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Cooling System

There is no centralized air intake in the ThinkPad T61. Air comes into the case through numerous small holes scattered on the bottom panel – you can’t block all of them at once, even if you try to intentionally, unless you put the notebook down on a flat soft surface (on a sofa, for example). In the latter case it can indeed overheat. But you can use the notebook on your laps without fearing to harm it.

The cooling system is quiet. The noise of its fan can barely be heard when you are running typical office applications. You can only hear it normally when you launch a heavy application that loads both the CPU and graphics card at once, e.g. 3DMark06.


The ThinkPad T61 has an average sound system. Its integrated speakers are average in terms of sound quality and volume. This quality won’t satisfy an audiophile, of course, and it is better to connect an external speaker system to listen to music or watch movies. You’ll have to connect it via a standard mini-jack because the ThinkPad T61 is not equipped with more advanced audio interfaces. It is an office, not multimedia, notebook, after all.


We’ve got a configuration with a more interesting display than usual. Ordinary 14” displays have a native resolution of 1280x800 but this one has a resolution of 1440x900 pixels. This may not seem much, yet the extra 25% of workspace will come in handy, especially for people who process large amounts of information.

The matrix is good quality. It is not IPS, which was employed in some older ThinkPad models, but its contrast ratio and brightness and rather high, and the image look good overall. The viewing angles aren’t wide, which is the typical drawback of TN technology, but this drawback isn’t critical for a business notebook. It may even come in handy when someone is trying to look at the screen from behind your shoulder.

It is also important that the ThinkPad T61 doesn’t use a glossy coating of the display which is so popular among many notebook makers. There are no flares and other light noise on the screen.

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