Meanwhile, back on the ranch....
How is the machine working for you?
It's doing well. I've mostly been doing Blender work on it, as the Solidworks portions of my current project were completed about the time I got SW on it. However, the Blender bits, including rendering, seems quite comparable to my desktop at work. If there are performance differences, I can't tell. I'd need to benchmark it with real numbers to see if there were a difference, and I have never done that before, so have no idea how. Probably some little freeware app out there someone offers, to do so, but I don't care enough to try it out.
The Thinkpad laptop itself is great. The keyboard feels great, it's full size. I went with a 15.5 or 15.6 inch screen, but there's enough room for a full size keyboard, and a speaker strip on the left/right sides of it, which is 1.375" wide. The touchpad is a harder, textured plastic which seems like it'd be MUCH more resistant to wear than the typical touchpads I've had before on Compaqs and the like, which had the top surface wear through and look fugly. The laptop comes with some sort of extra "ThinkVantage" quick-button deal to set up hotkeys but I haven't messed with that yet. I really like the click-buttons/"mouse"-buttons on it, and it has a pair below the touchpad for browsing, as well as a pair above the touchpad for easy clicking with the thumbs while typing. I like that. I normally have a mouse I use when working on-the-go, or when I stay at a hotel and am working on a good surface - but occasionally I find myself having to plunk down in a chair wherever I can, without a mouse.
Something tells me more RAM will be in order, as I have 4gb, but there's really not -terribly- much, complexity-wise, that I foresee doing immediately. A lot of what I do will simply be parts modeling, rather than assemblies, and the assemblies are often small in scope. For the big stuff, I'll just take advantage of sub-assembly structuring and keep myself from having to have the 'overall' main assembly open if I can. I just think that 4GB RAM may end up being the immediate bottleneck, of which it is cheap to amend. I'm unsure if I have 2 or 4 slots for RAM, but the motherboard spec'd it's max at 16GB - I think 8GB sticks are common now, so maybe it's still 2.
It's not the heaviest thing, but it is certainly no netbook. I'm a bulky dude so it's not been an issue yet, and a messenger/laptop bag ain't that pricey.
The only con is the battery. It sticks out. Possibly for an extra battery core to extend life, which is for the better. It's not been an issue - it just seems... vulnerable. See pic at bottom of post.
The laptop I have at home is 6-7 years old and is the newest laptop I've used before now.... so I'm pretty impressed.
Works great as a mobile CAD/CAM station. I foresee being good buddies with it