What Laptop Should I get? Thinkpads?


Jan 12, 2014
I am looking for a new laptop and I think I have narrowed it down to these two options:

Lenovo Thinkpad E460 with i3-61000U, 1920x1080 IPS, 8GB Ram, 500GB HDD (Only since I could cheaply replace it with a 850 evo) - Normally $512, but I can get it for $400 through work deals and a total of $500 with an aftermarket ssd.

Lenovo Thinkpad T420 with i5 2520M, 1600x900 (Have to watch out for the lower res 768p screens, they are everywhere), 8GB Ram (May have to add myself, no big deal), 250gb SSD (Added by me) with whatever storage comes with the used model I buy (Just to keep windows on it) - $300 with everything included with awesome part support (One big reason I like this laptop, cheap replacement keyboards and screens, and the ultra bay support for stuff like extra battery and storage - smallest laptop I have seen that can fit three drives)

But, just in case there are more suggestions you guys have, I filled out the questions on the sticky:

1. What is your budget?
Under $600

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
13-14 inches, around an inch in thickness (Thinner is better)

3. What screen resolution do you want?
At least 1600x900, IPS would be nice if possible

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Somewhat portable, but my backpack is pretty big so it is not a huge concern. A 17.3" laptop will not fit, a 15.6" barely fit, and a 14" fits nicely. The thickness must be under 1.5" to fit, but it does not need to be super thin.

5. How much battery life do you need?
Around 4-5 hours of desktop real world use, it may be lower if I can just carry other, easily replaceable batteries.

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
Yes, but just old games like Masters of Orion, not a huge demand, integrated graphics should be fine. If possible, I would like to be able to play games like Fallout New Vegas on lower settings, but this takes lower priority to more productive tasks.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
I can definitely foresee using gimp (Paint.net that also works on linux), but this program is not too demanding. If it does not cost too much extra, video editing on light works would be a nice touch.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
Around 250gb, but fast storage is more important, also I would like to have a replaceable drive. Any laptops that support two drives would be awesome (Ex: A msata ssd and a 2.5" hdd). If it is a hdd, 7200rpm would be really awesome.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
Do not really care, at least somewhat reputable.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
Around 4-5 years, durability is important.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
Do not really need one, but if it is replacable with a 2.5" drive adapter or an extended battery (Like the T420) would be nice.

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
I have never owned a Lenovo thinkpad, but I have had extensive use with them and their keyboards and build quality always impress them.

13. What country do you live in?

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
Keyboard is number one priority, I am a keyboard freak and any laptop with a bad keyboard is a no go, this laptop will be mostly for typing documents and writing in java. I can get used to somewhat different layouts and back lighting does not matter at all, but I like a good travel distance and very little to no flexing in the laptop (Under normal circumstances).

I will most certainly be using linux on whatever laptop I get, once again two drives would be nice so I can keep the windows install and add another drive to put linux on.

I am not afraid of replacing drives or memory on a laptop to save even just a few bucks (It is fun!), as long as it is not terribly difficult.

I am always a fan of a computer that is relatively easy to fix and maintain, such as a easily removable and cheap keyboard replacements (T420), socketted cpus and ram.

Thanks for any help and suggestions. I may be a little slow to reply during the day due to commitments. If you know anything about the comparison between the E series and T series regarding the overall build quality, keyboard quality, expand ability, please add. I have read through much of the thinkpad wiki recently, but there is still much to learn.