05-11-2012 12:31 PM
My first Thinkpad (T420) is in Louisville as I type. My previous laptops were an old Toshiba Tecra (flawless, even in old age), a Gateway (failed hinges, screen, HDD), and a HP Pavilion (failed screen, overheating).
I'm transferring to university this fall as a math major, and I need 99% hardware uptime with my T420, for two years, minimum. Sending it off for warranty service is not an option. Waiting for onsite service is also unacceptable.
What are some ways to ensure uptime and to catch potential issues before they bring down the computer? Based on my previous laptops, I plan to do the following:
Do I have a good chance of getting two years of constant, uninterrupted use out of this thing? Is there anything else I can do to protect the machine?
05-11-2012 12:35 PM
05-11-2012 12:47 PM
To what are you referring? I've been reading about this machine for months and have heard nothing but good things in terms of reliability. If there are some specific issues that have been discussed on this particular forum, I would not have known to search for them.
05-11-2012 07:36 PM
the overall ratings for lenovo reliability are quite good.
i have a t420 for almost one year of nearly-constant use. no hardware issues, in and out of a backpack, docked and undocked, only sleeping when in backpack. long battery life, good balance of function for moderate-intensity computing and portability. the only problems arise when i'm bored and 'testing' something.
most of the people on this board want their computer to be 'perfect' and i'm oneof them; the t420 has a lot of design compromises to acheive this functional balance, but i havent experienced or read of much problem in reliability.
05-12-2012 12:38 AM
Maybe I can help. I bought my T420 in May last year to write my diploma thesis on it. Several problems ocurred:
1) The fan control is crap. Imagine sitting in the libary with the fan stuck at 3500 rpm. It's embarassing. This laptop is only usable with tpfancontrol.
2) When on battery it happens that my T420 switch to sleep mode, even when the battery indicator in the taskbar shows 72 % charged. This is especially "funny" when you are in the middle of typing.
3) White dots on the display, but I guess thats normal for lenovo display.
4) The keyboard labels wear off, at least on my T420. This is a rather strange phenomenon. Never heard about it in this forum or elsewhere.
05-12-2012 08:25 AM
05-12-2012 08:32 AM
@mh420, i think the problem you are having is with a T420s not a T420. These are two different machines.
@Krammer, as reliable as ThinkPad is, no one can guarantee nothing ever happens within 2 years, no laptop company can guarantee that. If they can, then warranty wouldn't be necessary.
The only thing i can think of that can guarantee 2 years of absolute uptime is multiple redundancy. I bought 2 laptops when i started Uni to make sure that if one indeed fails for whatever reason, there is always a backup to tie me over.
You'd need the extended ONSITE warranty as well for the service to be done at your place. You're still down though, parts need to be ordered once confirmed etc and return visits likely and have to be available for the visits which is usually during the day. When travelling heavily with a notebook things WILL happen this is not a TOUGHBOOK which is built to be banged around. Panasonic is extremely well know for them and the Toronto Police uses them for years now in the squad cars and the is one other manufacture I believe who makes something that is structurally very durable with cussioned HD mounts for shock etc. Maybe that is what you need and on those the plastic etc won't break, crack etc. They will be heavier but solid.
05-12-2012 08:39 AM
sorry, i have a T420 (w/o s) 4180W1H. i have to admit that the fan noise with 3500 rpm is not on the same level as the T420s fan with 4000 rpm, but its easy noticable in a silent environment,especially in a libary.
05-12-2012 08:56 AM
05-12-2012 09:40 AM
That's easy to explain: I'm also interested in a solution to this fan noise problem and so far the T420s thread is the most active one. Hopefully they come up with a fix for the T420s, which is also suitable for the T420.
If I stress gpu and cpu for more than 10 minutes, the fan gets stuck at 3500 rpm and won't spin down afterwards. I can provoke this behaviour with every bios version released by lenovo, since I've got my T420.
Regarding the keyboard labels, I'm puzzled by myself. I don't scratch the keys, when I type and I always make sure, that nothing is between display and keyboard, when I close the lid.