IBM X41 Tablet PC

I’m thinking of picking up a laptop to replace the tired one that has been faithfully serving me for the past while. I got it used and it was a good addition to my computer menagerie but that venerable 600E IBM Thinkpad is now too slow and non-portable to be of much use anymore. The battery has been dead since I got it so it was good for using around the house but I am increasingly seeing the value in being able to take my computer on the road.

From what I’ve been hearing in IBM’s new X41 Tablet PC seems pretty ideal, if a little pricey. I first heard about it on The Tablet PC Show podcast and I’ve been doing a bunch of research at places like and on IBM’s own website. They have a great online demo by the way that lets you get a pretty good sense of the machine and its attributes.

I have a T42 that I use at my day job and prior to that was using a T30. I have a high opinion of the durability of these machines, even with the new “Lenovo” moniker it looks like the quality of the machines is going to be maintained.

Two things are holding me back, first is the complete lack of stock. Something like this I’d be a little happier picking up in a bricks-and-mortar business. There have been supply issues and even ordering from the web site I can expect at least a month or more of delay. Also I’m having some difficulties figuring out how to configure the machine. On IBM’s website there seem to be two species and you can take it or leave it. I want to get a larger hard drive and more powerful battery but I also want the built-in biometric fingerprint reader. But this last option is in no way offered with the “better” model.

Also, is it me or do a lot of the choices on the “Customize and Buy” page not really make a lot of sense. It looks like it was programmed by somebody who believes that the consumer needs to already know everything about the machine and has very little guidance. You could easily end up purchasing two copies of office for the machine if you weren’t careful.

I think I’ll end up calling one of the online retailers and walking through the configuration with them and see if I can’t get exactly what I’m looking for.

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