The ThinkPad line of laptops from Lenovo has been setting the pace for rugged notebooks right since their inception, and recently, the company has widened the series into a number of sub categories with the T, Edge, X, SL, L, W notebooks and the X series tablets. The new Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E420 is more moderately priced than the other ones in the series. Let’s have a look to see if it’s worth your money.
Design and Build Quality
The Edge E420 comes in an all-black casing with a silver rim along the sides of the 14-inch screen. The customary ThinkPad logo is etched diagonally on the lid. It has a matte design and hence doesn’t attract dust or fingerprints. The insides are completely black as well and the only hint of colour you’ll find on the notebook is the red trackpoint. The design is quite sophisticated, with a strikingly clean look.
On Video: Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E420
However, the build quality was definitely a notch lower than what we expected. The build of the screen is quite poor and a slight press from the outside will show you the fragility of the chassis. The area above the DVD writer isn’t reinforced too well either. The hinges are quite sturdy, though, and there’s absolutely no vibration or wobbling. Still, it feels like the Edge E420 live up to the high quality standards that ThinkPads have always set.
Power off USB charging port on the right
Connectivity options include a VGA port, three USB ports, an eSATA cum USB port, an HDMI port and a headphone jack. There’s also the SD card reader, Express Card slot, Ethernet port and DVD writer. The USB port on the right supports charging of external peripherals even if the laptop is switched off. The notebook weighs 2 kg and it does feel quite light whilst carrying.
Keyboard has been modified
The spill-proof keyboard has been heavily modified and only the most essential keys have been included. The windows key to the right side of the space bar has been eliminated and is replaced with the print screen key. The function and control keys have been interchanged as well. The F1-F12 keys can be executed only whilst pressing the Fn key and more important keys like the volume, camera, microphone, play/pause, Wi-Fi, and brightness have replaced them by default. The keyboard is arranged in an extremely neat manner and it gets full marks for functionality.
The design is classic, but as far as build is concerned; the E420 doesn’t live up to the standards that the ThinkPad series has been setting for a long time.
The 14-incher E420
The Edge E420 comes with Intel’s Core i3 processor, which runs at a clock speed of 2.10 GHz, and has 2 GB of RAM along with a 320 GB HDD. The graphics card is an integrated one - Intel’s HD Graphics 3000, which isn’t surprising as ThinkPads have been more performance-focussed than graphics-oriented.
The other features include
ThinkVantage Utilities Toolbox
The laptop comes with an Active Protection System that protects your hard disk from drops. A fingerprint scanner has been included that will provide you with the necessary security features. The Rescue and Recovery options will protect your data with a one-button rescue solution, while the Data Disposal tool allows users to erase confidential information to make it irretrievable. The E420 doesn’t, however, come with the workstation feature.
Comes with Windows 7 Professional
The first thing we noticed about the laptop was the rather average boot-up times. The laptop took around 33 seconds to log in to Windows and that’s not exactly fast. We’re mentioning this particularly because a 30 percent reduction in boot times is mentioned as part of the features of the E420. The keyboard is of the chiclet variety and it’s quite comfortable to type on, with ample hand rest, and the same goes for the trackpad and trackpoint. It’s a welcome relief after using the glitchy trackpad of the X220. The keyboard also supports noise suppression for silent typing.
We loved the way the keys were placed on the keyboard, with easy access to the more commonly used keys. The keyboard layout is definitely optimized for those wanting easy navigation in documents, presentations and an overall quicker experience.
We’ve pitted the E420 against similar spec’d laptops and here’s a comparison chart in terms of synthetic benchmarks.
We tested the laptop’s six-cell 48 watt hour battery using Battery Eater Pro. The notebook showed battery life of 1 hour 30 minutes with all performance settings maxed out. That’s pretty average and we were expecting a tad more considering it’s a ThinkPad. Under normal usage, you’ll be able to get more than three hours on the E420.
The Edge E420 - targetting professionals
The Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E420 is priced at Rs 38,725. You can easily get a better spec’d laptop at this price, but this one does not want to beat the competition in terms of specs; it wants to beat them in terms of functionality and durability. At this price, the Edge E420 is targeted more towards SMBs and professionals wanting a laptop with all their business functionality preloaded onto it. If you’re a professional wanting the experience of a ThinkPad and you have a limited budget, then the Edge E420 is a good buy.
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