Lenovo ThinkPad T400s Multi-Touch Notebook

Article Index

Summary and Conclusion


Performance Summary: In our synthetic benchmark testing, the ThinkPad T400s Multi-Touch managed to hold its own and performance was in line with expectations. This is a ~$2500 machine though, and it should perform as such. The 2.53GHz CPU, 4GB of RAM and SSD really helped it to blast past the competition, with the only weak point being the integrated Intel 4500MHD graphics. Even that was plenty to push through 720p / 1080p playback, but high-end 3D gaming titles are a definitely no-no. Outside of that, performance wasn't an issue here. The machine plowed through day-to-day and multimedia tasks, and generally performed very well. The only issue is the $2000+ price tag, which isn't quite justified in our minds. As cool as multi-touch is, we'd recommend waiting a while until it's not a $400 option (unless you really need it now).



For those that don't mind the relatively plain styling of a ThinkPad, the T400s Multi-Touch is a fabulous machine. Trouble is, you pay dearly for all of its greatness. With oodles of other thin-and-light machines hitting the market for as low as $799, it's hard to stomach a machine that starts at $1999. Granted, it's a real workhorse, and it probably won't disappoint, but it demands a lot from your bank account, and we're not sure it's warranted. Performance was stellar, but again, our machine had an SSD, a fast CPU, and 4GB of RAM.


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We weren't bothered by the lackluster GPU too much. It handled daily computing tasks and even 720p / 1080p playback with ease, and that's all Lenovo ever promised with this machine. If they charged for a discrete GPU, sure, we'd care a lot more about how well it handled Crysis, but that's not the case at all. We should also point out that this machine excels in large part due to Windows 7 being such a nimble and snappy operating system. Also, we never noticed the machine getting particularly warm, which is a great sign. A cool running, high-performing machine is somewhat of rarity lately, so we were quite happy to see this one stay below the boiling point during testing.

However, while we admired the keyboard, trackpad and matte display, we couldn't get over the machine's battery life performance. Lenovo claims that you can get 5.5 hours out of this system, but we couldn't even get 3 hours. That's a pretty big gap. If you go into a purchase expecting to need to recharge the battery before 3 hours are up, that's fine; but don't expect the claim of 5.5 hours to come true if you're even a moderately heavy PC user.


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In the end, the ThinkPad T400s Multi-Touch is a fast, solid and snappy machine that's somewhat overpriced. When you start a machine at $2000, you best bring everything and the kitchen sink. The integrated GPU should be tossed at this price point considering the competition.  While we understand that multi-touch input and the associated interface that Lenovo supplies are nice extras, this package is tough to justify at about a $400 up-charge. If you could convert this machine into a tablet and use it that way, we could possibly justify the price. But as it stands today, the multi-touch display is nothing more than a functional novelty. You'll be perfectly fine without it, and your wallet will be better off for skipping it. We love how well implemented the multi-touch is, but we can't say it's worth the $400 upgrade. If it were $100 - $200, that would be an easier pill to swallow. At least currently, you're better off opting for the non-touch model at a lower price point. Just make sure you splurge on the SSD--it's worth it.

     
  • Comfortable Keyboard and Trackpad
  • Amazing Multi-Touch Display
  • Quiet and Cool
  • Lightning Fast SSD Drive

 

  • Intel Integrated Graphics
  • Weak Battery Life
  • Lots of Preinstalled Bloatware
  • Expensive

 


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