Price: £1,648 plus VAT base price
Like its T20 and T21 predecessors, the ThinkPad T22 boasts a 14.1-inch, high-resolution screen and weighs only 5.5 pounds – a dynamite combination of generous screen size and light weight for a laptop. When you swap the internal 8X DVD-ROM drive that comes with this configuration for a hollow travel bezel, the T22 tips the scales at less than five pounds. The internal bay can hold any one of six other devices, including the bundled floppy drive, a second battery or even another hard drive. At £2,690 plus VAT the T22 we reviewed is expensive, even for a 1GHz plus laptop. And some things that you might expect to get for that price cost extra such as a parallel port cable for attaching the floppy drive externally, and free technical support ends after three years. Identical in appearance to the older T20 and T21 models, the T22 has the same bevelled black case, solid keyboard, comfortable mouse buttons, and fire-engine-red eraserhead pointer that ThinkPad fans have come to know and love. One change is a slightly easier-to-remove hard drive. With earlier T series laptops, you had to remove the battery first; now you extract just one large screw and then tug the hard drive out the T22’s right side. An S-Video port lets you watch DVD movies on a television set. The T22 turned in average speed for its processor class, with a PC WorldBench 2000 score of 183. Its battery life of 3.2 hours was also about average. ThinkPad T laptops are no longer the lightest portables with 14.1-inch screens. Several competing 5-pound Windows notebooks, including the Acer TravelMate 600 series, now offer screens just as big. And Apple’s 5.3-pound PowerBook G4 beats them all with a whopping 15.2-inch screen. Overall, however, the T22 offers a more sophisticated design and a greater number of small luxuries than the others; for well-heeled individuals who prefer the eraserhead pointing device and can afford a top-of-the-line light laptop, it’s the best of breed.