Serious business: Lenovo ThinkPad T420 review

It may not win any beauty contests but the matte grey finish clearly marks the Lenovo ThinkPad T420 as a serious business notebook. The build quality is exceptional with standouts being the solid metal hinges and rigid screen. Another great point is the very solid keyboard; keys have moderate travel and feel responsive. The pointing stick has three dedicated buttons that work competently as a mouse alternative and for that matter the trackpad is also quite good.

For business purposes the T420 has all bases covered. Remote management is taken care of by Intel vPro hardware and the 500GB hard drive has remote management along with encryption support. Security is further covered by a fingerprint reader a Trusted Platform Module for encryption and Intel Anti-Theft that provides lots of remote security options. The ThinkVantage software also summarises business-relevant information like exactly how long the warranty will last.

On that note warranty options are plentiful and can be up to four years. The T420 is environmentally sound due to having Energy Star accreditation for low power consumption and having EPEAT Gold certification for using practically no environmentally damaging materials in construction or packaging.

Weighing 2.24kg the portability of the T420 is good and the 14in (1600 x 900 resolution) screen is really easy on the eyes. The viewing angle is excellent and because it’s matte even sunlight doesn’t make it unusable. Battery life is an impressive 5 hours and 30 minutes; while not all day it’s not far off.

A major selling point is a very fast Sandy Bridge Intel Core i5-2540M (2.6GHz) processor that has onboard Intel HD Graphics 3000 graphics. Along with 4GB of RAM the T420 has the specs needed for intensive business applications. A PCMark Vantage Score of 7244 really confirms that this notebook is a strong performer.

There’s a thorough assortment of ports including VGA Gigabit Ethernet Modem eSATA and DisplayPort. A 4-in-1 card reader and a 34mm Express Card Slot are also present along with 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 to round out connectivity.

Business users should be excited about the Lenovo ThinkPad T420. It’s powerful pleasant to use and packs in a volume of business-specific functionality. It isn’t cheap but for what’s included any buyer is easily getting their money’s worth.

Available from Lenovo retailing from $1999.
APC rating: 9/10 (Editor’s Choice)

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