Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lenovo ThinkPad T400s Touch Review

Lenovo ThinkPad T400s Touch specifications:

Windows 7 Professional
1440 x 900 WXGA+ with MultiTouch LED Backlit (Matte finish)
Intel Core 2 Duo SP9600 (2.53GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 6MB Cache)
4GB DDR3 RAM (2GB x 2)
128GB Toshiba SSD
Intel 5100AGN, Bluetooth 2.0
Intel X4500M Integrated
Built-in web camera 6-cell 11.1v 44Wh
Dimensions: (LxWxH) 13.27 x 9.49 x 0.83"
Weight: 4lbs 6.9oz

Build and Design
The new ThinkPad T400s looks completely revamped and polished compared to the regular T400. The chassis has slimmed down significantly, and the weight of the notebook has also dropped by almost a pound. The exterior is still wrapped in Lenovo's much-loved rubberized black paint, but the design just looks cleaner and less busy than previous ThinkPad models.
Looking inside, the main changes start to become obvious. Besides the new keyboard and touchpad that we will go over shortly, Lenovo changed the shape of the palmrest around the touchpad, with the touchpad resting flush with the palmrest instead of being slightly recessed. The screen bezel is smooth all around the perimeter of the display, unlike the T400 which shows rough plastic grids near the built-in antennas and cutouts near the light and webcam. Even when compared to the ThinkPad X301, the new T400s looks more refined. The speaker grills are larger and look better suited to the design. Even the fingerprint reader manages to blend in better, with an all-black design instead of gold and silver like past models.
Build quality is still fantastic, with barely a hint of chassis flex even as it has decreased in thickness. The screen has some minor side-to-side flex when open, but no more than previous models. Protection for the screen, even with the super thin cover is surprisingly good, showing only small amounts of screen distortion when you are squeezing the back of the display. The new chassis feels quite rugged.
With the thinner design Lenovo completely reworked the chassis for the T400s, and it looks completely different than the T400 once you start opening it up. The hard drive is now accessed through a panel under the left side of the palmrest, which is now 1.8" instead of the 2.5" found in the T400. System memory and wireless cards are found under a single access panel on the bottom of the notebook. Compared to removing the palmrest on previous models, you now just loosen one screw and pop off a single panel to upgrade memory. With most of the slots changing location to the underside of the notebook, removing the keyboard is now only required to replace a broken one, or to get access to a half-sized mini-PCIe slot used for Wireless USB on some models. I really hope future ThinkPads follow a similar design to the T400s, since it is so much easier to upgrade components now.

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