The Lenovo ThinkPad T420 is a 14-inch, business-focussed notebook. It has many of the features you would expect from a ThinkPad laptop, including a TrackPoint-style device (as well as a regular touchpad), a great keyboard, a keyboard light, and a non-glossy screen.
The 14-inch display means the T420 offers a nice combination of user comfort and mobility, and the keyboard is comfortable to use.
Around the edge of the laptop is a range of ports: USB 3.0, eSATA, VGA/D-sub, a headphone and microphone combo jack, wired networking and DisplayPort. The ThinkPad T420 also includes SD and ExpressCard/34 slots. Other features include a webcam, 802.11n Wi-Fi (including WiDi support), a fingerprint reader Bluetooth connectivity. There is also a DVD burner and a port for connecting a dock.
The display has a resolution of 1366x768 pixels. The notebook's matte screen means you don't have to worry about reflections from ceiling lights. Its vertical viewing angles could be better, but overall it is a decent screen.
Running the Lenovo Thinkpad T420 is an Intel Core i5-2520 CPU: A 2nd Generation Core processor that runs at 2.5GHz. The notebook also has 4GB of DDR3 SDRAM and a 320GB, 7200rpm hard drive.
During our benchmark tests the T420 performed well, beating the Sony VAIO SB Series, which has the same processor. The integrated graphics card is good enough to use for processing videos and high-resolution photos, and you will even be able play a few games in your downtime. The notebook's hard drive transfer rate of 39.25 megabytes per second is also a good showing.
In our battery test, in which we disable power management, enable Wi-Fi, maximise screen brightness and loop an Xvid-encoded video, the ThinkPad's 6-cell, 57 Watt-hour battery lasted 3hr 30min. This is a very good result for a 140-inch laptop and it's even better than the 3hr 19min achieved by the 13.3-inch Sony VAIO SB. You can get even more life out of it if you manage the power options properly through ThinkVantage. If you want the longest possible battery life, then you can consider getting an additional 9-cell battery slice that can be added to the bottom of the laptop.
The Lenovo ThinkPad T420 can be picked up for $1159. If you're looking for a business notebook that's sturdy and reliable, then it's a great choice.
Original review: Elias Plastiras, PC World