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T420 vs. T420s (Is Less Weight Worth It?)

Discussion in 'Lenovo' started by Electric Wolf, Jun 16, 2011.

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  1. Electric Wolf

    Electric Wolf Notebook Guru

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    Right now Lenovo has a 25% off coupon + 8% cashback, but it ends on the 17th. I am having a really hard time choosing between the T420 and the T420s. I will be going to university for mechancial engineering, so my main concerns are portabilty (which the T420s has), battery life (which the T420 has), and graphics power for AutoCAD (which both can have with the NVS 4200M).

    It seems the main difference between the two laptops is that the T420s comes with an Intel Core i7-2620M processor instead of a i5-2540M, and it is about a pound lighter. The T420 is roughly $200 cheaper, so I would use this to buy an SSD. My question is, is the T420 that heavy? If you put it in a backpack with a couple textbooks, would you actually benefit from the T420s' lower weight?

    This seems to be the decision maker. If weight does not seem like an issue, I will go with the T420.
     
  2. Isaac-1

    Isaac-1 Notebook Guru

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    Don't forget the T420s has USB 3 and the T420 has USB 2, I just ordered a T420s and had many of the same debates, but it came down to I wanted the lighter one, and if I need to add more battery life I can invest in more batteries, I already ordered a an ultra-bay battery pack to help out.
     
  3. Kaso

    Kaso Notebook Virtuoso

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    The i7-2620M is dual-core and is not a significant step up from the i5-2540M. You'd rather save the upgrade money here to put into extra RAM or an SSD.

    Good thinking!

    The T420 is not that heavy. The difference in weight between a T420 and a T420s is insignificant in the context of a backpack with school stuff.

    You could get a 9-cell battery (which is not applicable to the T420s) and use the Ultrabay for a second HDD in lieu of the optical drive, or remove the optical drive completely. With the T420s, though, you have to add a second battery in the Ultrabay to the main 6-cell (but weaker than the T420 6-cell battery) if you want to manage the battery situation sufficiently.

    I'd recommend you go with the T420. I use one, and it does not feel thicker and heavier than a T420s.

    Oh, and remember to select the HD+ 1600x900 display option.
     
  4. sklsy

    sklsy Notebook Guru

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    Ha, That's exactly what my situation is.
    Going to study in Computer Science and have no idea which to get, t420 or t420s

    Does the "s" look thinner on the desk?

    Edward
     
  5. Tsunade_Hime

    Tsunade_Hime such bacon. wow Super Moderator

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    Also consider T420s will be harder to find parts for down the line, T420s has a significantly weaker battery (44 WHr vs 55 WHr) and with the T420s you are forced to use 7mm 2.5" drives (harder to find). Also there is quite a premium on the T420s vs the base T420.
     
  6. MidnightSun

    MidnightSun Emodicon Super Moderator

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    Yep, the battery life alone makes the T420 a much more attractive package to me than the T420s--the T420 supports a 9-cell battery, while the T420s tops out at a 6-cell (which already has less capacity than the T420's 6-cell). If weight is a huge consideration, the X220 would be a much better choice. If it's not crucial, then the difference between the T420 and T420s' weight likely won't be too significant either.
     
  7. Tsunade_Hime

    Tsunade_Hime such bacon. wow Super Moderator

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    Well the main and only real downfall of the x220 is the limited vertical real estate (I don't want to be ruining my eyes by squinting at a 12.5" doing coding). At least with the T420 you get an option of 1600x900. But if you can live with WXGA IPS vs HD+ TN panel on a 14", all up to you.
     
  8. lead_org

    lead_org Purveyor of Truth

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    X220 doesn't have WXGA resolution, it has HD resolution.

    The Intel HD 3000 GPU are quite adept at AutoCAD work, so if you only use AutoCAD and not Solidworks, then you could consider the new Intel integrated GPU.
     
  9. jjahshik32

    jjahshik32 Notebook Deity

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    I think whichever one you get you'll be very satisfied. I have the T420 and I already think its light, I'm sure the T420s will be even better with its weight.
     
  10. Electric Wolf

    Electric Wolf Notebook Guru

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    Thanks for all the replies! I think I'll go with the T420. I have one more question though: how does the 9 cell compare to the 6 cell battery? I'm wondering if having it stick out of the back an inch is an annoyance.
     
  11. zul

    zul Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi, I always see some people with their t420 and 9 cell batt. Actually it is not awkward and you could use it as a handle.

    Text books also not really add weight to your backpack. Not very often people move around with more than 1 text book. ;)
     
  12. bogatyr

    bogatyr Notebook Evangelist

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    In theory, yes. In reality, no. I've gone from an X201T to a W520 to a T420s, they're all noticeably different when carrying them in my backpack. Also it isn't just the weight but also the size that makes a difference - how it meshes with everything else even though it's in a separate compartment.
     
  13. Kaso

    Kaso Notebook Virtuoso

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    ^^^ You haven't tried a T420 and a T420s. :) I've tried both in reality. Oh yes, there is a huge difference between a W520 and a T420 as you mentioned.
     
  14. bogatyr

    bogatyr Notebook Evangelist

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    I have tried a T420 as well, just not as my everyday laptop. I deploy X, T and W series laptops everyday at work. My day to day use ones however, are the ones I listed and my personal one is on order that is a T420s.

    And as I said, size matters in the backpack as well - bulk makes a big difference in addition to weight.
     
  15. LoneWolf15

    LoneWolf15 The Chairman

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    This only applies if you're a geek, but I think the T420s' CPU is soldered to the mainboard too, correct?

    I like knowing I could upgrade my processor in a few years if the prices drop (something I did with my T400). I'm very happy with my T420.
     
  16. BigRain

    BigRain Notebook Enthusiast

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    If you dont' mind, where did you find the 25% off + 8% cashback deal from? I'm interested in getting a T420s also.
     
  17. Shamoke

    Shamoke Notebook Consultant

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    t420s looks sweet but i went with the t420 because im tight on cash

    ive been used to carrying a t61 w/ 9 cell, t420 being slightly lighter im ok with
     
  18. vinuneuro

    vinuneuro Notebook Virtuoso

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    The weight difference isn't so noticeable, but the thickness is. It's something that doesn't come through in pics, but that fraction of an inch difference between the T420s and T420 is stunning when you handle them both. If 5-5.5hrs battery life is enough for you on light usage (much more with the ultrabay battery), I'd definitely go for the T420s. If that isn't enough, then the decision to get the T420 should be a very straightforward one.
     
  19. Electric Wolf

    Electric Wolf Notebook Guru

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    Redflagdeals.com

    You have to order from Lenovo Canada for it to work. And it ends tomorrow, so if you can get it, order soon.
     
  20. maxbender

    maxbender Newbie

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    The T420s is very light and portable. A pound is a big difference if you are officing out of a bag like I do. Also, I think battery life is over blown for most users in my opinion. I for one am always near a power source most of the time. I will take a smaller battery any day versus the weight (which is a lot) difference. Of course, depends on the user. Couldn't really comment on upgrades. Not sure what hard to find means but I find it more economically efficient to just replace the laptop every couple of years anyway - then everything gets upgraded!
     
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