I got my new dual core Thinkpad X100e yesterday. It is a replacement for my ancient yet beloved Thinkpad X31, which H accidentally left on the top of her sister’s car two weeks ago in Memphis. This new Thinkpad, direct from Lenovo, is slightly smaller and a lot faster; basically it’s a dual core netbook – not quite a laptop but definitely not an Atom-powered netbook. I used it to finish off an article revision last night and it performed rather well.
It also came with Windows 7 Professional, which I’m a bit torn about. I have avoided Vista entirely – my cantankerous, Frankenstein-assembled quad desktop and my work desktop still have XP – so this has been, oddly enough, my first extended experience with a new Windows version. H has gone Apple and has a MacBook Pro, so I am familiar with a more modern interface and the various bells and whistles, but I have to say that there is something really screwed up with how 7 handles file permissions. As elegant as everything else is, why is something so basic and fundamental left in such an annoying state?
Slightly less annoying is figuring out how to get old games to work in 7. The X31 didn’t have the graphics to do much; the X100e does. I got the dual core version as the single core Neo processor that comes in the base X100e is pretty much the same as the old Pentium M processor that was in my X31; that speed was hot for a laptop in 2003, but not anymore. The big test was to see if it would run EU3: In Nomine, which it did, surprisingly, without any intervention. I also managed to get it to run Thief 2 only using processor affinity; it just ignored the usual graphics problems I have with that game. I suspect this little thing is powerful enough to do a lot more.
The X31 was more or less indestructible save for a few pressure points that cracked over time. I disassembled dozens and dozens of them and their predecessors, the X20s, when I was a tech, so I knew it would age well. The X100e is even easier to take apart, with a huge bottom panel, and it also feels far better made – very little flex. Hopefully, it will last me five years or more, like the last one.