Lenovo ThinkPad T410 Specifications and Features

You probably have a pretty good idea of what a ThinkPad Classic laptop looks like, but features are still important. The T410 is available with CPUs ranging from an already fast i5-520M up to the i7-620M, with or without discrete graphics. Every standard feature is available, along with several extras catering to business and enterprise users. Given the target market, the pricing and build quality are higher than most consumer laptops, but the current sale puts the T410 in reach. Looking for a laptop to last you through the next four or five years? Look no further.

Lenovo ThinkPad T410 Specifications
Processor Intel Core i5-520M (2.40GHz/2.93GHz Turbo 3MB L3)
Core i5-540M (2.53GHz/3.07GHz Turbo 3MB L3)
Core i7-620M (2.66GHz/3.33GHz Turbo 4MB L3)
Chipset Intel QM57
Memory 2x1GB to 2x4GB DDR3-1066/DDR3-1333
2x2GB DDR3-1066
Graphics NVIDIA Quadro NVS 3100M
Intel HD Graphics IGP
Display 14.1" LED Matte 16:10 WXGA+ (1440x900)
14.1" LED Matte 16:10 WXGA (1280x800)
Hard Drive(s) 320GB 5400RPM HDD
250GB-500GB 7200RPM HDD
128GB SSD
320GB Seagate Momentus 7200.4 ST9320423AS
Optical Drive 8x DVDR SuperMulti
Networking Gigabit Ethernet (Intel 82577LM)
Intel WiFi Link 6200 AGN
ThinkPad 802.11bgn
Intel WiFi 1000/6300 or WiMAX 6250
Mobile Broadband
Gobi 2000 3G with GPS (Optional)
Bluetooth (Optional)
Audio HD Audio (2 speakers with mic/headphone jacks)
Battery 4-cell
6-Cell 2.6Ah
9-cell 2.8Ah 94Wh
Front Side Flash Memory Card Reader
Cover Latch
Left Side Smart Card (Optional)
Hard Drive Bay
3 x USB 2.0
DisplayPort
Ethernet
VGA
Cooling exhaust
Right Side ExpressCard/34
WiFi On/Off Switch
1 x eSATA
Headphone jack
Ultrabay Slim Optical Drive (DVDRW)
1 x Powered USB 2.0
Mini 1394a FireWire
Kensington Lock
Back Side 56K Modem
AC Power Connection
Cooling exhaust
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium 32/64-bit
Windows 7 Professional 32/64-bit
Windows 7 Ultimate 32/64- bit
Dimensions 13.13" x 9.41" x 1.09-1.26" (WxDxH)
Weight 4.91 lbs (with 6-cell battery)
Extras 2MP Webcam (Optional)
89-Key keyboard
5-in-1 Flash reader
Warranty 1-year depot warranty
2-year and 3-year available
Accidental damage and onsite available
Pricing Starting at $1265
On sale through March 31, 2010 starting at $919
Review system: $1940 (on sale for $1494)

In terms of features, the T410 includes everything you'd expect, plus a few extras not found on competing laptops. It has four USB 2.0 ports, with one port that you can set up to provide power even when the laptop is off (i.e. for charging a cell phone, iPod, or similar device). It has an eSATA port and mini-FireWire, providing all the external interfaces users are likely to need. An optional docking station connects via the bottom of the laptop, providing for additional USB and video outputs. The T410 includes a VGA output with DisplayPort as the digital output option; single-link resolutions will work fine with a simple adapter, but if you want to run a high resolution 2560x1440/2560x1600 LDC you'll need an active adapter—which can cost $100. Ideally, you'll want an external LCD with native DisplayPort support if you plan on using an external display (Dell LCDs like the U2711 or U2410 are a good option), or else grab a docking station for DVI support. The Lenovo T410 also has an optional Smart Card reader for business users, ExpressCard/34, and a flash memory reader. The optical drive is in an Ultrabay Slim SATA bay that's 9.5mm high, and with an optional adapter you can easily remove the DVDRW for a second HDD/SSD.

