"The Lenovo ThinkPad T520 is a 15.6 inch laptop which prides itself on being reliable, solid and easy and comfortable to use"
The Lenovo ThinkPad T520 is a 15.6 inch laptop which prides itself on being reliable, solid and easy and comfortable to use. Fancy multimedia tools and extras are in relatively short supply with the T520 – the focus lies more on security and usability. Is it worth the considerable price?
What we like best
The matte, rubbery dark finish has been a trademark of the Lenovo ThinkPad series, and the T520 has again been designed with little flair and no gloss (apart from the stainless steel hinges) – this isn’t to say it looks boring. In fact, we quite like the understated look, with the Lenovo logo tucked away in the lid’s corner.
Fans of the ThinkPad series will expect the little red trackpoint in the middle of the keyboard, and there it is, sticking out among the matte dark keys, whose alternative command symbols are coloured a stylish dark blue.
Performance is taken care of one of Intel’s Sandy Bridge CPUs, while graphics are provided by either integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 or a NVIDIA option. The integrated option is probably more than enough for your office needs – the Lenovo ThinkPad T520 isn’t very useful when it comes to gaming, but it does support multitasking and data entry without flaw.
The keyboard, as is by now well-known among ThinkPad fans, is a joy to use. It’s fairly compact (no space for a numerical keypad), but the concave shape of the keys makes them distinct from each other, and the feel is solid and responsive. You’ll be able to fire off memos and emails like Superman flying high on Red Bull.
What we like least
As a result on Lenovo’s focus on ergonomics and functionality, the ThinkPad T520 is fairly bulky and not very portable – you shouldn’t have a problem putting it into a dedicated laptop backpack, however.
The battery life is, for a business laptop, slightly disappointing. Heavy use will mean that the ThinkPad T520 will run out of juice after around two and a half hours. You could upgrade to a 9-cell battery, but you would pay both in financial terms and further loss of portability.
Like the rest of the ThinkPad T series, the T520 has to make do without a USB 3.0 port. There is a USB/eSATA connection, but the continuing reach of USB 3.0 means that a lot of people might hold out for a laptop that includes that option.
Presentable looks, great keyboard, strong performance and decent graphics – the Lenovo ThinkPad T520 is a very good office laptop that gets the basics right and doesn’t try anything too out of the ordinary. There are plenty of upgrade options (e.g. addition of a Blu-ray drive), and if people can look past the fact that there is next to no scope for gaming, they’re in for a great business laptop.
Today's best deal
up to Intel Core i7
up to 8 Gb
Intel Integrated HD NVIDIA NVS 4200M
Hard Drive Storage
up to 320 Gb
Dual HD digital mics
2 x USB 2.0
1 x USB 2.0 eSATA
3 in 1 Card Reader
Weight & Size
(W) 373 x (H) 245 x (D) 31.8 mm
Up to Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
The Lenovo ThinkPad T520 15.6 inch laptop is a business laptop with a focus on functionality rather than flashy design. It’s big on usablity and security, albeit not so much on portability.
Its sober design might mean that the Lenovo ThinkPad 520 doesn’t stand out much on the shelves, but its keyboard alone is worth at least trying it out. The concave keys make for a very pleasant typing experience, and the ThinkPad range’s trademark track point is present as well.
Lenovo Thinkpad T520
To read more about the Lenovo Thinkpad T520 and its features, check out the PC Site review here.
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