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Lenovo ThinkPad T430s

*Est. $900 and up
Reviewed
April 2013
by ConsumerSearch
Lenovo ThinkPad T430s

Pros
  • Light and portable
  • Great keyboard, very good touchpad
  • Good all-around performance
  • Lots of customizable options
  • Handy business features
Cons
  • Dull screen colors
  • Poor display angles

Bottom Line

The Lenovo ThinkPad T430s is a solid business laptop. Although it's lightweight and thin, it still offers powerful hardware and an abundance of configuration options, including discrete enterprise-friendly graphics.

Performance

Pint-sized powerhouse. The ThinkPad T430s runs on an Intel Core i5 processor paired with 8 GB of RAM, which speeds through productivity tasks with ease. An Nvidia N13M-NS graphics card helps with more intense graphics- and video-editing related tasks, while Nvidia's Optimus technology automatically switches between the integrated and discrete graphics to achieve the best power usage. Time between charges can be enhanced by opting for a bigger battery.

The T430s' number of customization options is a major highlight. Along those lines, you may want to upgrade the comparatively small 320 GB hard drive to either a roomier model or a faster solid-state drive. The laptop is packed with lots of business-class features, including Smart Card and Express Card readers and an optional mobile broadband card.

Ergonomics

As good as it gets -- almost. The slim and trim Lenovo T430s is a breeze to lug around all day, experts say, and more important, it has the traditionally excellent ThinkPad keyboard. Faithful ThinkPad loyalists might have a challenge adjusting to the glossy keys, which were switched from the usual matte finish to accent the backlighting on the keyboard.

The touchpad provides a generally excellent experience, although some reviewers find it a tad too small and occasionally prone to ignoring multi-touch gestures. The TrackPoint pointing stick, on the other hand, performs supremely well. Port selection is fairly robust and full of business-friendly connections, but lacks a consumer-friendly HDMI port.

Design

Classic ThinkPad black. The notebook follows the typical ThinkPad black business look, which critics call attractive in an understated way. Audio sounds good, although Laptop Magazine calls it a bit hollow. The 1,600-by-900-pixel display is another mixed bag; it's sharp and bright, but lacks color vibrancy and suffers from slightly below-average viewing angles.

Support & reliability

No complaints. Lenovo's one-year warranty is par for the course, but the company has a sterling reputation for both build quality and customer service. Two- and three-year protection and service plans are available for an additional cost.

Value

A rock-solid value. The final sticker price of the Lenovo ThinkPad T430s depends on how you configure it, of course, but even the default $800 version offers a big bang and tremendous ergonomics for your buck.

Where To Buy
Lenovo ThinkPad T430 2344BMU Core i5-3320M 2.6GHz 500GB 8GB 14"(1600x900) ~ Windows 7 Pro~ NVIDIA NVS 5400M 1024MB ~ Backlit Keyboard~ FingerPrint Reader~9-cell battery

 
Buy new: $1,299.99 $859.99   3 Used & new from $719.00

In Stock. Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping

 

Our Sources

1. Laptop Magazine

Review Credibility: Excellent The ThinkPad T430s earns an Editors' Choice award at Laptop Magazine despite its slightly dull onscreen colors. "The Lenovo ThinkPad T430s is a first-class business notebook that strikes just the right balance of power, portability and endurance," Piltch says.

Review: Lenovo ThinkPad T430s Review, Avram Piltch, Aug. 24, 2012

2. Computer Shopper

Review Credibility: Excellent The notebook gets another Editors' Choice award at ComputerShopper.com, as well as 4.5 stars out of 5, even though Bsales has minor qualms with the screen. "Business users looking for a balance between power and portability can't do better than the T430s," he writes.

Review: Lenovo ThinkPad T430s Review and Ratings, Jamie Bsales, Oct. 23, 2012

3. Notebook Check.net

Review Credibility: Excellent While this review of a European variant of the ThinkPad T430s isn't as enthusiastic as others, the all-around package earns a score of 84 percent. Ngo finds the screen too dim and the battery life too brief.

Review: Review Lenovo ThinkPad T430s Notebook, Allen Ngo, Sept. 30, 2012

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