T420 Screen quality acceptable or not?

Discussion in 'Lenovo' started by ThiPaX40, Apr 16, 2011.

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  1. ThiPaX40

    ThiPaX40 Notebook Consultant

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    I wanna (finally) replace my 7 year old X40 and the 2 contenders at the moment are the T420 or the X220. Based on the option for a 1600x900 screen on the T420 I'm leaning towards the T420, the X220 would only mean a change from 1024x768 to 1366x768 and I would love some extra vertical space.

    To be honest, I was on the verge of ordering a T420, but when the first reviews came out.. mediocre screen quality for a $1500+ laptop? The poor screen quality of the T420 being my only reason not to order it,

    I would really like some honest, first hand opinions. If possible, could T420 owners compare the screen in real life usage (browser, text-editor, youtube, photo editing, watching DVD etc.) to other laptops they own(ed)?
    (I'm assuming by the way T420 and T420s screens are the same)

    Some quotes:

    "Display Colors : Though it would be manageable to watch movies with this color reproduction, the experience might not be enjoyable for visually acute users. The coverage of color spectrum is below average, making colors look far from authentic and incomparable to real life experience"

    "Contrast : This contrast can be simply described as bad. Black areas resemble a shade of dark gray, and whites look dirty"

    "Viewing Angle : Looking at the screen from the side causes color distortions"

    Source: Lenovo ThinkPad T420 NW183GEReview

    "The matte screen has m² maximum brightness of 200 cd /. The contrast is also very low. At maximum brightness, the ratio of 158:1, which is unacceptable for a device of this price range"

    Translated with Google, source: Lenovo ThinkPad T420 NW4NGGE im Test Halbwüchsiger Office-Star auf notebookjournal.de

    "I was so disheartened to see how bad the T420 display is. The viewing angles are terrible. Tilt the lid so that the bottom part of the screen is focused and the top part of the screen becomes a blurred washed out mess. Images are so washed out that they almost appear black and white"

    Source: forum.thinkpads.com • View topic - T420 display among the worst I've ever seen :-(

    "1600x900 16:9 250 nits, 300:1, fairly narrow viewing angle, particularly vertical direction. Tt seems the pixels are not very tight, sometimes look 'grid-dy'"

    Source: Lenovo Thinkpad T420s review
     
  2. warmonked

    warmonked Notebook Geek

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    hmm. Well I wish I'd seen these before I put in my order for a T420s.
     
  3. bayernjuven

    bayernjuven Notebook Consultant

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    I don't worry too much about viewing angel but am a little concerned about the gridiness...
     
  4. ComputerNewb

    ComputerNewb Notebook Consultant

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  5. ConnectDon

    ConnectDon Notebook Consultant

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    Two different users share their opinion of the T420 screen quality in the first page of this thread.

    When I ordered my 14.1 Widescreen 1440x900 T61, the number one complaint was screen quality. However, when I checked out similarly priced laptops available locally, I discovered that they had the same screen quality issues - the glossy screens just made them less noticeable. So I decided it was an acceptable risk, and the screen has worked fine for my purposes.

    Hope this helps.

    Don
     
  6. LoneWolf15

    LoneWolf15 The Chairman

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    I guess I'll find out when my T420 arrives, though estimated ship date is not until 4/26.

    When that happens, I'll be happy to compare my T400's WXGA+ display, the T420 HD+ 1600x900, and any similar Dell systems I have at work (I may have an E6410 I can locate) and let people know. It will be somewhat subjective, but I'll do what I can.

    I will say I'd rather have more screen real estate from top-to-bottom than on the sides. I think most of us business-class users would rather be able to see more of a web page or a document than be able to match movie resolutions. I wish I could still choose 16:10.
     
  7. Thors.Hammer

    Thors.Hammer Notebook Enthusiast

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    I think the 1600x900 screen on the T420s is fine. Stellar? No way. But it's a normal business class 250 nit screen. I could certainly use it as my day-to-day machine.

    It really depends on the app mix.
     
  8. 6730b

    6730b Notebook Evangelist

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    Seems many 14' could have been fiited with better screens. For the price and in these days, 'acceptable' or 'good enough' is imo not good enough, Knowing the 510\520 screens are far superior in many areas, what could be the problem in using a 14' variant of these 15' screens. Whatever the reason, had a 420 order ready to go (NW182MN) + xtra 9cell, in stock & 2 days delivery, but stopped when coming across the screen tests :( Otherwise, it looked like the perfect investment. Back to the drawing board for now.

    Some screen tests comparisions listed in http://forum.notebookreview.com/lenovo-ibm/570356-t420-t520-reviews-screen-differences.html
     
  9. jazdc

    jazdc Notebook Consultant

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    I'm in the exact same situation, replacing an X40 and wanting a higher vertical resolution (and, preferably, not too much lower physical screen height). I finally decided on the T420 (delivery next week :)), after having seen the entire new Thinkpad lineup and my old X40 next to each other at Lenovo's offices here in Stockholm.

    In short, if you're used to the X40's screen, the one of the T420 is nothing but an improvement. It's as good or better in all regards. It's also far behind a modern, bright IPS screen. But at least for me, that doesn't matter. I'm used to the X40 (and the T61, which I had at work until recently), and the T420 has a screen that is at least as good as those.

    In other words, my guess is you won't be disappointed, as long as you're not expecting a miracle.
     
  10. ThiPaX40

    ThiPaX40 Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks, just the kind of info I was hoping for. Guess like many others I'm trying to compare the T420 screen to the o so perfect (according to the reviewers) X220 IPS panel. Thanks to clever marketing I suddenly seem to need a laptop with USB3.0, IPS panel, 1TB SSD, 25 hours of battery life and 1920x1080 resolution on a 11.6" screen :D

    You are right, anything I buy now will be a big improvement over my current laptop, even if it would be a T400 or X200.

    And about expecting a miracle, well, would like to see a Dutch shop that sells a T420 at US prices..

    (Congratulations on your T420, would love some T420/X40 side by side pictures)
     
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