T-series ThinkPads get Optimus switchable graphics

— 9:27 AM on October 5, 2010

In a strange, scattershot announcement this morning, Lenovo boasted about shipping its 60 millionth ThinkPad notebook and, at the same time, announced that ThinkPad T-series notebooks are now available with Nvidia Optimus switchable graphics. I'm not sure what the two events have to do with each other, but the Optimus thing is arguably a lot more interesting.

Optimus has already landed in the 14" ThinkPad T410s and 15" T510, both of which you can now purchase with switchable Nvidia Quadro NVS mobile graphics processors. Lenovo also says Optimus is coming to the 14" ThinkPad T410, but I'm not seeing anything but Intel integrated graphics on the product page. Prices start at $1,829 for the Optimus-enabled T410s and $1,069 for the T510. Lenovo quotes a $1,299 starting price tag for the still-unlisted T410 with Optimus graphics.

According to this post on the Lenovo blog, Optimus switchable graphics increased the ThinkPad T410s' run time from 3.5 to 4.7 hours in the MobileMark battery life test. Lenovo's announcement also says the new-and-improved ThinkPads "[support] Optimus technology to drive four displays via select ThinkPlus docks.

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