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Lenovo Thinkpad T420S 14" Laptop (Refurb): i7-2640M, 4GB DDR3, 128GB SSD EXPIRED

GoodDay 4,998 59,795 April 29, 2016 at 05:13 AM in Laptops (10) More Newegg Deals
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$230

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Promoted 04-30-2016 by johnny_miller at 03:03 AM View Original Post
Newegg has Lenovo Thinkpad T420S 14" Laptop (Refurbished) on sale for $249.99 - $20 Rebate = $229.99. Shipping is free. Thanks GoodDay

Specs:
  • Intel Core i7 2640M 2.8GHz CPU
  • 14" 1600x900 LED Display
  • 4GB DDR3 Memory
  • 128GB Solid State Drive
  • Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • DVD-ROM
  • Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit

Editor's Notes & Price Research

Written by johnny_miller

Rebate is valid through 6/30 and limited to 1 per household. -johnny_miller

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Original Post

Edited April 30, 2016 at 05:20 PM by TattyBear
$249.99 - $20 Rebate [newegg.com] = $229.99 with free shipping.

Specs:
  • 2nd Generation Intel Core i7 2640M (2.80 GHz)
  • 14" LED (1600 x 900)
  • 4 GB Memory 128 GB SSD
  • Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit
  • DVD-ROM
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107 Comments

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Featured Comments

I bought a similar model T420s for $1k brand new back in the day. The only difference is that mine had the switchable Nvidia NVS4200 graphics. I always disable the Nvidia and Optimus, as the Intel graphics are plenty powerful enough and is much more efficient on battery. It is by far the best laptop I ever owned (well, that I purchased with my own money).

It supports 16GB RAM, SATA III specification on the main hard drive bay, SATA II speeds on the mSATA slot. It is very efficient on power and supports the hot swappable UltraBay batteries for over 5 hours total on battery. You can also use a 3rd SSD in an UltraBay tray adapter to use in place of the DVD drive. Either way, 3 SSDs and 1 battery, 2SSDs and 2 batteries, they are both are great choices to have.

For the USB 3.0, it is a Renasas controller, meaning that it is not compatible with any USB 3.0 ports on the various ThinkPad docking stations it fits. Intel did not add native USB 3.0 support until the Ivy Bridge generation, so it is rare for a Sandy Bridge based laptop to have it.

The CPU is not upgradable, as this slimmer designed model uses the ball grid array version of the i7. There aren't any higher model processors that you would want to upgrade this from anyway, as this is the top of the line for non-quad core mobile. The fans run quiet by default, but there is this amazing 3rd party app to custom control the fans like a thermostat.

I would recommend upgrading the RAM to the max, since it is so cheap. Next get the fastest SSD you can afford for the main bay (must be 7mm or less drive height, 9mm drives do not fit) to use as your boot drive. Then get a large capacity mSATA SSD for general purpose storage, since it is slower and not suitable for boot drive use.

The screen is definitely this computer's weak point. The good news is that you can upgrade the display by swapping in a 1080p IPS panel when you swap in a little custom video board. There are diagrams and part numbers on the thinkpad forums. I would say that if you are handy with repairing laptops, that this is a difficult, but very rewarding mod. Having a quality screen with this computer is absolutely unreal.

I might just get another one at this price for the hell of it. It is a fantastic deal. They do not make them like this anymore. It's the last of the "good" 14" ThinkPads. Should provide a solid 6 years of useful life.

I think I covered all the best and worst of this model. Any questions? I know it inside and out.
Not bad for an old i7, you can easily upgrade this unit to Windows 10. Still, my concern would be POWER, the old i7s probably drain your battery much faster than a new i5 or i7, plus the onboard graphics were not good.

If you just need raw computing power and plan on keeping this unit plugged in, then this is a solid price.

Yeah this review alone would make me avoid this:

Cons: - Battery was not replaced, lasted less than 30 minutes
- Significant screen fade
- Significant wear and tear and shine
- Thermalpaste wasn't changed, device heated up to 85 deg celcius on IDLE.
- Internals had dust.

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#3
Not bad for an old i7, you can easily upgrade this unit to Windows 10. Still, my concern would be POWER, the old i7s probably drain your battery much faster than a new i5 or i7, plus the onboard graphics were not good.

If you just need raw computing power and plan on keeping this unit plugged in, then this is a solid price.

Yeah this review alone would make me avoid this:

Cons: - Battery was not replaced, lasted less than 30 minutes
- Significant screen fade
- Significant wear and tear and shine
- Thermalpaste wasn't changed, device heated up to 85 deg celcius on IDLE.
- Internals had dust.
Reply Helpful Comment? 25 2
#4
Quote from wezlypipz View Post :
Not bad for an old i7
You make some good points. I'd add:

Lower tier mobile i7s aren't much better than i5 and i3 mobiles. They all are dual core + hyperthreading. Much less difference than there is on desktop CPUs.

Dell sells Latitude refurbs with similar specs for <$200 regularly, when they are running Outlet deals.
Reply Helpful Comment? 2 0
#5
I bought a similar model T420s for $1k brand new back in the day. The only difference is that mine had the switchable Nvidia NVS4200 graphics. I always disable the Nvidia and Optimus, as the Intel graphics are plenty powerful enough and is much more efficient on battery. It is by far the best laptop I ever owned (well, that I purchased with my own money).

It supports 16GB RAM, SATA III specification on the main hard drive bay, SATA II speeds on the mSATA slot. It is very efficient on power and supports the hot swappable UltraBay batteries for over 5 hours total on battery. You can also use a 3rd SSD in an UltraBay tray adapter to use in place of the DVD drive. Either way, 3 SSDs and 1 battery, 2SSDs and 2 batteries, they are both are great choices to have.

