ThinkPad Head to Head, the ThinkPad T510 vs ThinkPad W510
September 8, 2010
ThinkPad T510 vs. the ThinkPad W510? One of the biggest dilemmas facing you as a ThinkPad buyer if you are looking at a 15″ ThinkPad is which one to buy? The ThinkPad T510 or ThinkPad W510?
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What’s the better choice? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? More importantly, will my wallet stretch to a W510! When you’re shopping for a new high end ThinkPad, you’ll definitely want to know the answers and be clear on which ThinkPad is right for you.
For years the ultimate mobile workstation in the Lenovo stables had been the ThinkPad T61p, a 15-inch laptop with high-end graphics, a wide range of dual-core processors, up to 4GB of memory, and plenty of connectivity options, ports, and battery life. The ThinkPad T61p – which offered a tremendous array of options – spanned a very wide gap between the average mobile business user and the ultimate on-the-go professional. Lenovo broke up the T61p’s monopoly a year ago with the release of two new machines: the T500 and the W500.
New class of notebook workstation
The new ThinkPad W Series took over the mantle of the portable ThinkPad workstation. The ThinkPad W510 effectively replaced the ThinkPad T61p whilst the ThinkPad W701 and W710ds successfully created a new class of notebook workstation.
Now, two different lines of laptops cover different ends of the spectrum and in some ways meet in the middle. Both the ThinkPad T510 and the ThinkPad W510 – as shown – are 15-inch laptops that occupy the higher ground in Lenovo’s mobile enterprise computer offerings. Both machines are marketed toward mobile business and professional users and are designed to be versatile high end notebooks with a high level of build quality and ergonomics.
At the entry level of the T Series with 15″ display the T510 base model features Intel’s Core i5 processors, 2GB of RAM, and a 250GB 2700RPM hard drive.
However, the W510 offers a much higher degree of scalability, with hardware options that can put the price well over a wallet numbing $4,000. In fact, the base level W510 is pretty similar to the fully equipped T510.
Degrees of Separation
So what separates the two? Let’s check out two similarly equipped models.
ThinkPad T510 (Priced as of September 2010 without a ThinkPad T Series Coupon Code)
Processor: Intel Core i7-620M
Memory: 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3
Graphics: NVIDIA NVS 3100M (512MB Graphics Memory)
Display: 15.6″ High Definition with LED Backlight
The Lenovo ThinkPad T510 used for this comparison has nearly all options available, including the Core i7 processor – the standard is an Intel Core i5 – and 4GB of RAM – standard is 2GB of RAM. The total price for this outfitting, which also includes a 500GB 7200RPM hard drive and all of the standard ports and connectivity options, is $1434.00.
The Intel Core i7-620M processor in this version of the ThinkPad T510, combined with the 4GB of RAM, provides all the power you really need to complete most business tasks, from organizing/scheduling and document management to on-the-go communications. You’ll notice very little lag with most programs and multi-tasking functions.
There’s enough memory in the 500 GB hard drive to store any necessary data while you’re away from the office and there are many security features – like the hard disk password protection – that ensure your data’s safety. The 7200RPM disk drive also helps keep your machine operating smoothly and quickly.
The ThinkPad T510 has a beautiful 15.6-inch high definition display that looks great in a multitude of lighting situations thanks to the LED backlight. The display is powered by an NVIDIA NVS 3100M graphics card, which features 512MB of graphics memory and allows you to watch high-definition video and displays images well for presentations.
The NVIDIA NVS 3100M graphics card is not a gaming solution and is optimized for business applications rather than games like Crysis, but it will handle most modern games at lower frame rates and play reasonably well and if you play World of Warcraft on your ThinkPad like we do then you’ll do just fine!
The T510 also features an integrated webcam, wireless and Ethernet – a must-have for business travelers that need to be in constant contact with colleagues.
The ThinkPad T510 is solidly built. It features a strong black case supported by an aluminum “roll-cage,” that can withstand the everyday stress of travel. There are other built-in safeguards as well, including the famous ThinkPad spill-proof keyboard.
The ThinkPad T510 is a great machine towers above the majority of the consumer and business laptops on the market today, the ThinkPad T510 is a great choice that will handle any business task that you can reasonably throw at it.
ThinkPad W510 (Priced as of September 2010 without a ThinkPad W Series Coupon Code)
Processor: Intel Core i7-720M
Memory: 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3
Graphics: NVIDIA Quadro FX 880M (1GB Graphics Memory)
Display: 15.6″ FHD with LED Backlight
The ThinkPad W510 occupies the pricier extreme of the business and professional portable workstation range, but that price is definitely justified. What really separates the ThinkPad W510 from the ThinkPad T510 is its dedication to graphics and all that that entails.
For starters, the base model of the ThinkPad W510 comes with an Intel Core i7-720M, one step up from even the fully equipped T510. That means that the W510 will edge out the T510 in most computing tasks, especially when outfitted with additional RAM, and up to 16gb can be optioned. The ThinkPad W510 can easily run multiple programs and is capable of also handling some of the more advanced graphics editing software packages out there.
It also comes fully ISV certified.
Not surprisingly – since the W510 is designed for high end graphics work – the display on the ThinkPad W510 is different than that of the T510. Not only does the integrated NVIDIA Quadro FX 880M graphics card provide 1900×1200 resolution, but its 1GB of graphics memory allows it to provide seamless high definition video and animation playback. That’s an incredible feature if you’re giving a presentation that includes a lot of images and video.
It’s also great that the ThinkPad W510, although it isn’t included in this setup, has the option to upgrade to a multi-touch screen.
Virtually everything else – ports, connectivity, outputs, build, etc. – about the ThinkPad W510 is the same as the ThinkPad T510, though there are many more upgrades available to the W-series.
ThinkPad T510 vs. ThinkPad W510
At first look and on the face of it there isn’t much that separates these two notebooks except of course the video card and of the ability to option the higher end Intel Core i7-920XM Processor Extreme Edition, but when you’re running in the software application big leagues, those things matter. Dig a little deeper however and you have the choice of Pantone Color Sensor, 95% Gamut, 270nit Displays with a Multi Touch option, and of course USB 3.0 in the W510.
All things considered, the ThinkPad T510 is a wonderful choice if you’re looking for a machine with all the fundamental equipment and capabilities we have come to expect from the ThinkPad brand, it’s a T Series thru and thru. It is absolutely capable of running an entire suite of office productivity software; it has the ability to network effectively and efficiently; and it’s portable enough to be a comfortable traveling companion on long trips.
If you need all of the above, plus high-end graphics performance and number crunching then the ThinkPad W510 is your machine. There is absolutely nothing out there that compares with the either the ThinkPad T510 or the ThinkPad W510 in their respective class, it all depends of course on the job you’re going to do and at the end of the day the size of your wallet!
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