Lenovo ThinkPad T500 review
All work and no play makes the Lenovo a happy laptop indeed. A business classic
Review Date: 9 Sep 2009
Reviewed By: Sasha Muller
Price when reviewed: £817 (£940 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Set amongst notebook style icons such as Dell’s Adamo or Apple’s Macbook Pro 13, the Lenovo T500 looks strikingly out of place. Indeed, like a time-traveller from the 1980s shot unceremoniously into 2009, the T500’s dowdy, textured black physique could almost be a museum exhibit of how laptops once used to look.
But although the ThinkPad's styling might be archaic, it screams practicality from every corner. The lid tilts back and forth on sturdy hinges, which prevent it from flapping about unduly, and tugging on the well-constructed base elicits barely any flex.
It’s not even especially portable by today’s standards, but while its 2.59kg weight won’t be something you want to carry about every day, you’ll be glad of its excellent display and the supremely comfortable keyboard, trackpad and trackpoint combination.
The keyboard boasts the usual ThinkPad quality. A spacious, uncluttered layout goes hand in hand with slightly concave keys which boast a light but responsive feel – there are few laptops, business-oriented or otherwise which can match the ThinkPad for ergonomics.
The T500 also ignores the fad for 16:9 ratio panels, sticking with the tried and tested 16:10, 15.4in format. The matte display minimises reflections, too. The only disappointment is the 1,280 x 800 native resolution, which can feel a bit cramped at times. Consider a model with a higher resolution panel if serious multitasking is on the agenda.
There’s certainly no lack of power for such tasks. The Core 2 Duo P8400 is a capable performer and it managed a fine 1.15 in our benchmarks. The same can’t be said of 3D performance, though: the Intel integrated graphics are only up to the most basic of rendering tasks.
Meanwhile, with 7hrs 53 minutes of light use battery life, the T500 can spend most of the working day away from a mains socket.
The T500 cements its credentials with a range of business-friendly features. A fingerprint reader comes paired with a TPM 1.2 chip, and there’s no shortage of connectivity either. ExpressCard/54 rubs shoulders with the older PC card standard – something that’s bound to please many IT departments loath to throw away old hardware. There's a 4-in-1 card reader, three USB ports, mini-Firewire, plus D-SUB and DisplayPort outputs.
That’s not to mention the all-round brilliance of the ThinkVantage software suite. Handling everything from software and driver updates, to ensuring that you backup your system on a regular basis, ThinkVantage has it covered. Even if the operating system should fail to boot, you can always dab the ThinkVantage button and rescue precious files to an external disk.
A pricier version of Lenovo’s T500 has been our second-choice A-list business laptop for some time now, and this model follows in those footsteps. It isn't stylish, but if you want a practical, comfortable business laptop that’s built to last, you won't be disappointed by the Lenovo T500.
Author: Sasha Muller
- Will the next Windows 8.1 update arrive next month?
- BT One Phone lets SMBs ditch landlines for mobiles
- Microsoft shows Modern apps running in desktop windows
- Apple and IBM buddy up for enterprise push
- Windows Phone 8.1 starts rolling out to Nokia phones
- Government broadband plans "lack ambition"
- SMBs get Office 365 price cuts, new plans
- Windows 7: you can keep it until 2020
- BlackBerry Passport's square for spreadsheets
- Microsoft to release six updates this Patch Tuesday
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Windows Easy Transfer – not so "easy" in Windows 8.1
- Formula 1: what a difference virtualisation makes
- Office of the future: comfy chairs and tablets everywhere
- I went to Glastonbury and the only thing that got high was my smartphone
- Meet the robots helping teach children
- PaperLater: would you pay to print the internet?
- Amazon vs Kobo: how much to make the ebook switch?
- Phishing emails: how I nearly got caught out
- Five worst SMB security threats... and how to solve them
- Doing business in a social era
- How to configure SysLookup for your network
- The 18 best Outlook tips for increasing productivity: become an Outlook expert with these lesser-known tips
- Office: should you buy it, rent it - or dump it?
- Small server vs cloud: which is best for SMBs?
- The best mobile apps for business
- Windows XP: Microsoft’s ticking time bomb
- gTLDs: what your business should know about new domain names
- Can Microsoft survive? A look at servers and tools
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office
- How to write your company's IT security policy
- Raspberry Pi and Wolfram: a must-have for every child
- Could you get by with Office Web Apps?