ThinkPads New and Old

July 15, 2009

A few weeks ago I did a stupid thing - I blew compressed air into the fan of my ThinkPad T60 while it was running. (Don't do that.) Within a day, the previously silent fan was making a huge racket.

I didn't panic. I simply went to the Lenovo support site, obtained the hardware maintenance manual (an IBM staple for decades), found the detailed information I needed (including part numbers), and obtained a new replacement. Making this sort of repair is not difficult with most laptops and my T60 is silent again.

I am a huge ThinkPad fan not only because they are the best engineered laptops but because of IBM's obsessive nature when it came to documentation. I wondered if Lenovo was continuing that same tradition, so I visited the Lenovo support site to search for the documents for a ThinkPad T500 and a 15" model of a Lenovo IdeaPad.

For the T500, there was no comprehensive, downloadable single manual for hardware maintenance. Instead, sections of the manual were available directly online. I looked at the section on the fan & heat sink assembly. Because I have not seen the inside of a T500, I could not determine whether the drawing on the page was specific to the T500 or generic (it looked a lot like drawings I had seen in the T60 maintenance manuals I examined). The page did not include the very valuable compatibility matrix, another IBM staple and vital to my understanding of the repair of my T60.

There was no manual at all for the IdeaPad.

It was a sad day for me when IBM decided to sell its PC business, including ThinkPad, to Lenovo. That sadness is confirmed by my conclusion that Lenovo will not continue in the tradition of IBM and that new ThinkPads will ultimately not live up to their storied history.

Tags: Hardware, IBM, Laptops, Lenovo, Repair, ThinkPad

A total of 14 related articles were found. See them all...