I finally got my chance to use my newly bought Thinkpad T41p for the first time. My first impression is how little it came with other than the notebook itself. Other than the notebook, it only shipped with a power cord and AC adapter, a phone cord, two Trackpoint caps, a quick setup instruction, a service and troubleshooting guide, a regulatory notice list and a carrying cases flyer. That’s all, not even a single CD. This is in contrast with my old Compaq Presario 2701 which shipped with many CDs and manual books.
It ships with Windows XP operating system, IBM’s Windows XP installation is very clean. They apparently already preconfigured the OS for use with high resolution screen. So, no reconfiguration is required on my part. Unlike my old Presario, it is not cluttered by promotional icons from various ISPs and services I’ve never use, thank god! Unfortunately the taskbar is a little cluttered. Some icons have duplicated functions, for example there are two icons managing the wireless ethernet, one from Windows XP, and the other from IBM. Likewise, there are two battery indicators, one from Windows XP, the other from IBM. I’m not planning to use this with Windows XP most of the time, so that’s not a big deal with me.
The hardware itself is excellent. The screen is bright and crisp. The keyboard is terrific, and there’s no Win keys! Yay! There are two pointing devices, a trackpoint and a touchpad. Since I’m not very fond of a trackpoint, I’ve configured it to do scrolling exclusively instead of moving the pointer. On top of the screen, there is a light which can be used to illuminate the keyboard in dark condition. However I’ve found the feature less than useful since the bright screen already illuminates the keyboard perfectly, even in lowest brightness. The trackpoint came with three types of caps: the traditional one (which found in most older models), the dome type (which installed by default) and the concave type. I immediately replaced the dome type with the concave type. It feels better, but I also found out that sometimes it gets in the way when I’m about to hit G, H or B keys. Another problem is with the Touchpad. I can’t use virtual scrolling feature when my finger is on the very edge of the Touchpad. Maybe it is my fingers that are too small.
Overall, it is much better than my older Presario. It has much better hardware and much more features. It does not break my back (it does break my bank however). I’m planning to install Linux in it as soon as I get back to Depok, so I would be able to do real work with it.