e6410 vs. T410: comparison review

Discussion in 'Dell Latitude, Vostro, and Precision' started by bradsh, Jun 30, 2010.

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  1. bradsh

    bradsh Notebook Consultant

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    I have owned both machines, so I'm fit to answer questions and offer a small comparison for those on the fence.

    Screen: as far as I can tell, lenovo and Dell are using the exact same screen. The Dell is possibly a tiny bit brighter, but not significant.

    Speakers: e6410 wins HANDS DOWN. The T410 speakers and headphone jack are very quiet, and I sometimes cannot even hear movies or quiet business presentations using them or the headphone jack. By comparison, the e6410 can easily fill a room with powerful sound that is extraordinarily clear and crisp, even if lacking in bass. The headphone jack on the e6410 can deafen if desired, and that's a good thing.

    Keyboard: lenovo T410 wins. Not by much; the e6410 has a very nice keyboard, and is available with backlit keyboard, which the T410 does not have. But the keyboard on the T410 is clearly more of a pleasure to type on. Given how much typing one will do, this is significant.

    Pointing stick: the pointing stick is better on the T410 (more accurate, easier to use) but also protrudes more. Therefore, if you hate touch sticks, you might be leaning toward the e6410, except...

    Touchpad: T410 hands down. The ALPS garbage they have stuck in the e6410 is just disappointing. It is glitchy and buggy like all ALPS pads I have ever used. It doesn't always pick up scrolling gestures which can be very frustrating, and the "both buttons for middle click" function has issues on the e6410. Some features on the e6410 are not available on the T410 without using an HP driver, but when unlocked, the touchpad on the T410 has more features and is less glitchy.

    Heat for lap use: T410. The e6410 gets hot across the whole bottom due to the single aluminum access cover, while the T410 only gets hot in a few spots. The T410 stays cooler at idle and under heavy load on the bottom; this is because the e6410 has the CPU oriented in a downward direction aimed at the bottom of the machine.
    Consequently, the e6410 is cooler than the T410 on the top of the machine.
    Of note: the fan on the T410 is higher pitched than the e6410, and you can't really tell when the e6410 is at full throttle but you can always tell when the T410 is, and it's annoying. The good news is that unlike Dell, lenovo allows you to change fan speeds and a program called "tpfancontrol" lets you set up the fans and thermal controls any way you like. I cannot find a similar program or method that works for the e6410 (there was a method for the e6400, but it does not work on the e6410).

    Heat (general): Neither of these machines have problems with reduced performance due to heat buildup. Both do a good job at keeping the machine cool, they just have different styles, as above. Both run at full speed even under the worst heating conditions.

    Build quality: The e6410 is a more solid machine. It has no cracks or creaks or plastic squeaks of any kind. The entire bottom is a large access panel made from metal and has no flex. It is glorious and simple. The machine does not flex anywhere, although the keyboard on the T410 has less flex than the e6410, even after bending the e6410 keyboard to flex less. The t410 has a number of little flexes and clicky clacky plastic bits. The whole top bezel where your hands sit will move down on the edge, causing a nasty sounding rubbing noise. It also clicks underneath this bezel and people on the t410 forum have complained about it. Otherwise, the t410 feels very very solid. It is mostly top wrist bezel and bottom maintenance panel which seem junky.

    Maintanence: e6410 win. The entire bottom panel comes off the e6410 with one single screw. The entire motherboard and system are accessible including cpu, heatsink, fan, ram, wifi card, etc. simply by removing one hefty screw and sliding the panel away. The panel is held tight to the machine by sliding clips which are kept from sliding because they would have to shear through the screw. It's solid, it's tight, there is no play on the panel (there IS play on my t410's access panel, even though it is 1/10th the size). This is as easy as maintenance gets. The keyboard on the e6410 can be removed by undoing some clips under the battery (removing a top size bezel) and then removing two screws and sliding. The keyboard doesn't even have a ribbon connector; it is a single rigid unit with metal contacts on the bottom which slide into a keyboard connector. Everything about maintenance is easier on the e6410. The t410 is also fairly easy to maintain, but you have to remove many more pieces to get to some parts. There is a single small access panel on the bottom allowing you to access only one of the two ram slots and a wifi card.

