Our old venerable Lenovo T500 has long served on our studio. The machine has a cold cathode backlight and while its possible to modify the LCD, the old T9400 only has 2 cores which is enough for Windows 10. The brightness of CCFL slowly declines over the years. Compared to a LED based panel it has definitely lost more than 50% of its original brightness.
The HD 3650 graphics are stressed with the native 1680×1050 LCD but the machine does support VESA standard modes so game performance is does not suffer so bad.
We use laptops with the BIOS set for an external monitor and then part them under a large LCD panel. The T500 has VGA and DisplayPort and we have many video cables to cope with different machines. This configuration allows the laptop to take on the role of a true desktop replacement machine. It also was the best solution for the faded LCD.
The T500 was also running warm suggesting the CPU cooler was working hard. The machine never really thermally throttled with games, the machine is thermally stable.
We tested a vast number of games on the old T500 but now we are moving on to a newer platform. We still have a T400 available but it is an older machine better suited for running Windows XP than Windows 10. The T400 has very limited graphics which hurts its gaming potential. The T400 has a DVD drive and it has both PCMCIA and Express card slots.
We have an available Lenovo X220 with the I5-2520m processor. The X220 can support more maximum memory and the machine has slightly better graphics with the HD 3000 GT2 graphics. All of the game that work on the T500 work on the X220 fine. We continue to test games on entry level graphics as many of our users use cards like the GT 710 which has limited graphics capability too.
We have a USB DVD drive so we can install software on the smaller sized machines easily. The optical drive is mostly for watching movies. USB BD drives are also available. USB flash sticks are larger in capacity than ever and prices are tumbling fast.
Lenovo is expensive but the machines are very well made. We use the T series mostly for desktop replacement use and we use the X series mostly for field use.