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Lenovo ThinkPad SL510 2847 review

Kat Orphanides
22 Jun 2010
Lenovo ThinkPad SL510 2847
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
500
inc VAT

The SL510 is well built and a great business laptop. However, it's not very powerful for the money.

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The ThinkPad SL510 is part of Lenovo's hard-wearing business range. Its chassis has the same incredibly sturdy construction and matt grey finish as almost every other ThinkPad. It also has a matt screen, Windows 7 Professional and integrated Bluetooth. There's a bright red touchstick in the centre of the keyboard, in addition to the usual touchpad below the space bar. At over five hours, its battery life is among the best we've seen from a 15.6in laptop with a standard mobile processor.

Unfortunately, this version of the ThinkPad SL510 also makes some fairly serious compromises starting with the processor. It may be quicker than its low-power CULV cousins, but Intel's 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo T6570 is no record breaker managing just 55 overall in our benchmarks. If you simply want a laptop to run Microsoft Office and browse the web then the SL510 is perfectly adequate for the task.

Another reason for the low score is that Lenovo has scrimped on memory, providing a meagre 2GB of RAM. There's little point in upgrading to 4GB of RAM as the 32-bit version of Windows 7 Professional is installed, which can use only around 3GB. The Intel GMA 4500M HD on-board graphics can't handle 3D games, but can output High Definition video via the HDMI port if you want to connect an HD TV or projector.

Fortunately, the screen is fantastic. Its LED backlighting is even, colours are natural and viewing angles are wide. Dark tones were rich and deep, while pale colours didn't suffer from unwanted cold or warm tints. The matt finish means it isn't reflective and this makes it easier to use under bright lighting.

The SL510 has Lenovo's usual sturdy and responsive keyboard, which lacks a dedicated numeric keypad. This means that the keyboard, touchstick and trackpad are all perfectly centred, making for particularly comfortable typing. There are four USB ports, one of which doubles as an eSATA port, along with VGA and HDMI video outputs, Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n WiFi. An ExpressCard/32 slot provides scope for upgrades, although few products use this format. The memory card reader supports most common formats including SDHC, xD and Memory Stick PRO. Sound from the built-in speakers is powerful and well-balanced.

The ThinkPad SL510 is a good buy if you value sturdy reliability over blistering performance. It's built like a tank, has good battery life and plenty of ports. It's powerful enough for undemanding users, but its performance pales in comparison to similarly priced Core i5 laptops, such as Acer's Aspire 5741.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo T6570
Processor clock speed2.1GHz
Memory2.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory4GB
Size40x380x246mm
Weight2.5kg
SoundRealtek HD Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad and touch stick

Display

Viewable size15.6 in
Native resolution1,366x768
Graphics ProcessorIntel GMA 4500M HD
Graphics/video portsVGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory128MB

Storage

Total storage capacity250GB
Optical drive modelMatshita UJ890
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports4
Bluetoothyes
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11b/g/n
PC Card slotsExpressCard/34
ModemNo
Supported memory cardsSD, SDHC, Memory Stick PRO, MMC, xD
Other portseSATA

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Professional 32-bit
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includedInterVideo WinVD 8, Roxio Creator Small Business Edition
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£500
Detailswww.lenovo.co.uk
Supplierhttp://www.laptopsdirect.co.uk

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