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The SL range is supposed to convince both small businesses and multimedia fans who put value on good materials and a simple design with a low starting price and the known qualities of the ThinkPad. The news: Lenovo doesn't only use matt displays for the SL series anymore, which business people value for its outdoor suitability and its ruggedness but also uses a high-gloss display as an alternative, which makes colors radiate even more and thus appeal to multimedia and movie friends.
Lenovo demands an official price of euro for our prototype; cheaper configuration alternatives, for instance with a Celeron 1. The SL, in a sense the successor of the SL that upset the established ThinkPad community with its high-gloss display lid and gimmicks, like the illuminated i-point in the ThinkPad logo, shows itself more conciliatory in design. The display lid is again made with a matt finish, the i-point isn't illuminated anymore and the ThinkPad SL's design looks rather conservative in all other aspects, too.
Black, matt, and modest - those were likely the guidelines for the designers. The only dash of color on the inside is made with the red-lighted trackpoint, the blue enter key and the LEDs that light up the function keys arrange left and right from the back. Prominent for the design is that Lenovo retracts from the classic ThinkPad clamshell design, so the display lid doesn't envelope the case on the sides in a closed state, anymore.
In fact, the lid simply comes to rest on the case as in many current multimedia notebooks. Thus, the SL also doesn't have a closing mechanism. The ThinkPad SL can also be taken along with measurements of The choice of material is similar to its predecessor.
The display lid is made of metal just like the keyboard bezel, whilst the bottom tray has been molded out of plastic. A metal frame inside gives the case a large stability so that you can lift it at a corner without establishing deformations. The display lid shows itself just as robust, as it doesn't allow the monitor to twist greatly nor does pressure from the back come through to the display.
The hinges that keep the display in position provide enough resistance so that the display is kept stably in every position after a short teetering. The display lies securely on the case even in a closed state. There aren't any ports on the ThinkPad SL's front. Because the notebook has an overall rather complete connectivity, it gets a bit tight on the left and right sides.
Left , from the front to rear, are found: A 34mm ExpressCard slot, underneath that a 3. The louver follows this array. The hardware switch for wireless communication is found on the right followed by the cardreader. Under it are two USB 2. Lenovo builds in one more USB 2. Lenovo has done quite a good job with the port distribution. Because there are USB ports on all three sides of the case, everyone should be able to connect a mouse and other supplies without having the cables be in the way too much.
Lefties have a slight disadvantage because both a monitor and audio cable will be on their mouse hand side, in the worst case. It should also be noted that both USB connections on the right have been built-in under a case protrusion , which is caused by the bottom tray's descending beveled edge. Thus, it could come to problems with very large USB plugs or sticks because they might not fit under the protrusion.
Lenovo includes an Intel WiFi Link , which is proficient of The Chinese engineers also build in a Bluetooth interface in according to the 2. There is also an UMTS module from Vodafone for the German market, with which you can also surf in the internet on the go. Lenovo doesn't leave a 2. If you want to protect your data, you get a fingerprint reader with which the user can be clearly identified.
A BluRay drive is optionally available. The optical drive is usually found in the so-called UltraBay in other ThinkPad series, where you can remove it and replace it by a further hard disk or a supplementary battery. The fact that Lenovo only includes rather little unnecessary adware , so-called "bloatware" in its ThinkPad is pleasing.
Only the almost mandatory Microsoft Office and Norton's Internet Security trial versions are onboard, otherwise the Chinese manufacturer only supplies sensible full versions. Additionally, Windows 7 has been tailored to the ThinkPad by a close cooperation between Lenovo and Microsoft. It starts with special splash screens, over integrated programs for WLAN and energy management in the task bar up to a special start center called "Lenovo Think", which makes many function of the Lenovo software easily accessible.
The variety of purchasable extras on Lenovo's homepage is vast. The scope ranges from a bigger 9 cell battery for circa euro over warranty extensions and special notebook cases in which the notebook can run through an X-ray scanner at the airport up to an USB port replicator for euro. There are almost gushy reports in the internet about the keyboard qualities of the ThinkPad family.
And in fact, the input device in the ThinkPad SL looks good. First, the keyboard is slightly submerged in comparison to its surroundings, which allegedly provides for a more ergonomic typing. The keyboard is also splash water resistant so that liquids are dispensed out of the case's bottom instead of damaging the mainboard.
Aside from these soft skills, the keyboard can also impress with its main purpose, typing. The strokes are deep and pleasant; every key is placed where you'd expect it. Additionally, the gaps between the keys have been executed big enough and the keyboard is "full-size", so it has every important key that a normal keyboard has without having to use the "FN" key.
