Lenovo ThinkPad T42

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now 52
  • Broadband Plans
Lenovo ThinkPad T42

Pros

  • No need for passwords, tighter security than older fingerprint scanners

Cons

  • Fingerprint sliding mechanism is time consuming, modest connectivity, excellent battery life

Bottom Line

The T42's integrated fingerprint reader requires some patience, but rewards with increased security. This notebook remains a top pick for business travellers.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 52 stores)

  • Thinkpad Edge 73z Desktop i7-4770S Processor 3.... 1239.00
  • Thinkpad Edge 73z Desktop G3220 Processor 3.00 ... 629.00
  • ThinkPad Edge E440 Laptop core i5-4200M 3.1Ghz ... 699.00
See all prices

Lenovo (which has taken over the ThinkPad brand from IBM) has added an integrated fingerprint reader to select models of its flagship thin-and-light laptop, the ThinkPad T42. The sensor, embedded in the lower-right palm rest, requires that you slide a finger three times across its small window to register it. The included fingerprint software then merges the swipes into one image ID. The system protects the laptop and replaces cumbersome passwords. Like the sensor found on the Fujitsu LifeBook P7010D, we found the ThinkPad's slide sensor a bit more time-consuming to use than the older contact sensor windows that most fingerprint-reader-equipped laptops use. It's harder to slide a finger across a tiny sensor three times in exactly the same way than it is to merely press a finger in the comparatively large postage-stamp-size window used by contact sensors. It took us five tries--15 swipes altogether--to register our finger on the T42, and later, several tries to get the laptop to recognise our registered finger. By comparison, it usually takes only a couple of tries to register a finger in a contact sensor window. On the bright side, slide sensors can make a larger image of the finger being read, which gives the match software more data to analyse and theoretically results in tighter security.

The lightweight (2.2kg) T42 is incredibly thin--just 2.6 cm tall with the 14.1" screen closed--and has IBM's great keyboard, with both eraserhead and touchpad pointing devices, each with their own smoothly working mouse buttons. The ThinkLight, an LED in the lid that a keystroke combination activates to shine a light on the keyboard, is a useful feature that helps when working in dim light.

A slim combination DVD-ROM/CD-RW optical drive came with our test model, but you can opt for a DVD burner instead or buy a second hard drive to swap into the Ultrabay Slim modular bay. The modular bay also takes a secondary battery, but with the high-capacity, nine-cell battery that comes standard with the configuration we looked at, you won't need it. This super-duper battery, which extends the footprint by a couple of centimeters in the back, gave us a little over 5.5 hours of valuable working time in our tests.

The T42's performance was a little less impressive, but still within reasonable boundaries for its processor. Our 1.8GHz Pentium M 745-equipped unit earned a WorldBench 5 score of 77, compared with a score of 80 earned by a Dell Inspiron 700m with the same processor.

The T series continues to suffer from a few relatively minor limitations. The connections are fairly modest--the T42 we reviewed lacked a FireWire port or any type of memory card reader beyond PC Card slots, and has just two USB 2.0 ports. However, Lenovo offers docking options galore, ranging from a simple port replicator to a full-fledged docking station. The T42 stays true to ThinkPad form with forgettable stereo sound.

The T42 should be relatively easy to upgrade. Only one memory slot is user accessible, in a bottom compartment, but you can pull the slim hard drive out of the right side of the case with your fingers. Just open the laptop's screen and remove one security screw on the bottom of the case. The ThinkPad's animated user manual is unsurpassed, with loads of helpful information and a troubleshooting guide.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Be the first to comment.

Post new comment

Users posting comments agree to the PC World comments policy.

Login or register to link comments to your user profile, or you may also post a comment without being logged in.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare broadband and save

Powered by

Need Help? Call 1300 123 935

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
Use WhistleOut's technology to compare:
Mobile phone plans & deals
Mobile phone models
Mobile phone carriers
Broadband plans & deals
Broadband providers
Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?