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EricG1793
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎06-02-2010
Location: New England
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L series? + L412 review

[ Edited ]

I'm looking for more information on the L series, the 412 in particular. Besides the eco-friendliness, it appears to be a slightly spec'd-up version of the SL series to replace the R series.

 

I expect that, being more expensive than the SL, Edge, and X series, that the L series build quality would be better than at least the SL series.But, it appears to use the exact same chassis (in design) as the SL series. I'm not sure if the recycled materials would make quality any worse (or  better). Also, I've read of TrackPad issues on the SL series. Have they been dealt with?

 

What makes the L series better than the SL series besides being eco-friendly and having the i3 processor to start? What makes the L series better than, say, a Dell Latitude E5400, which can be spec'd up to closely match the L412 in specs and be significantly cheaper?

lead_org
Posts: 20,905
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Registered: ‎12-19-2008
Location: Australia, Melbourne
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Re: L series?

L series is not better than the X series. X series is the ultraportable laptop, and it is the second most expensive series after the W series (depending on models and specs).

 

The E5400 is better than the L series laptop. Vostro is the comparable model for the L series.

Regards,

Jin Li

May this year, be the year of 'DO'!

I am a volunteer, and not a paid staff of Lenovo or Microsoft
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thePCxp
Posts: 60
Registered: ‎12-03-2007
Location: Santa Ana, CA
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Re: L series?

What makes the L series better than a Dell is that it's a ThinkPad. ThinkPads have better quality than its competitors. All ThinkPads have great quality so one is not better than the other. It simply comes down to the user's needs. All ThinkPads are different and they each have their own purposes to meet different user's needs. 

 

So don't worry about the quality of the L series (or any other ThinkPad for that matter), you're getting a ThinkPad! I like to think of the L series as the "new" R series, since they're both "mainstream enterprise" ThinkPads. If it meets your needs, go ahead, get an L series.

Best Regards,
Ryan Turner
Volunteer Lenovo Advocate
ThinkPads R51: 1836HAU, T41: 23737FU, 600: 264551U, T60: 2008VRQ
Lenovo C440
I Love Lenovo!
thePCxp on Twitter
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EricG1793
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎06-02-2010
Location: New England
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Re: L series?

Really? The X series appears to me to start the cheapest out of then all.  At the moment, base price, the X is the cheapest, then Edge, SL, L, T, W, and X tablet.

 

Thanks for the info! I wasn't sure if the L could compare to the Latitude or not.

 

Here are the specs I'm comparing:

 

- Core 2 Duo P8400, 2.26 GHz, 3M L2, 1066 MHz in the Latitude E5400

- Core i3 350M, 2.26 GHz, 3M L3, 1066 MHz in the L412

- Windows 7 Home Premium 32 (added to the Latitude)

- 2 GB of DDR2-800, 1 stick in the Latitude

- 2 GB of DDR3-1333, 1 stick in the Latitude

- Add webcam to L412

- Add 160 GB hard drive, 7200 RPM, to L412

- Add ^ plus free fall protection to the Latitude

- Add trackstick dual pointing to the Latitude

- Everything else default

 

I'm looking at $161 cheaper for the Latitude, which is a tad outdated (DDR2 RAM and Core 2), but the price is lower enough for that to be acceptable to me. I'm just wondering why the L series is so much more expensive.

 

The catch with the Dell is getting accidental damage protection. Add 3 years of that to both and the Latitude turns out being $13 more than the L412, so in the end, the price is close enough for me to go either way.

 

We have an IBM ThinkPad 600X (or similar) in the house, and that computer is rock-solid and still works almost perfectly. I've read that the ThinkPad quality now that Lenovo has taken them over has suffered.

 

On the other hand, we have a Latitude D600 that has been flawless (even though its build quality is the cheapest I've ever seen in a laptop) and a newer, more compact Latitude that has also been flawless and is built very well. The keyboards are glitchy on both of them, though... I type a lot, so one of the major things that's making me look at the ThinkPad is their "legendary" keyboard. I saw in the L series video that it uses a new keyboard, though... is its quality comparable to the 600X?

 

What about the screen hinges in the L series -- are they the same in the SL series, which I've read aren't very rigid, or are they like more expensive ThinkPads?

 

I was really hoping to get an R400... too bad I just missed them.

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EricG1793
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎06-02-2010
Location: New England
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Re: L series?

thePCxp, thanks for the information. I know ThinkPads have an excellent reputation for quality... I'm just a little skeptical of the newer, lower-end models.

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thePCxp
Posts: 60
Registered: ‎12-03-2007
Location: Santa Ana, CA

Re: L series?

The L series is more expensive because the quality is better. Don't listen to all of the things that they are saying about the ThinkPad quality going down. They're all lies. Those comments are comming from people who love to hate on the underdogs and brilliant minds. The quality hasn't gone down, it has gone up.

 

The L series does use a new keyboard, but it's as good as the 600X. All ThinkPad keyborads have maintained their "legendary" status. About the hinges, they are made of alloy and are just as good. It's a just different design. Again, those comments about the SL series' hinges not being rigid are coming from people who just love to hate.

