new laptop – initial impressions

So I got my ThinkPad E520 today, and I thought I’d write up some initial impressions.

  • It’s lighter than I thought it would be. I guess it’s mostly plastic, and the battery isn’t huge, so that must be why. It feels weird though.
  • This is the first laptop I’ve ever bought that had a numeric keypad as part of the keyboard. (Well, technically, I had a barely portable Amstrad back in the early nineties that had a full-size keyboard with numeric keypad, but that wasn’t really a laptop.) This also feels a bit weird.  When I’m typing, my fingers aren’t in the middle of the laptop, they’re in the middle of the main part of the keyboard, which is a bit left of center. And the trackpad  is centered under the main part of the keyboard, so that too is left of center. I think I’ll be able to get used to it, but it does feel weird right now.
  • The keyboard isn’t bad, but, given the size, I wish they’d gone with a more conventional key layout.  Ins, Del, Home, and End are up on the top row, but PgUp and PgDn are tiny little keys on either side of the up arrow key.  (On the plus side, they did maintain the inverted T arrow key layout.)
  • This laptop has the Lenovo “Enhanced Experience“, which is supposed to speed up boot time. My experience so far is about 45 seconds to the login screen, then 45 more seconds to the desktop after entering my password. Not bad, I guess, but not stunning.
  • This machine has a fingerprint reader.  I set it up to allow me to login with a swipe of my index finger, but it hasn’t worked so far.  I might need to go through the setup wizard again.
  • Lenovo tends to ship a bunch of proprietary utilities on their machines.  This one has a handful of programs pre-installed, but only a few are really useless and need to be uninstalled. 
  • I’ll definitely be uninstalling Norton Internet Security.  I’ll probably install F-Prot for anti-virus protection. I’ve been using it for several years on all my machines with no problems.

So those are my initial rambling thoughts.  I’ll probably post more in a few days, when I’ve gotten a bit further with it.

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