Lenovo ThinkPad T510 review
The construction, speed and feature set are all top of the pile - it's the workstation to beat
Lenovo's eagerly awaited ThinkPad workstation refresh hasn't disappointed. The new T510 packs Intel's latest dual-core 32nm Core i7-620M, which ups the old i7-720QM's clock speed to 2.66GHz and drops the maximum TDP to 35W. In short, it's the most efficient mobile Core i7 chip yet.
Those two cores won't compete with a decent quad-core processor in most multithreaded applications, but for other tasks it runs like lightning. A score of 1.91 in our benchmarks makes it the quickest laptop we've tested, and the ISV-certified Nvidia NVS 3100M graphics raced through our CAD/CAM benchmark very quickly indeed.
It has raw power in spades, then, but the ThinkPad's appeal lies in its design. The hooded edge to the lid makes it rigid as ever, and there's a WWAN antenna inside it to get the most from the T510's 3G modem. The hinges are wider and the base feels rock-solid, and it features a fingerprint reader (with TPM chip) and a contactless smart card reader.
The speakers either side of the keyboard restrict its width, but it meets the usual ThinkPad standard. Touchpad and trackpoint are present, and Lenovo has added some nice touches, such as a key to quick-start VoIP conferencing.
The 15in screen looks muted next to consumer laptops, but the 1,600 x 900 resolution suits the size and the backlight is evenly lit and bright. It coasted through our gradient and tinting tests, and it's fine for the occasional video or presentation too.
Most of the ports sit on the left side, with an eSATA/USB combo and both D-SUB and DisplayPort outputs. There's dual-band 802.11n wireless and Gigabit Ethernet, a fast 500GB hard disk and DVD writer, and Windows 7 Professional 64-bit as standard.
It may not be as big and comfortable as the Dell Precision M6400, but with a price of £1,191 when configured on Lenovo's website, it makes an awful lot more financial sense. More than four hours of battery life is good given the performance, and it comes with all the business features a workstation needs.
|Warranty||3 yr return to base|
|Dimensions||372 x 244 x 38mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core i7-620M|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel QM57 Express|
|SODIMM sockets free||0|
|SODIMM sockets total||2|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,600|
|Resolution screen vertical||900|
|Resolution||1600 x 900|
|Graphics chipset||Nvidia NVS 3100M|
|Graphics card RAM||512MB|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Hard disk usable capacity||454GB|
|Internal disk interface||SATA/300|
|Hard disk||Seagate Momentus 7200.4|
|Optical disc technology||DVD writer|
|Optical drive||Matshita UJ890|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Integrated 3G adapter||yes|
|Wireless hardware on/off switch||yes|
|Wireless key-combination switch||no|
|PC Card slots||0|
|USB ports (downstream)||4|
|PS/2 mouse port||no|
|9-pin serial ports||0|
|Optical S/PDIF audio output ports||0|
|Electrical S/PDIF audio ports||0|
|3.5mm audio jacks||1|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad, trackpoint|
|Audio chipset||Nvidia HD Audio|
|Speaker location||Alongside keyboard|
|Hardware volume control?||yes|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||4hr 5min|
|Battery life, heavy use||1hr 32min|
|Overall application benchmark score||1.91|
|Office application benchmark score||1.78|
|2D graphics application benchmark score||1.93|
|Encoding application benchmark score||1.69|
|Multitasking application benchmark score||2.23|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows 7 Professional 64-bit|
|OS family||Windows 7|
|Recovery method||Recovery partition|