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MacBook Pro or ThinkPad T61

I'm in need of a new laptop, and I'm struggling deciding which to purchase- the Apple MacBook Pro or the Lenovo ThinkPad T61. So, I'm looking to my readers for some help. Here are the pros and cons that I have outlined of each:

Lenovo Thinkpad T61:


  • Impressive hardware, built like a tank.
  • 801.11 a/b/g/n built in.
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Cheaper per component than the Macbook Pro.
  • 9 cell battery option.
  • Excellent keyboard.


  • Microsoft Tax (is it possible for a refund?).
  • 1680x1050 best resolution.
  • Not sure if Ubuntu will work out of the box or not.
  • A bit hefty and slightly large with the 9 cell battery installed.

Apple MacBook Pro:

  • 1900x1200 best resolution (YES!).
  • Mac OS X (I don't mind this tax).
  • Light and slim.
  • Backlit keyboard.
  • LED backlit display.
  • MagSafe power adapter.
  • Builtin camera.


  • Funky keyboard layout.
  • A bit expensive per component.
  • Trouble getting Ubuntu installed.
  • Slot loading DVD/CD-ROM.

I think ultimately, I am leaning towards the ThinkPad T61. Every review that I have read online about it has been nothing but positve positive positive. The hardware is solid, the wireless is top notch and the keyboard fabulous. I wish the screen resolution got a bit better, but 1680x1050 isn't bad. The price is a big factor. I can get a T61 with the options I want for about $1400. However, I do not want to pay the Microsoft tax, especially purchasing a notebook with Vista installed. If there is a way to get the operating system refunded, or to purchase the notebook without an operating system, that would be optimal.

I love the display of the MacBook Pro giving me the option to do 1900x1200 and I like the LED backlit display adding life to the battery. The MagSafe power adapter is the coolest thing since sliced bread, as well. And, unlike Microsoft, I don't mind purchasing a computer with Mac OS X installed. It's a solid operating system. The Achilles heel, however, is it's keyboard. The option key, and apple key, are wasted keys. And using a function key to utilize PageUp/PageDown/Home/End is just ridiculous. Also, $2000 for a base laptop is a bit high, but I'll make the purchase if it proves worth it.

Both present their problems getting Ubuntu installed, which is ultimately the end goal. I imagine that I will have to do some tweaking and hacking to get Ubuntu to work properly. I'm okay with that. However, if lack of hardware recognition in Ubuntu keeps me from taking full advantage of my hardware, such as screen resolution or wireless, then I need to know before I make the jump.

Also, I've looked into the System76 notebooks, and they just don't offer what I want. The screen resolution is too small, and the price is too high. Dell selling Ubuntu pre-installed is an option, but I've heard that Dell hardware is getting pretty cheap these days, and I'm looking into something that will last. So, it looks to me like it's Lenovo or Apple.

Any thoughts?

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