What do you get when you cross a T400 and X300?

Lenovo met the ultrathin challenge with their X300 machine and has also delivered a great 14″ device with their larger T400 series. What if you combined some of the best features of both? The result would be something that weighed less than four pounds, still offered and integrated optical disk, got six hours of battery life and was less than an inch thick. That’s exactly what Lenovo delivered today with introduction of the ThinkPad T400s. I’ve been huge ThinkPad fan since the first devices came out and with this new model, Lenovo has once again delivered a great new product to the ThinkPad family.

The answer is the Lenovo T400s, a new thin and light ThinkPad that delivers a powerful package in a very think body. I’ve been using one for a few weeks with a 2.4ghz P9400, 2GB of RAM and a 128gb SSD. The machine also has 1 USB/ eSATA, 1 USB 2.0 (which will charge devices even when turned off), VGA and Display Port (for up to two additional monitors.).

The excellent ThinkPad keyboard has a slight facelift with slightly better key spacing and size and as will all ThinkPads, was a delight to type on. New are dual microphones for cancelling echoes on VOIP calls and a very handy mute button. Lenovo’s taken a page from Apple’s playbook with a multitouch trackpad with functions such as zoom in/out and scrolling with two fingers. While not as smooth as Apple’s latest offerings, Lenovo’s does come in second and is the best I’ve seen any vendor deliver on a PC platform.

Windows Vista Business ran well, even with the integrated graphics but this isn’t going to be a great gaming rig (nor was it designed to be). Casual games run fine but higher end gamers should look elsewhere. Productivity apps worked well and load times along with suspend and resume were excellent. Battery life was great and I had no problems getting six hours of battery life with the screen at mid brightness. I could easily get across country this machine. (I’m looking at six hours as minimum for new machines going forward. Just not worth trying to use machines that can’t get me from NY to SF on single charge)

Configs start at $1,599, which is a little on the high end but given the performance, feature set and form factor make for a pretty compelling package. If you’re looking for a thin and light PC, the T400 should be on the short list.

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