Lenovo ThinkPad T400s (MultiTouch) review: Lenovo ThinkPad T400s (MultiTouch)

The most jarring change for many will be the displaced Show Desktop button. Instead of living on the left side of the taskbar, it's now in the system tray on the far right side, and without its familiar icon--it's just a tiny, glowing rectangle. Hovering over it with your mouse turns every open window transparent, except for a thin ghostly outline, and clicking the button, as before, minimizes every active window.

The revamped taskbar can also display thumbnails of all the windows you have open in a particular application (for example, Firefox browser windows), by hovering the pointer over the appropriate taskbar icon. Click on any of these tiny thumbnails to bring that window to the forefront.

Intel's high-end 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo SP9600 offers a good balance between energy efficiency and computing power. Compared with other systems with high-end Intel Core 2 Duo CPUs, the T400s performed admirably, and often slightly faster than laptops only a few months old. We'll have to wait until we have more Windows 7 systems tested to determine if there is indeed a performance dividend in real-world testing. In hands-on use, the T400s felt quick and responsive, much as we'd expect from a $2,000 business laptop.

The Lenovo ThinkPad T400s ran for 3 hours and 33 minutes on our video playback battery drain test, using the included six-cell battery. That's decent for a mainstream laptop, but not near the all-day computing holy grail for business systems. Our battery drain test is especially grueling, so you can expect longer life from casual Web surfing and office use.

Lenovo includes a one-year, parts-and-labor, mail-in warranty with the system, although for a high-end business laptop, we'd expect a three-year plan as standard. Upgrading to a three-year plan will cost an extra $100, or $186 for three years of next-business-day, on-site service. Support is accessible through a 24-7, toll-free phone line, and an easy-to-navigate online support site with a knowledge base and driver downloads.

Multimedia Multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Lenovo Thinkpad T400s (Windows 7)
726 

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Lenovo Thinkpad T400s (Windows 7)
149 

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Lenovo Thinkpad T400s (Windows 7)
135 

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Lenovo Thinkpad T400s (Windows 7)
213 

Find out more about how we test laptops.

Lenovo Thinkpad T400s (Windows 7 Professional)
Windows 7 Professional, Intel Core 2 Duo SP9600, 4096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1066Mhz, 64MB Intel GMA 4500M, 128GB Toshiba Solid State Drive

Lenovo Thinkpad T400s
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P9600; 2048MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 128MB Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 128GB Toshiba Solid State Drive

Dell Studio XPS 16
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8600; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz; 512MB ATI Radeon HD3670; 320GB Seagate 7,200rpm

Lenovo Ideapad Y650
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8600; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce G 105M; 320GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

Sony Vaio AW170Y/Q
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T9400; 4,096MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 512MB Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT; 320GB Hitachi 7,200rpm

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