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  • MrSpadge - Sunday, March 28, 2010 - link

    I own a T61 since 2 years and I like it, especially the keyboard. If only I could get something like that for my desktop!

    However, the machine is far too noisy for my taste (7.2k rpm HDD and/or fan on lowest setting) and the screen is a completely rubbish TN. I love that it's matte (a main reason I chose a Thinkpad), but the viewing angles are so bad that the colors change upon the slightest head movement. If NEC can give us excellent 23" TFTs for 300€ I fail to see why 1000+€ laptops all have to have crappy displays.

    Please keep complaining about the display quality!
  • Belard - Sunday, March 28, 2010 - link

    I'd agree about the screen... I would have thought it would have been fixed by now.

    One of our guys has a T61... and it is very sharp, looks good. But when put an SL-500 or my R61 next to it, then it looks very bland for no good reason.

  • MrSpadge - Sunday, March 28, 2010 - link

    I meant "excellent eIPS 23" TFTs". Reply
  • demonsavatar - Sunday, March 28, 2010 - link

    Reviews of some other Thinkpads would be great, especially the X201/201s. Reply
  • Nomgle - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    Jarred, do you intend to look at the new Alienware M11X anytime soon ? It fills a special kind of niche - CULV with a decent video card - I'm very interested to see what you think ! Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    Just got it this past Tuesday and it's next up for review. This week it will post (i.e. in a few days). Reply
  • beorntheold - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    I've been working on a ThinkPad T60 for the past two and half years. My experience - the best keyboard and /the/ worst LCD screen anywhere.
    So my advise - if you value your eyes look elsewhere.
  • strikeback03 - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    should have gotten the flexview, my boss has one and it rocks. Reply
  • fiki959 - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    I understand that PC manufactures have to cut corners somewhere, but 1200+ dollar notebook should have a better screen. My 4 year old Clevo M660 machine has above 400:1 contrast ratio (LG/Philips matrix). It is not very bright around 140 Cd/M2, but is a very nice screen.

    I bought it for 650 euro (800$), so I think there is room for better screen in 1200 dollar T410.
  • juampavalverde - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    From the side of cutting BOM, ¿isnt overkill the gpu for a business laptop? The igp from those intel cpus is fast enough for any business software, it could be weak for a workstation, but this is a laptop for everyday work, light load, quick response. and probably one chip less would give some extra time on battery. Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    My company changed to Lenovo (mainly T400s) last year and quite frankly the 'legendary' build quality seems non-existant. Many of them haven't even made it a year without needing their motherboard replaced after just dying for no reason and others which didn't seem to be able to take slight knocks. The hard drive protection doesn't seem to count for much with three machines suffering hard drive failures within the first month.

    The design of the laptops themselves seems poor as getting access to the internals is surprisingly clumsy, swapping out the ram needs four screws removed from the underside then the palm rest ripped off. Lenovo support seems somewhat lax and their engineers seem to have trouble repairing the machines themselves.

    The dock design is poor as the X200/T400 both need a different dock and the monitor stand is laughable, the dock just sits on it with nothing to clip it into position nor electrically couple it.
  • hko45 - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    That's why I like the Dell Latitudes and Precision laptops -- the E-Port and especially the E-Port Plus (2 DVI, 2 DP for dual monitors)docking stations with the dedicated docking port so you don't have to go through a slow USB-2 connection. Reply
  • Aclough - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    If any of you are wondering, there were some hickups when they came out but all the laptop features work fine under the newest Ubuntu release now. Reply
  • hko45 - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    Since Lenovo is a mainland Chinese company, you could support Google's efforts by not buying anything from there. I realize that many components are manufactured/assembled there -- so encourage Dell and others to get out.

    BTW: I haven't seen any threads/follow-ups on articles that appeared several years ago that described back-door threats that can be imbedded in hardware/firmware at the time of manufacturing that can be turned on surrepticiously. Another reason to avoid mainland Chinese products (if only if were so easy).
  • FreakyD - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    Maybe I'll look into other hardware when other companies produce a product as good as the ThinkPad. I'm using the latest and greatest Dell Latitude E6400 and it pales in comparison to the ThinkPad T and R series.

    The previous year's Dell model (Latitude D630) was the worst computer I've ever used. In my office, nearly every individual with that model of laptop had some hardware issue (failed hard drives, motherboards, fans, and overall system instability) within 2 years of ownership. The Dell trackpoint implementation is also terrible.

