and then Precision Mxx), a Macbook Pro and then got a Thinkpad x201. It's by far the best laptop I've ever had. It's very solid, quite light, the keyboard is very good.

But, more importantly, it doesn't overheat. Even if I'm using the CPU at 100% for a sustained period of time, the palm rest temperature barely rises. The Dells I've owned have always had heating problem and after 2 years, they started shutting down unexpectedly due to that.

That being said, a friend of mine has a Thinkpad W510 (which is quite a monster) and he's got the same heating problems I had on my Dell. So maybe I was just lucky...


Yeah, I'm a big fan of ThinkPads, but that's one issue that's bitten with two models in a row (x60 and T410s): overheating. Sadly, Lenovo seemed to follow the trend of prioritizing low noise over adequate cooling - fortunately there's a great program out there called "TPFancontrol".

That, combined with regular cleaning of the fan has keep the overheating issues at bay. It does require removing the keyboard, but that's almost absurdly-simple with most Thinkpads.

Reply Score: 2

Retailers
by Neolander on Thu 8th Nov 2012 16:12 UTC
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

I've read lots of Lenovo praise lately, and will perhaps switch to them for my next laptop. My main issue at the moment is their weak presence in brick-and-mortar retailers here in France. For regular customers (as opposed to companies), except maybe in very large cities like Paris, it looks like it's mostly online or nothing.

Which is sad because when it comes to servicing broken hardware, I prefer dealing with humans at a desk over enduring endless phone wait and blindly sending packages to some postal address, without any guarantee that the content will make it there in one piece, and knowing that *I* will be held responsible if it doesn't.

Edited 2012-11-08 16:15 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Retailers
by StephenBeDoper on Fri 9th Nov 2012 02:47 UTC in reply to "Retailers"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Which is sad because when it comes to servicing broken hardware, I prefer dealing with humans at a desk over enduring endless phone wait and blindly sending packages to some postal address, without any guarantee that the content will make it there in one piece, and knowing that *I* will be held responsible if it doesn't.


That seems to be Lenovo's Achille's heel - in every experience I've had with them, the service has been awful. And their support forums are full of people complaining about sending back systems for warranty repair, waiting a month, then getting it with the problem unfixed.

The saving grace is that their hardware is very easy to service on your own, at least the business-class "Think*" systems. I wouldn't touch their consumer-grade stuff, but that goes for pretty much every other PC OEM except *maybe* Apple.

Reply Score: 2

Default installs
by darknexus on Thu 8th Nov 2012 16:48 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

The last time I serviced a Lenovo, their default Windows install (this was for XP) was one of the most bloated I'd ever seen. No joke, the recovery was a set of six cds, and it required all of them. When I looked at what got installed, I about ran away in horror. This was a Lenovo Thinkpad (sorry, I don't remember the series or model) from 2009. Have they gotten better at this? One of the reasons I like Apple machines, apart from OS X, is that they don't come with gigabytes of bloatware. Yes, I can wipe it and install a clean Windows on PC laptops, but that hastle really should not be necessary when I just want to open it up and start using the thing. Can anyone comment on how Lenovo's doing with their default installs these days? Are there any PC vendors that just install an unmodified Windows (with the exception of hardware drivers, of course)?

Reply Score: 2

Good units sales - poor profit
by Tony Swash on Thu 8th Nov 2012 17:10 UTC
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

An operating profit of $206 million on 8.7 billion. Thin margins.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Good units sales - poor profit
by karunko on Thu 8th Nov 2012 22:03 UTC in reply to "Good units sales - poor profit"
karunko Member since:
2008-10-28

An operating profit of $206 million on 8.7 billion. Thin margins.

Maybe because they're not fleecing their customers?

Oh, I forgot: we're living the post-PC era, tablets (i.e. iPads) are eating into the sales of PCs in general and laptops in particular, yadda yadda yadda. Either that, or the margins are way too thin, eh?


RT.

Reply Score: 4

Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

"An operating profit of $206 million on 8.7 billion. Thin margins.

Maybe because they're not fleecing their customers?

Oh, I forgot: we're living the post-PC era, tablets (i.e. iPads) are eating into the sales of PCs in general and laptops in particular, yadda yadda yadda. Either that, or the margins are way too thin, eh?


RT.
"

The notion that any company that makes a good profit, and let's be honest here in this context that means Apple, is fleecing the customer is ludicrously childish.

If a company fleeces customers you don't see it's sales increasing above the average market growth rate year after year and you don't see it regularly topping surveys of customer satisfaction.

If you make a high value added and sought after product with a high reputation and as a company create a premium brand that not's fleecing, it's just good business.

Reply Score: 1

kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

that not's fleecing, it's just good business.


They're not mutually exclusive.

Welcome to the 21st century, where good business excuses any action.

Reply Score: 4

karunko Member since:
2008-10-28

If a company fleeces customers you don't see it's sales increasing above the average market growth rate year after year and you don't see it regularly topping surveys of customer satisfaction.

