Lenovo ThinkPad T420 Reviews by annyhaiyan


As you may already know from my ultrabook editorial, I’m not entirely sold on them. There are disadvantages to being thin.

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									                                                                                                                                                           22/02/2012 04:55

                                                              Lenovo ThinkPad T420 Reviews

                                                                      Lenovo ThinkPad T420 Reviews                    Of course, laptops have come a long way since then.
                                                                                                                      The ThinkPad T420 we received for review is a good
                                                              CloudTags: Lenovo , ThinkPad , T420 , Lenovo            example of a mid-range model. Let’s look at the
                                                              batteries uk , lenovo laptop , Lenovo thinkpad t61      hardware specifications.

                                                              As you may already know from my ultrabook edi-
                                                              torial, I’m not entirely sold on them. There are di-
                                                              sadvantages to being thin.

                                                                                                                      According to Lenovo’s website, this configuration is
                                                                                                                      the second pre-configured option available. It can
                                                              And as if to remind me of it, a Lenovo ThinkPad         be had for about $1000 after an eCoupon provided

                                                              T420 suddenly appeared at my doorstep. Okay, that’s     by Lenovo. All of the features above are standard,
                                                              exaggerating a bit – I did know it was coming – but     even the 1600×900 display and Nvidia graphics. They
                                                              the timing of receiving an old-school laptop couldn’t   are standard only for this model, however – some
                                                              have been better. Not only because I wanted to take     less powerful versions are available at lower prices.
                                                              a closer look at a laptop purposely designed to not
                                                              be thin, but also because we haven’t had a ThinkPad     The only option that came with our review unit was
                                                              T series for review in, well, forever.                  a 9-cell battery, which will set you back $50. We
                                                                                                                      received both the 6-cell and the 9-cell batteries, so
                                                              This is a return to form for me. I owned several        we will be testing the laptop’s battery life with both.
                                                              ThinkPads during my late teens, my college days,
                                                              and the years just after college. My favorite was a
                                                              T42 with a 14-inch display.

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                                                                                                                                                           22/02/2012 04:55

                                                              Lenovo ThinkPad T420 Reviews

                                                                                     Design                             open 180 degrees. More importantly, these hinges
                                                                                                                        do not allow for any display wobble when typing.
                                                              At first glance, the T420 doesn’t seem much different
                                                              from the T42 I used about six years ago. The classic      Connectivity includes VGA and DisplayPort, four USB
                                                              ThinkPad black matte construction remains present,        2.0 ports (one of which is an eSATA combo port), a
                                                              of course, and it does a good job of obscuring the        card reader, a 34mm Express Card Slot and a combo
                                                              more subtle details of the chassis.                       headphone/microphone jack. This impressive array
                                                                                                                        is improved if you don’t have the discrete graphics
                                                              Not that there’s much to obscure. Besides the lap-        option found on our laptop – the space freed by the
                                                              top’s ports and a display lid’s latch at the front of     missing GPU allows for the addition of two more
                                                              the laptop, there’s nothing notable here. That’s the      USB 2.0 ports. USB 3.0 is notably lacking.
                                                              point. A business laptop is supposed to be like a
                                                              business suit – handsome, but unobtrusive.                Most of the ports are located near the middle or
                                                                                                                        rear of the chassis, and none are located on the
                                                              I don’t think everyone agrees with this philosophy,       front, which means that connecting devices will
                                                              but this isn’t meant to be a debate about it. This T420   interfere less with your working space. The power
                                                              remains true to the core ThinkPad ideal of obsessive      cable connects at the only proper spot – the rear
                                                              functionality. You either get it, or you don’t. If you    of the laptop – keeping the cord and adapter out
                                                              do, then you’ll love how this laptop is built.            of your way.

                                                                                                                                         User Interface

                                                              Durability is evident throughout the chassis. Picking
                                                              up the laptop from any edge results in no groans of
                                                              protest, nor is any flex evident when pressing upon
                                                              various surfaces of the laptop (the middle of the         Like the design of the chassis itself, the keyboard
                                                              display lid is an exception – but almost all laptops      on the T420 is a bit of a dinosaur. It has refused
                                                              show some minor flex there). The display is attached      to change over the years, ignoring the trends to-
                                                              by two large metal hinges that make it possible to        wards an island style keyboard layout. Even HP’s

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                                                                                                                                                22/02/2012 04:55

                                                              Lenovo ThinkPad T420 Reviews

                                                              enterprise laptops have switched over to the more
                                                              modern design.

                                                              But modern doesn’t always mean best. As I pointed
                                                              out in our retrospective of the Acer Extensa 5420, an
                                                              old-fashioned laptop keyboard like the one found
                                                              here has strengths. The most noticeable is key feel.
                                                              When you press a key, it responds with significant
                                                              travel, and it doesn’t bottom out harshly. You can
                                                              easily tell when you’ve fully depressed a key without
                                                              looking at your display or the keyboard, resulting
                                                              in more confidence when typing at high speeds.

                                                              The layout is a bit fussy, as is often the case with
                                                              ThinkPad laptops. The FN (or function) key is where
                                                              the Ctrl key is supposed to be, and this will cause new
                                                              users to stumble. Lenovo also uses double-height Esc
                                                              and Delete keys which feel awkward at first, but are
                                                              probably more effective once you’ve learned them.

                                                              Below the keyboard is a small touchpad. It’s ade-
                                                              quate. If you buy the T420 you’ll need to love – or
                                                              learn to love – the trackpointer in the middle of the
                                                              keyboard. The ThinkPad implementation remains
                                                              the best, and once you become accustomed to it, you
                                                              may never want to go back to a touchpad.

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