    Ergonomics are much better on the T410. The e6410 has square edges on the front which dig into my hands. The e6410 is not much of a looker, and they used ugly blue LEDs for status lights. By contrast, the T410 has comfortable human-like curves on the front bezel, front edge, keys on the keyboard, speaker buttons, lid, latch, and touchpad buttons. The t410 uses easy to see but non distracting green LEDs for indicators, with light orange on the mute buttons. The dell by comparison is all flat surfaces and hard square corners which are at best uninspired and at worst downright uncomfortable or even painful over time.


    Latching Mechanism
    : You wouldn't think this would be an issue, but the latch on the e6410 feels cheap and weird and sometimes gets caught on something inside when I try to open with it. By contrast the latch on the t410 is perfect.

    Odd accessories: e6410. Things missing on the T410 that I love on the e6410: LED battery check on the battery, wind up cables on the AC adapter, backlit keyboard, status light on AC adapter.. (T410 AC Adapter has NO INDICATION that it is plugged in and working, while the e6410 has an led on the plug right where it connects to your laptop).

    The T410 has a "thinklight" instead of a backlight keyboard. For many people, this is actually more useful than a backlit keyboard. As stated below, the T410 also has better utility software by a mile.

    Included software: T410. The T410 has very good power management software which Dell simply doesn't have. As a result, the T410 gets more battery life than the e6410 when they both have a 9 cell battery and same CPU/graphics.

    Service/Warranty: DELL A THOUSAND TIMES. Dealing with dell is a pleasure, dealing with lenovo is a pain in the the entire time. You will hate your life. But Dell is a joy and they bend over backwards for you.


    I hope this answers questions anyone has.
     
  2. Sir Punk

    Sir Punk Notebook Deity

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    LOL. yes you are right. the business customer care is most of the time very nice. too bad that their laptops design leaves something to be desired.

    great review. rep to you.
     
  3. cn_habs

    cn_habs Notebook Deity

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    Really? Anyone with a decent Philips can take the TP apart in less than 5 min and spare parts are everywhere on Ebay.

    When did IBM tech support start sucking this much? It's not Lenovo's support that you contacted.
     
  4. bradsh

    bradsh Notebook Consultant

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    1. The entire bottom panel comes off the e6410 with one single screw. The entire motherboard and system are accessible including cpu, heatsink, fan, ram, wifi card, etc. simply by removing one hefty screw and sliding the panel away. The panel is held tight to the machine by sliding clips which are kept from sliding because they would have to shear through the screw. It's solid, it's tight, there is no play on the panel (there IS play on my t410's access panel, even though it is 1/10th the size). This is as easy as maintenance gets. The keyboard on the e6410 can be removed by undoing some clips under the battery (removing a top size bezel) and then removing two screws and sliding. The keyboard doesn't even have a ribbon connector; it is a single rigid unit with metal contacts on the bottom which slide into a keyboard connector. Everything about maintenance is easier on the e6410.

    2. I don't know or care who lenovo contracts for support. The easyserv station I dealt with SUCKED. They never called back, they took days to get a single issue processed, and I had to argue with them over the phone. By comparison, getting dell to fix two issues on my e6410 was a single call, with no explanation as to why it was broken, and then they overnighted parts to me without me even sending the old ones back. Dell then called me back the next day to see if I was satisfied or if I needed anymore help. It was almost annoying how much they cared, until I experienced lenovo's service. They also send me countless emails to keep me updated on the precise status of my machine, while lenovo sent me only one email with bizarrely no content (no body text) and all the content was in an attachment with no file type. Weird.

    Dell will also exchange or return your latitude for the first 30 days no questions asked and no restocking fee. Lenovo just can't compete on this issue.
     
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  5. Sir Punk

    Sir Punk Notebook Deity

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    and Dell outlet is N times better, with better prices and a 3 year standard warranty.
     
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  6. MDR8850

    MDR8850 Notebook Evangelist

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    nice review...... cool comparison....
     
  7. theZoid

    theZoid Notebook Savant

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    a Stinkpad never beats a Latitude or Precision....that's my technical analysis..

    (sorry, couldn't help myself..haha) :D :D :D
     
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  8. Amphibious

    Amphibious Notebook Enthusiast

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    So if you could only get one machine, which one would you get?
     
  9. glentium

    glentium Notebook Evangelist

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    That is one unbiased comparison review! many thanks!
     
  10. HerrKaputt

    HerrKaputt Elite Notebook User

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    Excellent post. I will definitely point many people to this post when they ask for a comparison.

    +rep, of course.
     
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