ThinkPad T410: Fast for Applications

For general applications, the CPU is going to be the biggest determiner of performance. An SSD would also boost performance, particularly in benchmarks like PCMark where storage performance is a major factor. With the fastest i5 dual-core CPU currently available, the T410 is obviously going to churn out some good benchmark results.

Futuremark PCMark Vantage

Futuremark PCMark05

Internet Performance

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R10

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R10

Video Encoding - x264

Video Encoding - x264

General application performance is right where we'd expect given the components. Laptops equipped with i7-720QM processors will typically offer a bit better performance in lightly threaded scenarios and quite a bit more performance in heavily threaded tasks. Cinebench, PCMark Vantage, and Peacekeeper show that the single core performance of the i5-540M can surpass the i7-720QM, thanks to aggressive Turbo Modes (the i7-720QM default clock is 1.6GHz but it can Turbo as high as 2.8GHz; in contrast the i5-540M stock clock is 2.53GHz with up to 3.06GHz Turbo Mode). In tasks like 3D rendering or video encoding, however, there's no beating the eight threads of the 720QM. Cinebench multi-threaded is 25% faster with 720QM and x264 encoding (second pass) is 40% faster than the 540M.

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

Futuremark 3DMark06

Futuremark 3DMark05

Futuremark 3DMark03

We know that some people like to see 3DMark results, so we've included them as usual. We'll show actual gaming performance next, and even though ThinkPad has never targeted gaming the Quadro NVS 3100M is at least capable of running most games at low detail at the native resolution. The T410 is basically the same graphics performance as the UL50Vf, as we would expect from the GPU specs. Now let's take a quick look at some actual games.

Lenovo ThinkPad T410 Specifications and Features Not so Fast at Games
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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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