    HP business laptops are much more expensive than either Dell or the ThinkPads (since the ThinkPads seem to be constantly on sale). HP consumer laptops are all glossy screens and shiny fingerprint magnet surfaces.

    I considered an Apple laptop for a while, but where's the high resolution screen on their 13" model. Why do these cost 30% more than ThinkPads as well (we're talking entry level macbook vs the baseline T410)?

    So I will say when it comes to purchasing a laptop to do real work on, I prefer to buy the best quality with a decent trackpoint implementation, which doesn't even happen to be the most expensive.
  • hko45 - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    Laptops are a commodity item these days. I'm sure you'll find the horror stories and fanboy accounts for whichever brand you choose.

    I happen to have a Dell Precision M6400 and I'm perfectly happy with it -- saving up for an M6500. Furthermore, a large client of mine uses Dell laptops almost exclusively, and I have heard any complaints from the ops people about any endemic issues with them.

    As for the mainland China ownership issue: The only way I get to "vote" on issues that concern me is with the ubiquitous dollar. I'd hate to think that I'm in any way supporting them if I can at all help it.
  • johnnyfinger - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    I've had quite a few laptops over the years and most recently am using a Dell E6400 2.4Ghz purchased via Dell's Outlet for under $725 w/ a matte 14" WXGA, 3-yr warranty, encrypted drive, button & touchpad nav, a/g/n wifi. The case is metal, and 'looks' identical to the Lenovo.

    This is an excellent device and at least as well made as the old IBM Thinkpad I had, as well made the Apple MBP I also use.

    Unless you're being subsidized, buy one generation back.
  • Belard - Sunday, March 28, 2010 - link


    Those Dells look very much like ThinkPads, perhaps enough to think that Dell is buying them Lenovo. Its possible.

    Or, most likely, they have copied the ThinkPad design. Other than the logo and color, the shape, feature set, metal hinges, keyboard layout... which is now Thinkpads OLD design, this unit is designed to lure people over I think.

    It still doesn't have some ThinkPad features. The magnesium alloy construction is (like Apple) make it strong on the outside, ThinkPads go about it on the inside.

    But there is one thing that Dell sure doesn't have it. Lenovo's support staff. :)

    Still, that is perhaps the best Dell notebooks ever... I like how on Dells site it says "Inspired Design: The Latitude E6400 is thoughtfully designed not just for looks, but to survive a long day on the job.~ inspired by feedback from thousands of users just like you."

    errr... perhaps thousands of Dell users (because the IT bought them) who said "I wish it was more like a ThinkPad" :)

    Dell did get the CTRL<>fn keyboard issue right.

    When Lenovo re-arranged their keyboard slightly and for the better, all they needed to do was switch CTRL<>FN to make it perfect! Grumble.
  • hko45 - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link


    I happen to have a Dell Precision M6400 and I'm perfectly happy with it -- saving up for an M6500. Furthermore, a large client of mine uses Dell laptops almost exclusively, and I have NOT heard any complaints from the ops people about any endemic issues with them.
  • LtGoonRush - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    Lenovo is actually owned by the Chinese government, which is an even more compelling reason not to purchase from them on ethical grounds. Reply
  • sgtwiltan - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    So that means the ThinkPad developers, engineers and people all disappeared when Lenovo bought PCD? Get real! There are guys who worked on the first IBM PC still in the company. AS to the manufacturer on the article being IBM, It should be Lenovo. If it wasn't for Lenovo buying PCD, over 8K American employees would be out of jobs since the American company, IBM decided they no longer wanted us. They should not be getting the credit since the same people who created the the thinkpad line are still making and designing them the same way despite the new ownership. There really should be some kind of IQ test or education requirement to post here. On the other hand it proves this statement.
    " Wise men speak when they have something to say. Fools speak just to say something"
  • JarredWalton - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    Sorry about the manufacturer showing as "IBM"... Lenovo wasn't in our list when I added the article, and after adding them I apparently forgot to change from IBM. It's correct now. :-)

    As for the political "boycott China" stuff, I'll leave the politicking for others. I merely review hardware and I see nothing wrong with Lenovo products compared to the competition. Shame about the LCD being so poor, though; I remember when ThinkPad actually had an IPS panel in a few models!
  • Belard - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    We are screw not matter what.

    Where are the notebooks & desktops of HP, Compaq, Dell, Acer, Gateway (used to be a US Iowa company?) and even SONY and APPLE?


