My Shiny Black Laptop

I have recently become the proud parent of a Lenovo ThinkPad T510. I find it to be quite cute and very slick looking, were as my wife has a different opinion, and I quote, “It is soo ugly! And what is with the tacky red dot?” (I feel it must be noted this was within minutes of removing it from the packaging.) I then had to explain it wasn’t bought for its fashionably good looks but rather for the secret power within it, yet I continue to get a small eye roll every time I get it out.

My greatest complaint so far is with the keyboard. The keyboard feels a little on the squished side, but has very nice feeling keys which type soft with just enough click noise and feed back to make you realize there is structure to the whole chassis. What I find most aggravating is that the left Control key is not placed on the outside edge of the keyboard (directly under the Shift) but slid in wards with the emphasis laptop Function key sitting in the normal place.

As a developer I do a lot of copy and paste (write one copy often) which leads to a lot of stop think and readjust the hand to properly copy and past. If you know of a way to change key functions leave a comment, I would love to turn the function key into a control key to save myself a lot of grief.

On a positive note, the non-glare screen is very nice, you still have a little reflection when in bright sunlight but is very ghostly/shadow like and hasn’t hurt my ability to work. Even wearing sunglasses allows the screen to be easily seen in all light conditions.

I have not had a lot heat issues as of yet, but I still haven’t gotten into a lot of heavy processing, I’m still in that love stage of setup…I try to return to this issue in a few weeks after running SASS cubes and SharePoint BI. The 9-cell battery upgrade has added some bulk but as I’ve done setup and install procedures I have gotten in the 7 hour realm of battery life which I think is fantastic.

So now to unveil the specs of this machine:

Processor: Intel Core i5 M540 2.53Ghz
RAM: 4 GB
Screen: 15.6 anti-glare (1600×900)
2 mega-pixel camera
500 GB Hard drive 7200 rpm
Bluetooth Antenna
NVIDIA 3100M 512MB discrete graphics

The Windows Experience Index rated the system at 4.9 with the following scores:

Calculations per second – 6.8
Memory Operations per second – 5.9
Graphics – 4.9
Gaming Graphics – 5.9
Primary Hard Drive – 5.9

I am currently running Windows 7 Professional ( the 64-bit version of course) with all of the 2010 Office Client stack and Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate. For virtualization of developer servers I am running the latest version of VMPlayer. So far I have not run into any gotchas involving this stack of software. For virus and malware protection I am relying on Microsoft Security Essentials, as I feel it has a smaller footprint then some of the other free virus protection. The Windows 7 Homegroup feature allowed this new machine to immediately start sharing files and printers with the other machines on my home network, and has made it very easy to move over old files I had on those other machines, someone really thought that feature set out.

As I continue to use the machine I’ll post updates, but so far I would highly recommend the system to anyone looking to purchase a lot of power on a tight budget. (Especially if looks aren’t a priority.)

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