Psychology 101 explains that each time you spend a non trivial amount of money on a product you feel "naturally inclined" to be happy with your purchase. I'm not saying that the products themselves are not to good, mind you, but the same could be said about Lenovo, ASUS, Samsung, etc.

If you make a high value added and sought after product with a high reputation and as a company create a premium brand that not's fleecing, it's just good business.

Given that the parts are the same and prices are the same, if Apple makes a bigger profit on a sale it means that their customers are paying more. The fact that they are willing to do that doesn't change the fact that they are, in fact, paying more and no amount of spin doctoring is going to change that.


RT.

Edited 2012-11-09 09:02 UTC

Reply Score: 3

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

It's childish to overlook veblen goods, positional goods, how our perceptions of products work (for example http://news.stanford.edu/pr/2008/pr-wine-011608.html ); how a company might be doing decent despite the pricing of their products.

Anyway, a) I'm glad I'm getting a better deal with Lenovo b) Lenovo is about bigger things for China.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good units sales - poor profit
by Anon on Thu 8th Nov 2012 23:22 UTC in reply to "Good units sales - poor profit"
Anon Member since:
2006-01-02

Wow! Only 2% margin! No wonder IBM flogged it off.

Lenovo is in a very vulnerable position should sales plateau or costs increase. Very little room for movement.

No surprise Lenovo takes top PC vendor spot, it's more to do with the competition and PC market as a whole dying, then Lenovo making big strides.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Good units sales - poor profit
by kwan_e on Fri 9th Nov 2012 01:47 UTC in reply to "Good units sales - poor profit"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

An operating profit of $206 million on 8.7 billion. Thin margins.


Sane margins.

Reply Score: 3

T520
by henderson101 on Thu 8th Nov 2012 17:37 UTC
henderson101
Member since:
2006-05-30

Day job provides me with a T520. It's an okay laptop, as PC's go. It's robust and reliable up to a point. It's certainly better than any Dell I've ever been forced to use.

You can still pry my 2007 Black plastic MacBook from my cold dead hands though. God, how I love that laptop and God, how much more life it still has in it!!

Reply Score: 2

RE: T520
by JAlexoid on Fri 9th Nov 2012 11:38 UTC in reply to "T520"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

If I didn't need the power, I would still be using my ol' T42. 7 years in service and still going strong.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: T520
by henderson101 on Fri 9th Nov 2012 17:03 UTC in reply to "RE: T520"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

TBH, MacBook has a 2GHz Core2Duo and 4GB RAM, it's still as speedy as a daily driver (including using various dev tools and Eclipse based IDE's.) It just fails at stuff like games and video encoding (though Braid is running fine, so I'm happy with that.)

Reply Score: 2

Lenovo-Fujitsu
by judgen on Thu 8th Nov 2012 21:14 UTC
judgen
Member since:
2006-07-12

Fujitsu should really learn from Lenovo how to make a good bios. My Optimus Lifebook bios just plain sucks fiercly. On Lenovos with the same chipset you can choose in bios to use the intel igp, the nvidia gpu or the optimus sollution. In fujitsu laptops you are relegated to optimus only wich sucks for alternative OS'es since optimus is ONLY supported by windows 7 (not even working on vista) and nothing else. There are some work on optimus for linux (bumblebee) but is not spot on yet but it is getting there.
Also if you run a relatively old game like C&C generals or Wings of liberty it keeps switching between the gpus for no reason other than lower load but that causes severe stuttering even though the FPS is really good.

Optimus is still shit even in the newer versions, it even stutters and flails around when watching HD videos because of the switching back and fourth.... just awful.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Thu 8th Nov 2012 22:57 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

THIS IS BECAUSE THINKPADS ARE THE BEST WINDOWS LAPTOPS.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Luminair
by JAlexoid on Fri 9th Nov 2012 11:39 UTC in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Thinkpads are the best Linux laptops as well...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Luminair
by zima on Wed 14th Nov 2012 02:00 UTC in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

THIS IS BECAUSE THINKPADS ARE THE BEST WINDOWS LAPTOPS.

Probably so, but most of the growth of Lenovo comes from Ideapads ...which are also very fine laptops, especially for the price.

Reply Score: 2

No surprise, Lenovo's good
by benali72 on Fri 9th Nov 2012 00:51 UTC
benali72
Member since:
2008-05-03

I'm not surprised. Lenovo retained IBM's quality emphasis, while HP has self-destructed and allowed others to poach their marketshare while falling from the #1 spot.

Reply Score: 2

No more :/
by vermaden on Fri 9th Nov 2012 05:58 UTC
vermaden
Member since:
2006-11-18

Lenovo ThinkPad Yx20 (T420/T520) and Dell Latitude EYx10 (E6410) are the last business laptops available.

Current ones are, unfortunately, mostly the same as 'the rest of the crowd', so why bother.

</keyboard_layout_rant>

Reply Score: 1