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Ultrathin ThinkPad squeezes in Sandy Bridge chip

Lenovo's T420s is the first laptop from a top-tier PC maker to use Intel's newest Sandy Bridge chip in an ultraslim design.

Presaging laptops to come from Apple and Dell, Lenovo announced an ultrathin ThinkPad today that houses Intel's newest Sandy Bridge chip.

The 14-inch Lenovo ThinkPad T420s is only 0.83 inches thick but integrates an optical drive and packs a Sandy Bridge processor. It is also offered with an option for Nvidia graphics.
The 14-inch Lenovo ThinkPad T420s is only 0.83 inches thick but integrates an optical drive and packs a Sandy Bridge processor. It is also offered with an option for Nvidia graphics. Lenovo

The 14-inch Lenovo T420s is svelte for a 14-inch business laptop at 0.83-inches thick--reminiscent of the ultrathin X300 and X301. It weighs in at 3.94 pounds with a six-cell battery. Battery life can be extended up to 10 hours by adding an additional battery that goes into the optical drive bay, Ross Compton, a market manager at Lenovo's ThinkPad laptop group, told CNET today.

"We're getting 30 percent better battery life when users are watching video, listening to music, and browsing the Web," Compton said. "So, for instance when somebody's watching a movie. We've come up with technology to reduce the power draw on the e-SATA port or SD (Secure Digital) card, or different places on the system board [where power isn't needed]."

Lenovo has also out-turboed Intel's standard Turbo Boost 2.0 technology, which throttles the processor speed up and down, according to performance and power savings needs, respectively. "With Lenovo's Turbo Boost+ we enable our system to boost longer, allowing [users] to be more productive," Compton said, adding that Lenovo has integrated dual exhaust pipes and dual vents on opposing corners of the notebook to reduce heat.

The T420s starts at $1,329 and is expected to ship at the end of March, Compton said.