IBM's ThinkPad corporate brand is one of the most famous in the world. Even after its acquisition by Chinese manufacturer Lenovo, the brand has continued and this model is highly compact. Although expensive, the ThinkPad carries a high level of quality. Strong and light, usability is impressive. The keyboard is one of the best there is, although the keys on the board's right side are small and tricky to work with.
A pointing stick is used for screen control. Its awkward control will be hated and loved in equal measure. Unique to the ThinkPad is a tiny LED light above the screen, which illuminates the keyboard when working in dark conditions.
Weighing 1.4kg, mobility is outstanding. The chassis is small and ideally suited to long-term travel use. To shield data from damage, the hard drive is shock protected. A fingerprint reader is also fitted to add personalised security without the need for passwords. Due to the compact design, there is no internal optical drive. Discs can be read via the included docking station, but recordable formats are limited to CD-RW. The docking station also adds extra connectivity.
The Lenovo opts for an older Core Duo chip. With proven stability, performance is strong for all but the most resource-consuming tasks, but trails behind its rivals. Battery life is proficient. Running for 281 minutes, you'll be able to work for half a day before seeking a power-point. An extra extended-life battery can be added for £152 (inc. VAT), if increased mobility is required.
We are corporate
In traditional corporate style, the 12.1-inch screen of the Lenovo uses a 4:3 aspect ratio. Other laptops tend to use a widescreen panel, making it easier to work with spreadsheets and multiple windows. Brightness is also low, particularly in sunlight.
Connectivity is provided by 802.11a/ b/g Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet, allowing high-speed connections with compatible networks. Bluetooth also allows peripherals to be connected wirelessly. A trait of ThinkPad systems is their use of IBM's excellent ThinkVantage software, providing a range of tools to help end-users get the most from their laptop.
A remnant of the old-guard of corporate laptops, the Lenovo has plenty to recommend it, but is starting to show its age. For solid business use, this is one of the best, but the lack of modern features may be too limited for some.