Lenovo ThinkPad T60

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The premium you pay is worth it: the ThinkPad T60 delivers a sturdy design, a complete range of network connectivity, top-shelf performance, long battery life, and just enough ports for the typical business user.

Lenovo ThinkPad T60 Front Angle

The first new iteration of the ThinkPad T series since Lenovo bought the ThinkPad business from IBM, the ThinkPad T60 retains its trademark design but adds in the latest components, including Intel's Core Duo chipset and a handful of new features. Unlike its more consumer-focused thin-and-light counterpart, the wide-screen ThinkPad Z60t, the ThinkPad T60 is built for large-enterprise business customers, incorporating a deep supply of connectivity features but few multimedia extras.

With a starting price of AU$2,699, the ThinkPad T60 is considerably more expensive out of the gate than competing models, such as the Dell Latitude D620, but offers a sturdier design and superior configuration options, as well as excellent performance and a comprehensive array of features. As we did with the ThinkPad T-series model before it, we recommend the T60 to any serious business that can't afford to scrimp on its laptop fleet.

Depending on how you configure it, the ThinkPad T60 weighs approximately 2kg and runs 255mm deep, 311mm wide, and about 25mm thick -- virtually the same dimensions as the previous ThinkPad T43 model. The extended 9-cell battery included with our unit brought its weight to 2.8kg and added 20mm to its depth; its compact AC adaptor added just over 450 grams. There are many more-portable laptops on the market, even within Lenovo's portfolio, but the ThinkPad T60 is light enough for occasional travel and movement around the office.

Lenovo Thinkpad T60 Front
The ThinkPad T60 is extremely well designed and features thoughtful touches such as sturdy steel hinges, drain holes for accidental spills onto the keyboard, and -- new to the T series -- a shock-mounted hard drive and internal roll cage that holds components in place. The excellent keyboard offers a comfortable layout and features the traditional red eraser-head pointing stick, as well as a sufficient-size touch pad, each of which has a set of mouse buttons. Above the keyboard are three handy external volume controls -- the extent of the ThinkPad T60's dedicated multimedia controls -- and a blue ThinkVantage button, which summons Lenovo's excellent system support and help utility.

Like the ThinkPad T43, the ThinkPad T60 can be configured with either a 14.1-inch or 15-inch standard-aspect display and a variety of native resolutions. Our test unit, featuring a 15-inch display with a fairly fine, 1,400x1,050 SXGA+ native resolution, looked crisp, clear, and reasonably bright; still, we prefer the wide-aspect display found on the ThinkPad Z60t. As with most business-focused systems, the ThinkPad T60's speakers sounded clear but, even when maxed out, soft and relatively flat.


Lenovo Thinkpad T60 Side
When it comes to ports and connections, the ThinkPad T60 keeps it basic. You get a VGA port, headphone and microphone jacks, slots for Type II PC Cards and ExpressCards, and three USB 2.0 ports -- one more than the ThinkPad T43 but still short of the Latitude D620's four -- and a DVD burner in its swappable bay.

On the other hand, the ThinkPad T60 has basically all of the networking connections a businessperson could want: Gigabit Ethernet, 56Kbps modem, Bluetooth, 802.11a/b/g wireless, and EV-DO WWAN. A handy switch on the front edge turns all wireless radios on and off. The built-in WWAN chip -- the first of its kind in Australia -- is particularly impressive, as it enables users to access the Internet from anywhere they can get a mobile phone signal. The notebook currently only supports the Vodafone network, and just behind the battery is a slot for you to enter a Vodafone 3G SIM card.

Using the pre-installed "Vodafone Mobile Connect" software, provided you've got a data service enabled on your SIM card, you're able to connect to the vendor's 3G network and send/receive email, MMS and SMS, as well as surf the Web through your regular browser. The functionality is very similar to that of a 3G data card, however, a major benefit of the T60's implementation is that you don't need to add an external card -- the WWAN chip is built into the notebook at the factory. Our performance observations regarding this Internet service can be found under "Performance".

The ThinkPad T60 lacks a number of multimedia connections, such as FireWire, S-Video, and a media card reader -- features that aren't crucial to typical productivity work, but which are found on other business-class thin-and-lights. Security features abound, however, including a fingerprint reader and an Embedded Security Subsystem -- a hardware security feature that is similar to a Trusted Platform Module.


Lenovo Thinkpad T60 Back
Our high-end test unit was configured with a solid set of components, including a 2.0GHz Intel Pentium T2500 Core Duo processor, 1GB of speedy 666MHz DDR2 SDRAM, a midrange ATI Mobility Radeon x1400 graphics card with 128MB of video RAM, and a SATA 100GB hard drive spinning at 5,400rpm. Unsurprisingly, the ThinkPad T60 turned in a strong score on CNET Labs' benchmarks, performing as well as the other similarly configured dual-core systems we've seen and significantly ahead of the previous generation of Pentium M-equipped business laptops. Our ThinkPad T60 test unit shipped with a high-capacity 9-cell battery (which adds AU$249 to the price) that lasted just shy of 6 hours in our drain tests, which is about as good as it gets for a thin-and-light laptop.

We found the Vodafone 3G Internet service to be fairly speedy for the tasks we needed to accomplish. Although it starts to slow down when you've got multiple browser tabs each trying to load pages and instant messaging conversations happening concurrently, it's certainly no slouch. Using the YourSpeed3 speed test, we recorded average download/upload speeds of 320/122kbps, which is in line with the 384kbps theoretical maximum bandwidth of 3G (non-EV-DO). A direct link to our results can be found here, should you want to take a more detailed look.

Depending on which configuration you buy, the ThinkPad T60 is backed by an economical one-year or lengthy three-year warranty, during which you must carry in your system to an authorised repair centre; upgrades for longer terms and onsite repairs are reasonably priced. The company's support Web site includes a handful of troubleshooting topics as well as the expected driver downloads; the site lacks interactive features such as customer forums or the chance to chat in real time with a technician.

Mobile application performance
(Longer bars indicate faster performance)
BAPCo MobileMark 2002 performance rating  
Lenovo ThinkPad T60
Dell Latitude D610
HP Compaq nc6140

Battery life
(Longer bars indicate longer battery life)
BAPCo MobileMark 2002 battery life in minutes  
Lenovo ThinkPad T60
Dell Latitude D610
HP Compaq nc6140

NOTE: Products in this test are for comparative purposes only and are not necessarily available in the Australian market.

Find out more about how we test Windows notebooks.

System configurations

Top ZDNET Reviews

Dell Latitude D610
Windows XP Professional; 2GHz Intel Pentium M; 512MB DDR SDRAM 266MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon X300 64MB; Hitachi Travelstar 5K80 80GB 5,400rpm

HP Compaq nc6140
Windows XP Pro; 2GHz Intel Pentium M 760; 512MB DDR SDRAM PC2700 333MHz; Mobile Intel 915GM/GMS, 910GML Express 128MB; Hitachi Travelstar 5K00 60GB 5,400rpm

Lenovo ThinkPad T43
Windows XP Professional; 1.86GHz Intel Pentium M; 512MB DDR SDRAM 333MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon X300 64MB; Hitachi Travelstar 7K60 60GB 7,200rpm

Lenovo ThinkPad T60
Windows XP Professional; 2GHz Intel Core Duo T2500; 1GB PC4300 DDR2 SDRAM 666MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon X1400 512MB (256MB shared); Hitachi Travelstar 5K100 100GB 5,400rpm

Topics: IBM, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility

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