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Thinkpad Edge E420 owners.

Discussion in 'ThinkPad Edge, X1, X100e/X120e, & SL/L' started by thomasw333, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. thomasw333

    thomasw333 Notebook Evangelist

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    Anyone have the "regular" Thinkpad Edge E420 and want to start a thread on it. I picked up my E420 on Sunday, June 26th at Office Depot for 579.
    It has the core i5, 4gb ram, 2gb in two sticks, 500gb 7,200 hdd, bluetooth, webcam, and fingerprint reader, and matte screen.

    I was looking to but a decent gaming laptop and so was waiting for the E420S to offer the AMD graphics card. But i got tired of waiting and decided i didn't need to play Civ 5 that much. Plus if u customize the E420 with all of the upgrades like the i5 and fingerprint reader, it goes for $830 or so after tax, so i bought this for 630 with tax, I thought it was a steal.

    Having it now for over a week i can say that it is a good basic laptop, for 630 dollars i was not expecting anything crazy, but for the price this laptop delivers. First though, the weaknesses, the screen is not very bright, it does not work that well in direct sunlight, then again no laptop i have used worked that well in direct sunlight, but my girlfriends 13.3 inch macbook pro does work better than this Thinkpad in direct sun situations.
    That being said, at night or at home i think the matte screen looks better than most glossy screens, it just feels better to my eyes, the accuracy of the image seems greater than a glossy screen.

    Another weakness would be speed on startup and shutdown. I timed the system and I have to use the fingerprint reader to log in, from off to start up and fully logged in takes about 1 minute and 20 second, my gf macbook does it in 45, and my brothers 8 month old asus K does it in a minute 5.
    Also on shutdown, my Thinkpad takes 24 seconds, my gf macbook takes 10, and my brothers Asus takes 18 And my gf has the old core 2 duo macbook.

    The only other negatives would be some wonky issues this laptop has, like when i come back from sleep the system needs minute to work right, the function keys don't seem to work, maybe this is my fault and I need to give the system more than one second to wake up, but my gf macbook works as soon as you open the lid.

    Ok positives. The keyboard is awesome, it is my favorite keyboard ever. The trackpad is large to me, and while it doesn't seem to work 100% (that's part of the wonky issues) it works enough to not be a problem. The trackpoint is fun to play with i use it often and am sure to get better at it the more I use it.

    The laptop stays cool, I mean freaky cool, I am playing three rounds of League of Legends for about 2 hours and the thing never got that hot. The ability of the laptop to dissapate heat is amazing.

    The laptop feels really durable, the hinges are metal.

    The battery life is ok, I customized the battery settings, I have the screen dim every after 1 minute and have the hdd shut off after 1 minute etc. and I got nearly 6 hours out of it. No wifi, nothing fancy just word document and looking at picture, the brightness was around ten but i turned it up and down often. But I dont sit around not using wifi much, so realistically I get 4 hours out of the battery, I keep the screen brightness on 14 or 15 and i made a moderate battery setting to keep the CPU and GPU adaptive.
    I have not done any real test and have not tried to measure the battery life that well, as I am in school for 6 hours at a time I will be able to get a better battery life reading, and I will undoubtedly run some good tests at work when I am on my 11 hour shift on Friday.

    Ok in summary, the machine is good, i would give it a 9. It did not blow my mind, but I don't do much on the laptop, I am a light user, I wish my laptop was this God-like machine that turned on in 5 seconds and off in 2, so if you are looking for a power machine look elsewhere. But the battery life is good and once it is up and running it is fast.

    About the GPU, my brother has the Asus K with the old core i3 and the integrated graphics, he has to run League of Legends on low settings and barely gets 30 fps, I run League on Medium and get 80 FPS, and I can run the game on High with shadows and get 30 fps. And Civ Plays on medium also. Intel HD3000 is impressive for integrated graphics especially compared to the last gen integrated.
     
  2. k2001

    k2001 Notebook Deity

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    Great to confirm that the hinge are metal, I remember reading somewhere that say the hinge are plastic or some kind questionable material. How was the screen on the laptop, how does it compare to the mac in term of color. Does the color look wash out?
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2015
  3. boriolis

    boriolis Newbie

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    It seems like something is wrong with OS on your E420. My desktop is six years old with AMD Athlon64 3000+ processor, nvidia GeForce FX5200, 1.5 GB DDR ram and 7200 rpm SATA HDD. Still Windows 7 on it boots in 45 seconds to fully usable desktop. And it shuts down in 10 seconds.

