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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  • takumsawsherman - Thursday, April 1, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 1, 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... :)

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