Software: Productivity, Configuration, Access Connections
One of the aspects that sets the Thinkpad brand apart from other vendors in the same category is their well designed and implemented software package. IBM/Lenovo has their roots in the business world and the Z61p serves this group of users well. The base image installed on the Z61p included Windows XP SP2, several Google applications, trial software by Symantec, and a full suite of ThinkVantage Utilities. No "bloatware" as is seen on many other systems. As mentioned earlier, when the user presses the blue ThinkVantage button they are presented with the ThinkVantage Productivity Center as pictured below. In this package the user has the ability to configure every aspect of the system from security, restoration, auto updating drivers/firmware, and backing up. Each program is well integrated into the OS and provides extensive user support in the event they get lost.
One of the most useful ThinkVantage applications is the Thinkpad Configuration utility (pictured below) which gives users the ability to control every aspect of the computers hardware in one convenient and intuitive window. No going to Device Manager to disable that IR port or adjust resources. A simple click in this application provides quick access to those features.
Another application which is truly useful is ThinkVantage Access Connections (pictured below). With this one utility, users have the ability to configure different ethernet connections for different environments. For example, we were able to create multiple location profiles to secured networks utilizing several different security protocols. Whenever we entered the proximity of one of the networks or crossed over to another, Access Connections automatically detected and connected based on our predefined location profiles. The same applied to our hard wired connections. To the business user who travels frequently and has access to multiple networks, this is an invaluable tool that provides seamless network integration.