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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:02 pm 
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My wife owns X301 and want to upgrade.

I've compared two models:
T420s (4171-6JU) and X1 (1293-2DU)

The X1 looks pale compared to the T420s.
True they have a bit of different dimensions, but the weight is the same!!!

T420s (4171-6JU) - 3.68lb (1.67kg) with 6 cell.
X1 (1293-2DU) - 3.73lb (1.69kg) with integrated 6 cell.

It's amazing, The T420s weight even a bit less, even though it has a bigger screen, higher resolution, dedicated GPU NVIDIA NVS 4200M (1Gb) AND last but not least a DVD-RW !

So I am really shocked, the this T420s optimus model seem to be a powerful computer loaded with features, yet still weight same or less than the X1.

And this T420s sells for about $1800 while the X1 for about $2400. Only difference is the X1 comes with 8gb RAM and the T420s initially with 4Gb, but no big deal will just but another 4Gb Dimm and would still be cheaper. The screen of the X1 is also brighter 350nits vs. 250nits of the T420s. But that's just about it to the benefits of the X1 as fas as I can tell.

So what's the point being a slim computer (the X1) with the weight same as the feature laden T420s? Besides the T420s has a matte antiglare screen and not that super reflective gorilla glass that the X1 has.

Maybe I am missing something, I would love to hear what you guys think. Need to upgrade wife's computer soon (and my X200s too :) )


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:06 pm 
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I'm with you on this one. I think I would rather have the T420s, but I guess the X1 is...well...newer. Oh! And thinner ("the thinnest ThinkPad ever"). Thin is sexy and the "now" thing. So, new/thinner is better...right? Not always!

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:57 pm 
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ComputerMinder wrote:
T420s (4171-6JU) - 3.68lb (1.67kg) with 6 cell.


That's the starting weight of the T420s, meaning with the optical drive removed.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:02 pm 
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When comparing weight, you compare mostly batteries. What is the difference in battery life between both models is important.

The T420s uses a much smaller 6 cell battery than the T420. Because of this, the smaller battery does not hold as long as the bigger one.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:47 pm 
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I'm pretty sure the price of the x1 where you are (athens?) is incredibly inflated. In the US, when I spec a T420s and X1 as close as possible (i5-2520/4gb 1 dimm/320gb hdd/no bluetooth/Win7home/with webcam) the T420s costs $1499 USD and the X1 costs $1304 USD. Also the T420s extended warranties (say what you will, i make good use of them) are incredibly expensive compared to the X1. I guess they do not expect as many warranty claims on the X1 because of increased sturdiness as compared to the T42X series.

I've also heard pretty bad things about the T420s screen even though it has a high resolution (poor color reproduction, bad viewing angles, screen door effect, etc). I cannot find any good X1 reviews to compare on this though; everyone just says the screen resolution is less without telling about other monitor factors. I suspect not many people have one to comment on less tangible things than reported numbers (resolution, brightness, etc). Anybody have one?


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:49 am 
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pianowizard wrote:
That's the starting weight of the T420s, meaning with the optical drive removed.


Actually I compared the specified weight WITH the optical drive. Unless Lenovo is trying to fool people that is.

Because on June Tabook The ThinkPad T420s 4171-6JU has it's own page. And it only takes common sense to assume that these specs only refer to the only model on its page. For example, since this model has discrete graphic it is stated in the Graphics section not as an optional kind of thing.

On that page it says the weight is 3.68lb (1.67kg) and that model comes with the optical drive in the machine. Further, I have checked retailers such as CDW and this exact model with its configuration is rated at 3.7lbs (you can check it out here : http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/Lenovo-ThinkPad-T420s-4171-Core-i7-2620M-2.7-GHz-14in-TFT/2416668.aspx

So one would assume that the model he is buying is 3.7lb, not "starting from". Otherwise this is seriously misleading the customer, even more than the tabook which one may argue is not clear, the specs on cdw as well as other websites is very clear.

Thought even if this 3.7lb is without the optical drive, it is still same weight as the X1 so still a good thing.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:15 am 
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ComputerMinder wrote:
On that page it says the weight is 3.68lb (1.67kg) and that model comes with the optical drive


The Tabook does say "starting at 3.68 lb", which, from my experience, always means the weight of the laptop with the optical drive removed. In fact, several configurations of the T420s do not come with an optical drive and the weight is still stated as "starting at 3.68 lb". Other manufacturers such as Dell and HP use the same terminology.

I have owned about 60 laptops. I weighed all of them on scientific balances and compared the measurements with officially published weights. That was how I learned that "starting at" means "with the optical drive removed".

ComputerMinder wrote:
the specs on cdw as well as other websites is very clear.


