Why I Didn't Buy a Lenovo Laptop

I suppose in many regards, the title of this post is a little inflammatory. It could have just as easily read "Why I Didn't Buy a Dell, Gateway, or HP." However, it happens that after doing a good deal of research, I found a Lenovo Laptop that I liked. I was able to configure Lenovo Thinkpad laptop just how I liked it, except for one small problem. It was being sold with Windows Vista.

A little Background

To understand why this is a problem, I guess a little background is in order. My first computer was an early Apple Macintosh. I mostly used it to play games, which I got from my Uncle, who gave me a huge stack of 5 1/2 floppys to play with.

Later, I would move to a PC, using DOS, then Windows 3.1, Windows 95, and so on. I would continue to use Microsoft's Products for many years to come, until around 2004. It was then that I was exposed to Linux.

My introduction to Linux came around because I needed to set up a web server and I tried several different distros, including Red Hat, Gentoo, and finally Ubuntu. I settled upon Ubuntu, in part because of how easy it was to setup and its out of the box hardware support.

After dual-booting XP and Ubuntu for about 6 months, I found I almost never booted into the Windows partition. When I bought a new computer, I went ahead and got rid of Windows all together, which brings me back to my problem with Lenovo.

The Problem With Lenovo

I liked the computer offered by Lenovo, but there was no way to buy it without paying the Microsoft Tax. I already have several legal copies of XP Professional, more XP Home Keys than I know what to do with, and even a Legit Copy of Vista. I have no need or want for another Microsoft Windows Liscnce, so I called Lenovo and spoke with several people, including an incredibly poorly trained foreign representative of the company.

Eventually, I talked to someone in their customer complaint resolution department. He spoke with their Microsoft Representative, who said I could buy the laptop with DOS on it, instead of Windows. I thought this was an adequate compromise, although it was still a concession, because it allowed Lenovo to keep up their Microsoft quota.

Of course, when I called back and spoke to a salesman, they said this was impossible to install DOS on the laptop, unless I was buying at least 100 computers.

From my research, I knew that Lenovo would probably give me a refund, while forcing me to sign a non-disclosure statement, for my copy of Windows.

However, I thought, “Why should I support a company that doesn't want to support me?”

Supporting a Company That Supports the Community

So, I began to look around for companies that sold Linux Laptops. After some research, I found System76. They sell Laptops with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed and have been very supportive of the community. They have their own support forum on ubuntuforums.org and have made an effort to embrace the Linux Community. I was also able to talk to a live person in only a few minutes, who was both friendly and knowledgeable about the product.

I ended up going with Pangolin Performance and getting much more computer than I would have with Lenovo. The laptop shipped quickly, within two weeks, and everything worked out of the box. I was able to connect to my neighbors unsecured wifi network quickly and overall was very impressed with the computer.

Later that same day, I took it to a clients house, after using the suspend feature, and everything worked fine.

I will do a review of the Pangolin Performance in a few days, after I have had a chance to do a more thorough investigation of the different components.

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