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Lenovo Launches Six New ThinkPad Notebooks

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 18 comments

Lenovo today updated its ThinkPad series giving the laptop line a sleek new look and Intel’s latest Sandy Bridge chips.

Though the last couple of weeks have been more LePad than ThinkPad, Lenovo has shaken things up this morning with the launch of the ThinkPad T, L and W notebooks. All told there’s six new notebooks, the T420s, T420, T520, L420, L520 and W520.

In the updated T series, Lenovo is promising improved boot times, along with improved battery life. While the super-slim T420s will supposedly deliver a 30 percent boost in boot times, the T420 will deliver up to 30 hours of battery with a standard 9-cell (15 hours) and an optional 9-cell slice battery. The 15.6-inch T520 is a little bulkier but packs the same power as its two smaller siblings. All boast the latest Core CPUs, (i5 and i7) and Nvidia graphics (GeForce 4200M GPU, 1GB of VRAM).

Lenovo is touting the W520 (pictured) as a mobile workstation and with options for up to the quad-core versions of Intel’s Core i-series, Fermi graphics, support for up to 32GB of DDR3 and USB 3.0, the W520 definitely lives up to that classification. It’s got a 15.6-inch display, so it’s not a behemoth, but it’s a hefty old girl with a weight of just under 6 lbs, so it’s probably for the best that this isn’t a 17-incher.

Lastly, there’s the 14-inch L420 and 15.6-inch L520. These represent the newest arrivals to the Lenovo’s entry-level business line. Both come with the new Core i-series chips and can be configured for up to 8GB of DDR3. No USB 3.0 here, but USB 2.0 out the wazoo with four ports on each.

All six machines will be available in March and pricing for the T420s, T420, T520, L420, L520 and W520 starts at approximately $1,329, $779, $909, $719, $719 and $1329, respectively.

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  • 0 Hide
    sudeshc , February 23, 2011 4:25 AM
    Typically for developers business users. all work no fun.
  • 1 Hide
    joytech22 , February 23, 2011 4:57 AM
    I could use one of these, but I say that on every article.

    Tom's, Please review 3 of them, the lowest-end version with mid-end and high-end.
    I'm on my way, looking for a laptop to replace my old 1323TX.
  • 0 Hide
    LordConrad , February 23, 2011 5:34 AM
    Do ThinkPads still have that stupid little "eraser mouse"?
  • Display all 18 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    JMcEntegart , February 23, 2011 7:43 AM
    LordConradDo ThinkPads still have that stupid little "eraser mouse"?

    A very G-rated named for something with so many crude names... But yes! Yes, they do.
  • 0 Hide
    RobinPanties , February 23, 2011 10:23 AM
    LordConradDo ThinkPads still have that stupid little "eraser mouse"?

    Look at the picture, there's a touchpad at the bottom.
  • 0 Hide
    tripplenipple1224 , February 23, 2011 10:30 AM
    30 hours of battery life? 32gb of ram? pricey
  • -1 Hide
    belardo , February 23, 2011 11:20 AM
    There is something wrong with "15 and 30" hours of battery life. I seriously don't think so. They are typically about 3~5 hours.

    Well CRAP...!! Lenovo has degraded the T4xx with its "NEW 16:9" screen! (Lots of cursing) Hate the 16:9 on notebooks, its not needed and it looks ODD on the 14" ThinkPad T420. The bezel area has tons of bare plastic, it looks like crap. I was looking forward to buying a T420 to replace my older ThinkPad.

    With the current T410/510... the 14" screen is JUST as high as the 15.6" screen. You get a notebook that is more than an inch narrower, a bit thinner and without the 16x9 - yet still wide screen.

    Typically for developers business users. all work no fun.

    Its more fun to use a notebook with a screen you can see without seeing your own reflection or the ENTIRE ROOM shining back at you. You're paying a bit more for the tougher body and excellent keyboard.

    Looking that the photos... these new models are using 2010 bodies... which are fine.
    With such WIDE speaker bezels on the side - they might as well have thrown in a numeric keypad for the 15" model.

    At least the screens are non-glossey, unlike the other 98% of the notebooks on the market.
  • -1 Hide
    hoofhearted , February 23, 2011 12:11 PM
    What is so great about these Thinkpads? I don't see these business notebooks doing anything that a nice gaming notebook by Asus or Alienware can do. What is the advantage?
  • 1 Hide
    belardo , February 23, 2011 1:11 PM
    Either use one or do some research.

    An Alienware gaming notebook doesn't belong in a business meeting doing million dollar deals.

    In terms of performance, HD, memory... its like ANY other notebook.

    ThinkPads have these features not found on any notebooks, or rare business class from HP and Dell.