CDW et al. just copy from the Tabook.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:24 pm 
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Thanks for the info guys, I didn't know that, I bet some others think the same.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:25 pm 
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ComputerMinder wrote:
So what's the point being a slim computer (the X1) with the weight same as the feature laden T420s? Besides the T420s has a matte antiglare screen and not that super reflective gorilla glass that the X1 has.

Maybe I am missing something, I would love to hear what you guys think. Need to upgrade wife's computer soon (and my X200s too :) )


X3xx series were terminated because it didn't sell enough and competed against 12 inch X2xx and 14 inch T4xx series. So bringing out 13 inch X1 with lower resolution LCD with gorilla glass doesn't make much sense. X1 is viewed by some a consumer machine and not a true Thinkpad. Then it may not be a contradiction. X1 may also be a macbook air killer, though it is likely to be killed by MBA instead when Sandy Bridge updated MBAs are released.

So bottom line, no one really knows. The fate of X1 may be similar to X3xx in the end. If it doesn't sell, it will die a slow death.

T4xx should have been X4xx series but it was shifted to T for those looking for lighter weight. People on the forum has complained about LCD to no avail. At least X220 has an IPS option. Some diehard thinkpadders no longer own any thinkpads. Others looking for better designed and higher quality components are migrating to Apple and run windows as VM or apple's boot camp solutions on MBA or MB pros.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:04 pm 
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Keep in mind that the expensive panasonic b10 (1,88 kg including dvd rw) is as light as the t420s. Panasonic uses more expensive and lighter material like magnesium. Keep in mind the b10 is a 15.6 inch model. I bet it is sturdier, too.

http://techcornor.com/wp-content/upload ... e-seat.jpg

No bezel at all. Still sturdy and droppable.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:57 am 
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It seems that X1 isn't based on carbon fiber as in X30x. It seems to be based on a different design concept, possibly using more metal instead of carbon fiber roll cage. It also has the gorilla glass which adds to the weight. T420s is a derivative of X30x design, much closer in structure and materials than X1. Carbon fiber based design X30x is lighter though more costly than other thinkpad designs. X30x termination came because it was costly to build and simply did not sell enough for a good profit.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:28 am 
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ComputerMinder wrote:
The X1 looks pale compared to the T420s.
That's pretty obvious. X1 is a shiny toy, T420s is a premium business model. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:27 am 
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sanjuro wrote:
T4xx should have been X4xx series but it was shifted to T for those looking for lighter weight. People on the forum has complained about LCD to no avail. At least X220 has an IPS option. Some diehard thinkpadders no longer own any thinkpads. Others looking for better designed and higher quality components are migrating to Apple and run windows as VM or apple's boot camp solutions on MBA or MB pros.


That would be a shame. I like the MBA and it may or may not be a better machine than the X1 or X301 or T4x0s. But it doesn't have the trackpoint. The trackpoint alone is reason enough to stick it out with Lenovo for now until user input dramatically changes.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:58 am 
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Can't speak for the X1 but I own a T420s Intel HD model I recently bought from Lenovo. I upgraded mine with SSD and 8GB of RAM so it's snappy. I totally agree about the screen. It's amazing how they managed to put a junk screen into such a nice expensive system. It looks quite awful physically too with an inch-thick bezel all around. 16x9 ratio is also annoying.

While the machine is not without its quirks (couldn't boot system up with phone plugged in to certain USB ports for example) the bottom part is fairly well-designed and is the main reason why I keep the system. Basically it feels like bottom was designed by team of engineers while top was designed by marketing and bean counters. Very uneven altogether.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:30 am 
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sanjuro wrote:
X3xx series were terminated because it didn't sell enough and competed against 12 inch X2xx and 14 inch T4xx series. So bringing out 13 inch X1 with lower resolution LCD with gorilla glass doesn't make much sense. X1 is viewed by some a consumer machine and not a true Thinkpad. Then it may not be a contradiction. X1 may also be a macbook air killer, though it is likely to be killed by MBA instead when Sandy Bridge updated MBAs are released.

So bottom line, no one really knows. The fate of X1 may be similar to X3xx in the end. If it doesn't sell, it will die a slow death.

T4xx should have been X4xx series but it was shifted to T for those looking for lighter weight. People on the forum has complained about LCD to no avail. At least X220 has an IPS option. Some diehard thinkpadders no longer own any thinkpads. Others looking for better designed and higher quality components are migrating to Apple and run windows as VM or apple's boot camp solutions on MBA or MB pros.

I was ThinkPad-less for three years, and only came back when I started reading reviews of the X220. X220 with IPS is delightful, by the way. I still use my 11" MacBook Air as my primary work computer (short hops from courtroom to courtroom), but for travel I've never used anything as good as the X220 with IPS screen.

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Last edited by asiafish on Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:34 pm 
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asiafish wrote:
for travel I've never used anything as good as the X220 with IPS screen.