    Apple computers, APple iPods and iPhones... all china.
    Hard drives, many are from China.
    LCD Panels, China
    HD TVs... yep, China

    If they could/want to infect the hardware, any brand could be effected.

    Hell, even our food and toys are from China. :(

    There are about 90+ ThinkPad computers on the ISS... so they are every where!
  • jbwhite99 - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    That's funny. I own Lenovo stock, and I live in the US. Part of the company (about 20% of it) is owned by the Chinese Academy of Science, but the rest is owned by like IBM, Texas Pacific Group (venture capitalists, etc). It is traded on the HK stock exchange (stock number 0992) or you can buy American Depositary Receipts (LNVGY).

    I will admit I'm biased, since I work for Lenovo. For the gentlemen that mentioned the rubber paint, the reason that is on the outside is to allow you to grab your notebook. Grab a plastic Dell/Hp/Acer, and it can slip from your hands. Grab a TP, and it won't slip.

    Power bricks - every company changed. Lenovo/IBM used 16v standard from 1998 to 2005/6 - then moved to 20v. All machines now use 20v - as do Dell, etc. The difference is that most every Thinkpad will allow you to use the same AC adapter. Netbook (40w) and W700 (170-230w) are a little different, but the rest will run fine.
  • Belard - Sunday, March 28, 2010 - link

    Thanks for the info about Lenovo. While I would prefer it to be more of an American company, if IBM kept making ThinkPads - they'd most likely be out of business by now.

    Lenovo did bring the price down so I was able to pick up the R61 for $600 with XP at a store surrounded by faster hardware notebooks with vista. I now run Win7 on my R61, it totally rocks.

    Oh, that makes sense about the rubber... just wish it didn't attract fingerprints.

    Power bricks: yes, they have to change very now and then, but its great that other than the W series & netbooks - the power brick is the same. At my main office and myself, being all ThinkPad - we do sometimes share, swap the power bricks for what is handy. Even the Docking station uses the same exact brick. COOL!

    I do wish that Lenovo wouldn't make anything cheaper than the IdeaPad, I think the Econo models look like cheap Compaq and the prices are not much cheaper than IdeaPads which appeal to the Mac / consumer crowd. I almost bought an IdeaPad, but the screen & XP sold me on the R61.

    The latest Y models are very cool looking... even the bottom cooling vents have syle.
  • hko45 - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    And you think the "Chinese Academy of Science" is just that?

    In today's world economy, we "vote" with our dollars (and you case, your hours). You've obviously cast your votes. I've cast mine.
  • hko45 - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    Got to start somewhere.

    Can't untangle the components' sources -- true. But we can at least start with the brands. Boycott Lenovo -- for our own self interests.

    Any other companies owned by the mainland Chinese government or headquartered in mainland China that should be included on this list?

  • amosbatto - Sunday, April 11, 2010 - link

    I am actually very concerned about the Chinese ownership of Lenovo, since the Chinese government is well known for repressing worker's rights and destroying independent labor organizing. However, I have investigated this issue, and I am not convinced that boycotting Lenovo makes much of a statement.

    First of all, 92% of all laptops are manufactured by Taiwanese companies. Most of the market is dominated by the big 5: Quanta, Compal, Wistron, Inventec, Pegatron. There are about 10 smaller Taiwanese companies that make the rest. Just about every major laptop brand, subcontracts to these Taiwanese companies to fabricate their laptops. In most cases, the Taiwanese companies are the Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs), which means that they actually design the laptops. In the case of big brands like HP and Dell, they design the laptops in Taiwan, constantly consulting with the engineers from the branding companies. In some cases, the major brands, like Lenovo, Toshiba and Apple, still do some original design of their products, but they turn the fabrication over to one of the 5 major Taiwanese OEMs/ODMs. There are very slim margins in the fabrication business, so many of the OEMs/ODMs try to move into the branding business as well, since most of the profits lay in the final sale. Lenovo, Acer, and Asus have all followed this route, generally spinning their manufacturing arms off into a separate company, such as Wistron and Pegatron.

    Now, here is the bad part, almost all those Taiwanese companies, then manufacture their laptops in the lower Yangtse Valley. Something like 95% of the world's laptops are manufactured in the same place, where there is horrible exploitation of labor. Many of the workers are young, unmarried women from the Chinese countryside and they work under extremely exploitive conditions. In recent years, there has been a great deal of labor unrest as these workers have begun to protest their working conditions. Although the Chinese government recently raised wages for the workers, it generally favors the companies and helps to repress the workers. Lenovo used to operate just like the other Taiwanese OEMs/ODMs, owning factories in the lower Yangtse Valley, but now it has started to move away from fabrication and has started turning fabrication over to the Taiwanese firms.

