IN an age when notebooks are a commodity and one model pretty much resembles any other, the new Lenovo ThinkPad Z60t is refreshing.
This machine has two very distinguishing features.
It comes in a brushed-titanium cover and has a 14-inch widescreen display. These are both firsts for the ThinkPad range, which is famed for its classic, and perhaps slightly staid, black and functional design.
This new look provides a telling glimpse of the direction Lenovo is heading with the products it acquired from IBM, though it has not turned its back on what has made the ThinkPad one of the best-known notebook brands.
The Z60 boasts classic ThinkPad features, such as the ThinkVantage suite of management tools, the TrackPoint and an incredibly robust look and feel.
The machine is aimed at small business operators who need a notebook for both business and personal use, and hits the mark.
Those who spend much of their time on the road will appreciate the hardy design of the Z60t, which features a magnesium roll cage-like chassis, to which the major components are mounted. Lenovo says the chassis reduces the stress on internal components when the notebook is dropped by 30%.
The durability of the machine is reinforced in the black, hard rubber casing surrounding the keys and the spill-proof protection built into the keyboard, which now features tiny drainage holes to ensure any liquids spilled onto the keyboard do not enter the machine. As tempting as it was, this was not put to the test — just in case.
It is also travel friendly with a thickness of 30mm and weight of 210g.
In addition to its widescreen, the Z60t’s multimedia credentials are also impressive.
It has three well-positioned USB ports, S-video and VGA outputs, decent speakers on both sides of the keyboard and a DVD burner.
Some valuable tools come with the ThinkVantage suite, which can be launched from a dedicated button on the keyboard. This includes Access Connections, which makes connecting to wireless networks simple, and Client Security, which protects important data onto an embedded encryption chip and works with an integrated fingerprint reader.
The Z60t is available in a variety of models with different hard drive, processor and memory options with pricing starting at $2,299 ex GST.