As mentioned, the CPU options are quite limited compared to many companies: you can get an i5-520M on the "low end" (which is hardly a slow CPU), a midrange i5-540M like our test unit, or you can go all out with the i7-620M. Note that the 620M is still a dual-core plus Hyper-Threading design, not to be confused with the quad-core plus Hyper-Threading CPUs like the i7-720QM. The only discrete GPU available is NVIDIA's Quadro NVS 3100M. Unlike the Quadro FX line that's optimized for workstation duties, the Quadro NVS is in essence a long-term availability (18+ months) business equivalent of the GeForce line. The NVS 3100M has similar specs to the G210M/G310M: 16 SPs (CUDA cores) and 64-bit memory interface running at around 1600MHz. The exact clocks on the NVS 3100M in our test system are 606/1468/1620 core/shader/RAM; the last G210M laptop we looked at had clocks of 606/1468/1580, so the only difference is in the RAM clock. Also note that driver updates will have to come from Lenovo, which is keeping with the corporate IT target audience.

One feature that definitely stands out for the mobile crowd these days is the LCD. First, the LCD is a matte panel—hallelujah! Like many business laptops, the ThinkPad Classic bucks the glossy trend in every way, so you won't need to worry about fingerprints or smudges on the chassis or LCD. Going a step further, the LCD also bucks the 16:9 aspect ratio trend, providing users with a very usable WXGA+ (1440x900) native resolution. Personally, this is the perfect resolution for 14" laptops, and it's great to get something other than a standard 1366x768 LCD. (WXGA 1280x800 panels are available on some of the T410 models; the WXGA+ is a $30 upgrade.) Unfortunately, while we love the matte panel and the higher resolution, contrast ratio is poor, as are the viewing angles. The LCD is still perfectly useable, but outside of providing a good working resolution, it doesn't impress.


The input options on the T410 are worth some discussion as well. The T410 comes with the standard TrackPoint device with a multi-touch touchpad, and our test unit includes an optional fingerprint scanner. Some people love the TrackPoint device and others dislike it; personally, there's no beating a regular mouse for accuracy, but I was able to use both the TrackPoint and touchpad without any complaints. The touchpad has a nice lightly textured surface that enables you to feel the edge of the tracking surface without having to look at it, and the multi-touch features worked flawlessly. If you don't like either the touchpad or the TrackPoint, you can use the included software (Fn+F8) to disable either one or both devices. My only issue with the touchpad is the placement of the two buttons; they're located on the curved edge of the chassis, a little too close to the edge for my taste. My natural instinct is to reach a bit higher up, which puts my finger partly on the touchpad and causes problems. This is a minor complaint, however, and one I'm sure I would adapt to if the T410 was the only laptop I used for an extended period of time.

Perhaps my favorite aspect of the T410 is the keyboard. Forget chiclet keyboards or keyboards with flat keys packed too close together in order to have "100% standard" key size. The T410 includes beveled and contoured keys that feel very much like a regular desktop keyboard. In comparison to other laptops, this is easily the most comfortable keyboard for typing that I've used on a laptop in a very long time—and it fits this into a 14.1" chassis! There's far less hand and finger fatigue for me after typing on the T410, and keys have a satisfying "click" without requiring too much force. The only complaint I have is a minor one with the keyboard layout: the Fn key. Some prefer this key to be in the bottom-left corner, but I like to have the Ctrl key there, with the Fn key moved in one spot. (Edit: Thankfully, you can switch this in the BIOS, as readers pointed out.) The new T410 keyboard also adds some convenient features like double-sized Esc and Delete keys to make them easy to find, and dedicated Home/End/PgUp/PgDn keys. Another cool feature is a quick "zoom" function accessed via Fn+Space that swaps between the current resolution and 800x600 in about half a second. We'd prefer a 16:10 aspect ratio for the lower resolution (i.e. 1024x640), but if your vision isn't great it's still a quick way to zoom in on smaller text without the need to use the change resolution dialog.