    At the end of the day, it doesn't matter whether you are buying Lenovo or Dell, you are still contributing to the exploitation of workers and helping to deny people their human and labor rights. As for supporting US workers, Lenovo uses the old IBM support staff, so it probably doesn't making any difference either. The only way that it does make a difference is that some of Lenovo is owned by the Chinese government, so if you want to stop profits from flowing to the Chinese government, don't buy Lenovo products.

    I care deeply about workers rights, but in the end I bought a Thinkpad SL300, after a great deal of study. Why? Most of the environmental damage caused by a laptop lies in its fabrication. Something like 80% of the total energy of a home computer lies in its fabrication according to a 2005 study by Eric Williams. Most the environmental damage in terms of resource use is caused by fabrication, and very little of those resources can be recovered by recycling--around 10% at best, because the fabrication of print circuit boards and silicon chips lays on hundreds of layers of chemicals and materials, which are lost during fabrication and can not be recovered afterwards. Therefore, the most environmental option is to buy a computer which will last as long as possible and not force you to upgrade or replace it. I determined that Thinkpads were probably the best models, which were least likely to fail, and if they do fail, replacement parts can be ordered directly from the Lenovo web site. In the long run, they will probably have the lowest environmental impact, because they don't need to be replaced very often.
  • Belard - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    As a ThinkPad owner and someone who does help other people buy notebooks, usually ThinkPads. They are very nice to work with.

    When I finally bought my first and only ThinkPad for myself, it was the screen that finalized my purchase choice. The store had ThinkPads next to other computers. And not having that HORRIBLE glossy screen is enough.

    The glossy "feature" is what adds to the higher contrast levels on all the other notebook screens. Yes, the colors are stronger and the black is richer... makes for watching movies even better.

    But for BUSINESS or serious work, we DON'T WANT TO LOOK AT OUR FACES!
    And any kind of back ground movement, like in a coffee shop means having constant moving reflections.

    I own a bottom end ThinkPad, it does what I need. It came with XP as vista was too horrible to touch. Its now running Windows7Pro and its great. My clients also got ThinkPads with XP pre-installed rather than Vista. Most are also now on Win7.

    By working with various models, I have noticed that some ThinkPad screens are better than others. Basic T-series screens are the most bland - odd. My R-Series is nicer. The T-4x0s are actually a totally different unit, its much thinner and costs about $1300~2000.

    The SL-Series gives people many ThinkPad features but a modern-looking notebook. It doesn't have the keyboard light. For a dual core, these start out at $600 and are an excellent value.

    The features you get from ThinkPads.
    - NO Junkware like what comes with HP, Acer, etc. They do include their own TOOLS which are very nice under Windows7.

    - MATTE screens... standard. That alone is enough.
    - liquid pass through. They have 2~4 drain channels which means spilling your drink will most likely NOT hurt your computer. An HP, Dell, Acer... they are toast.

    - 14" models have a complete crash cage, even behind the LCD screen. The 15" models are in the body only. Take one apart and you'll see internal structure that keeps ThinkPads ridged.

    - The HDs are in a rubberized caged. Included software detects if the notebook is falling and will shut down the drive.

    - Red joy-stick still in the middle of the keyboard, but they have the track-pads of other modern thinkpads.

    - Same standard PSUs on their notebooks, after all these years. Far tougher than HPs and most others. Small too.

    - Tech support: about the best there is. You can usually talk to a HUMAN in minutes. I've got my nightmares with HP and Dell, they want names, codes, phone numbers. Ugh. I've called them more than once on the phone to ask tech questions while at a retail store. Think Dell does that?

    - Lenovo still continues to support older IBM ThinkPads with drivers and tech notes.

    - You can order ThinkPAd and they usually ship within 5~8 days (4 times for my clients - wow).

    - You can order ThinkPADs with beefed up internal Wifi antennas which make a HUGE difference in 2-story big homes. Also, can include an at&t or Verizon or Clear WLAN cards - so cards with antennas sticking out the side of the computer. Worth it!

