|NEW X30 - LOTS TO LIKE, SOME NOT TO LIKE
Dec 11, 2002, 3:55pm
Got the new X30 ThinkPad finally (they almost pulled an 'Apple' on me, more below), and I've had a chance to use it for a few days. Here's some thoughts.
- First, it's small. The Bluetooth and WiFi inserts add .2lbs to the base 3.5 lb weight, but at 3.7lbs total going weight when I bring the computer here and there, wow. It's about the same weight as an equivelant book of the same size.
- Second - it's the size of a textbook, a thin (1 inch tall) one. Smaller dimmensions length and width-wize when compared to my dearly departed ThinkPad 570E. A bit thicker though.
- Third, I see IBM never stands still on the tiny improvements to the user experience - here's stuff that's on the new notebook that wasn't on the 570E: Thinklight - a little white LED light built into the lid that lights up the keyboard just enough that you can see all the keys. Easy to use power button - no more double guessing how to power the unit on or off. Compact Flash slot (type 1 and 2) built in - SWEEEEEET. Built in browser buttons for forward and reverse in ANY browser (yes, works in Mozilla as well as IE). Titanium lid that's coated with a very minimalist rubber coating - the tactile feel of picking up this thing is amazing. Firewire, though only 4 pin (ie, non-powered) port. Two USB slots, though only 1.2 version, not USB 2.0.
One thing I really like is how bulletproof this computer seems. Although I had little cause for genuine concern, I was always a bit leery of the 570E's amount of "flex" in the casing, especially the LCD lid - I could bend it quite easily. Picking up an opened 570E from the edge of the keyboard portion would also exhibit flex.
Not so with the X30 - it is rigid like no notebook I've tried before - absolutly no flex in the body or lid. I also like how the entire notebook outer casing seems to have a tactile, grippy coating of micro-thin rubber. I'm not sure how this will wear and tear, but from the get go the computer feels very secure in your hands as you handle it and move it from place to place.
Another thing I like and didn't think was possible is how they seem to have improved on an already great keyboard (and by far and away the industry's best). The feel from the X30 keyboard is so sweet. Nice solid feel to the keys, good distance between keys, even for my big mitts, and the travel (how far they press down) is great considering the diminuative size of this computer.
Okay, before you think it's all guns and roses, uh, a bed of roses, there are a few things I'm not terribly happy about (but maybe I'll get used to).
I don't like how bluetooth and WiFi seem to compete with each other on this system. WiFi is my primary wireless tech - bluetooth is for a future phone I will buy (Sony Ericcson T68i). But the stupid bluetooth network connection icon will always say disabled, but will never go away.
Second, and mainly a software issue, undocking is not very elegant - on the 570E, I press a button, undock, and walla, everything's fine. On the X30, I press the undock button, and the computer goes through conniptions for about 15 seconds, and half the time, drops out of my encrypted WiFi connection. Boo.
Third, IBM dropped the ball on not having a simple on-off switch for WiFi. WiFi is a battery eater, and it'd be good to have an easy way to turn it off. Nope... it's a software deal. But since I don't want my taskbar's running programs area (the place next to the clock) to have umpteen visible icons, I shut that one off. Other notebooks have a WiFi on/off switch, and even my ThinkPad X30 has a bluetooth on off switch - why no WiFi solution?
But it's early days yet. So far battery life is amazing - over 4 hours this morning doing some high intensive work (photoshop is a battery drainer) on one charge. Sweet.
|Previous Ten Daily Rants
|The continued fallout on auto gratuities
|| 6:35pm, 08/09
|Final thougths on price gouging, auto gratuities coming soon
|| 1:50am, 03/04
|The Real Reasons for Olympics Auto Gratuities
|| 8:20pm, 02/19
|Vancouver Olympics - Nice Prices, Profiteer (gouger) Restaurant Listings
|| 1:15am, 02/18
|More on Auto Gratuities
|| 7:45pm, 02/16
|Price Gouging in Vancouver During Olympics (and Price Heroes!)
|| 1:20am, 02/16
|Ideal Mac (or any pc) netbook....
|| 9:05pm, 12/22
|NetMacBook Hackintosh Update
|| 1:20am, 12/20
|NetMac... er Hackintosh... er NetMacBook. Yeah
|| 6:20pm, 12/17
|Balance Board Wii Game I'd like to see - Boxing!
|| 5:00pm, 07/26
Photos from Algonquin Park
Photos from my trip to Algonquin Park this fall with my Mom and two brothers.
Making Snow for the Fortress
One of the worst jobs I ever had... till I got out.
Tools I Use
The tools I use to build websites and lead a tech life.
iPod and iTunes Offline
iMark's iTunes and iPod isn't iPlaying anything right iNow.
Most Recent Songs
Fiddlers Green by The Tragically Hip
Around The Bend by Pearl Jam
Here With Me (Rollo's Chillin' With the Family Mix) by Dido
With arms open wide by Creed
truffle pigs by Matthew Good Band
In the News
Burundi and Beyond - NY Times
Great article by Peter Meehan - provided some background.
St. Petersburg Times
Side mention in an article about good machines
AP Story on Espresso
Background and information provided
NY Times - Grinders Article
Especially proud of this one - got the reporter to focus on grinders
Globe and Mail
LOL - showing bad reporting, dude says I'm an American-based site!
The Olympian, WA
Talks about my love for the El Sal Siberia Pacamara
Seattle Times - Clover
Interviewed for comments on the Clover brewer
NY Times - How it Works
Background and information for various espresso machines
Time Mag Article
Just a brief mention, article about roasting beans.
Front page article about consumers getting into specialty coffee.
Quoted reference to what I wrote in an article at CoffeeGeek.
USA Today - Barista Jam
Intereviewed for my thoughts on what the epitome of espresso is.
The Wall Street Journal has interviewed me 3 times. This is the first time my name got in a story.
Interview with Reuters, Jan 2 - this is the USA Today version.
My Other Stuff
Launched Dec 22, 2001, this is THE online community for espresso and coffee fanatics.
It's all new, as of March, 2002. My personal coffee obsession site.
My company's site - needs an update!
Hey, if you feel the need to buy me something, check here!
Great gadget site run by the guy who used to do Gizmodo.
This is how I get my daily news fix.
The most active forums for digital photography online today.
Need my Daily Zen fix!
A blog about car stuff. Vroom Vroom.
An industrial design blog. Very cool stuff.
Friends and Family Plan
Beata's got her own blog! She updates it most days.
Riddla on Flickr
Matt Riddle's flickr account, updated regularly
Irdy, my friend from Jakharta, on Flickr
Canon EF 24-105 f4 L Lens
The best lens I've ever owned. Super sharp and quick.
A full frame dSLR, with luscious colour reproduction.
Alzo Digital Lights
Some amazing florescent cold lights for product photography
Canon Xsi dSLR
Amazing technology and image quality in a tiny package.
Latest prosumer camera from Canon - a much better upgrade than the 30D
Great 2.2lb computer that does most of my travel / writing needs
28mm f1.8 Lens
A great lens for closeup work and full picture photography
Finally got the right tools for freezing green coffee.
Canon 50mm 1.4
Most amazing lens I've ever owned. Produces stellar photos.
Super wide angle (full frame fisheye) zoom for my Canon 20D