Heat and Noise
Thermal performance of the ThinkPad T510 was very good under normal circumstances. With the switchable graphics, the out T510 was able to maintain very good temperatures under light usage by switching to integrated graphics when 3D rendering wasn’t required. Under the worst case scenario-benchmarking with NVIDIA graphics forced-case temperatures did rise considerably. We measured a peak temperature of 100F on the bottom of the notebook underneath the heatsink and fan outlet. The corresponding spot on the top of the notebook at the far corner of the keyboard measured 97F.
Under normal daily usage, fan noise was minimal, with it staying at a low speed or turning off completely. As temperatures increased, the fan noise picked up, but only to whisper levels. Overall, even if you are stressing this system, you shouldn’t annoy others around you with noise from the cooling fan.
The ThinkPad T510 can be configured with a six or nine-cell battery. Our review unit came equipped with the 94Wh nine-cell battery which is probably the best option you can get if you want extended runtime. In our battery test with the screen brightness reduced to 70%, wireless active and refreshing a webpage every 60 seconds, and Windows 7 set to a balanced profile, the T510 stayed on for 8 hours and 32 minutes. This is phenomenal battery life for a 15.6-inch notebook and perfect for road warriors looking to get extended runtime away from available outlets.
The Lenovo ThinkPad T510 is a great business notebook for consumers looking for a better built notebook or business users looking for a daily workhorse. Compared to the ThinkPad W510, the T510 offers some of the same features, albeit with lower processor and graphics card options, no multitouch display, and other perks like USB 3.0 connectors or huey color calibration. The T510 excelled in daily usage and still offered plenty of grunt for some 3D-intensive applications. When number crunching power wasn’t needed, the T510 offered over eight hours of battery life; perfect for the road-warrior in all of us. Overall with a current starting sales price of $879, the Lenovo ThinkPad T510 is a hard notebook to pass up.
- Great build quality
- Excellent HD+ display
- Over 8 hours of battery life
- Minor NVIDIA Optimus glitches
- Touchpad sensitivity problems