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llambda
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎06-25-2011
Location: SF
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Difference between T420 and T420s?

Why the big difference in price? I just custom-built a T420 on the Lenovo website with exactly the same specs (as far as it told me) as the T420s, and it came out a few hundred dollars cheaper. Am I missing out on some hidden awesomeness your website isn't telling me about? Why is the "S" worth 300-400 dollars?

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hkmix
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎06-25-2011
Location: Toronto

Re: Difference between T420 and T420s?

[ Edited ]

The "s" suffix seems indicative that the notebook would be slimmer, although you will lose a few ports and customization options here and there.

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llambda
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎06-25-2011
Location: SF
0

Re: Difference between T420 and T420s?

Thanks for the response. So you're paying less for an extra half inch and half pound? Do you know off the top of your head which ports you gain with the "s" model?

Punch Card
ferganer
Posts: 46
Registered: ‎05-26-2011
Location: usa
0

Re: Difference between T420 and T420s?

[ Edited ]

AFAIK you also get USB 3.0 with the T420s (certain configurations) and better sound.

nibs
Posts: 879
Topics: 43
Kudos: 143
Solutions: 39
Registered: ‎06-03-2011
Location: Portland, OR
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Re: Difference between T420 and T420s?

[ Edited ]

The s gets you a USB 3 port. You could get a USB 3 Expresscard for the T420 but its kind of an ugly hack as they need to be powered by a usb port and you probably won't be able to achieve full USB 3 speeds. Other than an external harddrive, which would run at a good speed over eSATA (but only SATA II speeds) or high end video editing equipment there is not that much USB 3 kit out there.

 

The s can add a three-cell bay battery (not available on the T420), some people like this because it keeps everything thin and compact. However the T420 can use a 9 cell and a slice battery.

 

The s uses thin HDD, SSD, and Optical drives. That limits your choices for upgrading the HDD/ SDD later. The normal T420 uses normal height HDD/ SSD. However, the bay on the normal T420 is taller than the bay caddy Lenovo sells, so if you do want to put in a second HDD/ SSD you probably will want to buy one aftermarket or you'll have a gap. Search the forums for more.

 

Some people regret purchasing the s after the fact. Some s models have thermal issues. Examples: New Lenovo ThinkPad T420s = HUGE letdown;  If you're thinking of buying the T420s, you should reconsider.

 

My advice is that unless you need one of the unique features of the T420s (USB 3.0, thin, lower weight, bay battery) the T420 is probably the machine for you. If you do need lower weight and thin, you may want to look at the X220 ( btw you can get USB 3.0 on the X220 as an option). 


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My TPs: Twist 2HU: i5-3317U Win 8 Pro, 4GB RAM 250GB Samsung 840 | T420 4177CTO: i5-2520M, HD+, Win 7 Pro x64, 8GB RAM, Optimus, 160GB Intel 320 SSD, Intel 6300 WiFi, BT 3.0 | T400 2764CTO: P8700, WXGA, Win 7 Ult x64, AMD 3470, 8GB RAM, 64GB Samsung SSD, BT, Intel 5300 WiFi | A20m 14.1" PIII 500 (retired). Monitors: 2x Dell U2211h IPS 100% sRGB calibrated w/ Spyder3.
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ggeinec
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎05-17-2009
Location: USA
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Re: Difference between T420 and T420s?

"My TPs: T420 4177CTO: i5-2520M, 1600x900 HD+, 8GB, 160GB Intel 320 SSD, 4200M Optimus 1GB, Intel 6300 WiFi, BT 3.0, Win 7 Pro x64"

 

Nibs - Does the 1600x900 display upgrade on your T420 show the screendoor effect that some see on the 1600x900 display on the T420s? If you could do it over, would you configure your T420 differently?

 

Thanks!

802.11n
Ideasmiths
Posts: 304
Registered: ‎02-20-2008
Location: Bedok, Singapore
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Re: Difference between T420 and T420s?

Weight and battery power, that's the 2 biggest consideration when I choosed between Txxx and Txxxs, I have tried most of the models.

 

Txxx is typically 2.2kg and s is around 1.84kg   (standard configuration).

 

Txxx you can plug in a bigger size battery (lets say 9 cells) and get around 4.5 hours of useful work, typical business ususage. Txxxs max is 6 cells and get 3 to 3.5hour.

 

The reason I choosed s is because I needed the lightest 14 inch to travel and work. Due to age, I used to have X series like X60, X61 but the eyes just can't stand the small screen. I also tried X300 and X301 which has 13.3" and 1.54kg. Finally I settled down on 14 inch laptops.

nibs
Posts: 879
Topics: 43
Kudos: 143
Solutions: 39
Registered: ‎06-03-2011
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Difference between T420 and T420s?

GGeinc

 

"Does the 1600x900 display upgrade on your T420 show the screendoor effect that some see on the 1600x900 display on the T420s?"

 

I do not have the screen door effect on my T420, nor does my friend with a T420s have it. I wanted the higher resolution screen to put documents side by side. I feel that the screen door is a matter of chance. I know some people were attempting to have them replaced under warranty, so you may want to look in those threads ask them how that went. There are many people that are unhappy with colors of the screen in general. From the factory, I feel that it is too blue and cold like many LED screens I have seen. I feel after calibrating, it is usable for a laptop. I hope they start making IPS screens an option on the T4xx soon, as I've been spoiled by the IPS on my monitors in my home office.

 

" If you could do it over, would you configure your T420 differently?"

