When I first bought my IBM T41 laptop a little over four years ago, I was told that this laptop would serve me well throughout my school years. As I gleefully tore open the box flaps, there lay my new laptop, it's black finish reflecting a metallic glow. I was amazed at how light it was compared to all of the laptops I had seen in popular stores like Best Buy, Future shop, and Circuit City. While some may criticize it's plain exterior when comparing it to the extremely glossy and rounded laptop pc's that are mass-produced, this exterior gives it a professional and elegant look. The unique exterior gives access to two PCI ports, two USB ports, an S-Video out port, as well as the standard dial-up/ethernet connections and the microphone/headphone plugs. The speakers are hidden under the front lip of the laptop to maximize audio without distorting it as alot of the keyboard mounted speakers tend to do. Almost undetected are the built in microphone and built in keyboard light which shines upon the keyboard from above the beautiful 14" LCD screen. A major feature of this laptop is the IBM tracking ball which comes with alternative tips for your preference. This allows the user to type and use the mouse without having to use an external mouse or a frustrating touch pad. Perfectly placed are a first set of left, right, and centre click buttons to use with the tracking ball which are extremely comfortable and easy to use. If you are one of the rare few who dislikes this feature, there is also a standard touchpad with its own respective mouse buttons that has customizable sensitivity to cater to any individual need.
Although this may seem like a cut and dry business solution, this laptop is ideal for any student. It has the power and speed to support all forms of word processing and Internet capabilities necessary for school life. Also, it is capable of supporting all sorts of gaming options for those much needed "study breaks." The built in Wireless a/b/g allows for mobile connection to wireless access points.
Although a lot of these features are standard in most of the newer laptops, they do not have the reliability that this laptop has. To this day, it has survived being dropped multiple times, having liquid spilled directly on the keys, and being continually squished within a backpack full of books. This review was written on that very same laptop bought those many years ago and it still outperforms all of my friends' new laptops. The one time I had an issue with it was the DVD combo drive which broke when opened. The customer support was fantastic. It took two weeks from the day i sent it in to get it fixed. The laptop would have been alot cheaper had I not bought this 3 year warranty (costing over 500$), and frankly it was not a very useful addition as it is such a durable device.
Believe me, this laptop will not dissappoint in any of today's markets, be it student, personal, or business. It is guaranteed to carry me through for at least a few more years without an upgrade.