06-23-2011 02:41 PM - edited 07-02-2011 07:47 AM
Having had this unit for about a month now, I can tell you I'm pretty disappointed with my purchase. Everything works okay, but I had much higher expectations. If you have high expectations, then this post is for you. First of all, the screen isn't all that great. I was replacing my old IdeaPad Y430 with this unit, and in every areas I expected to see improvements in - from the quality of the screen, battery life, wireless connection speed, sound - The Y430 that I paid around $400 for two years ago performs better. The Y430 screen resolution is lower, but visibly sharper. Sound is very good. The battery lasts at least two hours longer than the T420s. I do like the thinner form factor of the T420s, and the optional camera and microphones seem to work okay. But that's about it.
If I had to do it all over again I would wait until Lenovo at least put in a better screen. I gave my wife my Y430, and I am seriously thinking at this point of switching back with her again. Still, I feel like I've overpaid to the tune of about $800 here.
By the way, I'm a huge Lenovo fan, and feel that they make the best laptops in the market. I'm not recommending you look at other brands. Just saying wait until they improve this one.
06-23-2011 02:58 PM
06-23-2011 04:09 PM
I too am very dissapointed with the quality of the T420S. My biggest issue is the poor screen and very limited viewing angle. I would not purchase another.
06-23-2011 06:01 PM
I am trying to find details about the Y420 and can't seem to find good information. The T420s is intended for a niche market of people who want T series power and features in a slim package. It is a good bit more than a comparable T420 (see below). The T4xx series is generally known for having screens that many consider barely acceptable. The T4xx screens are generally good enough for general business work. If you wanted a better screen, the X220 has IPS; the T/W520 has a 95% gamut screen. The T420s is specialized product for people who want something thin and light, but need a larger screen than the X220. It seems made for people who don't care that much about battery life as the X220 or T420 have longer battery life.
I don't know what the configuration of the Y420 is, but it looks like it shipped with the T5250 a 1.5GHz Core2Duo and 1GB of Ram. The T420s should be much faster. I would imagine like most Thinkpads the T420s has acceptable and not amazing speakers. Most office workers (target market) are not in their cubes listening to music over speakers. Likewise good speakers are useless on an airplane.
I think some of the differences you pointed out -- screen & sound are differences between a consumer focused product and a business focused product. There are also things you did not mention. How well has the Y420 held up? Does it have the durability of a Thinkpad. The T420 has a matte screen, the Y420 probably has a glossy one. Many people prefer glossy screens in ideal lighting (dark room or very soft lighting), but matte screens are much better in other lighting. Many people greatly prefer the TP keyboard and trackpoint and pay extra just for those features. The T420s has USB 3.0 something that can't just be added in at full speed/ full power with an ExpressCard. The T420s has an Expresscard port for adding in other devices. There are major differences between an Ideapad and a Thinkpad that you did not write about.
Thin and full power is expensive, remember the T420s uses a full power and full speed processor. . When I bought my T420, I considered the T420s, the X220, and T520. If I remember the price difference between similar models of the T420 and T420s was about $550 (including bay battery). For my purposes, I felt it wasn't worth it. It sounds like after the fact, you may have decided that the thinness isn't worth the tradeoff.
07-02-2011 07:46 AM
Thanks for all the comments! I made a mistake when I wrote this; I must have been fatigued. It's not a Y420 but the ideapad Y430. The build is excellent, and I've not had any problems with it. Once I got used to the glossy screen, I was okay with it. I am still having most of the same issus/concerns as written above. There is really no substantial diffeence between the two systems, and the sound is still "just" audible even after tweaking most all the settings. I do appreciate the USB3.0 which is one reason I chose this model. The screen quality I had really expected better even though it is primarily business-oriented. Today, business means so much more than just Excel. There's tons of graphics and so forth. I'm not expecting the quality of an Apple screen, but these days business people need so much more than such a basic screen. The sound issue is definitely a problem in presentations. If you sit directly near it, you can hear it, but sitting two chairs away clients can't make out anything that's coming out of them.
Y430: Core 2 Duo P8400 processor 2.26GHz; 4GB RAM, 14.1" LED glossy Screen
07-02-2011 04:41 PM
I also bought a T420s, but I don't notice any problems with the screen. The screen seems no better or worse than the one on my excellent T61 that I just replaced. The viewing angles are fine and I haven't noticed the "screen door" effect that others complain about.
On a forum, I read that there are two different screens being installed in the T420s, and one is significantly better than the other. It's possible that my T420s (ordered in late June) had the better screen, while yours has the worse one. I don't doubt that you're having screen problems, but I want to mention that, apparently, not everything has this issue.
Unfortuantely, I'm having a different issue with my T420s -- the fan makes an irritating high-pitched sound when it's running at high speed, and the fan ALWAYS runs at high speed, even if the CPU temperature drops below 35C.