Product Notes: Lenovo ThinkPad T61
May 9th, 2007
Lenovo announced the ThinkPad T61 14.1-inch widescreen today, which is based on Intel's Santa Rosa laptop platform. Other ThinkPad T61 screen sizes are expected to become generally available over the next few months.
The biggest single change for the ThinkPad T61 is in the area of screen choice, as is seen in the table below.
|ThinkPad T60 & T61 Screen Choices|
||XGA (1024 x 768)
SXGA+ (1400 x 1050)
||WXGA (1280 x 800)
WXGA+ (1440 x 900)
||SXGA+ (1400 x 1050)
||WXGA (1280 x 800)
WSXGA+ (1680 x 1050)
|Available soon |
It is reasonable to speculate that the next-generation T-series may do away with 4:3 screens entirely.
Other changes from the T60 include the addition of an optional integrated camera and general hardening of the case (the display lid now has a magnesium roll cage).
The ThinkPad 14.1-inch widescreen offers a choice of card slot configurations. All come with a Type II PC Card slot, but the second slot can be either an ExpressCard slot, a 4-in-1 media card reader, or a SmartCard slot. Information Systems & Computing (ISC) believes that most configurations will ship with either the ExpressCard slot or the 4-in-1 media reader.
All screen sizes of the ThinkPad T61 includes many of the newly available Santa Rosa features. Newly available optional features include FireWire, Intel 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Intel's Turbo Memory.
Several notes when ordering a ThinkPad T61:
- The ThinkPad T61 retains much of the same basic design of the previous generation ThinkPad T60 laptop. It weighs from 5.4 to 6.1 pounds, depending mostly on screen size and battery size and slightly on optical drive choice. The T60 uses the same power supplies and docking solutions that T60s used, but adds new batteries to fit the 14.1-inch widescreen configuration.
- All ThinkPad T61s include the latest versions of Intel's flagship Core 2 Duo processor.
- Having at least 1.0 GB RAM is essential for the optimal functionality of a modern laptop.
- ISC strongly suggests purchasing the ThinkPad T61 with a discrete video card.
- As with any mid-weight laptop, ISC suggests that LSPs consider purchasing both a high-capacity (7 or 9 cell) and a low-capacity (4 or 6 cell) battery along with an extra AC power adapter for the ThinkPad T61. Providers may also wish to consider Lenovo's range of port replicators and docking solutions, which include a port replicator, a mini dock, and a full dock.
- The T61 includes many connectivity options including 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, WWAN connectivity from Cingular and Verizon, and Bluetooth 2.0. The 802.11n standard has not been finalized as of May 2007, and so currently shipping 802.11n products may not work correctly in the future without a firmware update. ISC is no longer actively discouraging their purchase and use, but advises that the buyer beware. ISC believes that Bluetooth is a good choice for most T61 users and that WWAN connectivity is useful for many 'road warriors'.
- The ThinkPad T61 will be available in a workstation class version which will be designated the T61p and independent software vendor (ISV) certified. ISC believes that T61p will not be appropriate for users who are not using graphics-intensive workstation applications - they will be better served by purchasing a 'normal' T61.
See ISC's Laptop Computer Purchasing Guide for more configuration hints.
ISC sees the ThinkPad T61 14-inch (in both its 4:3 and widescreen versions) as one of the best mid-weight laptops available in mid-2007. The slightly larger 15.4-inch widescreen will not show as much differentiation from its competitors, but will still be a capable product. The Computer Connection will have at least one T61 14.1-inch widescreen configuration available shortly.
--John Mulhern III, Senior Project Leader, ISC Technology Support Services (May 9th, 2007)