I've always liked ThinkPads. Despite the fact that these notebooks have a tendancy to be more expensive than the competition, I've generally been of the opinion that the extra cost is worth it. Many people think that the ThinkPad styling is dated and dull, but as far as I'm concerned black will always be the new black. The true beauty of the ThinkPad styling is that you could have a three year old model under your arm, but it will look just like the latest generation machine, and there will be absolutely no mistaking the fact that you've got a ThinkPad.
When Lenovo took over the IBM computing division I was a little concerned about the fate of the ThinkPad, since the brand had been built on high quality rather than cost cutting. Also, the fact that Lenovo started to produce Silver (or titanium as the company called them) ThinkPads didn't bode well. Lenovo also added widescreen models to the ThinkPad range, but when I reviewed the Z60t I was somewhat under whelmed. But now I have the ThinkPad T60p in front of me and I'm glad to say that it feels every inch as good as its predecessors.
At 2.65kg the T60p isn't the lightest notebook around, but it is light enough not to drag you down when it's in your bag. Likewise, the dimensions of 329 x 268 x 31mm may not put it in the thin and light category, but somehow the T60p still looks slim and sleek - maybe black really is slimming.
The T Series ThinkPads are high-end notebooks in every way, while the 'p' in the name identifies this T Series as a mobile workstation model. As such, this machine is equipped with an ATI Mobility FireGL V5200 graphics card. Although the 3D performance on the FireGL V5200 will be pretty good, that's only half the story. The point of a workstation graphics chipset is that it is certified for a number of heavy duty applications such as Autocad, 3D Studio Max and SoftImage. Obviously a notebook computer is unlikely to be as powerful as a full-on desktop graphics workstation, but if you find yourself on the road regularly and want to be able to either work, or demonstrate projects to clients, a mobile workstation can be a real bonus.
Backing up the T60p's workstation credentials is an Intel Core Duo 2600 CPU running at 2.16GHz. This is currently the fastest Intel mobile chip on the market and since most 3D rendering packages are optimised for multiple CPUs, it's the perfect centre for any mobile workstation. If there's one area where the specification dips below par it's the memory - I would have liked to have seen 2GB of RAM in a machine like this. At least the hard drive is nice and capacious at 100GB.