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LENOVO THINKPAD T410s REVIEWS

High Technology Product Trends | Lenovo thinkpad T410s reviews
Shedding weight is a common practice in business laptops, but it's also important that they shed the right kind of weight. The Lenovo ThinkPad T410s ($1,504 direct) is the undisputed leader, and best laptop, in terms of designing the lightest 14-inch laptop with an optical drive. While other business laptops shed screen size, performance, and features to hit a target weight, the T410s does so with minimal drawbacks. The biggest letdown is that the 6-cell battery delivered less than 4 hours of battery life, and larger batteries, which are offered by the ThinkPad T410, aren't part of the equation.

Specifications
Type
Ultraportable, Business, Small Business
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional
Processor Speed
2.4 GHz
Processor Name
Intel Core i5-520M
RAM
4 GB
Weight
3.9 lb
Screen Size
14.1 inches
Screen Size Type
widescreen
Graphics Card
Intel GMA HD
Storage Capacity (as Tested)
250 GB
Networking Options
802.11n
Primary Optical Drive
Dual-Layer DVD+/-RW
Design
ThinkPads are like Blackberries: Ideal for corporate die-hards who favor extended design transitions. Business laptops like the HP EliteBook 8440w ($1,650 direct, ) are experimenting with aluminum and different colors. Lenovo, on the other hand, refuses to change in fear of offending long-time ThinkPad constituents. So it sticks to its traditional black chassis. Looks aside, the T410s's frame is fortified with carbon fiber, which is both accident-proof and long-lasting. Within the rigid frame is an inner metallic skeleton called the Roll Cage, which, in concept, is similar to how a car keeps its occupants (in this case, the processing components) from potential harm. Furthermore, all ThinkPads go through some form of ruggedized testing (drops, moisture, dust, vibration, etc.), and the T410s is no exception.

Of course, making a business laptop as thin as possible is a design change even the most conservative individual would welcome. The T410s measures exactly an inch thick (13.3 by 9.4 by 1-inches), and with an optical drive, mind you. At 3.9 pounds, it's the lightest business laptop with a 14-inch screen, over a pound lighter than the Lenovo T410 (5.5 lbs) and HP 8440w (5.6 lbs). The 14-inch LED wide screen is as big and as productive as the one found in the Lenovo T410 and HP 8440w, enhanced further by its 1,440 by 900 resolution. It has a slightly lower screen resolution than the HP 8440w's 1,600 by 900 one, but both resolutions are classified as WXGA+. The T410s also has a touchscreen option for $400 more, though it's hard to pinpoint what business situations would require one.

High Technology Product Trends | Lenovo thinkpad T410s reviews
Features
The full-size keyboard is one of the features that keep Lenovo customers coming back year after year. It's a traditional-looking keyboard and arguably the best one in the business, despite a massive movement to the chic let style, as seen in many mainstream laptops. Laptops like the Dell Latitude E5510 and HP 8440w give you dual-pointing devices (pointing stick and touch pad), but they always fall short when it comes to the user experience on the pointing stick.

High Technology Product Trends | Lenovo thinkpad T410s reviews
Certain sacrifices had to be made to maintain the T401s'sz svelte dimensions. While the T410 has dual card slots that can hold both an ExpressCard slot and a multi-card reader; the T410s has only room for one: It comes standard with an ExpressCard 34 slot or you can replace it with an SD slot for a $10 premium. It drops the FireWire port (which the Lenovo T410 has)—minor setbacks, if you ask me. The T410s comes with a wealth of other features, which includes having every wireless technology built-in: Embedded 3G (via Qualcomm's Gobi technology), 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and options for GPS and WiMax (4G) can all be had under one roof. It comes with specialty ports like DisplayPort and an eSATA/USB 2.0 combo port, as well as two USB ports. The included 250GB, 5,400rpm hard drive doesn't seem like much these days, especially when cheaper business laptops come with larger hard drives, like the Dell E5510 (320GB, 5,400rpm) and Dell Vostro 3300 ($1,142 direct, ) (500GB, 7,200rpm). There is a 128GB SSD (solid state drive), a $100 option, which has some speed advantages over spinning drives.

High Technology Product Trends | Lenovo thinkpad T410s reviews
Performance
The T410s runs on a standard-voltage processor, not the low-voltage stuff found in 12-inch business laptops. The Intel Core i5-520M processor is as powerful as the ones found in the Lenovo T410, HP 8440w, and Dell E5510. Case in point: Its video encoding results (46 seconds) were in the same ballpark as the Dell E5510 (46 seconds) and Lenovo T410 (46 seconds). In cumulative tests like Cinebench R10 (8,231) and PCMark Vantage (6,267), the T410s couldn't keep up with the HP 8440w's higher grade Core i7 processor and Nvidia Quadro graphics chip. An integrated-only graphics solution is not a deal breaker, though, as the bulk of office related tasks won't need one. The Intel GMA graphics found in the T410s is a perfectly capable solution, and one that I would recommend to business users.

High Technology Product Trends | Lenovo thinkpad T410s reviews
Another reason why you don't want a powerful graphics chip is because it eats up battery life. The T410s ships with a puny 44WH battery (6-cell), without an upgrade path to bigger ones. There's an optional UltraBay battery that slides into the optical bay, but the DVD burner has to be swapped out. For a road warrior laptop, the 3 hours 58 minute MobileMark 2007 score isn't much, and pales in comparison to the 7-hour scores amassed by the HP 8440w (7:34) and Dell E5510 (7:05), which ship with huge batteries.

The Lenovo ThinkPad T410s didn't cut features, graphics power, and battery options to attract penny-pinching IT managers—they were done purely to shed weight. It appeals to the professional who craves a big screen on the lightest frame they can find. Many companies, however, favor a fully-featured laptop that doesn't have any power or battery restrictions. If this is the case, look no further than the comparably-priced Lenovo ThinkPad T410.

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