A little while ago I reviewed the IBM ThinkPad T41 and I have to say that I really liked it. I liked it so much in fact that I chose it as my companion when I travelled to Las Vegas for CES. There it did its duty admirably as I had to write up everything I saw at the show as well as edit and upload copy sent from back home.
However, if you’ve read my review of the T41 you’ll know that it isn’t quite perfect and there were one or two points that ultimately robbed it of an award. I am therefore very happy to report that pretty much everything that wasn’t quite right with the T41 has been addressed in the T41p. In fact, it isn’t just the issues that I had with the original T41 that have been addressed, there are features packed into the T41p that I hadn’t even hoped for. With all this in mind, and I don’t say this very lightly, the T41p is, quite simply, the best notebook computer I have ever used.
The T41p shares the same chassis as the T41, so it’s beautifully crafted, ergonomically excellent and slim. But it’s what’s on the inside that counts, and the T41p is very different to its sibling. For a start, the T41p doesn’t use Intel’s Centrino platform. Now, I’m a big fan of Centrino since it offers superb battery life as well as integrated wireless networking, so why would IBM choose not to use Centrino in its flagship model? The answer is simple, IBM wanted to implement something even better.
There’s still a Pentium M CPU inside the T41p and a very fast one at that running at 1.7GHz. This is backed up by a healthy 512MB of RAM, which is a big improvement on the slightly stingy 256MB found in the T41. There’s also a capacious 60GB hard disk to store all your data on and a DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive in case you want to back anything up or transfer important files.
As I’ve already mentioned, one of the big advantages of a Centrino notebook is that it has integrated 802.11b wireless networking and IBM is well aware of the importance of this feature. So, to cater for the wireless warrior, IBM has implemented its own wireless adapter into the T41p, but this little beauty supports 802.11a b and g. For those of you not familiar with the standards, 802.11g is the latest wireless standard and offers far greater bandwidth than 802.11b. Obviously you’ll need to be connecting to a wireless network that supports the 802.11g standard to make use of the extra bandwidth, but more and more g devices are hitting the street every day. So, top marks to IBM for making the T41p somewhat future proof in the wireless arena.
Of course you don’t just get Wi-Fi since the T41p has integrated Bluetooth functionality as well. So, even if you can’t find a Wi-Fi hotspot you can connect to the Internet via a Bluetooth mobile phone.
As I always say when reviewing notebooks, ergonomics are paramount, so the keyboard, pointing device and screen all have to be up to scratch. And again in the case of the T41p all three of these areas are taken care of in style.