New Laptop – Mini Review Lenovo L420

Ok i’m getting rid of my MSI U270. A brave laptop, awesome size and good speed, but it didn’t cut it for development in jruby. Sorry MSI. I’ve scaled up to a ‘fuller’ PC with a 14″ screen.


Let’s get this straight – I got this PC cheap. AU$800 with a AU$300 gift voucher = AU$500. It’s an 8 GB, i5 2540 (2.6-3GHz) dual core laptop with a 320GB HDD. It is fast. Very fast. I was scanning around for a quad-core i7 but then decided this would be good enough and i’m very happy with my decision. It’s increased my productivity in a big way. The laptop itself is great, very rugged (daughter stepped on the screen and it didn’t get injured!). The keyboard is soft yet firm enough to be responsive. It comes with a trackpad AND a trackpoint, which i’ve never seen before. One gripe about the keyboard, the home, end and delete keys are up the top-right. I hate it. The MSI U270 had one of the best keyboard layouts i’ve ever used.

This laptop is a bit behind on features, no USB3, no HDMI. Do I care? No. Battery life? Not bad, though not excellent (what *is* it with laptops these days?) Lucky to get 3 hours out of it and that’s without playing music/videos. Hrm. It has a docking station in the bottom of it but who uses them.
It’s got a DVDRW drive which I must say is handy coming from notebooks which had tossed them away.

It works in Ubuntu LTS (10.04) which is awesome. I had to tweak the hibernate settings to get it to work, but thank god it does. For me hibernating the PC is a must-have feature.

All in all it’s a freakishly responsive PC for AU$500. It seems rare that you get a carry case with laptops these days, but this one lives in my backpack so that’s cool. The windows software comes with all sorts of customised stuff for Lenovo including ‘battery stretch’ which can give you another hour of power. Also worth mentioning is that the wireless on this is almost instant, like 3-5 seconds to reconnect which is great, especially if you are hibernating and waking it up all the time.

This laptop will be hard to beat. I can’t see myself upgrading for at least 1.5 years. Well done Lenovo!


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