The screen itself is a pretty good example with even lighting across the entire surface and not a hint of a dead pixel anywhere to be seen. There’s no glossy, high contrast coating on this screen, but that’s not surprising when you consider that ThinkPads are traditionally business notebooks. In fact, that’s why it’s taken so long for the ThinkPad range to transition to a widescreen aspect ratio, since the corporate user tends to be far more set in his/her ways than the general consumer.
You’ll probably notice from the pictures that there is a very wide bezel surrounding the screen. This is testament to the fact that you can get a T-Series with a larger 15.4in screen. In fact, the top of the range, mobile workstation model – the T61p – ships with a 15.4in screen that sports a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200! I’ll hopefully be getting one of those in for review soon, so watch this space.
The keyboards on ThinkPads have a somewhat legendary reputation, and with good reason. Despite the fact that other notebook manufacturers have improved their keyboard design over the last few years, the ThinkPad keyboard remains head and shoulders above the competition. Thankfully the keyboard on the T61 lives up to the reputation set by its forebears. It’s hard to describe just how great it is to type on this machine, but as a point of reference, I prefer typing on the T61 to using the full size keyboard attached to my desktop PC – it really is that good.
At a basic level, ThinkPad keyboards just have the perfect feel. The travel is just the right length, with a very solid break that queues your finger up for the next key strike perfectly. The size of each key is equally perfect, with just enough dishing to draw your fingertip into the centre of each key as you strike. All the right keys are large, as you’d hope – Tab, Caps Lock, Shift, Backspace and Return. While the cursor keys are slightly dropped from the main group, but also feature finger shaped cut aways in the wrist rest, so it’s easy to slide your fingers into place. If there is one thing wrong with this keyboard, it’s that Lenovo still insists on placing the Fn key at the bottom left, rather than the Ctrl key, which can be annoying for anyone that uses a lot of keyboard shortcuts.