Lenovo ThinkPad SL500 review

£499
Price when reviewed

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Although bright and of a decent size at 15.4in, the resolution of 1,280 x 800 is limited and doesn’t give you much elbow room when it comes to arranging applications on-screen. On the subject of size, the SL500 isn’t the lightest 15.4in laptop around, weighing in at a hefty 2.9kg without the charger, and it’s a bulky beast as well at 42mm thick.

Things look up, though, with the inclusion of a fingerprint reader and TPM 1.2 module, Bluetooth, Gigabit Ethernet, an integrated HSDPA modem for potential download speeds of up to 7.2Mbits/sec and draft-n wireless in the shape of Intel’s WiFi Link 5100 AGN adapter. The selection of inputs and outputs is comprehensive too, with the highlights an HDMI socket, a generous four USB ports and an ExpressCard/54 slot.

All told, the SL500 is a very good laptop. It trumps its main rival the Dell Vostro 1510 on all-round solidity and includes a 3G modem which the Dell does not.

You don’t get the same flexibility, of course – you can add a higher resolution screen on the Dell and boost the 160GB hard disk while dropping the fingerprint reader and TPM, for instance – but for £434 exc VAT we’d take the superior build and greater attention to detail of the ThinkPad every time.

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions 328 x 260 x 42mm (WDH)
Weight 2.900kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core 2 Duo T5670
RAM capacity 2.00GB
Memory type DDR2

Screen and video

Screen size 15.4in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,280
Resolution screen vertical 800
Resolution 1280 x 800
Graphics chipset Intel GMA X4500
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 1
S-Video outputs 0
DVI-I outputs 0
DVI-D outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0

Drives

Capacity 160GB
Optical disc technology DVD writer
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a support yes
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Integrated 3G adapter yes

Other Features

ExpressCard34 slots 0
ExpressCard54 slots 1
PC Card slots 0
USB ports (downstream) 4
FireWire ports 1
PS/2 mouse port no
9-pin serial ports 0
Parallel ports 0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 0
3.5mm audio jacks 2
Pointing device type Touchpad, trackpoint
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
TPM yes
Fingerprint reader yes
Smartcard reader no

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 300
Battery life, heavy use 128
Overall application benchmark score 0.99
3D performance (crysis) low settings Fail
3D performance setting N/A

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows Vista Business
OS family Windows Vista

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