Lenovo Thinkpad T60 Preview

We managed to get our hands on a pre-production version of Lenovo’s upcoming Centrino Duo based Thinkpad T60 in time for this article.  The pre-production nature of the laptop obviously meant that we couldn’t rely on it for performance comparisons, but it did give us a nice solution to look forward to from Lenovo. 

The biggest feature of the Thinkpad T60 is the fact that it is one of Lenovo’s first Centrino Duo capable notebooks.  The sample we got was in fact a Centrino Duo system as it was equipped with an Intel 945GM chipset, 3945ABG wireless solution and an Intel Core Duo T2600 (2.16GHz) processor.  IBM does offer other versions of the T60 that use the Core Duo processor but don’t meet the requirements to be called a Centrino Duo as well. 

The system we tested was outfitted with 512MB of DDR2-533 memory and an 80GB 5400RPM SATA drive. 

Since we didn’t have any previous-generation T series notebooks on hand to compare to, our battery life numbers have to stand alone.  We used a standard 6-cell battery with the T60 and it managed to provide us with 300 minutes of battery life during the Mobile Mark 2005 Office Productivity 2002SE test.  The Reader 2002SE test yielded a similar battery life of 297 minutes.  DVD playback was a bit shorter at 227 minutes but Mobile Mark’s wireless browsing test was back up past the 5 hour mark at 301 minutes. 

All in all we saw around 5 hours of battery life in most of the situations we tested in; obviously your mileage will vary depending on the type of usage but we are confident that with the Centrino Duo platform we will finally start seeing more manufacturers break the 5 hour mark for normal usage. 

Actual performance of the T60 was a mixed bag, most likely due to its pre-production nature.  Its performance in SYSMark 2004 was about where we’d expect it, with an overall score of 210 - making it faster than our desktop Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (with a desktop hard drive).  The T60 did fine in the Internet Content Creation tests, scoring a 289 but in the Office Productivity tests it lagged behind pulling in a meager 152.  For whatever reason the T60’s performance in the Data Analysis tests was quite poor, which led to its lackluster performance in the OP suite.  Once final hardware is ready we will revisit performance, and assuming the performance issues can be taken care of we’d expect a pretty impressive showing from the T60. 

Final Words Lenovo T60 - The Tangible Intangibles
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  • stmok - Saturday, January 07, 2006 - link

    I admit it, I have no use for the Weener (Windows) keys. Its a pointless feature to have if you use other OSs or migrating AWAY from Windows. Its like Nvidia's chipset firewall solution...Another pointless feature for "Windows Only" users. (Which causes more trouble than its really worth).

    With Lenovo adopting all these "everyone else has it" features, its not the same ThinkPad anymore. They don't stand out technologically, like they used to.

    Granted, the fingerprint scanner and keyboard light is interesting, but that's all there is. My old R40 ThinkPad has a keyboard light as well. So I guess the only thing is the fingerprint scanner.

    As for ThinkVantage, that is useful...To some extent.

    I tried to "clean restore" WinXP from the hidden partition (as Windows requires a clean installation after 2 or more years of use), and I get a crapload of errors. The Trackpoint or Touchpad seem to be no longer detected, and so on. And other error messages. I couldn't get past finishing the install. So I unhid that WinXP Partition, and formatted the sucker clean, gained 8GB back of HDD space. Which is enough for a quadriple boot...Win2k, Slackware, FreeBSD and Solaris. (And they all work fine with the Trackpoint/Touchpad).
    Reply
  • Scarceas - Saturday, January 07, 2006 - link

    I think Apple will focus their Intel support on the Yonah designs. I wouldn't be surprised to see a Mac Mini or something that was essentially a Yonah desktop.

    And I am quite glad that IBM/Lenovo are finally putting a Windows key on their Thinkpads!

    Hope that carries over to their rack-mount KVM's, as well. Drives me nuts....
    Reply
  • littlebitstrouds - Friday, January 06, 2006 - link

    I wanna see a desktop board with this chip in it... then overclock the heck out of it. I bet that thing would scream. Reply
  • raskren - Friday, January 06, 2006 - link

    Hmmm...

    Looks like an extremely competitive if not flat-out better Intel solution.

    So where is Beenthere's a.k.a. CRAMITPAL's canned comment?
    Reply
  • stateofbeasley - Sunday, January 08, 2006 - link

    The fanboi is probably too demoralized to come out and troll. The numbers don't lie -- Core Duo is fast and efficient, and the Centrino Duo stuff is going to make Intel a pile of money.

    Beenthere tried to claim the opposite in his comments re the AnandTech preview, and he got run over like a Prescott in the way of an Athlon 64. Come to think of it, Beenthere's claims about Core Duo were about as stupid as claiming Prescott >>> Athlon 64.
    Reply
  • uly - Friday, January 06, 2006 - link

    "Intel 3945ABG Wireless solution"
    "starting to look at platforms and solutions"
    "the 3945ABG wireless solution is what is known as"
    "915 chipset and 2915ABG wireless solution"
    "wireless solutions have both been undergoing reductions"
    "Pricing (with 945GM chipset and wireless solution)"
    "it did give us a nice solution"

    Another definition of 'solution' is something that is diluted or watered down. Wonder if Intel appreciates having their products looked upon from that perspective. (cred: buzzkiller dot net)

    Anand, whenever you find yourself about to type 'solution' in the future, please think, do I really want to sound like I'm copying from the presskit?

    Other than that, nice review.
    Reply
  • raskren - Friday, January 06, 2006 - link

    You read this hunting for the word "solution." Please, this is part of everyday speech, not a buzzword. Reply
  • uly - Friday, January 06, 2006 - link

    It's part of everyday speech - for PR guys. It's also pretentious - the customer should decide the solution for himself.

    > You read this hunting for the word "solution."

    No, I read it and buzzwords like solution kept popping out at me, so I used grep to do a quick wordcount. Seven times repeating mindless marketing drivel! C'mon Anand, I know you can write better than this.
    Reply
  • sprockkets - Friday, January 06, 2006 - link

    The inside meant that this computer had an Intel chip inside meaning better performance than those other people, way back in 1993, not that Intel focused on the insides of the computer.

    Watch it and this will actually be bad for them. All those people won't even recognize the intel they knew with the new logo. "Leap Ahead"? How original.
    Reply
  • henroldus - Friday, January 06, 2006 - link

    the only mistake in this excellent article is that they use the wrong memory with ddr2-533.
    the new core Duo supports DDR2-667.
    I am wrong when I mean that this could be a bottleneck?
    maybe the performance will raise with this memory but also the powerconsumption because of the higher frequency.
    Reply

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