There’s a new Lenovo T410s laptop in the house. It’s technically not mine because it has a giant company asset tag on it, but it’s mine for the duration of my employment and it’s one incredible machine.
The configuration is as follows:
- Windows 7 Professional (64-bit)
- Intel Core i5-M560 Processor
- 160GB Intel Solid State Drive
- 8GB RAM
- 14.1-inch WXGA touchscreen…yes, that’s right, it is a touchscreen
- 6 Cell Li-ion battery
- 3-cell ultrabay battery that fits in the DVD slot when I need additional battery
- And all the typical stuff that goes with most laptops, i.e. camera, Bluetooth, wireless (no 3G), etc
After using the T410s for a little over a week I only have one question, why haven’t I been using Lenovo machines all my life? This is a great laptop. Since purchasing a Lenovo X201 tablet back in November 2010 I haven’t considered using another laptop/tablet manufacturer for my needs. Period. And after using the T410s I know why I feel that way. I have no regrets and think it was the best choice for a new machine, hands down.
People might find the simple matte black finish of the ThinkPad series a bit boring, but there’s something about it that catches my eye. I find the simple lines and no nonsense look of the machine attractive; opened up working or simply closed on the desk. In my opinion it looks like something a professional might carry around and not something a little teenie-bopper opens up at Starbucks (ironically I’m sitting in a Starbucks drinking coffee and composing this blog while waiting for my daughter to finish cheer practice).
The T410s is thin and light. It’s only 0.8- inches thick and weighs in under 4 lbs; much thinner and lighter than my last 14-inch laptop. The build quality is good and it doesn’t feel cheap to me even though much of the housing is made of carbon fiber that looks a bit like plastic. As with my X201 tablet the keyboard is great. It’s easy to type with and doesn’t have the flex I’ve experienced with other machines. It has the same weird configuration with the “Fn” and “Ctrl” keys that I noticed on my tablet. Now that I’m using a Lenovo tablet as well as laptop it’s not a big deal. I’ve gotten used to it. One nice touch on the keyboard is the “Delete” key in the upper right hand corner. It’s double size, which makes it easier to use for some reason. I’ve found it more useful than I would have ever imagined. I suppose that means I make too many typing errors, but what the heck, it works for me.
I enjoy touchscreen devices and the T410s doesn’t disappoint. With its SimpleTap feature I’m able to quickly get to some of the functions that I’m constantly tinkering with like microphone, volume, wireless, camera and the smokin’ awesome reading light at the top of the monitor that illuminates the keyboard when I’m sitting on a dark plane (see image below). Nice touch Lenovo. I find myself reaching up and touching the screen when I need to reposition the cursor. I find that easier at times than moving my thumbs down to use the touchpad.
One thing I really like about the Lenovo machines is the utilities that come pre-installed. Collectively they’re called ThinkVantage, and include utilities for battery management, wireless management, screen management, and so on. I typically don’t like pre-installed utilities on my machines, but Lenovo did it right.
The overall performance of the T410s has been stellar to this point. It’s hard to say what the actual batter life is as I keep going back and forth between the plug, battery, wireless, Bluetooth, etc. Based on usage over the past week or so it looks like it’s around five hours on a full charge with both batteries in place. I consider that fairly solid as I don’t baby my machines. I don’t dim the screen or turn the wireless off when not in use, etc.
With all that said, there are a couple of things that bother me. First there’s no separate microphone jack. I didn’t realize it when I ordered the T410s, but it doesn’t have a separate microphone jack. It has a headphone jack. I find that odd. Next is the screen. While I love the touchscreen capability and it’s fine for my needs, the screen isn’t going win any beauty contests. The images look a little washed out to me. And finally is the modular CD/DVD player. It’s just not very good. In fact it frustrated me to the point where I just pulled it out and keep the 3-cell battery in the slot. I don’t really need a CD-RW so it isn’t a big deal to me, but it might be to someone else.
That’s it, the Lenovo T410s is an awesome machine. I’d buy one again in a heartbeat.