Lenovo ThinkPad T510 Notebook Review

By Julio Franco · 32 replies
Apr 2, 2010
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  1. Today we have something a little more serious on the table for those seeking a more powerful mobile workstation. The ThinkPad T510 is part of Lenovo's classic T series and comes equipped with a dual core Arrandale chip also known as the Intel Core i7 620M that operates at 2.66GHz with 4MB of L3 cache and discrete Nvidia graphics.

    Read the full review at:

    Please leave your feedback here.
  2. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,718   +860

    Nice review. We use Lenovo's where I work. They're a solid laptop and get the job done for basic business apps. But as your review summarizes, you can probably do better price and performance wise. Think you're paying a little more here just for the name brand.
  3. PanicX

    PanicX TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 669

    Just configured a T410 with discrete graphics, SSD and Win7 for a client and they're telling me that they get around 8-9 hours battery life playing movies. I didn't do any benchmarking, but the machine is just as responsive as my home i7 system through business applications.
  4. Agree with the battery thing. They last like 8-9 hours if well configured. Also, I think there's a mistake while saying it only has 1 memory slot. Until the 2010 line, all ThinkPads had the 2 memory slots under the touchpad and not at the bottom of the unit. Now, with the new design and enhancements presented, they changed the location of one of the memory slots so you'll have one under the touchpad and the other at the bottom as you showed up in the review.
  5. Disable the laptop's power management features and for some reason it delivers "underwhelming" battery life. What a surprise.
  6. elroacho72

    elroacho72 TS Rookie Posts: 116

    I want in on the contest to give this away... I'll wait if it hasn't started.
  7. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 7,675   +990

    We are working the kinks out to output additional battery life numbers that represent a different usage scenario. Our current test compares well against previous reviews, however I agree it's not quite as representative than when testing a ULV laptop or netbook. If we obtain relevant findings we will promptly update the review and notify you here.

    @elroacho72, LOL. Unfortunately Lenovo's policy is not to giveaway review samples, but have to be returned to them. I will still try to see if we can at least keep one for this purpose.
  8. GACrabill

    GACrabill TS Enthusiast Posts: 49   +9

    NOT a single 2GB stick .... here are the real specs :

    Product: ThinkPad T510 4349-24U

    Original description: i7-620M(2.66GHz), 4GB RAM, 500GB HD, 15.6in 1600x900, 512MB nVIDIA NVS3100m, CDRW/DVDRW, Intel 802.11agn, Vodafone WWAN, Bluetooth, Modem, 1Gb Ethernet, UltraNav, Secure chip, Fingerprint rdr, Camera, 6c, Win7 Pro 64
  9. rosemeadoil

    rosemeadoil TS Rookie

    Sounds like a nice machine, however if it's longevity is anything like my Lenovo, it'll soon fall apart. My Lenovo 3000 N200 fell apart over a period of one month when it was 18 months old, with the power supply, lid hinge, and direction keys all failing. It limped over the warranty period and then let me down badly.
    Anybody thinking of buying Lenovo would be advised to keep this in mind.
  10. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 7,675   +990

    We've updated the review noting that there's indeed a second memory slot under the keyboard (thanks for your feedback). Also we didn't make it clear that the ThinkPad T510 cannot switch graphics between the GeForce chip and the Intel integrated GPU. We will make a second update tomorrow with additional battery life tests.
  11. elroacho72

    elroacho72 TS Rookie Posts: 116

    Thanks for humoring me Julio. Keep up the good work!
  12. PanicX

    PanicX TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 669

    The Lenovo T series is a business line laptop product where your N series is consumer grade. I'm not implying that limping past the warranty is expected, but there is a big difference in these two lines. Also, Lenovo allows you to extend the warranty even after its expired, so you probably should look into that. I've dealt with their customer support several times and in my experience its better than Sony and Dell, on par with HP business support.

    I've been using Lenovo T series laptops for over 5 years with my clients and every one that I've deployed are still in service, save 1 where a user spilled coffee on it.
  13. What does that mean - cannot switch from Ge to Intel? Can one use this computer for video games?
  14. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 7,675   +990

  15. elliottjosi

    elliottjosi TS Rookie

    Seeking updated battery life test info

    Really helpful review of features, especially given the relative premium for the "brand".

    Have you done additional battery life tests and what are your finding re. results and setting management tactics to achieve them? Thanks.
  16. Thank you for the informative review!

