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
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
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.

Index ThinkPad T410: Fast for Applications


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  • Belard - Sunday, March 28, 2010 - link

    The R, T and above series have their roll-cages, its very much there. The weight and feature set is a bit better. And Mac keyboards are now standardized pretty-looking but awful looking keys (HP & SONY uses it). You can only get so thin... besides, the T510 is 1.4" thick including its rubber feet which are a bit thicker than apples.

    Lets compare pricing a features, basic:
    Thinkpad T510: $1505 = Core i5 2.53Ghz / 4GB / 500GB HD / Win7 Pro / 15.6" LCD @ 1600x900 / Cam / blue-tooth / Wifi-N upgrade / WAN added with GPS function. 512mb Quadro discrete graphics (performs between 9400m & 9600m GT)

    MacBook Pro 15" : $1950 = Core2 2.53Ghz / 4GB / 500GB HD / OS X / 15.4" LCD @ 1440x900 / Cam / Wifi N / blue-tooth / (no WAN) / 9400M - shares 256mb. (Less than half the Quadro NVS 3100m above).

    $450 more... A CPU that is 1/3 slower, no WAN built-in, no discrete graphics. The ThinkPad T-510 can be had for under $1000 if I made it like the $1700 version of the iMac, but still with an i5 CPU. What I quoted for $1500 was a semi-top end model. I didn't make it 8GB or faster i5 CPU.

    So this is Apples bottom end 15" notebook, but I changed the HD to 500GB and added the anti-glare screen ($50) as ThinkPads don't have stupid glossy screens. Funny thou, Apple charges $150 to upgrade the 320GB to a 500GB. Lenovo charges $80.... hmmmm.

    If we upgrade the MAC 15" to the best...
    MacPro 15" = $3300! Core2Duo 3Ghz / 8GB RAM / 500GB HD / Antiglare.
    it would still be slower (CPU wise) than the $1000 T510.

    T510 max: $2195 Core i7 620 2.66ghz / 8GB RAM / 500GB HD / WAN, etc.

    I think I'd rather let apple keep that 0.45 " thinner body for that $1100 price difference.

    Apple makes generally good products... I'd prefer to get something better for less.
  • takumsawsherman - Thursday, April 1, 2010 - link

    I don't know which Mac keyboards you've been typing on, but the current crop of keyboards are the easiest and most comfortable out there. I say this as the proud owner of many Model M keyboards, which are the standard in my shop, but are much too loud for modern offices.

    Also, the fact that you claim that a Core2Duo 2.5 is "1/3 slower" than an i5 2.5 shows that you have no actual business tasks in mind. What exact business functions are you performing that would allow the i5 that much of an advantage? Also, discrete graphics? for 1999, which is about what you stated for the Mac Pro (by upgrading to that 500GB HD that business users need, right?) you do get discrete graphics. The model you are really pointing to is the $1699 model, and what exactly does that business user need with discrete graphics? Oh yeah, 3D games.

    Then you complain about Apple overcharging for upgrades. Well, Lenovo charges 80 to upgrade to the 500gb model, according to you. But you can buy a 500GB on the street for $75. Why doesn't Lenovo just charge the difference? Maybe because they are trying to make money? Honestly, the Macbook Pros I have put in, with VMWare and Windows installed for those who need it, aren't using even 30% of their disk space. And based on their typical tasks of emailing, creating spreadsheets, browsing the web, managing modest picture libraries, word processing, and accessing shared resources, they won't use more than 70% before the computer is retired. Meanwhile, they have VMWare snapshots (so long virus removals) and very few support calls.

    So, I leave you to your very powerful laptop, which lacks the huge multitouch pad of the Macbook Pro, and of course is stuck running Windows 7, pig of an OS that it still is, and your games. Meanwhile, I can take care of more customers since I don't have to run around removing the latest Fakealert trojans (you know, like the ones that sneak through ad servers on the NY Times and Anandtech). Then, when I get home, I can play games on my desktop, which has discrete graphics and has a mouse and a Model M keyboard (no windows/option keys).
  • erple2 - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    Is HP really a "cheap" laptop manufacturer, at least when you're comparing the business laptops? I can see that with several of their consumer level laptops (dvxx) which I don't like at all. I haven't used any of their "Envy" brand ones, however.

    My work leases the HP Elitebook 6930p's. I have to say that other than the low resolution screen (1280x800), I __really__ like it. It is exceptionally solid and stable, plus the keyboard is top-notch (quite a bit nicer to type on than my wife's 6 month old 15" "unibody" Macbook Pro).

    I would disagree that you can't build the elegance of a 15in macbook pro for less than the cost - the Elitebook I have now surpasses it in most categories (the screen being the only notable exception).
  • JarredWalton - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    Lenovo informed me that the T410s will indeed have switchable graphics but that it's not shipping until April. I specifically asked about that since the one page on their website advertises "switchable graphics" but the detailed pages show only the Intel HD Graphics. We'll see if that's correct or not in a week or two. Reply
  • OzzieGT - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    I just bought one. I am a software engineer so I need the nice keyboard and high resolution screen. I am going to keep it for 3-4 years and I carry it around a lot, so I need the durability. 13" is too small and 15" is too big. For the $1000 I paid, I couldn't find anything else which met my needs. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    The standard business user can barely open and sync email, let alone buy an overly expensive laptop, which can run windows without Vmware.

    If you owned a business and every penny counts, your suggestion is pure lunacy. I'm not meaning to offend, just seeing it from the point of view of an admin and s standard business user.

  • Penti - Saturday, March 27, 2010 - link

    Standard business user get their laptops preconfigured from the company, I'm sure they can start vmware from a link. Self employed people might not buy a business-laptop at all though. Most aren't though. Reply
  • Elkvis - Saturday, March 27, 2010 - link

    That is a ridiculous suggestion.
    Why would a sort of business buy Mac laptops just to run emulation to get business functionality.

    Sure they are sexy, but no self respecting network administration team would think that is an acceptable solution.
  • Belard - Sunday, March 28, 2010 - link

    Yep, you got that right.

    Spend $1500 for a notebook that equal to a $600~1000 PC notebook, strike one. Paying an IT guy to prep-it. Then if out on the road something wrong happens and the person doesn't know what to do...

    Besides some of the performance loss. Most business people could care less about the shiny notebook with a glowing apple logo. Artist, student and more creative types - sure.

    But a business user typically runs MS-Office, a browser and maybe a custom / specialized program. That's it. Why would he want spend the time and effort for a Mac + spend $100 for an XP license? What if he wants to run Windows7?

    BTW, the ThinkPad T400s is very thin, under 1", 4lbs and with an optical drive. One of my clients bought it for his wife. She loves the look and size of the unit... and ThinkPads are one of the few notebooks that offer beefed up antennas that'll work in their mansion.
  • takumsawsherman - Thursday, April 1, 2010 - link

    Actually, it makes a lot *more* sense. Easy deployment of images (VMWare images don't need to have the same hardware), snapshots to roll back to in case of infection or BSOD, and the fact that the Mac ends up with fewer support calls.

    The small amount of extra software required for those that *have to* run Windows is not that expensive. Most don't even require Windows, as the Mac version of Microsoft Office works fine for all those *intense* business tasks of editing and saving spreadsheets and reading/replying to email can, believe it or not, be accomplished on a Mac. The accounting departments usually use the PC version of Quickbooks, so that is one spot where Windows is needed, and then drafting professionals often use Autocad, but at around $k for the Autocad these cats aren't common. Most others get along just fine with the pre-loaded Mac software, and many don't even need to buy office with OpenOffice performing most tasks admirably.

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