We found a minor manufacturing flaw here. The keyboard sits tight in the case but it yields strongly to higher pressure on the sides. The keyboard even deflects very strongly in the F-key area and a few seconds later you hear a sound as if the keyboard was wedged and then jumped into its original place again.
Also, owner of other ThinkPad ranges will complain that the keys aren't grouped anymore. Lenovo places a few special functions on the keyboard. The arrow keys pressed at the same time as the "FN" key can be used as multimedia keys, whereas play, next title or stop can be triggered for the most common applications.
Also, the display brightness can be adjusted via the key combination "FN" and delete or "Pos1". The trackpoint and touchpad can be disabled, the notebook locked or the battery status displayed with key combinations, too. There is a fair amount of place left over on the keyboard's left and right, despite the generous layout, which Lenovo uses for volume control in form of three keys on the left.
Above those is a key that mutes the integrated microphone. Four status lights, the power button and the blue ThinkVantage button that starts Lenovo's software are found on the right. A further ThinkPad family feature is the red-lighted trackpoint , which is implemented between G, H, B, and N in the keyboard. The mouse cursor can be chased comfortably over the screen with its assistance.
The correlating click keys are beneath the space bar. You can even scroll with the trackpoint via a middle key. The touchpad is beneath them and has been slightly roughened in order to differentiate it from the wrist rest. The touch sensitive area has turned out quite big, on the right a scroll bar is found, which isn't delimited optically or haptically.
You can navigate well on the rough surface and both keys beneath respond reliably, as well. The touchpad even supports multi-touch gestures , appropriate to the SL range's multimedia demand. If you place a second finger on the surface you can zoom by expanding both fingers, turn objects with circular movements and scroll sideways. The gestures are recognized fairly reliably but are also sometimes triggered unintentionally. Our prototype has an LED backlit As already mentioned, the display is also available in a matt alternative, to which you should turn if you'll be using the notebook mainly for office tasks or outdoors.
Annoying reflections develop because of the glossy finish , which may impair the recognition of the actual display content. The SL's display has an average brightness of This isn't an exceptionally good, but also not really a bad value. A contrast of results with the, also average, black value of 0. This is neither really a bad nor a good rate, either. The screen lines itself pretty much exactly in the middle class of displays.
Because the price for the ThinkPad SL is fairly low, you can be satisfied with it. Especially because the colors are bright and very vivid, due to the reflective coating. The notebook's viewing angles are also on an average level. That is, okay on the sides but the screen has to be adjusted very exact on the horizontal plane in order to prevent color deviations. It has a clock rate of 2. A GMA M HD graphic card from Intel takes over the pixel computing, it's integrated into the chipset and doesn't have its own memory.
The graphic card diverts up to MBytes from the main memory if required instead and uses it for graphic computations. This is also the upper limit of useable memory for the installed 32 bit operating system. The mainboard could also get along with a MByte RAM but then a 64 bit system would have to be installed to be able to even close to use the full capacity.
In view of these core components, even somewhat more demanding tasks , like home image editing or SD video cutting should be possible. Too demanding tasks prevents the quite weak graphic card onboard, though. You should also abstain from games, unless they are already 10 years old.
That is, our test system achieved an acceptable points in 3DMark, in 3DMark05 it's only still points, though and additionally barely more than one frame per second during the benchmark. Thus, current games won't be drafted for the ThinkPad SL, especially since Lenovo doesn't offer a dedicated graphic card for the range. The system manages office tasks with a reasonable velocity: points in PCMark05 and points in PCMark Vantage should easily suffice for most current office programs.
Cinebench R10 especially shows to what extent the second processor core contributes to this. It established points in multi-core rendering and is thus 1. The performance values of the HDTune benchmark are rather inconspicuous here: The hard disk reads data with With the program, DPC Latency Checker, we look at the DPC latencies that state how long a process stays in the waiting loop before it's processed by the system.
Erroneous drivers could lead to quite a high latency, making communication with external devices impossible in real time. The operating system and driver optimization that Lenovo states to have executed for the SL seems to pay off. All latencies stay within a green field so that there shouldn't be any problems with the communication.
The SL's cooling system works almost silently in idle mode. Only people with a very sensitive hearing will notice anything from the notebook's fan with a minimum of The noise level increases to an average of Even the hard disk and the DVD drive always stay relatively quiet with If you think that the cooling system isn't working right in view of the low noise emissions, you're wrong.
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The keyboard backlight has three modes: Off, Low, High. Use Fn + Spacebar to change the modes of the keyboard backlight. Select ThinkPad R, T, X, and Z-series. To turn on or off the backlight, press Fn + Spacebar or Esc on the keyboard to change the keyboard backlight mode. There are three modes: Off, Low (dim), and. The light illuminates the ThinkPad's keyboard so that one can type in the dark without using an external light source. The ThinkLight can be controlled via.