    I'll admit, I actually don't like the rubberized coating they put on the LCD tops. It fells good, but gets dirty easy and wears off with age. But many ThinkPad fan-boys view the aging like a warrior. (whatever)
    The R-Series uses plain plastic. The SL-Series uses really nice textured plastic which I really like and would like to see on their other models, at least as an option.

    Put an SSD in a Thinkpad, Windows7 boots in about 8~10 seconds, very very nice.

    I love my ThinkPad. :) Apple ibooks are very nice... in looks, the keyboards suck and SONY and HP have copied their flat keyboards.

    I just worked on a friends 5 year old $2400 Sony notebook, its pure plastic junk on the inside. Bad layout and cooling. A few months before, I used a very old ThinkPad from 2000 a PIII with Win98. I upgraded the unit to WindowsXP. It had lots of wear on the unit, but it WORKED beautifully, still stiff and reliable. (I wouldn't say todays ThinkPads are quite as tough thou. We want them lighter and cheaper)

    I think the ThinkPAD SL is a great $600~900. Its very modern looking with many features that makes it a ThinkPAD. Some old school Thinkpad owners don't like it because its stylish.
  • erple2 - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    You need to compare the ThinkPad (Lenovo's business line) with the business line of other companies (like HP, Dell, etc) at the same price/capabilities point. I've spilled several liquids (granted, mostly just water) on my keyboard of the Elitebook I've gotten from work, and they drain out as they should. No damage (that I can tell) from the spill. The drive cage also has a pretty good protection built in.

    I have never compared the Ideapad (more consumer-driven) line to other business notebooks of other manufacturers, so I can't make those comparisons. Though a quick glance over the Ideapad website shows lots of glossy screened consumer glitzy features that I also don't like on other consumer based laptops.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    IdeaPad is definitely more for consumers IMO. As for HP business laptops, I've got an HP ProBook that I'm working on reviewing as well, so stay tuned to see how that compares. Unfortunately, determining reliability is a bit beyond the scope of a 30-day product evaluation, as they all tend to work well within that time period. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    By PSU do you mean the power brick? Because I know they changed the plug between the T43 and the T60.

    A note on the warranties: I don't know if they still have the site set up (my T43 went out of warranty a few yrs ago) but it is worth checking if they still track warranty periods by serial number. They at least used to have a site set up where you could check whether a certain system was still in warranty. Important if you are thinking of buying used or selling, no need to deal with receipts or anything, they track what coverage it has.

    Part of the reason I have not upgraded is the loss of the Flexview screen. I love my 1400x1050 IPS screen, most don't match the resolution and I'm not sure any match the viewing angles.
  • DukeN - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    Amen brother - can definitely say agree with everyone in there.

    I can not even fathom using another laptop after having a W500 and T61/T60 the last few years.

    Great matte screens, standard power bricks and amazing build quality - no creaking, loose hinges or plasticky feels after years.

    I wonder if the screen quality is noticeably improved in the W series, or the T410s.

    Some great promos came out here in Canada in March, lots of folks bought really nicely outfitted T410s' for $1300ish after taxes.
  • ekul - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    I had a thinkpad (T42) through my last employer and I miss it everyday. The keyboards are amazing, the hinges take any abuse you can offer, the thinkvantage driver program makes sure you always have the newest drivers and did long before windows 7, they are quiet and they are unobtrusive. Everyone I know who has used a thinkpad on a regular basis comes around to the conclusion they are the best.

    I spent nearly 4 years lugging that thinkpad around both my and client locations. It still looked like it had just come out of the box. It never put a foot wrong. Meanwhile, I had clients on their 3rd or 4th dell latitudes that had suffered various calamities from broken screens, dead motherboards to overheated cpus.

    I almost forgot the absolute best feature. Standardized powerbricks means you can forget yours at home and IT has some spares sitting in their desk and it just works, regardless of what model you have. One of those features where once you need it you realize the brilliance of the engineer who fought for it.
  • jonup - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    The function key is at the wrong place!
    We both a few R61 about two years ago and they had a superior hw than anything else in the office and they ran slow as hell. They were ugly, heavy and did I mentioned the function key? Thank god they got passed down to the staff so I do not have to hear the managers complaining about them all the time!
  • Xenoterranos - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    There's actually an option in the BIOS to switch the functionality of the ctrl and fn keys. They'll still say fn and ctrl, but they'll operate they way their locations are supposed to!