Overall, the ThinkPad T410 is exactly what we would expect from the classic Lenovo laptop. It's very comfortable to use, built extremely well, and it delivers excellent performance courtesy of the Core i5 CPU and discrete GPU. There are a few options missing from the T410 that some users might want, but Lenovo caters to these desires with other models. If you'd prefer switchable graphics so that you can get better battery life, the T410s (shipping in April) adds that feature, but it costs quite a bit more—it also has a multi-touch LCD option and a couple Intel SSDs to choose from. If you have no need for a discrete GPU, the T410 is available without the Quadro NVS for about $100 less.

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  • LtGoonRush - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    Lenovo is actually owned by the Chinese government, which is an even more compelling reason not to purchase from them on ethical grounds. Reply
  • sgtwiltan - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    So that means the ThinkPad developers, engineers and people all disappeared when Lenovo bought PCD? Get real! There are guys who worked on the first IBM PC still in the company. AS to the manufacturer on the article being IBM, It should be Lenovo. If it wasn't for Lenovo buying PCD, over 8K American employees would be out of jobs since the American company, IBM decided they no longer wanted us. They should not be getting the credit since the same people who created the the thinkpad line are still making and designing them the same way despite the new ownership. There really should be some kind of IQ test or education requirement to post here. On the other hand it proves this statement.
    " Wise men speak when they have something to say. Fools speak just to say something"
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    Sorry about the manufacturer showing as "IBM"... Lenovo wasn't in our list when I added the article, and after adding them I apparently forgot to change from IBM. It's correct now. :-)

    As for the political "boycott China" stuff, I'll leave the politicking for others. I merely review hardware and I see nothing wrong with Lenovo products compared to the competition. Shame about the LCD being so poor, though; I remember when ThinkPad actually had an IPS panel in a few models!
    Reply
  • Belard - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    We are screw not matter what.

    Where are the notebooks & desktops of HP, Compaq, Dell, Acer, Gateway (used to be a US Iowa company?) and even SONY and APPLE?

    CHINA!

    Apple computers, APple iPods and iPhones... all china.
    Hard drives, many are from China.
    LCD Panels, China
    HD TVs... yep, China

    If they could/want to infect the hardware, any brand could be effected.

    Hell, even our food and toys are from China. :(

    There are about 90+ ThinkPad computers on the ISS... so they are every where!
    Reply
  • jbwhite99 - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    That's funny. I own Lenovo stock, and I live in the US. Part of the company (about 20% of it) is owned by the Chinese Academy of Science, but the rest is owned by like IBM, Texas Pacific Group (venture capitalists, etc). It is traded on the HK stock exchange (stock number 0992) or you can buy American Depositary Receipts (LNVGY).

    I will admit I'm biased, since I work for Lenovo. For the gentlemen that mentioned the rubber paint, the reason that is on the outside is to allow you to grab your notebook. Grab a plastic Dell/Hp/Acer, and it can slip from your hands. Grab a TP, and it won't slip.

    Power bricks - every company changed. Lenovo/IBM used 16v standard from 1998 to 2005/6 - then moved to 20v. All machines now use 20v - as do Dell, etc. The difference is that most every Thinkpad will allow you to use the same AC adapter. Netbook (40w) and W700 (170-230w) are a little different, but the rest will run fine.
    Reply
  • Belard - Sunday, March 28, 2010 - link

    Thanks for the info about Lenovo. While I would prefer it to be more of an American company, if IBM kept making ThinkPads - they'd most likely be out of business by now.

    Lenovo did bring the price down so I was able to pick up the R61 for $600 with XP at a store surrounded by faster hardware notebooks with vista. I now run Win7 on my R61, it totally rocks.

    Oh, that makes sense about the rubber... just wish it didn't attract fingerprints.

    Power bricks: yes, they have to change very now and then, but its great that other than the W series & netbooks - the power brick is the same. At my main office and myself, being all ThinkPad - we do sometimes share, swap the power bricks for what is handy. Even the Docking station uses the same exact brick. COOL!

