Review: Lenovo Notebook Sets Performance Record


Lenovo's new ThinkPad T61P is the fastest notebook ever to come through the CRN Test Center.

The new notebook, which is being released next week, is built on Intel's Centrino Duo (codenamed Santa Rosa) and is the first to sever connections with the past by eliminating the IBM moniker altogether. It scored a PassMark 6.1 overall performance rating of 661.3, the highest score ever turned in by a notebook evaluated by the Test Center.

Performance is only part of the T61P's story; the notebook also offers excellent ergonomics. The keyboard is responsive and rivals the best desktop keyboards on the market, while the screen is bright and sharp, exhibiting no ghosting or dead pixels.

Test Center engineers also were impressed with the fit and finish of the notebook. The unit tested was equipped with an Intel T7700 2.4Ghz processor, 2Gbytes of RAM, and a 7200 RPM 100-Gbyte hard disk drive. The discrete graphics were handled via an Nvidia QuardroFX 570M graphics subsystem, powering a 15" WUXGA+ 1900 x 1200 display.

VARs will be impressed by the laundry list of features offered with the T61P, which includes a DVD Multi-burner, 802.11a/b/g and Bluetooth wireless connectivity and a plethora of ports and card readers.

A travel weight of around seven pounds rounds out the package, and when set to the high-performance mode, the notebook delivers roughly three hours of battery life. A maximum power-savings setting extends that battery life to a little more than five hours; of course, as with any battery powered device, your mileage may vary.

With a list price of $2,703 with Windows Vista Business 32, the T61P (model 6457-Z5U) may be a budget buster, but most users will find the unit worth every penny. On the flip side, if one is willing to sacrifice a little performance and a couple of features, a whole flock of notebooks from many vendors offer viable alternatives.

But for those with pockets deep enough, that $2,703 will get them a notebook that offers high speed, a beautiful display and a plethora of options that may very well make the T61P the best notebook on the market. Well, for today at least.