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Chitu Okoli

Posted on Aug 29, 2010 in Computers and the Internet

Lenovo ThinkPad T510: Hardware



Hardware specifications

The content in this section is modified from ThinkWiki, a website concerning running Linux on ThinkPads. Thus, the content on this page is dual licensed under GNU Free Documentation License (the license for ThinkWiki) and under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license (the default license for this entire website).

Assessment of my laptop

What I love about the Lenovo ThinkPad T510

The features above speak for themselves. Since any laptop loaded would those features would be great, I won't comment on them, except to say that I have a very fast and responsive system, in both Ubuntu and Windows 7. Here I comment on a few Lenovo-specific features that might not be present on other laptops with similar specs as above.

  • The UltraNav (TrackPoint/Touchpad combo): The TrackPoint is a mouse pointer embedded in the keyboard. This is a signature feature of ThinkPads; I think only some Dell Latitude models and a few HP models have this feature. I love it because you can use the mouse without lifting your fingers from the keyboard. Although a lot of people don't like this feature that much, I actually prefer it to having a separate mouse. With the TrackPoint, I never use a separate mouse from my keyboard.
  • The 1600×900 screen: This didn't come standard; I paid extra for it. I love high-resolution screens, so this was a necessary feature for me. For some reason, it is very hard to find laptops with a high-resolution screen; the typical maximum is 1280×768. For my former Toshiba laptop, I used to install separate USB keyboard and mouse, and an external 21-inch monitor. With my ThinkPad (both my last one and this one), I never need to do this. The laptop alone is a full desktop replacement without any docks, external keyboard or mouse.
  • One always-one USB port: Always-on means that even if the computer is turned off or asleep, as long as it is plugged in, I can plug in a USB cable that transmits power to a device, such as my iPhone. This sounds like a small item, but it is incredibly practical, and I take advantage of it all the time.

What I don't like about the Lenovo ThinkPad T510

There's nothing not to love. This is my most perfect laptop ever. There were only two things I didn't like about my previous ThinkPad T43: First, it was stingy with USB ports: it only had two. The T510 has four, which is plenty for my needs. Second, the T43 didn't have a built in card reader; I had to by an ExpressCard reader, which was a satisfactory solution. However, the T510 has a five-format card reader built in. I'm a very happy customer.

Hardware peripherals

Multifunction printer/scanner/copier: Brother MFC-7840W

I have a wireless Brother MFC-7840W, which has printer/scanner/copier/fax functions. I don't use the fax functions at all (I use 100% Internet faxing), so I wish I could have paid for a similar device without faxing capabilities. Anyway, I'm very happy with my purchase of around $280 or so. I bought a Brother device because it allegedly had Linux support. My first choice would have been HP (which seems to have the best Linux support of all printer manufacturers), but I read a lot of reviews that indicate that in the past few years the quality of their printers has deteriorated from the rock-solid standard I used to know. Thus, I decided not to risk buying a newer device based on past reputation that was no longer valid.

The MFC-7840W is a pain to install under Linux. However, after carefully following the instructions provided by Brother, which took me a while, I got everything to work flawlessly, including wireless printing and scanning. Windows installation is very simple, as could be expected. The device works great as advertised. It provides rapid and high-quality printing, scanning and photocopying.

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