There's a time and place to act a fool, like at a Ludacris concert for example, or when entertaining your in-laws during a holiday function in which you're trying to encourage a hasty departure. Likewise, there are situations where showboating simply isn't appropriate. Wondering what this has to do with a laptop review? Well, the same concept applies to PCs. Think about it -- if your main goal is to pack as much horsepower underneath the hood as humanly possible, regardless of weight or battery life, then you're looking for a desktop replacement. And the flashier, the better, presumably because you'll be toting it around to LAN parties in between trips to the chiropractor. On the other hand, if you spend most of your time in board rooms and pitching PowerPoint presentations to co-workers and clients, a flashy system with an LED light show sends the wrong message. This is where the ThinkPad Edge 420s comes in.
The E420s is a business laptop through and through, and while some of you may automatically associate that with "boring," Lenovo set out to build a machine that's subdued, but still a head turner. In place of LED lights and glitzy decals, you'll find a soft matte finish with metal accents. There's a contemporary keyboard with shapely keys, and an infinity screen intended to deliver a TV-like experience. Both stylish and subtle, the E420s is capable of eliciting stares without being obnoxious about it, which sends the right message when you're pitching a multi-million dollar investment to a potential client
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E420s
Specifications & Features
ThinkPad Edge E420s
14" HD w/ Infinity Glass (1366x768)
Intel Core i5 2410M (2.3GHz)
Intel HD Graphics 3000
Slot DVD Burner
Windows 7 Professional x64
3xUSB 3.0 (including 1 eSATA/USB combo and 1 powered USB), 4-in-1 card reader (SD, MMC, SDHC, and SDXC), VGA, HDMI 1.4, Mic/Speaker combo jack
13.7 x 9.3 x 9-1.2 in (WxDxH)
$1,554 MSRP ($699 on sale with eCoupon)
As configured, the E420s we received retails for $1,554, though as of this writing Lenovo has it marked down to $749 as a "Web Special," along with a $50 eCoupon (EDGESAVE50) that's automatically applied. After applicable discounts, the final tally, if ordered today, is $699, and you can shave another $50 off if you're willing to downgrade from Windows 7 Professional to Home Premium. Likewise, you can drive the price up by upgrading the amount of RAM, swapping out the hard drive for a solid state drive, and adding additional software and accessories.
Note that you're somewhat limited in terms of customization. While there are oodles of accessories available to toss into the cart, the actual hardware options are pretty thin and not on par with most boutique system builders, or even most bulk OEM systems.