Lenovo ThinkPad T410 Review

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Power Consumption and Battery Life

Battery life is a big concern for business users, and that's one area where this power + business approach seems to fall a bit short. Lenovo's ThinkPad T410 performs like a champion thanks to the discrete GPU and Core i5 CPU within, but both of those are real energy hogs. Our unit was equipped with the optional 9-cell extended battery (it adds a short bulge out of the rear), and during our real-world testing, we were only able to get around 3 hours of life from it. Granted, the screen was on the entire time at 60% brightness, Wi-Fi was switched on and a simulation was running to simulate light load on the system, but still, that's usually a great representation of how a business notebook is used.

If you expected a machine with a Core i5 CPU and a discrete GPU to get great battery life, you were probably having unrealistic expectations from the start.  However, Lenovo would do well to think about enabling NVIDIA's Optimus hyrbrid graphics switching technology on this machine.  It would definitely extend battery life a bit further.  Regardless, if you need fantastic battery life, you should probably consider a CULV-based notebook or a netbook, both of which can easily last nearly twice as long as the T410. If you used this machine lightly, we could envision stretching the life on a single charge to 4 or 4.5 hours, but beyond that you'd be pressing your luck.

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Still, we don't think this is a show stopper for the T410. Performance is a big part of a machine's attractiveness, and it's far easier to buy a spare battery, rather than feeling the need to upgrade sooner than later. Just be aware that this business notebook will be thirstier than most when it comes to power consumption.

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