In 2001, the company I worked for wanted to motivate all its workers by investing into IT. One of the upgrades was to discard all the old computers and replace them with good, durable, heavy-duty laptops we could take home and out in the fields. From the veteran non-computer users to the most literate, we were all happy with these upgrades especially after we were complaining about all the freezes and loss caused by the old IBM thinpad. Since I worked mostly in the fields, I was all too happy to use this new laptop. After using it for almost a year, I have remained impressed by its performance and mostly its battery life. It's a 500 MHz Pentium III processor, 128 MB of SDRAM, a 15-inch display
Despite all the features of this 390x which I have come to like, I will not hesitate to mention that I think IBM has cheated us, consumers. I still don't understand why they did not include a DVD-ROM with this model. For the price the company paid for this laptop, they could have improved their competitive chances with the likes of Dell, HP, and Gateway. On the road, I had to go without on many occasions.
Here are some of the features that I have found very useful in this laptop
* Battery life and graphics: For a 15-incher that tends to use lots of power, the 390x does a good job of keeping its power up to 4 hours. To adjust color distribution, I have used a very nifty amenity which is the contrast slider on the front of the panel. If you lower the contrast, you will not only dim the screen but also prolong battery life. These are some tricks you can use to make the best out of your battery especially if you are far out in the countryside or overseas. I have used this laptop right in the field to type my reports and send the information to the headquarters in a matter of minutes. If you are into games, you will appreciate its graphics. Your matches and 3 D presentations needs will be met without any problems. This laptop won't let you down.
Other interesting features
Let's talk about its data entry devices
There is no doubt that the keyboard represents the best of IBM's research and engineering in terms of quality. It is great to touch and travel with. There won't be any losse buttons. Some of these buttons may lose their letters over time and after multiple use. Right in the middle of the keyboard, you will find the TrackPoint pointing device. It can be used with the Access ThinkPad utility to recognize taps on the stick. Then, you have the actuation buttons which are next to the scroll bar button that allows you to scroll through a web page and document in a matter of seconds. The Ultra Bay FX is touted as a time-saving feature. It allows you to swap a module and replace it without having to turn off the unit. Locate it below the fixed floppy drive. The UltraBay is equipped with a 24x CD-ROM drive which you can add for a mere $389.00
Digital imaging and Ports
When I had to work on some pictures I took with my digital camera, all I needed to do was to make sure that I had connected the camera to the right USB port. The 390x has the following ports: USB, parallel, serial, PS/2 and VGA. Among the jacks, you will find microphone, speaker and headphone.
What can you expect to find in this notebook?
This 390x is loaded with Lotus SmartSuite Millenium which includes software solutions for spreadsheets, word processing, presentations, databases, speech recognition and personal information manager. An anti-virus program, faxing software and many other utilities are included. Basically, wherever you are, you will have access to a mobile office.
Is there anything else you want to know about this laptop?
While you will only have access to a one-year parts and labor coverage, IBM offers 24-hour, seven-day toll-free technical support. On a week-end, I had to call them. I could not reach the IT guy from my company. It turned out to be something relatively simple. Furthermore, the 390x comes with a recovery disk. In case all the drive is mistakenly reformatted, it will allow you to restore pre-loaded info.
Earlier, I griped about the lack of DVD-ROM in this computer. I think it would be a great addition.
If you are on the market for a new IBM laptop, make sure you shop around first. These days, with the popularity of DVDs, you will sure need one. It did not bother me that much because I basically used this 390x for work purposes. I could always rely on my wife's one in case I wanted to use DVD-ROM.
Buy one with DVD-ROM and any other gadgets you feel are necessary. And why not after all?