    I am planning to buy this E420 for my Masters course. The only things that I am worried about are the keyboard and the battery run time. I am attracted towards T420 because of these two things. T420 is going to be launched here in India very soon. If the price difference isn't much ( which it seems like here ), I will be tempted to buy T420. Otherwise I have my eyes fixed on E420.
     
  4. k2001

    k2001 Notebook Deity

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    If the price difference is not that much, I would recommend you get the T420. T420 have are tougher, a thinklight, and an option for a higher resolution screen. The keyboard on the E420 is excellent I put it on par with the traditional thinkpad keyboard, the only complaint I have on the new keyboard is it is not a 7-row keyboard.

    The difference in boot spend could be the software that Lenovo bundle with and Window 7. If you are concern with bootspeed, I recommend track down the suspect that is slowing it down by follow the direction in this link.
     
  5. boriolis

    boriolis Newbie

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    I saw the pics on net. I didn't like the top row (fn keys), the arrow keys and the page up/down keys. They seem to be way too small.
     
  6. thomasw333

    thomasw333 Notebook Evangelist

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    At first the screen seems really poor and washed out, but once you use it for awhile it looks great, next to the macbook the colors look similar, the accuracy of the colors are the same, its just that the macbook pops a little more because of the glossy screen.
     
  7. thomasw333

    thomasw333 Notebook Evangelist

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    The keyboard is the best I have ever used. The normal battery life is going to be 4 to 5 hours, closer to 4 hours. I bought this Thinkpad for school also, start MBA in January. The T420 might be amazing, but I don't like buyying things i can't see in person.
     
  8. boriolis

    boriolis Newbie

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    I am happy to hear this. Most probably, I will go for this one and save some money. :)
     
  9. kirayamato26

    kirayamato26 Notebook Deity

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    First off, thank you very much for taking your time with the review.

    I'm going to comment mainly on battery life. 4 ~ 5 hours on battery sounds slightly disappointing. That means that with the 9 cell battery it is going to be 6 ~ 7.5 hrs (roughly). Especially considering that my W520 can last me around 8.5hrs surfing the web (no Flash) using the WLAN on 9/15 brightness and a Balanced profile, and that normal desktop use (a mix of YouTube, 720p local videos, 1080p local videos, WLAN surfing, and some other minor things like word processing and music) nets around 7hrs.

    May I ask you what you do on battery? My friend wants a near ThinkPad quality laptop without paying the ThinkPad premium (around maybe $700) and would like to have a long battery life, so I was considering recommending the Edge series to him.
     
  10. thomasw333

    thomasw333 Notebook Evangelist

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    I wouldn't take my battery life figures too literally. Right now I am not in school so I have no reason to try and get good battery life. I would say that at about half brightness and having the battery settings at "Max Battery" and surfing the net, that is with flash and with a little youtube, you can, and I have gotten 6 hours battery. But i custom my max battery settings, I have it blank the screen after one minute of no use, I stop the HDD after 30 seconds of no use.

    The 6 cell battery is 48whr, the 9 cell is 96 or so, so that is double that actual capacity, so it should in theory get double the battery life, but it never does, I think if I get the 9 cell battery, I can easily get 9 hours out of it. Now if you have the battery settings on max performance, and are on the net with the screen at full brightness, I have been getting a little more than 4 hours. I set the system to balanced and I get almost 5.

    But again, I have not been trying that hard to monitor exact times, or to get an accurate reading, so this is all approximate. One day soon I will run some real tests, making sure to note down actual times.
     
  11. kirayamato26

    kirayamato26 Notebook Deity

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    I see, thank you very much. That sounds like it should be enough for school with a 9 cell. There aren't any power outlets available for student use in the lecture halls at the university that my friend and I will attend, so we need like 6 ~ 7hrs at least on battery for safe measure + playing around during breaks (and to think that we are in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department... kind of ironic that we don't get outlets).
     
  12. rparker

    rparker Newbie

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    Thomas,

    I have basically the same machine except for the fingerprint reader. Mine is the new i5 processor... not sure on yours.

    Your startup time seems odd. I haven't timed it, but mine starts pretty quickly-- I would guess 30-45 seconds. Wake from sleep at about 10-15 seconds.

