Hearst's Early Impressions with the T420 (vs T61)

Discussion in 'Lenovo' started by PatchySan, Apr 26, 2011.

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  1. afhstingray

    afhstingray Notebook Prophet

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    excellent review, i have a quick question. sorry to go a bit off topic, but i have an old Vaio with a 2ccfl screen that's got a horrible yellow hue now, what would i use to try to reduce that? would the LCD calibration software work? i thought it was due to the degradation of the CCFL compounds?
     
  2. lead_org

    lead_org Purveyor of Truth

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    love the review, you must use your T61 a lot. So did you get the machine in UK?
     
  3. ferganer80

    ferganer80 Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks for the detailed review!
     
  4. maticomp

    maticomp Notebook Consultant

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    Congratulations Hearst on your new Sanae! Very helpful and informative review - I will believe many less experienced ThinkPad users will find it extremely valuable and trustworthy kind of review.


    p.s. Out of curiosity - may I ask which series Sanae is from? My first guess was Sanae from Clannad - but after seeing her hair, it's definitely not her. ;-) EDIT: Nevermind... I have no idea how I didn't think of Touhou before
     
  5. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    If you still have the E6420 could you put it on the scales. Then we will have the weight difference between the two (tell us which battery is in the E6420).

    Thanks,

    John
     
  6. PatchySan

    PatchySan Om Noms Kit Kat

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    Times like this makes me wish I have a proper camera, but anyway the T420 finally meets its nemesis (or best friend? o_O) the Dell Latitude E6420. Visually the E6420 looks much bigger than the T420 but its actually not that much thicker despite the all round Magnesium Construction design.

    [​IMG]

    As my friend said, the E6420 is a bit of a "Marmite" - you either love it or hate it with its chunky exterior, rubberised interior finish and that orange surround. He loves the E6420 unsurprisingly, i'm not a fan of Marmite so you can guess where this is heading to...

    But on with the show, I guess many of you is keen how good the screens are between the two. Earlier I concluded the Dell has the better panel and I stick by that claim. My camera doesn't really do the panels justice here but from my eyes the colours on the Dell panel tends to look much "warmer" by default, in comparison the Lenovo panel looks "cooler", I mean blue-ish not "that was cool bro!" sort of cool. I asked my friend whether he calibrated the screen but said it was the default settings, I didn't calibrate mine either so the panels are showing its default colours at the moment which makes it a fair test.

    [​IMG]

    Anyway I was able create a side by side comparison which pretty much sums up my experience between the two panels, I used the same image on the two with the Dell panel being on the left and the Lenovo on the right. Notice that the green is more vibrant on the Dell panel in comparison to Lenovo. You could also just make out the slight griddiness on the Lenovo image which is not visible on the Dell.

    [​IMG]

    Both panels suffer limited viewing angles but the T420 seem to suffer far worse than the E6420. From the image below I tilted both at the same angles side by side and the T420 is washed out (left) while the E6420 (right) just manages to keep some colour true on the same extreme.

    [​IMG]

    So the Dell wins in terms of panel quality, it also doesn't seem to suffer the graininess with its anti-glare coating in comparison with the AUO unit on the Lenovo.
     
  7. lead_org

    lead_org Purveyor of Truth

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    E6420 looks so hideous....... i like the E6400 bit more, it has a more refined style. The Dell E6420 reminds me of the Alienware design, which is good for a gaming laptop but not for a business laptop.
     
  8. jazdc

    jazdc Notebook Consultant

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    Ironically, looking at these pictures I find myself turning my screen back and forth in all directions, trying to find the optimal viewing angle for seeing the "true" difference between the two photos. ;)
     
  9. PatchySan

    PatchySan Om Noms Kit Kat

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    In terms of design I agree that the E6420 looks a bit out of place with the T420. The width of the E6420 is almost as large as my 15.4" R61e which is quite something for a 14" notebook. Personally I liked the E6410 and looks a more natural competitor in design to the T420.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Ha ha, yes i'm struggling to make out with my T420 panel at this moment! ;) But thankfully I have a desktop computer and monitor next to me to sort out the pictures and the differences in colour does show.

    QA Session
    The Windows Installer doesn't exactly prompt you to put the Intel RST driver in, its up to you really to load it up. But to do so, on the window where you set up your disk drive partition there is a button called "Load Driver". Click on it and it will ask you to locate a source for the drivers, with the USB stick in with all your drivers just point it to the directory and Windows should take care the rest for you. Afterwards you can install Windows 7 like normal, I prefer this method so I don't need to install the RST software on top afterwards for the same driver.

    You can try and adjust the screen with the calibration software provided by Windows if it helps (type "Cali..." in the search box and it should come up). Though it doesn't hide the fact that the CCFL tube had past its prime unfortunately. :(

    Yes, all my ThinkPads are bought from the UK and I have used my T61 for quite some time so my eyes must have degraded for the screen to become acceptable!

    You guessed right, Sanae Kochiya from Touhou. Though it does take me a while to think of a codename for my notebooks, I gone over 4-5 before plumping for this one!

    The E6420 with 6 cell battery (my friend wanted a flush finish) is 2.472kg according to my scales. So yes I can imagine the E6420 with 9 cell battery is a slightly heavy notebook, much more heavier than the T420 with similar combination.
     
  10. bmastenbrook

    bmastenbrook Notebook Enthusiast

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    Interesting. I've got a hypothesis about the "griddiness" effect. Can you set a solid color background and see if you still observe it?

    I think it's the dithering used to simulate 8-bit color on a 6-bit display.
     
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