Charles Engelke's Blog

July 1, 2008

Lenovo Impresses. So Does UPS.

Filed under: ThinkPad — Charles Engelke @ 2:22 pm
Tags: , , ,

I just had a great experience ordering from Lenovo, which I was not expecting.  UPS did a good job, too, but that wasn’t such a surprise.

I bought a Lenovo ThinkPad T61 last summer direct from the company.  At least, I ordered one.  There were so many delays that I canceled the order so it wouldn’t arrive while I was away for almost a month.  I reordered one three months later; there were fewer glitches, but it still took a month or more to get the unit.

I put up with the delay because ThinkPads are still the best notebook PCs there are.  They’re sturdy.  They’re rock solid reliable.  The service is superb (I know not because I’ve ever had a ThinkPad just stop working, but because I dropped mine straight onto a cobblestone from four feet, cracking the case; it kept working fine, but I didn’t like the crack and Lenovo service was fast and perfect).  They’ve got good keyboards and the best notebook pointing device (TrackPoint) ever made.  They come with useful and reliable extra software like Presentation Manager, instead of crapware.  If I could legally get Mac OS/X on a ThinkPad it would be perfect.

I know a lot of people claim that ThinkPad quality has gone down since Lenovo completely took over from IBM.  I was worried about how well they’d keep up with design; I expected construction to stay the same.  Well, I’ve seen no drop in quality at all.  I’ve been using ThinkPads for fifteen years.  I’ve used three Lenovo ThinkPads after the turnover, and they’re just as good as ever.

This story started on Friday, June 20.  My wife’s old ThinkPad T42 needed replacement.  It still works as well as ever, but expectations keep going up and it was four years old.  So we ordered her a T61 direct from Lenovo.  The web site said that every model available would take at least two weeks to ship; the model we ordered said it would take three to four weeks.  We placed the order anyway, and got a confirmation message listing the ship date as exactly four weeks after the order.

We ordered it on Friday and by Monday morning the Lenovo site said it had been shipped.  They were telling the truth: the UPS site showed tracking information for it later that day.  It started in Shenzhen, China (just north of Hong Kong) and I watched as it passed through Guangdong, Anchorage, and Louisville.  Halfway through the trip UPS started showing its delivery date as today, July 1, 11 days after we’d placed the order and 8 days after Lenovo shipped it.  Not bad; we’d paid for the cheapest shipping option (called “Ground” on the web site) because we figured we’d be waiting a long time before it even shipped anyway.

Well, it didn’t arrive today.  It arrived last Friday, slightly less than 7 days after we’d ordered it.  Lenovo took the order, custom assembled the PC in China, and got it to our door in Georgia in less than a week.

I’m impressed and pleased with both Lenovo and UPS.  They each underpromised and overdelivered.  It would have been nice if Lenovo had been more accurate from the start so we could better plan for things, but we can’t complain about the wait.


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