    By the way, I second your thoughts on the screen. It is a little washed out and not bright, but I got used to it.

    I am in the process of putting an SSD into it. That is the reason I opted for the cheaper edge instead of a T. Since I got my first SSD, I swore I would never use a platter drive again.
     
  13. thomasw333

    thomasw333 Notebook Evangelist

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    My 90 second start-up time is like this,

    The laptop is completely off, I press the power button, I log in with the finger print reader and I look at the taskbar and do not stop the clock until I see that the computer has loaded some programs, like the autolock, and AVG, and that the battery bar has loaded.

    I do have the i5, if i were to just stop the watch when the desktop pops up, then it would about 70 second start-up.
     
  14. Ilinsor

    Ilinsor Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hey guys, looking at getting an E420 myself. A few questions:

    1) thomasw333, you got a heck of a deal! Did you have any coupons or other discounts to get it so cheap? The 11419BU is the only i5 version of the E420 listed pre-built, but I can't find it under $750.

    2) Assuming I can't get the i5 version at a reasonable price, I'll likely get the 114157U (all the bells and whistles with an i3). How easy would it be to upgrade the processor to the i5 later on if I just bought the CPU off newegg or similar? Is it easy to access the socket?

    3) You mention metal hinges, but a previous poster in another thread was explicitly annoyed that his E420 came with plastic hinges. I'm wondering if this is a new thing only on the i5 model. Odd question, but are your hinges silver or black? I've seen both in the promo pictures on lenovo's site, and I think only the silver ones are metal.

    Thanks guys!
     
  15. thomasw333

    thomasw333 Notebook Evangelist

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    I got my Thinkpad at Office Depot, I walked in on Sunday two weeks ago, they had just gotten two in that week, one was on display, I bought the other one. It was on sale there for 579, I didn't have any coupons or discounts that was just the price.

    I have taken off the access cover to see the ram and HDD, to fully take apart the laptop seems difficult, I cannot see the mobo from the access cover, I would not try to upgrade the processor, I would just bite the bullet and get the i5 from day one, it seems to me to be a much better processor than the i5.

    The hinges are black, or should i say they are silver and painted black, i know because my laptop had one imperfection, on the left hinge, there is a little knick in the paint and you can see the silver underneath. These hinges are metal, if they are not then why do they stay cold like metal, and why are they so hard like metal and have no flex like plastic.
     
  16. Ilinsor

    Ilinsor Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the reply. I found the deal at Office Depot and it does indeed look appealing. It's model 1141A24, which isn't on Lenovo's spec sheets. Essentially the difference between it and the 114157U is the primer has an i5 2410 as opposed to an i3 2310 but no bluetooth, and win 7 home premium instead of win 7 pro. Both are the same price.

    I think I can deal without bluetooth, but I definitely need the win 7 pro. I guess that's easier to upgrade than the processor. :)

    Edit: Just placed my online order, $578 with with tax ain't bad, plus shop discover nets 5% ($28.90) cash-back, woohoo. Thanks for the tip man, glad I checked your post!

    Edit 2: BTW, is the 500GB drive 5400 or 7200 RPM? And is the wireless Intel Centrino 1000 Wireless-N or Thinkpad bgn? The specs at Office Depot don't say, and Lenovo clearly doesn't list this model. :)
     
  17. thomasw333

    thomasw333 Notebook Evangelist

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    My hdd is 7200 rpm, the wireless is intel
     
  18. Ilinsor

    Ilinsor Notebook Enthusiast

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    Nice, thx Thomas. I got 8GB (4GBx2) of GSkill ram off of Newegg, I'll report back after the install.
     
  19. thomasw333

    thomasw333 Notebook Evangelist

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    Well, it sucks to like 14 inch laptops, 15.6 just come with so much better options. My brother just picked up today (I mean I picked it for him) an HP dv6 with the new AMD A8, and the combo 6620 an d 6750 graphics card for 700 at Best buy, its at least dbl the power of the HD3000. And the AMD switching software seems to work fine to me, he is playing League of Legends on Very High with 30 fps
     
  20. thomasw333

    thomasw333 Notebook Evangelist

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    Here is something that doesn't make sense, the screen brightness goes from 0 to 15. But 2 is the darkest setting, then it gets brighter until 15 which is the brightest. But 1 is brighter than 2, and 0 is brighter than 1. Anyone know why?
     

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