Construction: Field Tested - External
Our Z61p weighed in at approximately 6.33lb and with dimensions of 14x10.3x1.5. The outer casing of our sample was made of abs plastic supported by an internal magnesium frame in the body. As mentioned earlier, depending on the model type, customers can opt for the silver Titanium cover which adds additional strength to the 15.4" WUXGA LCD backing. The ABS plastic cover on the LCD provided a little too much screen flex for our liking.
Although our sample did not contain one, some Z61 models actually have an integrated web-cam positioned at the upper right corner of the open LCD panel. Also if you look at the side view picture above, you will note that there is a cover on the side of the LCD. This cover is where the WAN antenna would protrude ever so slightly if users opt to have a wireless WAN adapter installed.
The Z61p's accessory bundle consisted of very few items. Included were manuals, an AC adapter, two alternate Trackpoint caps, a hard drive security screw, and a 6 cell Li-ion battery. Unfortunately, no additional material was included, such as recovery CDs. If a customer wants recovery CDs they must either create them using the installed ThinkVantage software or pony up $45 plus shipping and handling for copies sent directly from Lenovo. During our testing we ran into some difficulty restoring the OS using the ThinkVantage Rescue and Recovery tools which prevented us from booting to create the CDs, and subsequently we were forced to contact Lenovo support. After a few minutes on the phone they had a new set of 8 recover CDs sent out at no charge (pictured above). Surprisingly enough upon restoring the OS, we noted that there is no way of creating a recovery DVD; only 8 CDs or removable USB disk are supported.
Closer inspection of the keyboard revealed an impressive array of features. The most notable features are the two speakers along the right and left hand side of the keyboard, as well as the Ultranav system which consists of the touchpad and Trackpoint combination. On the lower right there is a biometric fingerprint reader and on the upper left we see standard audio controls for up, down, and mute. Users have the option of pressing different key combinations on the keyboard to perform different tasks as noted below:
Thinkpad Function Keys
Fn + F2 = Lock Computer
Fn + F3 = Power Scheme
Fn + F4 = Standby
Fn + F5 = Turn on/off all Wireless
Fn + F7 = Display Scheme
Fn + F8 = UltraNav Device settings
Fn + F8 = Easy Eject Utility
Fn + F12 = Hibernate
Fn + Home/End = Screen Brightness
Fn + PgUp = Thinklight
Fn + Space = Magnify
Fn + Up Arrow = Stop CD/DVD
Fn + Down Arrow = Play/Pause CD/DVD
Fn + Left Arrow = Back CD/DVD
Fn + Right Arrow = Forward CD/DVD
Lastly, there is the ThinkVantage button which, when pressed, opens the Thinkpad Productivity Center in the OS, or provides random boot options during POST. More on the biometrics and Productivity software later.
The final feature worth mentioning when looking at the open Z61p is the Thinklight which is positioned slightly right of center at the top of the LCD. By depressing a certain key combination on the keyboard, users can turn this light on to illuminate the keyboard in low light or dark situations. The light has an amber hue as noted in the above photographs, unlike the white light found on the T series Thinkpads. Amber lighting tends to provide better visibility especially when users are going from a bright to low light situations