Hands on with the Lenovo Thinkpad X230t

One of the fortunate things of working in the SCCM space is you sometimes get first shot at a new piece of hardware when it comes in.  In this case, it was the Lenovo Thinkpad X230t, a convertible laptop.

The tablet has become a disruptive technology since the iPad really burst onto the scene and one of the outcomes of this is the convertible laptop, a device that can be used as a table but still managed as a native Windows device and have the benefit of whatever Windows software you have available.

The X230t is the first Thinkpad I’ve managed to use in a serious way and having heard about the legendary quality when they were made by IBM, it seems that has carried over with Lenovo.  The construction feels good, not tacky or cheap.  The only point of physical design I wasn’t overly comfortable about was the swivel point to convert between laptop and tablet modes.  The swivel can only twist one way and seems to be betting to be twisted the wrong way and broken by a user.  The only other sore point I had with the physical design was the location of the 3G card slot – it’s located under the battery, requiring you to take out the battery to access it.

In operation, the machines I used were quite fast thanks to the SSD in them.  They come with a stylus for using the touch screen and there’s a nice little slot to put the stylus when not in use. The screen seems to have a matt coating of some sort, possibly to prevent scratches/damage from the touch use.  Using the 3G slot was good, as the device appears as another wireless style connection, meaning you don’t have to deploy/install the proprietry application your 3G provider has you use.

The last point to note is Lenovo has come to the party with SCCM support and added driver packs similar to what HP and Dell are doing.  This made adding the X230t to the existing SCCM setup quite easy.

Office 2010 products MIA in SCCM 2007 reporting

One of the curious things about SCCM 2007 is the number of hot fixes it has to fix what are (in my experience) relatively common problems.  One of these came up when I wanted to do a report of how many Office 2010 installations there were versus other versions and reconcile those against the installed base of Windows 7 machines the RAC had.  The idea was to see how many machines were out of MOE compliance and start remediating them.

I got a bit of a shock when I started doing reporting and no numbers, not even entries, would appear for Office 2010 products, including Visio and Project.  Some of the more recent server products also weren’t listed (although this was a secondary concern at the time).

I soon found out there is not just one hot fix for this, but at least 3 have been issued, going back as far as November 2010 at least.  Following a change request, I got the latest version of the hot fix in and the reporting started working correctly.