Just opening the lid of the T510 sets the triumphant tone for everything that follows: the familiar ThinkPad-hooded lid is rock-solid with almost no bend in it at all.
The base is just as firm, and it hosts a wonderfully comfortable, spill-resistant keyboard. As always, you get both touchpad and trackpoint, each with its own mouse buttons, and the keys are perfectly laid out, with a deep travel to typing.
All the necessary function keys are present, and Lenovo also crams in volume controls plus a key to switch on the keyboard light, that’s hidden away next to the 2-megapixel webcam.
The Lenovo has three USB 2 ports and one eSATA combo, along with D-SUB and DisplayPort outputs and a card reader for SD, MMC and Memory Stick formats. For security, the T510 offers a fingerprint reader and TPM chip.
This model has a 320GB 7200rpm disk and a DVD writer, as well as dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi and an integrated 3G modem, but there are a whole host of configurations available.
The default 15.6in screen is of decent quality but offers only 1366 x 768 resolution (you can upgrade the screen with the configuration tool on Lenovo’s website to a better resolution for $110).
To power what’s displayed onscreen, you get only Intel HD Graphics. Still, a benchmark score of 1.75 shows there’s plenty of application muscle, and the battery lasted 5hrs 19mins in our light-use test.
All-in-all, there is some close competition between business-style laptops, but the Lenovo has the edge due to its sheer quality. This is a laptop you could take with you on your travels or use comfortably at a desk, and Lenovo will take care of all manner of deployment headaches for you.
It doesn’t quite have the serious portability of something like the Vostro 130 or Portege R700, but for all-round hard-core business appeal, the ThinkPad T510 just can’t be matched.