A usefull article if you are planning on buying a second hand T61, or if you wonder how this wonderfull computer is operating after 3 years
Lenovo ThinkPad T61 in-use review
- Screen: 15.4-inch SXGA+ 1680 x 1050
- Processor: 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300 (4MB L2 Cache,800MHz FSB)
- Hard Drive: 500GB hard drive 5400RPM WD Scorpio blue (not standard)
- Memory: 2GB x 2, 4GB Total (8GB Max)
- Optical Drive: DVD+-R Double layer / DVD+-RW Drive
- External Ports and Slots: Three USB 2.0, one ExpressCard slot, VGA, headphone / line-out, microphone-in, modem, 1Gb Ethernet, Firewire
- Wireless: WiFi (Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945ABG), Bluetooth 2.0 w/ EDR
- Graphics: Dedicated nVidia NVS 140M (128MB)
- Operating System: Windows XP Pro
- 9-cell Li-Ion battery (10.8V, 7.8AH)
- Dimensions: (WxDxH): 33.55cm x 23.7cm x 2.76-3.19cm
- Weight: Approx 2,5 kg.
Screen : It is above average resolution for a 15,4″ screen. The positive effects is that a high resolution makes it possible to have a lot of windows and applications at the desktop at the same time. The negative side to this is that by default the text will be small and perhaps hard to read.
Processor : It is dualcore, fast and reliable. No negative sides to this CPU.
Hard drive : A large but slow hard drive. The posive effect is that it is large, pretty quiet and cool. The negative effects is that it is (compared to 7200RPM disks and SSD) slow. You will see that is is slow when the operating system boots, when you open programs and when you are going to copy large files.
Ports : Three USB ports should be enough. VGA is today still the business standard for easy connection to projectors, monitors and such. At home a HDMI port would possible be a better choice for connection to your new LCD TV. Other than this it has ports for most standard external devices.
Graphics : A dedicated nVidia NVS 140M is powerful and could be a better choice if you are going to run games or heavy graphical applications like Photoshop or CAD. The downside to running a dedicated solution is that it generates more heat, more noise and it draws more power (less battery life).
9-cell battery : Positive side is more battery life, negative side is that the computer gets heavier and larger. I have also experienced that the batterylife will be reduced from the 4-5 hours life in the beginning to 3-4 hours within a year.
PCwizard – Global Performance :
Processor Global Performance : 130783.30 Marks
Cache and Memory Global Performance : 89860.00 Marks
Memory Global Performance : 10882.19 Marks
Video Global Performance : 273.00 Marks
Hard Disk Global Performance : 51.00 Marks
HDTack – HDD Performance
Driver support from vendor :
The build :
The T61 is build by the ThinkPad standards. The outside of the computer is rugged plastic, and the inside “roll-cage” is made by magnesium materials. You can use this computer for years and it still looks and feels brand new. The keyboard has also got a solution if you should pour a cup of coffee over it. It has two drains which should carry the liquid away from sensitive components and release it underneath the computer in a safe manner. The only flaw in the construction as far I can see is the hinges that connects the monitor to the computer. It will by time get a bit loose and has to be replaced to give the screen a firm grip. No big deal, but it is in my opinion a flaw.
See the problem on youtube. Off course you also have shock protection for the hard drive, a large and pleasant keyboard and a easy to use trackpad.
The heat and noise from this machine is down to a minimum. You can only hear the whisper from the fans and the gentle read/write from the hard drive. No one would turn their heads if you were using this computer in the office – it is silent.
Boot times :
The final word about the look and feel is that it is a very durable design which would look and feel the same in a 3 years time as it does today.
With the current installation with Windows XP Pro, some Lenovo bloatware and a 5200 RPM Harddrive the boot takes about 35 sec from leaving BIOS to entering the logon screen. Of course it take a good 30 sec from the logon screen to you actually can do some work. What takes most time is wireless network to become operational.
Popular software in use :
Both Office/Open Office and Photoshop/Gimp starts without a hitch. I think the big bottleneck on this computer today is the 5200RPM harddrive which makes both boot-time and starting programs take a bit long. When the programs starts and you use them, I think you can’t see any difference between the use of this computer and new ones.
Ease of upgrading :
Very easy to upgrade. You can upgrade both the harddrive and the memory by removing two hatches underneath and on the side of the computer.
Upgrading the memory
Upgrading the harddrive
This computer is still a great choice if you want to have a mobile and robust PC that will survive most vandalism u put it through. If you take care of it, it will probably work and look good for still 5 years. You will get more mobile PC’s with 14,1″ screen, and you will get more powerfull PC’s with 14,1″ display, but this computer offers a nice combo of both and get a
8 out of 10 in-use review points!