The reason why they can compete is the fact that they sell cheaper.
Selling cheaper and selling better as in the extra cost of improved
quality control is an oxymoron as far as Chinese construction goes, at
least as far as I can see it.
I do like mine, one of the best laptops I've ever had. The battery is
dieing, so I usually take that as a hint that it's time to look at
upgrading. Knowing that other Thinkpads have had problems just adds
another point in the argument to buy another battery rather than a new
Just after that (replaced the battery) was when the fan died in my
previous ThinkPad. It was never the same. It must have severely
overheated before I noticed. The newer ThinkPads have much longer
battery life than the older systems.
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