    I do wish that Lenovo wouldn't make anything cheaper than the IdeaPad, I think the Econo models look like cheap Compaq and the prices are not much cheaper than IdeaPads which appeal to the Mac / consumer crowd. I almost bought an IdeaPad, but the screen & XP sold me on the R61.

    The latest Y models are very cool looking... even the bottom cooling vents have syle.
    Reply
  • hko45 - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    And you think the "Chinese Academy of Science" is just that?

    In today's world economy, we "vote" with our dollars (and you case, your hours). You've obviously cast your votes. I've cast mine.
    Reply
  • hko45 - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    Got to start somewhere.

    Can't untangle the components' sources -- true. But we can at least start with the brands. Boycott Lenovo -- for our own self interests.

    Any other companies owned by the mainland Chinese government or headquartered in mainland China that should be included on this list?

    Reply
  • amosbatto - Sunday, April 11, 2010 - link

    I am actually very concerned about the Chinese ownership of Lenovo, since the Chinese government is well known for repressing worker's rights and destroying independent labor organizing. However, I have investigated this issue, and I am not convinced that boycotting Lenovo makes much of a statement.

    First of all, 92% of all laptops are manufactured by Taiwanese companies. Most of the market is dominated by the big 5: Quanta, Compal, Wistron, Inventec, Pegatron. There are about 10 smaller Taiwanese companies that make the rest. Just about every major laptop brand, subcontracts to these Taiwanese companies to fabricate their laptops. In most cases, the Taiwanese companies are the Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs), which means that they actually design the laptops. In the case of big brands like HP and Dell, they design the laptops in Taiwan, constantly consulting with the engineers from the branding companies. In some cases, the major brands, like Lenovo, Toshiba and Apple, still do some original design of their products, but they turn the fabrication over to one of the 5 major Taiwanese OEMs/ODMs. There are very slim margins in the fabrication business, so many of the OEMs/ODMs try to move into the branding business as well, since most of the profits lay in the final sale. Lenovo, Acer, and Asus have all followed this route, generally spinning their manufacturing arms off into a separate company, such as Wistron and Pegatron.

    Now, here is the bad part, almost all those Taiwanese companies, then manufacture their laptops in the lower Yangtse Valley. Something like 95% of the world's laptops are manufactured in the same place, where there is horrible exploitation of labor. Many of the workers are young, unmarried women from the Chinese countryside and they work under extremely exploitive conditions. In recent years, there has been a great deal of labor unrest as these workers have begun to protest their working conditions. Although the Chinese government recently raised wages for the workers, it generally favors the companies and helps to repress the workers. Lenovo used to operate just like the other Taiwanese OEMs/ODMs, owning factories in the lower Yangtse Valley, but now it has started to move away from fabrication and has started turning fabrication over to the Taiwanese firms.

    At the end of the day, it doesn't matter whether you are buying Lenovo or Dell, you are still contributing to the exploitation of workers and helping to deny people their human and labor rights. As for supporting US workers, Lenovo uses the old IBM support staff, so it probably doesn't making any difference either. The only way that it does make a difference is that some of Lenovo is owned by the Chinese government, so if you want to stop profits from flowing to the Chinese government, don't buy Lenovo products.

    I care deeply about workers rights, but in the end I bought a Thinkpad SL300, after a great deal of study. Why? Most of the environmental damage caused by a laptop lies in its fabrication. Something like 80% of the total energy of a home computer lies in its fabrication according to a 2005 study by Eric Williams. Most the environmental damage in terms of resource use is caused by fabrication, and very little of those resources can be recovered by recycling--around 10% at best, because the fabrication of print circuit boards and silicon chips lays on hundreds of layers of chemicals and materials, which are lost during fabrication and can not be recovered afterwards. Therefore, the most environmental option is to buy a computer which will last as long as possible and not force you to upgrade or replace it. I determined that Thinkpads were probably the best models, which were least likely to fail, and if they do fail, replacement parts can be ordered directly from the Lenovo web site. In the long run, they will probably have the lowest environmental impact, because they don't need to be replaced very often.
    Reply
  • Belard - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    As a ThinkPad owner and someone who does help other people buy notebooks, usually ThinkPads. They are very nice to work with.

