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Lenovo ThinkPad T420s review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £1664
inc VAT

A powerful and versatile laptop, but poor battery life and business-specific graphics mean it should only appeal to professionals


14 in 1,600×900 display, 1.7kg, 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-2640M, 4.00GB RAM, 160GB disk, Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

We weren’t quite so impressed with the keyboard. The keys themselves were relatively springy, but there wasn’t much in the way of tactile feedback to let you know your presses have registered. You’ll also have to get used to the Ctrl and Fn keys being swapped round, so Fn is the key at the bottom-left edge of the keyboard. It all felt rather cramped, partly because the whole keyboard has been compressed to make room for the mediocre-sounding speakers positioned at either side of the tray. There’s no backlight – instead, a small spotlight built into the display bezel can illuminate the keyboard tray for night-time working.

Lenovo ThinkPad T420s

The touchpad also felt rather constrictive, which was mainly caused by the buttons for the secondary touchstick taking up more room than we would like. If you’re used to using a touchstick this will be a welcome inclusion, but we preferred to use the touchpad, which was reasonably responsive.

As you might expect from a business laptop, there are plenty of connectivity options, including two USB ports, a faster USB3 port and an ExpressCard/34 slot filled with a multi-format card reader. There’s also a DVD re-writer, which automatically switches itself off when not in use to save battery power – although as we mentioned above this didn’t seem to make much difference in our tests.

Lenovo ThinkPad T420s

Considering the high-powered components inside and the type of person it’s aimed at, there’s no surprise that the T420S is an incredibly expensive laptop – for over £1,600, you could buy an Ultrabook and still have change to buy a second machine. If you want something portable, powerful and need the certified graphics hardware to run specific applications, this may be a good investment, but for most people the £1,000 Samsung Series 7 Chronos would be a better choice.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor Intel Core i7-2640M
Processor clock speed 2.5GHz
Memory 4.00GB
Memory slots 2
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 8GB
Size 26x343x23mm
Weight 1.7kg
Sound Conexant 20672 SmartAudio HD
Pointing device touchpad and touchstick


Viewable size 14 in
Native resolution 1,600×900
Graphics Processor Nvidia NVS 4200M
Graphics/video ports VGA, DisplayPort
Graphics Memory 1,024MB


Total storage capacity 160GB
Optical drive type DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 3
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11n
PC Card slots 1x ExpressCard/34
Supported memory cards SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro
Other ports minijack headset port, 1x USB 3.0


Carrying case No
Operating system Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Operating system restore option restore partition
Software included Microsoft Office 2010 Starter Edition
Optional extras none

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £1,664

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