The Lenovo T420

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Posted 22 Jun 2012 in Reviews, Soulville, Technology

A couple months ago I got a Lenovo T420 laptop. I chose it after some careful deliberations of some more mobile options and some more powerful options and debating whether I wanted to get a MacBook Pro and use some programs via Windows Parallels. Though I certainly would have been very happy with a MBP, I couldn’t transition a lot of my programs just yet so I stuck with Windows. While I still don’t understand why a larger hard drive wasn’t available (even to purchase and replace), why you couldn’t upgrade the sound option, or why USB 3.0 wasn’t available, I’ve been fairly satisfied with the selection.

My last laptop was a Dell Studio XPS 16 so the most noticeable difference was the weight. I chose the 9 cell battery as the main battery and it’s fairly lightweight. My back notices the difference when I carry it around. Even with the extended 9 cell battery that I also selected, the laptop is easy to carry. The extended battery allows this model to get up to 24 hour battery life. Using energy saver status, I can say I’ve gotten a max of 16 hours. Certainly if I chose some different options, I could get that 24 hour battery life.

The second noticeable difference was that the screen and the sound are not as great for this laptop, but I actually don’t mind. I watch most TV on my laptop, so I found it helpful to change a few settings to get a little louder sound. Most of the time, I keep the sound at about 60% to adequately hear through the built in speakers.

The third and fourth noticeable things (which weren’t differences) and perhaps the most annoying are that if you grab the laptop with your right hand and accidentally brush the side, the DVD drive will pop open quite easily and if you grab with your left but haven’t chosen an option to go in that bay, the plastic shifts because the bay is totally empty. I thought several times I’d broken the framing because of that. Now I’m considering buying something to go in the bay because I tend to carry my open laptop with my left hand. I was sold on the Lenovo Thinkpad (previously IBM Thinkpad) because their acclaimed durability but I’m not 100% certain my laptop could withstand all the things that happen in the video. I’m also not 100% sure it’s a more solid build than my previous Dell which felt more plastic-y than solid and had too much give.

The touchpad has 2 sets of mouse buttons. The center most set are the most solid, while the ones closest to you are rather flimsy but they work. Other than the issues I’ve mentioned, I’ve had no problems with the laptop and find that it does what I need it to do – travel well, process many things at once, and serve as an entertainment center. Very happy with my purchase.

If you’re in the market for a new laptop, I can recommend this one with a few caveats seen above. You can’t beat the battery life and it fits in all my existing bags for work and play.

Basic Specs:

Intel Core i7-2640M CPU 2.80GHz
8GB RAM
Win 7 64-bit
500GB Hard Drive
NVIDIA Quadro NVS4200M Video Card

What new laptop technology have you acquired lately? What are your requirements for a new system?

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