    1 - non-glossy crap screen (but you lose the contrast)
    2 - A real keyboard... with excellent layout. Not the island keys thats on everyones notebooks.
    3 - crash cages for body and screen (15" models don't get it for the screen) - ie: there is a structure alloy under the plastic. (L series is weak)
    4 - liquid channels... you can pour your energy drink on the keyboard without frying the computer.
    5 - Crash cage for hard drive
    6 - LED light shines on keyboard (okay, lame)
    7 - No garbageware preinstalled.
  • 1 Hide
    funnyman06 , February 23, 2011 2:29 PM
    As a proud owner of a T61 and T410, I have to say I prefer the 16:9 widescreen, with out all of the plastic frills. Thinkpads are, hands down, some of the best built laptops in the world. I find I use the "lame" LED light alot in low light conditions. And the red cursor in the middle of the keyboard is a signature Thinkpad trait. I wont even get started on how amazing the Thinkpad keyboard is.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 23, 2011 3:16 PM
    Belardo7 - No garbageware preinstalled.

    That one should be no 1 in the list!
  • 1 Hide
    xyster , February 23, 2011 4:20 PM
    If you have to ask yourself why bother getting a Thinkpad over an Asus, you are best off not getting one. That said, some things I like about the T-series of Thinkpads include their near indestructible nature, dual-drive support, matte display, high-nit outdoor optional displays, docking station support, long battery life, external battery option, multi-touch display options, switchable discrete graphics option, very little bloatware, amazing keyboards, and the fact they all look so utterly retro.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , February 23, 2011 4:51 PM
    doctorpinkThat one should be no 1 in the list!

    first thing i do on any new notebook, is reinstall windows, its a force of habit.
    JMcEntegartA very G-rated named for something with so many crude names... But yes! Yes, they do.

    i love that mouse. i freakin HATE those touch pads with a passion. i have a mini usb mouse just because i hate them, and i have to use that mouse on the back of a freakin car seat, and STILL prefer it to a touchpad.

    now, if i had a nipple, id use that unless i have a good flat surface.

  • 0 Hide
    bhaberle , February 23, 2011 5:27 PM
    Why does Lenovo have to make such ugly looking notebooks. Sigh.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 23, 2011 8:41 PM
    Black is, they hit 8 Mil Spec ratings for:
    Low Pressure – Tests operation at 15,000 feet
    Humidity – Cycles 95 percent humidity through the environment
    Vibration (operational and non-operational)
    High Temperature – Simulates high heat conditions by baking the laptop up to 140°F
    Low Temperature – Tests operation at -4°F
    Temperature Shock – Fluctuates between -4 and up to 140°F to test operation
    Dust – Blows dust for an extended amount of time..

    So...if you want a tough system, get a Thinkpad...
  • 0 Hide
    belardo , February 24, 2011 12:54 AM
    8 - Docking stations. Does Alienware have docking stations? There are typically 3 PRO types that are available for ThinkPad. 1- USB with optional power (lame), 2- USB, power, basic connectors (DVI, PS/2), Top-end = support for dual monitor displays. eSATA, USB, ethernet, etc...

    9 - ThinkPad W series (Workstation) have NVIDIA Quadro cards which are needed by some pros. A normal or gaming notebook will not cut it.

    doctorpinkThat one should be no 1 in the list!

    When buying an HP, Dell, Gateway, etc... of course. But I only buy ThinkPads for the past 4 years... I remove a few lenovo/ThinkPad tools that are not needed, but some of them are quite good... like Network & power management exceeds Windows7.

    bhaberleWhy does Lenovo have to make such ugly looking notebooks. Sigh.

    They are not shiney. Doesn't make them ugly. Why does everyone else sell notebooks with horrible glossy screens? I think they look pretty good. Keyboard is a big seller. But Lenovo does make the ThinkPad L-Series which has a modern look with some ThinkPad features such as normal shaped keys - but not ThinkPad layout. ThinkPad Edge has very much the modern look with business style... its low end.

    Then theres the Lenovo IdeaPads, which are quite sharp looking, which HP has been taking some cues from... but with no ThinkPad features.

    ThinkPad T and W series are govt. / Military rated.
  • 0 Hide
    adamboy64 , February 24, 2011 8:32 PM
    I'm a bit of a ThinkPad, I'd have to say.
    LordConradDo ThinkPads still have that stupid little "eraser mouse"?

    I love that thing - I've always preferred it over a trackpad or whatever it's called.
  • 0 Hide
    verax , August 18, 2012 1:11 AM
    Lenovo T520 i5 owner experience: Defective hard drive, really bad mfr. attitude. Difficulty in transferring contents of old to replacement drive (refurbished, not new) resulted in $174. invoice for old drive; accounting rep refused to acknowledge the issue. Company attitude toward customer trying to deal with defective product is as important as product reputation in the long run, so think about whether you want to have to pay (more than its worth) for refurbished replacement parts and/or take a year off your life trying to win the point.