Vinod Kurup

Hospitalist/programmer in search of the meaning of life

I've Gone to the Dark Side

I was a huge Apple fan growing up and IBM was Apple’s enemy. Buying an IBM computer would have been unthinkable.

Well, the unthinkable has happened. Of course IBM doesn’t make laptops anymore, but their computers live on under the Lenovo name. I am the proud owner of a new Lenovo Thinkpad T420S. I love this computer. It’s an ugly black boxy thing, but it’s light (4 lbs), quiet and speedy. And the keyboard is just pure awesome. That’s the main reason that I bought the T420S as opposed to the current T430 line. The new line has the chicklet keyboard that is being used on all laptops these days. The T420 is the last one with the old-fashioned clicky keyboard, which I love.

I also feel very lucky to get the deal that I got. I bought it from Lenovo’s Outlet store, which had about thirty T420s’s in stock when I was shopping. This one was about half the price of the others, by my estimation. It’s so underpriced that I’m wondering if I’m missing an obvious flaw, but I don’t see it. (Please let me know if you do!)

Here’s a comparison between the specs of my computer compared to one that was available at the Outlet store on October 4th, 2012:

  Mine Other one
Part Number 417153U 4170CTO
Processor Core i5-2540 Core i5-2540
OS Windows 7 Pro Windows 7 Home
Graphics Intel HD3000 Intel HD3000
Memory 4 GB 8 GB
Display 14” 1600x900 HD+ 14” 1600x900 HD+
HD 128GB SSD 128GB SSD
Optical DVD recordable DVD recordable
Battery 6-cell 6-cell
Network Intel Centrino Advanced Not specified
Bluetooth V3.0 Not specified
Fingerprint reader No No
Price $ 663.72 $ 1,355.39

The RAM is better on the other model, but Windows 7 Professional is an upgrade on my model. I don’t really understand why mine was so cheap, but I’m pretty happy about it!

I added another 4G of RAM, moved Windows to a VirtualBox image and installed Arch Linux with Xmonad. It takes about 10 seconds to get from the BIOS screen to a working computer. I’ll post some info on my setup in a future post.

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