    I bought this laptop after being disgusted with a compaq that literally disintegrated after only 2 years. Screws where falling out of the thing!
    I replaced that with a cheap (500$) acer that barely lasted a year before the power plug broke off the motherboard.

    For me, the deciding factor was the 3 year accidental damage protection for 160. (with student discounts). I got mine 20 days after they where announced :)

    And for anyone wondering about thinkpad vs macbook build quality, you could probably bash a mac into pieces with a thinkpad, and still use the thinkpad afterward :)
  • jonup - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    "both" should read "bought" Reply
  • takumsawsherman - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    As a former fan of Thinkpads, I have to say that this unit seems like a big disappointment, though the review "sounds" positive, there are a lot of problems pointed out that make the laptop actually sort of "meh".

    In any case, in IBM's defense, not knowing about the new ones, if I need a part for the IBM thinkpad line, IBM is usually not only the quickest and best source, but also the least expensive. Case in point, a customer damaged their hearsink/fan assembly. Cheapest price for a replacement was IBM parts, who had it in stock (5 year old laptop) shipped it 2-day for about $68, and it came with screw hole covers (stickers) to replace any that lost their stick after replacement.

    Now, Lenovo might have similar service, but the failure rate of the laptops that I see is way up (anecdotal, to be sure) and the quality is down. Of course, the same has happened with Toshiba, as they all race to the bottom. But IBM I always felt was more like Apple in putting quality over "low, low prices".

    In any case, I think it would be crazy to buy this laptop. "The blah blah blah is wonderful for the business user". Business users should continue to switch to the much more pleasant MacBook Pro and throw VMWare on it if they need Windows. Then they can use the kick-butt snapshots, which you should be talking about, and talking to niche vendors about getting their dragging rears in gear to natively support the platform. This will help the business long term, and probably the Lenovos of the world as well. They shouldn't be able to count on the trapped consumer any more. They might even have to spend some time trying to improve the product.
  • Drag0nFire - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    I actually think the T410 is fine for a 14 in chassis. The T510 (15 inch) is much less palatable competitor to the MacBook Pro. It actually comes in at 1.5in thick (and let's not even talk about weight)!

    Also of note, although the T410s was advertised with switchable graphics, Lenovo later dropped this feature.

    I'm a long time fan of thinkpads, but I think the Lenovo is shifting in a very negative manner to respond to threats from "cheap" laptop manufacturers (Acer, Asus, HP). The T series used to be in the same category as the Macbook pro, a premium machine. The premium category is gone from the Lenovo line-up. You simply can't build the elegance of a 15in macbook pro for a base price of $800.
  • Belard - Sunday, March 28, 2010 - link

    The R, T and above series have their roll-cages, its very much there. The weight and feature set is a bit better. And Mac keyboards are now standardized pretty-looking but awful looking keys (HP & SONY uses it). You can only get so thin... besides, the T510 is 1.4" thick including its rubber feet which are a bit thicker than apples.

    Lets compare pricing a features, basic:
    Thinkpad T510: $1505 = Core i5 2.53Ghz / 4GB / 500GB HD / Win7 Pro / 15.6" LCD @ 1600x900 / Cam / blue-tooth / Wifi-N upgrade / WAN added with GPS function. 512mb Quadro discrete graphics (performs between 9400m & 9600m GT)

    MacBook Pro 15" : $1950 = Core2 2.53Ghz / 4GB / 500GB HD / OS X / 15.4" LCD @ 1440x900 / Cam / Wifi N / blue-tooth / (no WAN) / 9400M - shares 256mb. (Less than half the Quadro NVS 3100m above).

    $450 more... A CPU that is 1/3 slower, no WAN built-in, no discrete graphics. The ThinkPad T-510 can be had for under $1000 if I made it like the $1700 version of the iMac, but still with an i5 CPU. What I quoted for $1500 was a semi-top end model. I didn't make it 8GB or faster i5 CPU.

    So this is Apples bottom end 15" notebook, but I changed the HD to 500GB and added the anti-glare screen ($50) as ThinkPads don't have stupid glossy screens. Funny thou, Apple charges $150 to upgrade the 320GB to a 500GB. Lenovo charges $80.... hmmmm.

    If we upgrade the MAC 15" to the best...
    MacPro 15" = $3300! Core2Duo 3Ghz / 8GB RAM / 500GB HD / Antiglare.
    it would still be slower (CPU wise) than the $1000 T510.

    T510 max: $2195 Core i7 620 2.66ghz / 8GB RAM / 500GB HD / WAN, etc.

