The 14-inch Lenovo ThinkPad E420s consumer-oriented notebook is currently being sold for $705 through CDW for nearly $100 off Lenovo's list price with its configuration. The E420s is equipped with an Intel Core i5-2410M dual-core processor, 4GB of DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz, Intel HD graphics, and a 320GB hard drive at 7200rpm. It's ideal for traveling, too--the E420s only weighs four pounds and during our standard battery test we found that it can provide over six hours of unplugged life.
In our review of the E420s, we said that although the build differs from traditional ThinkPads in a few ways, its quality is still impressive. The design appears sleek but modest and many areas of the exterior have a rubber non-stick coating to help with overall protection. The notebook also has a metal alloy support inside the chassis; this helps to prevent the keyboard from flexing and improves the durability rating. The chassis itself measures in at a thin one inch.
This system can definitely handle multi-tasking and achieve enough computing power to do almost anything thanks to the dual-core Intel CPU, 4GB of RAM and the Seagate hard drive with a 7200 rotational speed. In our synthetic benchmark tests measuring overall system performance it performed better than the latest HP Envy 14 and HP ProBook 4425s. Note that it will not be able to handle most games because of the integrated graphics.
The keyboard on the E420s is what people call "Chiclet" or island-style, meaning the keys are flatter and spaced apart. In our review we said it has a "fantastic feel" with great key travel. Even traditional ThinkPad users could grow to love the newer design.
The port selection on the E420s is good, and although it lacks USB 3.0 it does have powered USB 2.0 for charging mobile devices. Other ports include HDMI v1.4, VGA, USB/eSATA combo, slot-load DVD burner, and a 4-in-1 media card reader. There are three USB 2.0 ports in total.
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