    I have just ordered a T510 and due to your recommendations went for the i7, HD+, 4G, 7200rpm and Centrino ultimate....i was able to keep the cost lower by not adding the camera nor the fingerprint reader and keeping the 6 cell battery....

    i love the thinkpad....my first one being a 380Z (still in use running win98se) then a t40 and now the t510 is replacing my t42.....
  17. You wouldn't expect a Chevy Aveo to have the same build quality as a Cadillac CTS, would you? Lenovo has different laptop lines just as GM has different brands - and the build qualities to match.

    Thinkpads are the toughest, most durable mainstream (i.e. not Panasonic Toughbooks) notebooks on the market. They are designed to meet quite a few mil-specs and to take abuse above and beyond other notebooks - including the popular MacBook Pro unibody designs, which aren't nearly as rugged.
  18. I'm writing this comment on a ThinkPad R40 I bought new in November 2003 - other than a backlight failure (covered through overnight depot repair within the 3-year warranty) the unit has operated flawlessly, for much of that time as my primary tool in IT consulting.

    I'm now looking for a replacement, simply because the older Pentium-M 1.5 can't do what I need for virtualization - but based on my experience, the T510 is at the top of my list. I've worked with IBM, HP, Compaq, Dell, Toshiba, and Sony laptops since the laptop was invented - when it comes time to spend my own money, there are only a few I'll consider.
  19. I am writing this on my aged IBM ThinkPad R52. I love this kit. Been using IBM laptops since 1992. Tough as they come. I used to work for IBM and know well how they design, test and manufacture. Lenovo just keeps the tradition going and improving. I am so pleased that they have kept the trackpoint as an option. The R52 is now so full of stuff that I am about to order a T510 and can't wait to get my hands on it.
  20. Writing this from my trusty R51E running ubuntu. Still going after being dropped on the floor and attacked by assorted foodstuffs . One spill broke the top left edge but it still trucks on :) But now sadly its taking too long to compile my apps, hudson builds takes minutes, and would be nice to run virtualbox.. So time to retire it too the kids and upgrade to a nice shiny new T510. Its great that the trackball is still there, an absolute necessity for lazy ones like myself who live on the couch.
  21. I purchased a fully loaded Lenovo T510 laptop for my son about 5 months ago. During that time, the charger has failed twice, leaving him without a functioning laptop for several days. Response from the 800 number was fairly quick, but both times the failure occurred on a Friday which extended the amount of time before the replacement was received.

    After the second failure, I decided to buy an extra charger and battery as a backup. Unfortunately Lenovo requires someone to be at home to sign for delivery and UPS delivers to our neighborhood only in the morning. In the end, we never received the battery and charger and we were charged a 15% restocking fee. For a business user this wouldn't be a problem, but someone using it at college or at home that policy is a major hassle.

    We paid a premium price for the laptop and have been pretty disappointed in the reliability of the computer and the poor service. We've learned our lesson and will not be buying any more Lenovo.
  22. Great review! I have a question regarding the color sensor. I didn't order one but I have that tag. What's the purpose of having that I'm kind of confused about it. Thanks.
  23. One thing to take into consideration is that this unit does not ship with a smartcard reader as an option. I just got mine and I was not able to spec it with a smartcard reader, a unit with a smartcard reader is only available with the W510 class laptops.
  24. I purchased the T510 with a single 4gb memory dimm. I've thinking about upgrading to 8gb. Is the single dimm that is installed under the touch pad or the under the back cover?
  25. I bought a T510 in April 2010 in NY. Actually I am working in Brasília, capital of Brazil, and about a week ago the backlight of my T510 broke, leaving my TP with nothing but a black screen. I tried the IBM online service request form, only to be told after 4 days, that my request was closed, with no comment on why and what to do. So I tried to call the toll free number, where they gave me another toll free number, where I was told to call the first toll free number again. While googling my problem, I found out that I'm not the only one with backlight problems on thinkpad notebooks. Unfortunately that seems to be a common problem. So I opened another request on the IBM online service, asking them to contact me. it's eight days by now, that I am without my computer, unable do do my work, and still no reply from IBM/Lenovo. This is very disappointing, considering that I paid a higher price thinking i would get a good quality product with a good worldwide service (as I was told by the vendor). It seems that only the higher price is left over in this story.

    Pascal D. Angst

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