    I think I'd rather let apple keep that 0.45 " thinner body for that $1100 price difference.

    Apple makes generally good products... I'd prefer to get something better for less.
  • takumsawsherman - Thursday, April 01, 2010 - link

    I don't know which Mac keyboards you've been typing on, but the current crop of keyboards are the easiest and most comfortable out there. I say this as the proud owner of many Model M keyboards, which are the standard in my shop, but are much too loud for modern offices.

    Also, the fact that you claim that a Core2Duo 2.5 is "1/3 slower" than an i5 2.5 shows that you have no actual business tasks in mind. What exact business functions are you performing that would allow the i5 that much of an advantage? Also, discrete graphics? for 1999, which is about what you stated for the Mac Pro (by upgrading to that 500GB HD that business users need, right?) you do get discrete graphics. The model you are really pointing to is the $1699 model, and what exactly does that business user need with discrete graphics? Oh yeah, 3D games.

    Then you complain about Apple overcharging for upgrades. Well, Lenovo charges 80 to upgrade to the 500gb model, according to you. But you can buy a 500GB on the street for $75. Why doesn't Lenovo just charge the difference? Maybe because they are trying to make money? Honestly, the Macbook Pros I have put in, with VMWare and Windows installed for those who need it, aren't using even 30% of their disk space. And based on their typical tasks of emailing, creating spreadsheets, browsing the web, managing modest picture libraries, word processing, and accessing shared resources, they won't use more than 70% before the computer is retired. Meanwhile, they have VMWare snapshots (so long virus removals) and very few support calls.

    So, I leave you to your very powerful laptop, which lacks the huge multitouch pad of the Macbook Pro, and of course is stuck running Windows 7, pig of an OS that it still is, and your games. Meanwhile, I can take care of more customers since I don't have to run around removing the latest Fakealert trojans (you know, like the ones that sneak through ad servers on the NY Times and Anandtech). Then, when I get home, I can play games on my desktop, which has discrete graphics and has a mouse and a Model M keyboard (no windows/option keys).
  • erple2 - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    Is HP really a "cheap" laptop manufacturer, at least when you're comparing the business laptops? I can see that with several of their consumer level laptops (dvxx) which I don't like at all. I haven't used any of their "Envy" brand ones, however.

    My work leases the HP Elitebook 6930p's. I have to say that other than the low resolution screen (1280x800), I __really__ like it. It is exceptionally solid and stable, plus the keyboard is top-notch (quite a bit nicer to type on than my wife's 6 month old 15" "unibody" Macbook Pro).

    I would disagree that you can't build the elegance of a 15in macbook pro for less than the cost - the Elitebook I have now surpasses it in most categories (the screen being the only notable exception).
  • JarredWalton - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    Lenovo informed me that the T410s will indeed have switchable graphics but that it's not shipping until April. I specifically asked about that since the one page on their website advertises "switchable graphics" but the detailed pages show only the Intel HD Graphics. We'll see if that's correct or not in a week or two. Reply
  • OzzieGT - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    I just bought one. I am a software engineer so I need the nice keyboard and high resolution screen. I am going to keep it for 3-4 years and I carry it around a lot, so I need the durability. 13" is too small and 15" is too big. For the $1000 I paid, I couldn't find anything else which met my needs. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    The standard business user can barely open and sync email, let alone buy an overly expensive laptop, which can run windows without Vmware.

    If you owned a business and every penny counts, your suggestion is pure lunacy. I'm not meaning to offend, just seeing it from the point of view of an admin and s standard business user.

  • Penti - Saturday, March 27, 2010 - link

    Standard business user get their laptops preconfigured from the company, I'm sure they can start vmware from a link. Self employed people might not buy a business-laptop at all though. Most aren't though. Reply
  • Elkvis - Saturday, March 27, 2010 - link

    That is a ridiculous suggestion.
    Why would a sort of business buy Mac laptops just to run emulation to get business functionality.

    Sure they are sexy, but no self respecting network administration team would think that is an acceptable solution.
  • Belard - Sunday, March 28, 2010 - link

    Yep, you got that right.

    Spend $1500 for a notebook that equal to a $600~1000 PC notebook, strike one. Paying an IT guy to prep-it. Then if out on the road something wrong happens and the person doesn't know what to do...

    Besides some of the performance loss. Most business people could care less about the shiny notebook with a glowing apple logo. Artist, student and more creative types - sure.

