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How does Europe buy Thinkpads ?

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 3:25 pm

3:25 pm

Greetings fellow Thinkpad fans in Europe,

please share with me how you recently were able to buy a Lenovo Thinkpad. Did you order from the US site directly ? Did you find a local dealer ?

I am getting thoroughly confused by the Spanish dealers that carry Lenovo. They keep coming up with models that don’t match my relatively simple request (T series, no widescreen, 14 inch, Intel graphics chip) or trying to sell me a Dell. They claim that Lenovo Spain can only get widescreen and no faster CPU than 2 GHz.

The site is getting a bit confusing for me too – are there actually any non-widescreen T61 laptops ? I would think that if it says WXGA it would be widescreen, and normal if it’s XGA, but I can’t be sure.

Really Lenovo, why can’t I just directly customize on your site a laptop I want, and your organization takes care of shipping it through one of your dealers so I can just drop by and collect the damn thing ? It’s like you don’t even want money.


  1. I’m from Poland, I bought Z61t last year. During visit in USA. I found model I want in tabook.pdf [1], and then using model number (9440-2cu) I found shop in USA which would accept international wire transfer (I do not have a credit card). Everything went fine.

    Lenovo Poland sells only very reduced number of models (something like two models of Z60, two of T61, few T60) and no other polish distributor have more models to sell.
    Downside: international warranty in Poland only covers model sold in Poland. So my Z61t is unsupported here (but is supported in Germany)

    And yes, there are XGA 14.0″ (non wide) and WXGA(+) 14.1″ (wide) Thinkpads T61. At least on Lenovo US pages/webshop.

    [1] ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/pc/pcinstitute/psref/tabook.pdf

    Comment by zdz — 2007-8-6 @ 3:53 pm

  2. Well, if you buy less than 500 laptops, they don’t want to waste their time for so little money. Really. (from a well informed inside source)

    Comment by Ploum — 2007-8-6 @ 3:54 pm

  3. A friend (in the UK) recently bought a cheapo thinkpad from http://www.dabs.com, and is well-satisfied with it.

    Unfortunately, windoze-free isn’t an option there.

    Comment by niq — 2007-8-6 @ 4:11 pm

  4. When I bought a x60 this december, I had a friend who lives in the US and have them buy it for me, and then send it to my house here in good old EU. Not only was the US shop totally straightforward, but it 1/3 of the price cheaper. I guess you could be unlucky and end up having to pay duty, but it should still be cheaper.

    Comment by HE — 2007-8-6 @ 4:12 pm

  5. Thomas,

    This is exactly why I stopped trying to buy a Thinkpad even in the IBM age , the chance of you configuring a machine and a local supplier actualy being able to deliver that machine within a reasonable timeframe (less than 6 weeks) is just nonexisting. I settled for Dell for that reason.

    Comment by Kris Buytaert — 2007-8-6 @ 4:20 pm

  6. I’m from France and I bought my Thinkpad T43 from the eBay seller called “ThinkpadWorld”.
    It was more than one year ago, but I have heard people from Belgium and France bought their Lenovo laptop from this seller recently.

    Be careful, depending on your country, there’s VAT to add to the price…

    Comment by Drako'99 — 2007-8-6 @ 4:22 pm

  7. The local dealer, who is also selling on ebay, has his office right around the corner and that’s where I have been buying my last two Thinkpads.

    Comment by Sven — 2007-8-6 @ 4:34 pm

  8. In a word: Ebay. I grabbed a bargain with my T42 and will happily do so again.

    Comment by Snecklifter — 2007-8-6 @ 4:36 pm

  9. I think we get them from PC World Business, the business arm of a large retail chain.

    Two things which have worked for me in the past:

    1) Get the model number of the laptop you want from the Lenovo site, and google for that with suitable keywords like “spain” or “barcelona”.

    2) Get the model number of the laptop you want, and walk into a mid-sized independent store. When I got my X22 (I was after a particular model out of ~50) I went to the local non-chain computer store which sold Thinkpads, and they ordered exactly what I wanted for me. It took two weeks to turn up, but what can you do.

