Review: ThinkPad T61p Widescreen Laptop

Executive Summary:
The Lenovo ThinkPad T61p is an outstanding laptop that comes equipped with a Core 2 Duo processor, a crisp 15-inch widescreen display, copious amounts of RAM and disk storage, and integrated security features. Also, the Lenovo ThinkPad T61p scored a 4.0 out of 5.9 on the Windows Experience Index.

When it comes to high-end business laptops, Lenovo has a long history of providing leading-edge features in an attractive, well-built package. Such is the case with the Lenovo ThinkPad T61p, an outstanding laptop that should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for a laptop for a smallto- midsized business (SMB) or enterprise.

My review unit arrived with a 15.4" widescreen display, a 80GB hard disk drive, 2GB of RAM, a DVD-RW drive, and was running Windows Vista Business. A 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor handles the processing duties, and a NVIDIA Quadro NVS 140M graphics controller with 128MB of RAM manages graphics and video. Integrated wireless communications (in the form of WiFi and Bluetooth) come standard on the ThinkPad T61p. A variety of processor speeds, RAM sizes, and hard disk drives are also available: The ThinkPad T61p can be configured with top-level components, including a 2.4GHz CPU, 4GB of RAM, and a 160GB 5400rpm Serial ATA (SATA) hard disk drive with full disc encryption. A variety of Vista versions are also available, including Vista Business 64.

Although many laptops are available with the aforementioned specifications, Lenovo also included some unique features in the ThinkPad T61p. For example, my test unit came with an integrated fingerprint reader for additional security. A shock-mounted hard disk drive helps prevent data from getting scrambled if the laptop is dropped, while an integrated roll cage provides extra protection and rigidity to safeguard the laptop’s internal components from damage. Lenovo even engineered a drainage hole that channels fluids that get spilled onto the keyboard away from the laptop’s internal components— Lenovo’s public relations staff will be happy to know that I didn’t get the chance to test that feature.

Setting up the laptop was easy and straightforward, and the pricing is competitive with comparable laptops. The ThinkPad T61p is a large laptop, but weighs just 6.5 pounds. According to Lenovo, the ThinkPad T61p’s six-cell Lithium-ion battery will last up to 5.5 hours, while the nine-cell Li-ion battery will last up to 8.3 hours. My test laptop generated only a 4.0 (out of 5.9) on the Windows Experience Index because of a low graphics performance score. Upgrading to a more powerful NVIDIA graphics controller would raise that score. I’ve never been a fan of the pencil erasersized TrackPoint device; however, Lenovo thoughtfully includes a traditional touchpad as an alternate mouse control method. One thing I didn’t like about the Think- Pad T61p is that some of the buttons at the top of the keyboard seemed a bit narrow, but I digress. There really isn’t much not to like about this laptop, which is clearly one of the best business laptops currently available. If your IT shopping list includes laptops, take my advice and give the ThinkPad T61p a look.

ThinkPad T61p
Widescreen Laptop
PROS: Excellent performance; integrated
security features; crisp and clear display;
potent CPU
CONS: Small volume control buttons; modest
graphics performance
PRICE: Starts at $1,369
RECOMMENDATION: If you’re shopping
for a laptop for a SMB or enterprise, take a
look at the ThinkPad t61p—you’ll be hardpressed
to find a better high-end business
CONTACT: Lenovo • 866-968-4465 •

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