For the USB 3.0, it is a Renasas controller, meaning that it is not compatible with any USB 3.0 ports on the various ThinkPad docking stations it fits. Intel did not add native USB 3.0 support until the Ivy Bridge generation, so it is rare for a Sandy Bridge based laptop to have it.

The CPU is not upgradable, as this slimmer designed model uses the ball grid array version of the i7. There aren't any higher model processors that you would want to upgrade this from anyway, as this is the top of the line for non-quad core mobile. The fans run quiet by default, but there is this amazing 3rd party app to custom control the fans like a thermostat.

I would recommend upgrading the RAM to the max, since it is so cheap. Next get the fastest SSD you can afford for the main bay (must be 7mm or less drive height, 9mm drives do not fit) to use as your boot drive. Then get a large capacity mSATA SSD for general purpose storage, since it is slower and not suitable for boot drive use.

The screen is definitely this computer's weak point. The good news is that you can upgrade the display by swapping in a 1080p IPS panel when you swap in a little custom video board. There are diagrams and part numbers on the thinkpad forums. I would say that if you are handy with repairing laptops, that this is a difficult, but very rewarding mod. Having a quality screen with this computer is absolutely unreal.

I might just get another one at this price for the hell of it. It is a fantastic deal. They do not make them like this anymore. It's the last of the "good" 14" ThinkPads. Should provide a solid 6 years of useful life.

I think I covered all the best and worst of this model. Any questions? I know it inside and out.
Reply Helpful Comment? 24 0
Last edited by JamesA8887 April 29, 2016 at 11:21 AM
#6
I keep debating whether to go for the i7 or whether to wait for a ~150 deal on the i5 version. This one has SSD and the 900 screen so I'm very conflicted on it.

Also to avoid 10 as long as possible I'm thinking Win 8 systems are a better choice than 7 now.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 1
#7
This seems like an awesome deal to me compared to something like an hp stream, chromebook, asus x201, etc. The hd3000 graphics are still pretty good.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#8
Just be careful with Newegg refurbs. Even if they are listed as sold by Newegg, Newegg doesn't handle the refurbs themselves. I ordered one recently (not this one) and got the wrong computer (slower processor than listed). Refurbs will be hit or miss, especially depending on how the original user treated it. The one I returned had some screen wear and ran extremely hot. The only real refurb process seemed to be swapping in an SSD, swapping the memory, and installing a fresh Windows 7.

Edit:

I will also add mine came with the same speaker and while it was smaller than I anticipated, the sound is actually pretty good for how small it is.
Reply Helpful Comment? 3 0
Last edited by Complejo April 29, 2016 at 01:14 PM
#9
Quote from FenrirCo View Post :
I keep debating whether to go for the i7 or whether to wait for a ~150 deal on the i5 version. This one has SSD and the 900 screen so I'm very conflicted on it.

Also to avoid 10 as long as possible I'm thinking Win 8 systems are a better choice than 7 now.
You can get the i5 $150 non ssd same resolution on ebay any day. 10>8>7. faster, simpler, more efficient. Get over meta data, its not that valuable to you and worth the free OS.

Quote from JamesA8887 View Post :

The screen is definitely this computer's weak point. The good news is that you can upgrade the display by swapping in a 1080p IPS panel when you swap in a little custom video board. There are diagrams and part numbers on the thinkpad forums.
Link the display mod plz.

It is interesting there's almost zero gain between the i5-2540M and the i7-2640m even with the higher clock rate on passmark. I'd buy the i5 for $150 and put in my own 240GB ssd and alot more ram for the price difference.
Reply Helpful Comment? 1 1
Last edited by vo_danh April 29, 2016 at 12:56 PM

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#10
Quote from vo_danh View Post :
You can get the i5 $150 non ssd same resolution on ebay any day. 10>8>7. faster, simpler, more efficient. Get over meta data, its not that valuable to you and worth the free OS.



Link the display mod plz.

It is interesting there's almost zero gain between the i5-2540M and the i7-2640m even with the higher clock rate on passmark. I'd buy the i5 for $150 and put in my own 240GB ssd and alot more ram for the price difference.
please share the link for i5 @$150.00
Reply Helpful Comment? 1 0
#11
this vs the X220?
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#12
Could this run League of Legends? Or is the 3000 too weak?
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#13
for about $100 more its worth getting updated graphics.. gain 3-4years on gpu obsolescence which is the avg lifespan of a laptop..
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#14
This is from 2011 by the way, seems like a good beater for school though.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#15
Quote from JamesA8887 View Post :
They do not make them like this anymore. It's the last of the "good" 14" ThinkPads. Should provide a solid 6 years of useful life.
I agree that T420 is an amazing machine - its keyboard is totally amazing and much better than most of the other laptops have. Yet I think T430 was also quite good (it all started going downhill very fast with 440...).
But I also have to admit that over ~5 years working at my previous job I had to change 3 or 4 of similar Lenovos (T420->T420->T430->T440) and none of them were smashed on the concrete floor / submerged into water or otherwise tortured. They just started acting in crazy ways with no apparent reason and this was really sad... Some of my colleagues had similar "track records" and I doubt anyone had their laptops for more than 2 years straight (but most of the folks were traveling like crazy)

BTW, if I have to choose between NVidia graphics and Intel, I _always_ choose the latter, but I don't do gaming at all. Had very unpleasant experience with NVidia chips in the past, so no more NVidia for me Smilie
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
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