Feeds

Ten... Core i5 laptops

Sandy Bridge computing on the go

Top three mobile application threats

Lenovo T420 ThinkPad

RH Numbers
RH Recommended Medal

Lenovo’s ThinkPad instantly managed to annoy me off by having a taskbar full of Lenovo guff. Removing bloatware from security companies is one thing, having to dig out the toolbars control panel to make the machine usable is quite another. Such silliness aside the T420 is typical ThinkPad - beautifully made, very black, very square and with a class-leading keyboard.

The Dell’s keyboard may be almost as good as the ThinkPad version, but not quite so if you spend serious amounts of time typing on your laptop, this is the machine for you. Rather than use a keyboard backlight the Lenovo employs something called a ThinkLight, a small downward pointing white LED next to the webcam that lights up the deck. It’s not as aesthetically pleasing as a glowing keyboard but it’s cheaper and it works.

Oddly, the ThinkPad has a DisplayPort socket but not an HDMI port. That’s quite a drawback in my opinion, at this price level an HDMI socket should be taken as read. Built-in media playback is better catered for thanks to two very fine speakers built into the upper edges of the keyboard deck.

The ThinkPad did particularly well in the battery test despite not having a particularly manly power pack. This is down to a some neat power saving features, such as being able to completely sever the power supply to the optical drive when you don’t need it.

The business laptop personified, with the best keyboard you'll find on any notebook.

Lenovo T420 ThinkPad

Reg Rating 85%
Price £992
More Info Lenovo

Medion Akoya E6221

RH Numbers

Not one of the better known brands in the UK, Medion's Akoya E6221 is available exclusively through J Sainsbury’s grocery emporiums at the time of writing. But snigger ye not, because for £500 you get perfectly decent laptop with a 640GB HDD and two USB3 ports.

It’s not the most stylish of machines being made entirely of gloss black plastic and looking like the laptop equivalent of Darth Vader’s helmet – even the track-pad has the same gloss black finish. The pattern on the lid looks more like it’s been rubbed vigorously with wire wool than a designer effort, but it’s solid enough and feels lighter than the quoted 2.65kg.

The matte finish screen is bright and crisp and the chiclet keyboard doesn’t give much away to the best from the likes of Acer. It doesn’t sound too bad either thanks to the two 10-pence piece sized speakers set above the deck, enhanced by Dolby’s Advanced Audio jiggery-pokery.

Battery life was a little of the poor side, but for the price, something has got to give. Launched in April for £500, the E6221 went up to £650 in May but at the time of writing it’s back to £500.

The Sainsbury’s special is an awful lot of laptop for 500 quid.

Medion Akoya E6221

Reg Rating 80%
Price £500
More Info Medion

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Next page: Sony Vaio C

More from The Register

next story
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.