Lenovo ThinkPad T510 review
The construction, speed and feature set are all top of the pile - it's the workstation to beat
Review Date: 21 Apr 2010
Reviewed By: David Bayon
Price when reviewed: £1,191 (£1,399 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
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.
Author: David Bayon
It's hard to tell from the picture - is that a UK or US keyboard?
I can't stand the half-sized enter key which seems common on US keyboard layouts.
By Chris_B on 27 Apr 2010
Hi Chris, Lenovo managed to get us an early manufacturing sample for this review, so don't worry about the keyboard in this picture - it's available to buy in UK layout.
By DavidBayon on 27 Apr 2010
I know, I know, it's a business machine, but business people love games too, plus every savvy consumer will be using a Thinkpad anyway IMHO! How does the admittedly-optimised-for-presentations NVS cope with Crysis?
By gavmeister on 27 Apr 2010
I am using ThinkPads since 2006 and the most hated thing about most of them is the location of internet browser navigation keys adjacent to Cursor keys.
In most of the scenario's they will mercilessly wipe out your nearly-finished article you've typed patiently into the textbox of your browser. (PCpro Comments box included)
By stasi47 on 27 Apr 2010
That's true about the keyboard! That's happened to me sooo many times. I always blamed myself but now you mention it those key positions don't help do they? apart from that though, thinkpads are the best computers in the history of the world.
By gavmeister on 28 Apr 2010
How do you get a 15" panel on this model. The Lenovo website shows the T510 has a 15.6" panel in 3 different flavors (HD, HD+ or FHD), though it doesn't specify what these are.
By paul1315 on 2 May 2010
I always wanted a Thinkpad
The HD+ screen is rubbish. The kepad flexes on the right third.(see utube fix) I have sticking keys and differing touch sensitivity on the touchpad keys. And more. Don't think Thinkpad think Lenovo. 5/10
By johnpoff on 7 Aug 2010
What options can I change in this notebook?
Can I add RAM?
By jeromew on 12 Jan 2011
You can change practically anything. Go here: http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/gb
By DavidBayon on 12 Jan 2011
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