IBM's pricey but powerful ThinkPad has legs

IBM's pricey but powerful ThinkPad has legs

IBM's ThinkPad T series notebooks are popular with business users, and with good reason: They're thin and light, have loads of features, and deliver swift performance. The line's latest addition, the IBM ThinkPad T43, is no exception. I examined a shipping unit and found it a pleasure to use.

Like its predecessor, the T42, the T43 comes with a biometric fingerprint slide reader. The T43's sensor requires that you slide your finger three times; those three readings are combined into one image that the system uses to identify you. Getting the hang of swiping my finger in the exact same manner for it to register properly took me a few tries, but after that it worked well.

At just 2.5kg on its own (2.9kg with its AC adapter), the T43 is well suited for travel. It's outfitted with a multipurpose bay (which housed a multiformat DVD drive in our test unit), gigabit Ethernet, and 802.11g Wi-Fi. However, it lacks a FireWire port and a media card slot.

The T43 carries the usual great ThinkPad keyboard, accompanied by both touchpad and eraserhead pointing devices. For this notebook, IBM offers 14.1- and 15-inch screens in resolutions of 1024 x 768 or 1400 x 1050, plus 1600 x 1200 resolution 15-inch screen. Our test unit had the 1400 x 1050 14.1-inch screen, which supplied plenty of real estate.

In our tests the T43 managed an impressive five hours on one battery charge. Our unit came equipped with a 1.86-GHz Pentium M 745 processor and 512MB of RAM, and its WorldBench 5 score of 84 proves that it is zippy enough to handle most tasks.

Pricing for the ThinkPad T43 starts at $US1499, but our test unit topped out at $US2199. The T43 is not for the price-conscious, but if I had to take a trip tomorrow, I would bring it along. It's secure and light, and its long battery life makes working on the go a breeze.

Local information
Expensive notebook provides plenty of features that business users will appreciate.
Score 4 out of 5
The T43 is distributed by Ingram Micro, IT Wholesale and Synnex.
RRP: $3399

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