 

About the pointing devices, the ones on a ThinkPad are way better than that of other brands. The ones on ThinkPads are "original" while the ones on other brands are just "copies" or "replicas". Also, with Lenovo, you get better customer service.

 

Also, I invite you to see this link: http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=87969

Best Regards,
Ryan Turner
Volunteer Lenovo Advocate
ThinkPads R51: 1836HAU, T41: 23737FU, 600: 264551U, T60: 2008VRQ
Lenovo C440
I Love Lenovo!
thePCxp on Twitter
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EricG1793
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎06-02-2010
Location: New England
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Re: L series?

Dell support, from what I've see of people I know, seems to be pretty good.

 

HP, however, was awful. They wanted me to pay for a new power cord for my DV2000Z when the cord was crackling, and it was still under extended warranty that I purchased. Eventually, they relented. But the biggest issue was the nVidia graphics card overheating (not just an HP issue), and all HP did was release a BIOS update to make the fan run constantly and slightly extend the warranty to cover a new motherboard (although, the extended warranty I purchased ended at the same time). It had gone in twice for the blank screen issue, and they stripped a couple of screws and left several missing when reassembling. I tried two refurbished motherboards, one of which failed after a week, and another was dead on arrival. I'm getting a refund, but I've now decided that, even if I could get a new motherboard for less than the $270 that HP wants, it wouldn't last and the computer is outdated, anyway, so here I am looking for a new computer from a different manufacturer that's business-grade and should last longer. I loved my DV2000 - it was very well built (far superior to this Latitude D600), very solid, good hinges, great design, performed fairly well, superior dual microphones. But the issues with the power cord and way they handled the motherboard situation did it for me. I was never notified of the warranty extension/BIOS update, and I would never have known about it until after the warranty was up, but I was browsing their support site for another issue and came across it, but didn't do anything about it since I wasn't having issues at the time.

 

I know nobody who's dealt with Lenovo service, but I'd like to assume it's good.

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thePCxp
Posts: 60
Registered: ‎12-03-2007
Location: Santa Ana, CA
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Re: L series?

I can tell you from experience that Lenovo's service is great. I've dealt with them before with my R51, and that was both before and after they acquired IBM's PC Division. My friend (who made the topic on the link that I provided on my last reply here) also agrees. I am sure that whatever ThinkPad you get will last you for a long time. If you ever drop it, nothing should happen to it (except maybe for some cosmetic damage, depending on the accident). Also, ThinkPads go through a lot of intense (military-grade) testing before they're released to the public. I recommend that you take a look at some of the Lenovo Blogs.

Best Regards,
Ryan Turner
Volunteer Lenovo Advocate
ThinkPads R51: 1836HAU, T41: 23737FU, 600: 264551U, T60: 2008VRQ
Lenovo C440
I Love Lenovo!
thePCxp on Twitter
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afty
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎01-02-2009
Location: Somerville, MA
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Re: L series?

I've also only had good experiences with Lenovo support.  My wife had a T40 from 2003-2008, and a T61 from 2008-present.  I used to be a Dell guy, but I was so impressed with her Thinkpads that I'm now using a T400 and I just ordered an L512 for my mom (which is why I'm reading this thread).  Over the years we've had to get warranty service from Lenovo a few times for things like a bad power adapter and keyboard keys popping off.  Each time Lenovo support has been excellent, sending us replacement parts quickly and with a minimum of hassle.  Phone support is also based in the U.S., which is a big plus IMO.

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EricG1793
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎06-02-2010
Location: New England
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Re: L series?

I decided to call Lenovo and Dell and ask what they offered for accidental damage protection (even though I knew the answer already, I wanted to see what their communication was like). With Dell, I was tossed around between 5 or 6 different sales reps between online chat and the phone, while being asked for account information on each one. One of the sales reps, in a foreign accent (guess from where? :smileywink:), asked me if I had any particular model in mind and I said, "Yes, the Latitude E5410", and she said, "Oooh, we've been having lots of orders for those today, it would be perfect for you!" Really? After I haven't said one word about what my needs are? I finally found out that it would be somewhere over $400 for a plan with accidental damage protection (only 1 available).

 

I called Lenovo, I asked the question to a guy who spoke English very well, and got an immediate answer for a price significantly less.

 

Later, I did an online chat with a Lenovo rep, asked her lots of questions about the L412, and decided I wanted to buy it, and she gave me her rep ID to enter when ordering so she would oversee the order. I had one more question when I went to order, and I called the number in her Email, and it went directly to her voicemail (she's U.S. Eastern and speaks perfect English).

 

So, very impressed with Lenovo's communication, I bought the L412.

 

- 2.26 GHz Core i3

- 3 GB RAM

- 160 GB, 7200 RPM hard drive (I only need about 20 at this point... by the time it fills up, solid-state drives will be cheap, right? :smileywink:)

- Windows 7 Home Premium 32

- Webcam

- 3-year onsite warranty + ThinkPad protection

 

I ordered it June 11th, and as of now, it's expected to ship on the 29th, when it was expected to ship within 9 business days when I was configuring it. Can't wait to see how this turns out....

 

Oh, and I'm pleased that they combined the L series with the R series here on the forums, not with the SL series. I guess Lenovo considers the L series to be that good.