Review: Lenovo ThinkPad T410s

At the top of Lenovo’s product heap is the ThinkPad line. The top of the ThinkPad line is the T-series. And the top of the T-series, even in Lenovo’s own estimation, is the T410s.

Few laptops can be all things to all people, but the ThinkPad T410s comes dangerously close.

First there’s the screen: The 14.1-inch laptop offers improved resolution, at 1440 x 900 pixels, and a display so bright it should come with sunscreen. (Seriously, it’s not just the brightest notebook display in our records, it’s brighter than some desktop monitors.)

Specs leave nothing to complain about: 2.4-GHz Core i5 chip, 4-GB RAM, an Nvidia NVS 3100M graphics processor, and the aforementioned bad-ass screen. Only the 128-GB SSD hard drive is perplexing: Either up it to a proper 256 GB or forgo SSD for a big, regular hard drive, Lenovo.

Space concerns aside, the benchmarks are record-breaking. The T410s had the highest numbers on general performance apps among anything we’ve ever tested, and it’s no slouch in the gaming department, too: While short of our all-time highs, for a business machine, it’s more than graphics capable. And all of this comes in a perfectly thin, 3.9-pound package, which earns it yet another record by making it the lightest 14-inch laptop we’ve tested, as well.

Naturally, few ThinkPads come at a discount, and the $1,985 price tag is likely too steep for most (try subbing that HD in lieu of the SSD to trim the cost a bit), but our sole operational complaint is one of battery life. That ultra-bright screen clearly exacts its toll on your power cell, with the T410s turning in just 83 minutes of DVD playback while operating at full brightness. It may not be able to make it through back-to-back episodes of Mad Men, but you’ll certainly love it while it’s running.

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