My business computer upgrade choice

I have been needing to upgrade my office desktop for some time, , , I’m ashamed to tell you how old it is. The problem was everything worked and my philosophy of “If it ain’t broke, , , don’t fix it.”

Please excuse my southern heritage slang, , , “ain’t” is proper English in Tennessee and surrounding states.

The other problem was I dreaded, , , literally DREADED the thought of going through a system conversion. What a pain!

Then it hit me, , , my whole business is on this system , , , I can’t afford for this old server to conk out on me, , , better do something before it is too late. I already knew I had used my Dell desktop much longer than I should have.

What to do, , , time to decide what I need in my office, and what I want.

Here is what I decided from a non-technical point of view:

  • Fast processing speed with multiple programs running simultaneously
  • Large disk capacity
  • Multiple USB ports
  • Good handling of graphics, , , I use lots of graphics in my business
  • Multiple monitor capability, , , a “battle station console” for the challenging work I do
  • Microsoft Office 2010 (now is the time to upgrade)
  • An operating system that works (hated VISTA)
  • My personal data files from my DELL desktop
  • My Outlook file from my DELL desktop
  • Several software products loaded onto my DELL desktop
  • Easy setup and portability

I’ve been thinking through these issues for some time and the conclusion I came up with is that I need to replace my very reliable DELL desktop (which was a race horse when I bought it, but a snail today) with a robust laptop.

I don’t really plan to take this laptop on long trips to Dubai or Africa, but I do plan to take it to our Camp Liberty when we decide to spend a week or two down on the Buffalo River, , , we also call this “MDE West”. I have a satellite dish for Internet connection so I can work just as well down there as I can here in my office. It will be so much better being able to have my entire office with me when we are at the camp.

This means I need a very reliable laptop and one with a reasonably big screen.

My choice – a Lenovo ThinkPad W520.

I just completed the conversion last night and have been using my new “office laptop server” for a couple of days. VERY IMPRESSED !!

In my next post, I’ll outline the steps I took to completely migrate to my new system, , , it was much less hassle than I thought it would be and could not be happier with my setup.

The main reason I went with Lenovo is because I have had a Lenovo X60s for several years. I take it everywhere with me so it has probably logged well over 100,000 miles and has stood up to the travel test admirably. I like the small footprint of the X60s and the light weight for travel.

I find Lenovo laptops to be built sturdy and capable of handling true travel bumps and knocks you go through, , , I have had problems with two other popular brands over the years, , , disk problems and external power connection issues. No issues of any kind with my Lenovo X60s, , , “knock on wood”.

For my office, I need something a bit more robust than the X60s. The only major downside of the X60s is that it came with VISTA (have hated VISTA the whole time, but not enough to replace it) and isn’t powerful enough to be a true desktop replacement.

My initial thoughts of the new Lenovo W520 laptop:

  • Fast, , , especially compared to my Dell desktop
  • Screen is bright, sufficient size, and HD clear
  • Keyboard is one of the best in the industry, although I’ll use a full size wireless keyboard and mouse most of the time
  • 3 USB ports and two are USB 3.0 plus all are easy to get to
  • Multiple monitor capability
  • I’m liking Windows 7
  • Plenty of disk capacity with 500GB plus another 500GB on an external hard drive
  • Setup is easier than what I remember with my Dell desktop simply because of the weight, access to monitor port, etc. There is much to be said about “portability”.
  • Feels like a genuine desktop type of power
  • Did I say it is “FAST”? I spent a little extra money because this is for my office and business, , , felt the extra power and speed was worth the cost. So far, very glad I did, , , if only I could type faster.

I still have a few things to do to get my office computing environment completely where I want it but the “heavy lifting is completed”. Next steps are:

  • Order the docking station and a new 21″ monitor
  • Setup my “battle station console” with three monitors

In my next post, I’ll walk you through the migration steps I took to get fully functional with “what I had” plus the “new environment” I want for our MDE Enterprises office environment.

4 responses to “My business computer upgrade choice

  1. I know its a little late to post.. but you do have some upgade capability on the thinkpads.. been supporting them for years, and like you have found they have been the most reliable out of the top 4 pc manufactures.
    I have upgraded, Ram, CPu’s and Hard drives to improve performance 🙂

    • Mitch, my Lenovo ThinkPad is beefed up quite a bit for speed and capacity because I expect to use it for 3 or more years. I added memory, extra disk and other things to make it fast. The order system on Lenovo steps you through your options like you find with most vendors.
      I know this isn’t much detail but it is what I can share with you.
      Mike

  2. Casper Swanepoel

    When I was reading your post, I saw you mentioned DELL and thought that you would replace it with a DELL laptop. Hence my utmost joy when I noticed you replaced it with a LENOVO Thinkpad. Great choice.

    I firmly believe that Lenovo is one of the best choices available out there for all the important reasons – sturdiness, reliability, performance, design, etc, etc. And it is not because I used to work for IBM lol (once an IBMer, always an IBMer I guess…).

    We use only IBM servers and Lenovo desktops/laptops at our construction site. And believe me, any computer that can withstand all the dust in this place, must be very robust.

    Enjoy your new W520 – and keep us updated on what you do with it.

    Remember – make backups! 🙂

    • Thank you Casper. Yes, I have been very pleased with Lenovo and now have 3 laptops from them, , , all very durable. I will continue to make updates about my experience with our new office setup and other events that are hopefully of interest to visitors of ITLever. Have a great day.

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