updated 12:00 am EDT, Tue October 5, 2010
Lenovo ThinkPad hits milestones, gets Optimus
Lenovo marked two milestones today, starting with a unique upgrade to the ThinkPad T series. The T410, T410s and T510 are the first known business notebooks to use NVIDIA's Optimus graphics switching and can switch to or from their dedicated NVS 3100M video and Intel's integrated chipset. The option of switching to Intel's slower but more miserly video when on battery gives them as much as a third more battery life, or about an hour of extra time.
Prices for the systems remain the same as before the Optimus choice, although the NVIDIA video is optional on some models and boosts the 14-inch T410 to $1,050 on sale, the T510 to $1,069 and the T410s to $1,879. Normal costs fetch $1,299 for both of the regular notebooks.
Along with the new models, Lenovo added that it should ship the 60 millionth ThinkPad since the badge was kicked off by IBM in 1992. The series is considered one of the pioneers of modern notebook design and brought the first TFT LCD in one of the initial models, the first ones with built-in CD (1994) and DVD (1997) drives and the first with built-in Wi-Fi (2000). ThinkPads were also the first with a number of more distinctive design traits, such as a fold-out butterfly keyboard (1995), built-in regular security and fingerprint readers (2001 and 2004) and dual-screen workstations like 2009's W700ds.
To help kick off the benchmark, Lenovo is running a short-term sale that will cut as much as 15 percent off the price of a system from now until Friday.