    When I finally bought my first and only ThinkPad for myself, it was the screen that finalized my purchase choice. The store had ThinkPads next to other computers. And not having that HORRIBLE glossy screen is enough.

    The glossy "feature" is what adds to the higher contrast levels on all the other notebook screens. Yes, the colors are stronger and the black is richer... makes for watching movies even better.

    But for BUSINESS or serious work, we DON'T WANT TO LOOK AT OUR FACES!
    And any kind of back ground movement, like in a coffee shop means having constant moving reflections.

    I own a bottom end ThinkPad, it does what I need. It came with XP as vista was too horrible to touch. Its now running Windows7Pro and its great. My clients also got ThinkPads with XP pre-installed rather than Vista. Most are also now on Win7.

    By working with various models, I have noticed that some ThinkPad screens are better than others. Basic T-series screens are the most bland - odd. My R-Series is nicer. The T-4x0s are actually a totally different unit, its much thinner and costs about $1300~2000.

    The SL-Series gives people many ThinkPad features but a modern-looking notebook. It doesn't have the keyboard light. For a dual core, these start out at $600 and are an excellent value.

    The features you get from ThinkPads.
    - NO Junkware like what comes with HP, Acer, etc. They do include their own TOOLS which are very nice under Windows7.

    - MATTE screens... standard. That alone is enough.
    - liquid pass through. They have 2~4 drain channels which means spilling your drink will most likely NOT hurt your computer. An HP, Dell, Acer... they are toast.

    - 14" models have a complete crash cage, even behind the LCD screen. The 15" models are in the body only. Take one apart and you'll see internal structure that keeps ThinkPads ridged.

    - The HDs are in a rubberized caged. Included software detects if the notebook is falling and will shut down the drive.

    - Red joy-stick still in the middle of the keyboard, but they have the track-pads of other modern thinkpads.

    - Same standard PSUs on their notebooks, after all these years. Far tougher than HPs and most others. Small too.

    - Tech support: about the best there is. You can usually talk to a HUMAN in minutes. I've got my nightmares with HP and Dell, they want names, codes, phone numbers. Ugh. I've called them more than once on the phone to ask tech questions while at a retail store. Think Dell does that?

    - Lenovo still continues to support older IBM ThinkPads with drivers and tech notes.

    - You can order ThinkPAd and they usually ship within 5~8 days (4 times for my clients - wow).

    - You can order ThinkPADs with beefed up internal Wifi antennas which make a HUGE difference in 2-story big homes. Also, can include an at&t or Verizon or Clear WLAN cards - so cards with antennas sticking out the side of the computer. Worth it!

    I'll admit, I actually don't like the rubberized coating they put on the LCD tops. It fells good, but gets dirty easy and wears off with age. But many ThinkPad fan-boys view the aging like a warrior. (whatever)
    The R-Series uses plain plastic. The SL-Series uses really nice textured plastic which I really like and would like to see on their other models, at least as an option.

    Put an SSD in a Thinkpad, Windows7 boots in about 8~10 seconds, very very nice.

    I love my ThinkPad. :) Apple ibooks are very nice... in looks, the keyboards suck and SONY and HP have copied their flat keyboards.

    I just worked on a friends 5 year old $2400 Sony notebook, its pure plastic junk on the inside. Bad layout and cooling. A few months before, I used a very old ThinkPad from 2000 a PIII with Win98. I upgraded the unit to WindowsXP. It had lots of wear on the unit, but it WORKED beautifully, still stiff and reliable. (I wouldn't say todays ThinkPads are quite as tough thou. We want them lighter and cheaper)

    I think the ThinkPAD SL is a great $600~900. Its very modern looking with many features that makes it a ThinkPAD. Some old school Thinkpad owners don't like it because its stylish.
    Reply

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