Lenovo ThinkPad T61 - Lenovo ThinkPad T61 Review


Talking of wireless networking, this T61 is equipped with Intel’s latest WiFi Link 4965AGN wirelss adapter, which makes this notebook Draft-N compliant. So, assuming you’ve got a Draft-N router, you’ll be getting lightning fast wireless speeds.

Also worth a mention is the ThinkPad keyboard light. Mounted just above the screen is a small LED that can be turned on and off with a keyboard shortcut. The function of this LED is to illuminate your keyboard if you happen to be using your notebook in a dark environment – as is often the case for me when I’m taking notes in a press briefing. It’s little touches like this that have always made ThinkPads a bit special.

Then there’s the ThinkVantage button, which brings up a menu of system configuration and maintenance options. Here you can create a backup schedule, restore to a previous state or access Lenovo support online. In a corporate environment, the IT manager will probably use the ThinkVantage functionality to schedule regular backups, thus ensuring that the end user’s data is kept safe, without them even knowing about it.

But there’s more to this particular ThinkPad than the ThinkVantage suite, because the T61 is a Centrino Pro branded notebook. This means that it’s equipped with Intel’s V-Pro technology for remote management and configuration. The beauty of a V-Pro setup is that an IT manager can not only configure a machine remotely, but can also quarantine an infected system from the rest of the network, then remotely disinfect it before letting it back into the wild. Although this technology has been available on desktops for a while, it’s actually far more pertinent on a notebook, since users are far more likely become infected with malicious software on a machine that they take home with them.

Lifting the bonnet on this T61 reveals an Intel Core 2 Duo T7300 running at 2GHz, which is backed up with 2GB of RAM. Considering the high specification CPU and generous complement of memory, it’s therefore strange that there’s only an 80GB hard disk and a DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive when it comes to storage. As well as the aforementioned Draft-N Wi-Fi, you also get Bluetooth and Intel Gigabit Ethernet – the latter being a requirement for Centrino Pro branding. Despite the slightly unbalanced specification, it’s good to see a fast CPU and a generous amount of RAM, which ensure that Vista nips along at a decent pace.