 

I'm very happy with my configuration. I was between an x220t, the T420, T420s, and W520. I almost went with the x220t, but decided against it because I wanted a higher screen resolution and the cost of Think Plus warranty was a few hundred extra dollars because people break the screens more often on those models. I didn't see the point of spending the extra $ on the T420s when I could put that towards an SSD. I came very close to purchasing the W520. The high gamut screen upgrade, quadcore, and capacity for 16GB of RAM was very tempting. However, the price was higher, and I purchased an second external monitor instead.

 

I'm happy with the dual core, and I don't know if a quad core would be that useful in my usage pattern. I went with the i5-2520M for turbo and full virtualization support (the i5-2430M lacks the virtualization support, the i3-2350 lacks both). I can't imagine having a machine without at least 8GB of RAM and an SSD. I purchased my second stick of RAM and the SSD aftermarket. I use the original HDD as a backup in a USB 3.0 enclosure with a USB ExpressCard/34 that I purchased. I love my 9 cell battery and see 6-8 hours of use with brightness turned down, using the machine for typing into documents. I use Optimus all the time because I have a dual monitor setup. Optimus allows me to use both monitors and keep the internal display on. I have a reference document in the left monitor, the document I am typing in on the right monitor, and e-mail and Pandora or another music player on the internal display.

 

Windows uses lots of disk space, so I feel it is important to have a larger SSD if you have lots of RAM. (When you have 8GB of RAM, Windows reserves 6 GB of disk space to hibernate and about another 12GB for the swap file. You don't want to disable swap because of the way windows works. So that is 18GB of disk space used in addition to the close to 6GB of the Windows install, for a total of about 24GB of drive space used.)

 


------------------------------------------
When asking for help, post your question in the forum. Remember to include your system type, model number and OS. Do not post your serial number.

Did someone help you today? Press the star on the left to thank them with a Kudo!

If you find a post helpful and it answers your question, please mark it as an "Accepted Solution"! This will help others with the same question in the future.

My TPs: Twist 2HU: i5-3317U Win 8 Pro, 4GB RAM 250GB Samsung 840 | T420 4177CTO: i5-2520M, HD+, Win 7 Pro x64, 8GB RAM, Optimus, 160GB Intel 320 SSD, Intel 6300 WiFi, BT 3.0 | T400 2764CTO: P8700, WXGA, Win 7 Ult x64, AMD 3470, 8GB RAM, 64GB Samsung SSD, BT, Intel 5300 WiFi | A20m 14.1" PIII 500 (retired). Monitors: 2x Dell U2211h IPS 100% sRGB calibrated w/ Spyder3.
802.11n
JNavas
Posts: 563
Registered: ‎08-07-2010
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
0

Re: Difference between T420 and T420s?

[ Edited ]

nibs wrote:

[1] The s gets you a USB 3 port. You could get a USB 3 Expresscard for the T420 but its kind of an ugly hack as they need to be powered by a usb port and you probably won't be able to achieve full USB 3 speeds. Other than an external harddrive, which would run at a good speed over eSATA (but only SATA II speeds) or high end video editing equipment there is not that much USB 3 kit out there.

...

[2] Some people regret purchasing the s after the fact. Some s models have thermal issues. Examples: New Lenovo ThinkPad T420s = HUGE letdown;  If you're thinking of buying the T420s, you should reconsider.

[3] My advice is that unless you need one of the unique features of the T420s (USB 3.0, thin, lower weight, bay battery) the T420 is probably the machine for you. If you do need lower weight and thin, you may want to look at the X220 ( btw you can get USB 3.0 on the X220 as an option). 


1.a USB 3.0 flash drives can be far faster than USB 2.0, notably the Patriot Supersonic Magnum.

1.b Flush ExpressCard USB 3.0 adapters are available with sufficient power for an external 2.5" HDD.

2. Take those threads with a grain of salt -- machines weren't configured properly.

3. The X220 is an excellent machine in many ways, but display resolution is only 1366x768.


nibs wrote:
... I purchased my second stick of RAM and the SSD aftermarket. I use the original HDD as a backup in a USB 3.0 enclosure with a USB ExpressCard/34 that I purchased. ...

Windows uses lots of disk space, so I feel it is important to have a larger SSD if you have lots of RAM. (When you have 8GB of RAM, Windows reserves 6 GB of disk space to hibernate and about another 12GB for the swap file. You don't want to disable swap because of the way windows works. So that is 18GB of disk space used in addition to the close to 6GB of the Windows install, for a total of about 24GB of drive space used.)


A good alternative to that is mSATA SSD in the Full PCIe slot (unless you need internal WWAN).

Put Windows and programs on mSATA SSD and data on internal HDD, ideally 7200 RPM.

The hibernation file has to be on the SSD, but the paging file can be on the HDD.

This gives you most of the benefits of SSD with the capacity of HDD at much lower cost.

Hope that helps,
John
ThinkPad T420s [ i5-2540M CPU | 8GB RAM | 1TB SSD | Bay Battery | BT | Webcam | FR | Win7Pro64 ]
Guru
ColonelONeill
Posts: 6,348
Registered: ‎12-26-2009
Location: Toronto
0

Re: Difference between T420 and T420s?

I'd say you should get more than 4.5 hours on a 9-cell in the T420 >.>

Too bad they're not ExpressCard 54's anymore on the T's (X220 is still 54, dunno why); those could accommodate 2 USB ports flush.
W520: i7-2720QM, Q2000M at 1080/700/1400, 22GB RAM, 500GB HDD, FHD screen
TPT1: 1839-23U, stock ICS
X61T: L7500, 3GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase