A few weeks ago I purchased a brand new Lenovo ThinkPad T510. I’ve had a ThinkPad T43 for quite a while, so I decided to upgrade. Given Lenovo’s (who acquired IBM not too long ago) reputation for quality and reliability, I obviously decided to stick with the ThinkPad line. Boy was that a mistake for the T510.
It almost seems as if Lenovo screwed up badly with the T510. When you purchase a laptop with 4GB of RAM, an Intel Core i5-540M processor with 2.6 GHz (dual core, of course), and the best wireless card offered on the market today, you expect perfection. You pay $1100 for a laptop (that’s not a Mac, may I add), and you should expect NOTHING short of perfection.
And what do you get with the ThinkPad T510? You get disappointed, dissatisfaction, depression, anger, frustration, and many many other terrible emotions you never thought to experience with Lenovo.
So what were the real problems?
Well, I experienced two major issues that I could not resolve.
1) The Touchpad didn’t work (happened intermittently), and sometimes would be insensitive to my finger’s motions. When you consider a touchpad, you consider sensitivity. You expect every movement of your finger to move the mouse. You don’t want to press to hard, neither do you want to spent hours trying to figure out how it works. Also, it’s flushed with the rest of the keyboard, so it’s very hard to know where the boundaries of the touchpad are!
2) Perhaps the worst problem of all, the CPU gave out a high-frequency whine. This whine was consistent, and it never stopped, only under conditions when the CPU was under heavy load. This presents a lot of problems for someone who spends a lot of time in silence trying to read textbooks and do problem sets that require intense concentration. If you think this whine won’t bother you, you’re wrong. Simply wrong. I tried to get used to it, but it’s just there. You notice it. It’s bad. You can’t study with it. If you’re a person who listens to music all the time and is rarely under quiet conditions, then this problem probably won’t bother you. Otherwise, I strongly advise you to NOT purchase this computer solely because of this problem
So what do you think I did after I found out I paid $1100 for a computer that’s defected? Well, despite my frustration, I wanted to give Lenovo a chance to redeem themselves. So I sent them the laptop for repair (2 days after I received it). I got it 9 days later (which they said should take no more than 7 days). The note said they replaced the motherboard and fixed the touchpad.
Well, the note was wrong. Yes they replaced the motherboard. No the touchpad was not fixed. And no, the whining noise was not fixed. At that point, I decided to stupidly try and find a solution myself. I spent countless days researching solutions for the touchpad and the whining noise. I was able to solve the touchpad issue by reverting the drivers back to the original state. It seemed that the new drivers the Lenovo gave out were defected and thus only the older drivers worked. Go figure.
However, I was not able to fix the whining noise. After around a month of trying to find a solution, consulting with Lenovo employees and fellow colleagues, I came to the conclusion that I must return the laptop. This is after I spent MANY MANY hours trying to figure out a solution, installing all of my software on it, and seriously personalizing the computer, because I truly thought no Lenovo product could be this bad.
So if you’re about to purchase a Lenovo computer, I’d strongly advise you to stay away from the T410 and T510. They have this horrendous whining noise that you cannot avoid.