If you want a laptop with green credentials then the Lenovo ThinkPad L412 is certainly worth a look. It has been produced using up to 30 percent ‘post consumer content’ which means recycled materials. It is energy efficient too, with plenty of advanced power management settings. And to put the tin lid on things, it comes in nearly 100 percent recycled packaging.
None of this is worth a jot, though, if its performance and usability aren’t up to scratch. Fortunately, they are.
Notwithstanding its green credentials, a single quick glance at this laptop marks it out as unmistakeably a Lenovo product. The chunky design which makes it well protected for carrying around, the large blue Enter key and the combination of a trackpad and (red) TrackPoint stick are dead giveaways. Oh, and the ‘ThinkPad’ logo is a giant clue, of course.
The solid build is a boon for anyone who needs to carry their laptop with them a lot of the time, though it does mean the ThinkPad L412 weighs 2.4kg, which is quite a bit for a 14.1-inch screened computer.
The screen itself has a fairly standard 1366 x 768-pixel resolution. It doesn’t have the best viewing angles and is a little lacking in vibrancy. Its matte finish won’t please everyone, either, but we found it very comfortable to work with.
The keyboard feels a little clunky to us, as Lenovo keyboards tend to. Others will put a different spin on this and say it is solid and responsive. You are probably best off trying before you buy to see how the feel suits you. Even though the keyboard’s feel isn’t quite to our taste we had no trouble touch-typing at speed. We do like the thin, wide buttons down the left side of the keyboard which give fast access to volume control, speaker mute and microphone mute.
You can tweak the configuration of the Lenovo ThinkPad L412 to upgrade various of the core elements. At the quoted price you get an Intel Core i3-350M processor, Windows 7 Home Premium, 2GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive.
The default battery is a 4-cell one, and you may well decide to upgrade this to a 6-cell or even an 9-cell option, particularly if you want to use the ThinkPad L412 away from mains power a fair amount of the time.
You can’t alter the fact that graphics are handled by Intel’s HM55 Express chipset, and you get Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Gigabit Ethernet and an optical drive as standard.
Dotted around the edges of the chassis are three USB 2.0 ports, one of which doubles as an eSATA port. There is also a memory card reader, DisplayPort, ExpressCard slot, VGA connector and headset connector. That is not the best array of ports and connectors we’ve ever seen, but it is a solid basic collection, and the DisplayPort isn’t something we see every day on business focussed laptops such as this one.
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