Pros Good product when it works
Cons Support terrible, even with next-day, on site service plan. CTheir techs arrive with the wrong parts and leave the computer worse or with the job half done. . A next-day service guarantee should not yield an ordeal lasting weeks.
Summary Lenovo used to provide good quality and reliable service. Neither is the case now.
Pros When the T420's run they are similar to the dozens of Thinkpads I have purchased in the past; solid, rugged machines.
Cons unknown issue is causing two T420s to freeze at the splash screen. I have sent both units to depot several times, they work for a month or two then the issue re-occurs. I have begged depot to find the root cause, but they re-image and return.
Summary I have been buying the Thinkpad line for many years T40, R61, T400, T500, dozens of T410. All of then have been great. I have two T420's, both have an issue of freezing at the splash screen at boot. Depot only wants to re-image the HD and send it back. They cannot find what is causing the problem. I have one at depot now they called to get permission to re-image the HD, this will be the fourth time!!! I came to this review page looking for a new line of laptops to buy. It is very hard to leave IBM/Lenovo, I have been very patient with depot, but I cannot buy another Lenovo laptop knowing there is an issue that Lenovo can not resolve.Awful T420 update - my second T420 just did the same thing as the other, it froze at the splash screen, again! We are not running any different applications then what is on our dozens of T410s and it has happened to different users. Lenovo depot's solution is to re-image the hard drive. Lenovo, I am done!!!
Updated on Mar 30, 2012
Pros It was great for 15min until cursor went crazy. ThinkPad Support sent a postage-paid return box right away and I returned the defective ThinkPad to them for repair. ThinkPad Support speaks English well.
Cons My new factory sealed ThinkPad was defective. ThinkPad Repair does not stock the parts required to make any repairs to defective ThinkPads. Board of Directors does not care about customer down-time. If you buy one you must spend time warning others
Summary I purchased a new factory sealed ThinkPad on Tuesday. After fifteen minutes of use the touch-pad would not control the cursor. On Wednesday I called ThinkPad Support. They remotely controlled my defective ThinkPad but could not effect a repair. ThinkPad Support sent a next-day postage paid return box for my defective ThinkPad. I shipped the defective ThinkPad to them on Friday. They received the defective ThinkPad on Monday. It is now Wednesday and after not hearing from them regarding the defective ThinkPad, I called ThinkPad Support. I was informed that the replacement keyboard/pad needed to effect the repair might not arrive from their vendor for another week. And that I should expect to receive my then previously defective ThinkPad a week after that.
To say that I am extremely dissatisfied is an understatement. I would love to yell at and curse their board of directors for being unconcerned about the down-time customers suffer because ThinkPad Repair does not keep sufficient parts on hand to effect repairs of defective ThinkPads. The support staff does speak English well. That is good news for anyone who buys a defective ThinkPad. They are not, however, in a hurry to satisfy ThinkPad customers. ThinkPad buyer beware.
Pros NONE. Two months old and 4 out 7 people in my group have bad motherboards and there is a 45 day wait to replace the motherboard. Look elsewhere
Cons Two months old and 4 out 7 people in my group have bad motherboards and there is a 45 day wait to replace the motherboard. Look elsewhere
Summary Beware and look elsewhere
Within the first two months my motherboard went and Lenovo technical support has just informed me that the motherboard and parts are out and that they will not receive the needed parts until at least April 30th - 45 day wait
Pros Security, Performance, Keyboard, Screen (HD), Software Bundle, Fingerprint Scanner (Optional), Trackpoint, Durability, Battery life, Battery recharge time
Cons Weight distribution, Trackpad, Screen Latch, DVD eject button
Summary Summary on my specs:
Window 7 Home Premium
Intel Core i5 2.5 GHz
4 GB RAM
14.0 HD+ (1600 x 900) LED Backlit Anti-Glare Display
9 cell Battery
720p HD Camera
500G HD 5400 RPM
Intel Centrino Advanced-N + WiMAX 6250 (2x2 ABGN)
Cost: Approx. $1400
+ Fan is Whisper quiet at low speed and effiecient on high speed. Heat is not an issue with this machine. The ThinkVantage program suite also lets you control the fan.
+ The ThinkVantage tool suite is good and holds true to the legacy. If you don't know about ThinkVantage, look it up.
+ Battery life is of course outstanding (6 hours + with the 9 cell and more with battery stretch). Recharge time is fantastic. I haven't timed it yet, but I notice it's fast. Under an hour from 20%.
+ The screen is perfect. 15 levels of brightness ensues eye comfort outdoors and in.
- The battery is heavy and it does make picking the laptop up and handling it a little awkward.
- The trackpad stinks. It's not responsive. It's like halfway through the development they just said "f*** it". I don't use the thing.
- The latch doesn't engage most of the time when I close the screen. I have to finesse it until it clicks.
- And last but certainly not least: the DVD eject button. Some idiot or masochist placed it on the front right of the machine where you naturally place your hand to shift or pick up the laptop. If you're not paying attention to what you're doing, you could damage or break the tray with the intertia of your hand.
The machine is geared for rigorous business use and that makes it the perfect machine for my personal laptop. As far as computers go, I'm a strong believer in having more power than I need. The most intense work I do on my ThinkPad is program code in Visual Studio and debug programs in Ollydbg. I can do all that while surfing the web playing my music downloading some files with utorrent and my ThinkPad doesn't even break a sweat. I have this feeling that I never push my ThinkPad past 60% and that's the way I like it. Using my ThinkPad this way assures that I'll have minimal problems down the road and behold 6 months in, I've not had so much as a program crash on me. Window 7 isn't so bad either and works beautifully with the machine.
I did order the laptop direct online the same why I did my first ThinkPad. The build times are considerable (a month). I've had no problems with hardware whatsoever. I've never called customer service because I had no reason to. However, if the customer service is represented by the negative reviews here on Cnet, then that is extremely imprudent of Lenovo. A shame because poor customer service combined with the little engineering flaws mentioned earlier, tarnishes the ThinkPad name that was once glistening like a fine polished silver plaque.
All things considered I believe Lenovo still stands out far from other manufacturers in the $1,000+ PC market. The ThinkVatnage software bundle along with the above par engineering and good performance, still make this a worthwhile purchase.