I just wish that X220 had a 16:10 IPS rather than 16:9 and at least 900 vertical pixels. Even having 900 pixels frustrates me because of constant scrolling.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:42 pm 
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sanjuro wrote:
I just wish that X220 had a 16:10 IPS rather than 16:9 and at least 900 vertical pixels. Even having 900 pixels frustrates me because of constant scrolling.

Very true. If I absolutely needed 900 pixels I'd get a 13" MacBook Air. Nothing else really competes right now.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:10 pm 
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asiafish wrote:
If I absolutely needed 900 pixels I'd get a 13" MacBook Air. Nothing else really competes right now.


Even Sony's Z2 Series doesn't compete? To me, it's the most exciting laptop ever made, and I plan to get one as soon as prices on eBay drop to around $500 (which will take at least five years, unfortunately). Check out the specs: http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores ... 1644570897

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:44 pm 
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pianowizard wrote:
Even Sony's Z2 Series doesn't compete? To me, it's the most exciting laptop ever made, and I plan to get one as soon as prices on eBay drop to around $500 (which will take at least five years, unfortunately). Check out the specs: http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores ... 1644570897

Yes, the Z series has better specs, but I've never liked Sony laptops. They've always looked and felt delicate, and their support is sub-par.

The Z series is also more than double the price of the MacBook Air.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:57 pm 
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The X1 has higher structural stiffness then the T420s, and it can stand up to abuses more. The T4x0s seem rather delicate (while the T420s did improve in many of the T400s/T410s weaknesses) for what it is.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:06 am 
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asiafish wrote:
The Z series is also more than double the price of the MacBook Air.


The Sony Z starts at $1,969.99.

The 13" MacBook Air starts at $1,299.00.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:56 pm 
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pianowizard wrote:
The Sony Z starts at $1,969.99.

The 13" MacBook Air starts at $1,299.00.

Without any of the good stuff. Comparably equipped its about $3000.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:19 pm 
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asiafish wrote:
Without any of the good stuff.


Like what? The Apple logo? Or a lower resolution?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:24 pm 
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pianowizard wrote:
Like what? The Apple logo? Or a lower resolution?


The higher quality screen, as opposed to higher resolution. The Apple build quality, which is far better than Sony. OS X. And even then, its still $700 more expensive than the Apple.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:54 pm 
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asiafish wrote:
The higher quality screen, as opposed to higher resolution.


Have you seen one in person? Sony usually uses high-quality screens for their premium models. I haven't seen a Z2 Series laptop yet ("Z2" = current version whereas "Z1" = the 1st gen) but the reviews I have read mentioned impressive viewing angles. Also, I believe the Z2 uses matte screens, which isn't too surprising since the Z Series is a business-class laptop.

asiafish wrote:
The Apple build quality, which is far better than Sony.


On the average, I agree Apple laptops have better build quality than Sonys but I have come across a few exceptions. Sounds like you haven't tried the Z2 in person either, so neither of us knows if it is one of the few exceptions. Regardless, I am more than willing to sacrifice a little bit of build quality (and to pay more) in exchange for a lighter weight -- the Z2 is 0.39 lbs lighter than the MBA.

asiafish wrote:
OS X.


You prefer OS X over Windows but for me OS X is nearly totally useless, since most of my data analysis programs require Windows. Obviously, OS preference is 100% subjective and so let's not go there.

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Last edited by pianowizard on Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:10 pm 
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No, I have not tried a Z2 in person.

With regard to matte v glossy, I too strongly prefer matte screens, and like the display on my X220 (IPS) better than that of my MacBook Air. That said, I have seen a (matte) Z1 and while it did have better viewing angles than the Air, the Air still had a better display in terms of color, contrast and evenness of backlighting. The Air doesn't have IPS and is technically a glossy screen, but it is about the least glossy glossy screen I've encountered and handles glare extremely well. FAR better than a MacBook pro in that regard. Given the choice of display between the Z1 and the 13" Air, I'd take the Air.

Of course, the Z1 didn't match the Air in build quality.

So, given the minimum $700 price premium for the Sony, even if I intended to use Windows on it, I'd still go for the Apple.

Of course, I voted with my wallet and bought an X220 IPS to go with my Air. Different machine for different use.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:04 am 
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Yes I agree with people here its mostly just for show and tell besides that the video card sucks on the X1 I rather have an Nvidia NVS video card than Intel HD.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 8:15 am 
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well if you are worried about video card performance then you would probably get the W520 or something. The NVS4200m is not a fire breather in terms of video performance, the only reason why i would get a T420s is if i need more than 4 monitors support.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:36 am 
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One thing that steers me to the X1 is the quick battery charge capability. Not sure how long the batteries will last.

What kind of tech is the battery made with? Why couldn't IBM make it an swappable battery pack instead of the integrated one?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:29 pm 
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Interesting comparative.

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