    If you can handle a T60, these look rocking:


    Comment by Ross Burton — 2007-8-6 @ 5:27 pm

  10. I’m from Hamburg, Germany. I recently bought a Thinkpad at a local store. They seem to be an official IBM/Lenovo partner and I was pleased with the service. Unfortunately, the delivery of the new device took 7 days. I guess they ordered it from somewhere in the States. There is another store that sells Thinkpads with special discounts for students, but I wasn’t aware of it at the time. Also, they do not have any Thinkpads on display as they order everything directly from IBM/Lenovo. Somwhere in south Germany is an online store, that sells a huge collection of second-hand Thinkpads, mostly from companies that had mass-deployments. And of course some online stores, but they don’t allow you to customize your Thinkpad to your liking. All in all, the situation seems to be a lot better over here.

    Comment by Patrick — 2007-8-6 @ 6:58 pm

  11. I got my local (Belgian) supplier to make me an offer for exactly the model I required, based on reading the hardware maintenance manuals Lenovo so helpfully still supplies. It took about three weeks for ther machine to arrive though. But I was happy to wait and I’ve not regretted the purchase. I own a ThinkPad X60s (1704-5UG).

    Look for the hardware maintenance manuals (google search usually works) for the model you’re interested in, and compose your model number backwards from the information in there. Dealers with links to IBM/Lenovo should be able to get you exactly what you ask for.

    Persevere. It’s worth the trouble. Never buy Dell!

    – Philip

    Comment by Philip Paeps — 2007-8-6 @ 9:55 pm

  12. Hi Thomas,

    as you may remember I work for an IBM business partner. You should be able to configure your desired model on http://tinyurl.com/2xocas, and any IBM or Lenovo dealer should be able to order it for you. If you want I can check the prices for the model you want.


    Comment by Lode — 2007-8-6 @ 10:37 pm

  13. We live in Spain but bought a very recent ThinkPad at around EUR600 less than the normally advertised price in Berlin. A lovely little machine it is.


    It came with a full warranty, brand new and completely kosher. They have a deal where you can get them very cheap if you’re a ‘student’. They don’t ask too many questions.

    You get the idea..

    Comment by Julian — 2007-8-7 @ 12:51 am

  14. optize.es has a few T6?s listed. On a quick scan [1] matches everything but being over 2Gz. Though they tend to have listed laptops that they then fail to deliver (never tried with Lenovos, but with some VAIOs), so you just waste your time. Other downside is that you can’t customize anything with them, either they have the exact model with everything you want, or you go elsewhere with your money.

    [1] http://www.optize.es/servlet/LENOVO_THINKPAD_T61_8898_-_CORE_2_DUO_T7_329780_optize.html

    Comment by anmar — 2007-8-7 @ 7:49 am

  15. It’s a bit off-topic but I think it’s worth mentioning, that Lenovo (and Novell) just announced to ship Thinkpads with a pre-installed Linux (SLED10). I don’t like SLED, but as long as it’s no pre-installed MS Windows I guess it’s worth going for it.

    Comment by red_alert — 2007-8-7 @ 8:18 am

  16. Ordered a Thinkpad T60 here in the UK via http://uk.insight.com/content/homepage/public-sector . Obviously it came with only Windows but was ordered explicitly for use with Linux after reading http://thinkwiki.org/wiki/ThinkWiki .

    Comment by Anon — 2007-8-7 @ 11:06 am

  17. Bought Thinkpad Z61m from my local supplier named “Fortakas” (website: http://www.fortakas.lt). It came with “Windows XP” pro edition (I fixed this flaw with Ubuntu :)).

    Comment by Vytautas — 2007-8-8 @ 12:33 pm

  18. I have the same problem.

    I’d like to buy a T61 4:3 SXGA+ with X3100, but it doesn’t seem to exist in Europe…

    Comment by Corsac — 2007-8-20 @ 1:19 pm

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