    But a business user typically runs MS-Office, a browser and maybe a custom / specialized program. That's it. Why would he want spend the time and effort for a Mac + spend $100 for an XP license? What if he wants to run Windows7?

    BTW, the ThinkPad T400s is very thin, under 1", 4lbs and with an optical drive. One of my clients bought it for his wife. She loves the look and size of the unit... and ThinkPads are one of the few notebooks that offer beefed up antennas that'll work in their mansion.
  • takumsawsherman - Thursday, April 01, 2010 - link

    Actually, it makes a lot *more* sense. Easy deployment of images (VMWare images don't need to have the same hardware), snapshots to roll back to in case of infection or BSOD, and the fact that the Mac ends up with fewer support calls.

    The small amount of extra software required for those that *have to* run Windows is not that expensive. Most don't even require Windows, as the Mac version of Microsoft Office works fine for all those *intense* business tasks of editing and saving spreadsheets and reading/replying to email can, believe it or not, be accomplished on a Mac. The accounting departments usually use the PC version of Quickbooks, so that is one spot where Windows is needed, and then drafting professionals often use Autocad, but at around $k for the Autocad these cats aren't common. Most others get along just fine with the pre-loaded Mac software, and many don't even need to buy office with OpenOffice performing most tasks admirably.
  • Belard - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    Lenovo customer support is very good. Their hardware is still very good. They cost less than an Apple and easily just as good if not better.

    Can run Hackintosh... :)
  • kimt - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    @Belard, can you please share which install method you used to install osx86 ? Reply
  • Gholam - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    Call me when Apple actually releases a docking station, or lets you hook up a VGA projector without daisy-chaining seventeen dongles. Reply
  • takumsawsherman - Thursday, April 01, 2010 - link


    It only takes 1 dongle. It's called the Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter. In fact, since most decent laptops will not be shipping with VGA, you will need a "dongle" no matter what you buy. The nice thing about the Apple is that upon insertion of the Dongle it automatically detects everything and sets it up. You should try it.
  • anishannayya - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    "Finally, while the LCD resolution and matte coating are great, the contrast ration is disappointing."

    Ratio is spelled wrong, just thought that you might want to correct that.
  • Growly - Thursday, April 22, 2010 - link

    I'm an avid ThinkPad lover. I fell in love with the T43, so backtracked to a T23 (what I could afford at the time) and have owned and loved almost every generation of ThinkPad since (with even a few prior). To give you a better idea, I had up to 15 at one stage but decided to sell a couple of X60s before I could justify any more. I'm a little disappointed by the aesthetic design changes in the T410, preferring the T400, but I understand that Lenovo has to do something to make its laptops a little more modern to make up for the plain appearance. (It should go without saying that I absolutely adore the quietly powerful and functional form of the ThinkPad.)

    I used to stick to the T{x}p series laptops to harness the raw power on top of all the construction quality. Unfortunately, after using my 15.4" T61p for a few years (when Lenovo decided that smaller ~p models were unjustified), I got a little sick of the weight and size. It was a venerable powerhouse, but lugging it around just for web browsing, word processing, and laboratory work became a hassle. I decided that for the remainder of my studies I would be better off with a smaller alternative, like the T410.

    So far it has proven to be delightful. So, while convincing myself to forgive Lenovo for the weak graphics card (it's really quite disappointing, if not unnecessary), and trying to convince myself that I wouldn't be better off with a W510, I'm enjoying the keyboard and solidity of the unit (which is better in some ways, not in others). It's so cute! Ah how I love ThinkPads!
  • topsecret - Sunday, April 25, 2010 - link

    I was just wondering if it would be worth it to upgrade from an i5 (2.53) to the i7 (2.66). It seems kinda silly as the price is 150 more dollars for 110 mHz. Thanks in advance! Reply
  • cptcolo - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    The monitor can be tweaked to a large degree to get rid of the faded look of the screen.
    1. Open Intel Control Center. (Start button, type "Control Center")
    2. Click on "Intel Graphics and Media Control Panel"
    3. Under display click on Color enhancement
    4. Reduce the "Gamma" to 0.8, and increase the "Saturation" to 12

    Blacks are still no very black, but pictures and videos look much better and the faded out look is largely gone.
  • actionjksn - Saturday, September 24, 2011 - link

    I tried it and it worked great! I didn't realize how bad it looked until I adjusted it according to your specs. Reply

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