Thinkpad (T60) has a great keyboard, good feedback. I don't use the mousepad, I like the little red pointer thingy it has and has 1400x1050 resolution display. It also a mate display (not the glare type).
It is bulkier than other laptops and by now its processor is behind the latest i7 and i5's.
Also as soon as I got I installed Ubuntu on it. Ubuntu lets me re-map caps lock to a control for my emacs usage.
And most of all this machine has worked great for many years . It has traveled with me, has been banged up, dropped, had hot liquids spilled on it and it still works.
The UXGA IPS panels on some of the T60s are one of the nicest screens to spend all day looking at. New screens are often brighter, but the color and viewing angle found on those is far superior to what's available today. Oh, and they're 1200px tall - the 17" MBP is, I think the only major-brand laptop that tall today.
Couldn't agree more. I use a Thinkpad X60 for much the same reasons (X-series because I carry it around a lot, still "bulky" compared to a Macbook Air but not to the point that it ever actually bothers me.) I really don't look forward to having to upgrade it some day.
Aside from the screen feeling a bit outmoded to me (although I like matte, LCD tech has come a long way in 5 years) it's an absolute pleasure to use.
So I was disappointed when Dell's announcement was about Linux shovelware instead of just saying "easy modular upgrades, quality keyboard, portable and light but solidly built." :/
I read Xah Lee's article a good while ago. Emacs is the program I spend >90% of my time in, I first encountered it on a SUN Sparc Classic. If my memory serves me right, the SUN keyboard had META close to space and CTRL under the TAB key (where PC keyboard have CAPS LOCK). So, naturally, I grew up with the control key in that position.
When using Emacs on a PC, for the longest time I didn't remap CTRL and with the default position Emacs becomes quite awkward to use. On a PC keyboard, I used to have pinkie strain a lot when doing lots of coding. But these days I spend most of my computing time in front of my Dell Netbook and the keyboard size is ideal for this key mapping - so nice, in fact, that I'm wondering whether there are any external netbook-sized keyboards that I could use with my desktop PC.
Another comment on this page complains about the arrangements of the HOME/END/INSERT/DELETE keys etc. on most laptop keyboards. I've got to say that I basically never use them. Even though the SUN Sparc keyboard had arrow keys, at some point I disabled them on my keyboard to force myself to learn Emacs' native shortcuts for moving the point. Now my hands hardly ever have to leave the home row.
I swap both CTRL and ALT keys and it makes life great. To type ALT I usually shift my whole hand, but that's okay, since I use CTRL 10x more often, at least.
I don't know about this whole CAPS LOCK thing... then you are stuck with only one key to hit, and I find it much better to press the modifier opposite the character key with my other hand, rather than scrunch up one hand.