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When Lenovo purchased IBM's PC division at the back end of 2004, it was also granted the license to carry on using the IBM branding for a number of years. As such, despite the fact that Lenovo was selling ThinkPads, the notebooks themselves still carried the IBM badge. Now it would appear that the licensing deal has finished, because this is the first ThinkPad that I've seen with no IBM branding whatsoever.
I had always imagined that I would miss seeing the letters IBM in red green and blue on a ThinkPad, but now that I have one in front of me without that embossed acronym, I have to say that it looks arguably better. The stealthy black ThinkPad design has always appealed to my minimalist taste, and losing the IBM branding has just made things look that bit more understated. Yes, it may just be that dropping the IBM branding has actually improved the aesthetics of the ThinkPad, but how it affects buyer confidence remains to be seen.
The ThinkPad T61 continues the T-Series tradition of being thin and light enough to carry around with you all day - 336 x 237 x 28mm (WxDxH) and 2.3kg - but still maintaining a decent size screen and keyboard. In fact, whenever I've been asked what my favourite ThinkPad model is, I've always been torn between the T-Series and X-Series, with the latter being smaller and lighter, but also less feature packed.
I have to admit that I like ThinkPads, I always have. There's something about the black, tactile finish that just seems timeless to me. I guess it's true what they say - black will always be in fashion. I know that it's popular these days to have coloured lids, or glossy black or white finishes on notebooks, but I maintain that ThinkPads, with their matte black finish, look as good as anything else on the market.
As well as this being the first, non-IBM branded ThinkPad to arrive in the TrustedReviews lab, it's also the first widescreen T-Series machine that I've got my paws on. The result is a 14.1in screen with a 1,440 x 900 resolution - much like the Dell Latitude D630 we looked at recently. This is a decent size screen and an equally decent resolution. Yes, I would probably be happier with a 1,680 x 1,050 resolution, but for the most part this gives me enough desktop real estate, and shouldn't result in end users complaining that icons are too small.
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