The Lenovo ThinkPad T420 vs ThinkPad T520
Are you in the market for a new laptop computer? In this article, I’ll review two Lenovo products: the ThinkPad T420 and the ThinkPad T520, to see which one is the better deal. Also, we will take a look at the retail costs of each one and find some online coupon codes to sweeten the deal.
What's Your Budget?
Now the first thing anyone should consider before they even begin looking for a new laptop computer is what their budget is. The ThinkPad T420 will have a retail value of just under $800 for the basic model. ThinkPad T520, on the other hand, could be yours for about $50 more. Now this is not a big difference, but let’s compare the two products to see exactly what benefits you would receive for the extra 50 dollars.
First of all, at first glance the software that you receive from Lenovo is identical to the basic pack of both the T420 and the T520, including the fact that both come with Windows 7 preinstalled. However, the ThinkPad T520 comes with the Home Premium edition, while the T420 only comes with the Home Basic Edition. Any additional software you would like can be purchased, but it is the exact same price no matter which model you choose to buy. They are pretty close, but I’m thinking that the advantage goes to the ThinkPad T520.
Next let’s look under the hood. The Lenovo ThinkPad T420 comes with a basic processor model, which is an Intel Core i5-2520M (2.50GHz, 3MB L3, 1333MHz FSB). This is a reasonably fast processor for the price and considering that it is the basic model. The processor that comes with the T520 is the Intel Core i7-2630QM (2.00GHz, 6MB L3, 1333MHz FSB). The average person may think that that 2.5GHz would make the T420’s processor better, but this is not the case. With the 6MB L3 cache, this is clearly a higher end processing unit than the one found in the T420.
Another important thing that everyone focuses on is the size of the screen. The T420 has a standard 14.0i HD screen (1366x768). The ThinkPad T520 screen has the exact same resolution in the standard model, but it is 15.6i. It is also possible to get a version with full HD in the T520 (1920x1080). Once again, I’m inclined to say that the ThinkPad T520 once again wins hands down.
When it comes to weight, most people don’t want to carry around a laptop that requires them to break a sweat. In this category, the winner is finally the ThinkPad T420. Weighing in at only 4.84 lbs, it is significantly lighter than its portly cousin, the T520. This model is larger, so it makes sense that it would be heavier, but at 5.57 lbs, you have to give the edge to the T420.
The battery life efficiency seems to be better with the ThinkPad T520. Using the same 9-cell battery, you can receive an extra two hours of battery time over the T420. Once again, the T520 seems superior in design and quality.
Most of the specs on these laptops are highly customizable, so just because you have a ThinkPad T420 doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have as nice of a computer as the ThinkPad T520. In fact, it could be quite a bit better with the proper upgrades.
For basic models, however, you have to conclude that for an extra 50 dollars, the ThinkPad T520 is simply the better deal. With its 64-bit chipset and greater quality, you just know that Lenovo is simply suggesting that you spend a fractional amount more because they know it’s the smarter pick.