ThinkPad T420, T520 & X220 Sandy Bridge 2011 pre Launch Review
January 21, 2011
The new ThinkPad T520, ThinkPad T420 and ThinkPad X220 should be with us by the end of March with the new Sandy Bridge architecture, and boy do they look good. We did grill ThinkPad Engineers at CES and whilst they were keeping their cards close to their chest we are going to stick our necks out and go on record with the following ThinkPad T520, ThinkPad T420 and ThinkPad X220 predictions.
STOP PRESS: March 18th ’11 The ThinkPad T420 and ThinkPad T520 with Intel HD 3000 Integrated Graphics are now available on the Lenovo site. With the new Sandy Bridge Architecture with the 12EUs Graphics cores, the Intel 3000 HD Graphics option is going to be more than adequate for most business applications.
Visit Lenovo to configure your superb new ThinkPad T420 and T520
One thing is for sure, the new ThinkPads designated T420, T520 and X220, will feature Intel’s revolutionary new “Sandy Bridge” iCore processors, and seamless integration with NVIDOIA’s Optimus Technology.
We’ll examine the individual machines in later articles. For now, though, let’s take a peek at the broad enhancements that are coming for Lenovo’s latest high-end machines.
“Sandy Bridge” 2nd generation iCore Processors
Particularly exciting about this new batch of ThinkPads is the company’s use of Intel’s new iCore processors, which have been dubbed the “Sandy Bridge” series.
Five years in the making, these processors are intended for both mobile and desktop machines, and will provide vastly superior processing than the already staggering first-generation models.
Not only will the new iCore processors feature increased performance, but they will also include new dual-core integrated graphics cards that are more than capable of handling 3D graphics. That’s virtually unheard of in current models, so gamers, designers, and animators will really appreciate the changes.
Also notable with the new processors is the reinvigorated Turbo Boost that was so popular with the first-generation units. In fact, the company says that the new chips will be able to increase output to 37 percent above listed capacity for up to a minute. That’s exactly what you’ll need to make sure that you don’t suffer from lags or processer sputtering.
Both the ThinkPad T420 and T520 will feature the full line of iCore processors, topping out with the Core i7-2820QM, which features four cores, a stated capacity of 2.3GHz, but which could achieve bursts as high as 3.0GHz with the Turbo Boost technology.
The ThinkPad X220 will feature similar offerings in terms of processors, but, if current trends are any measure, will not likely include the quad-core processor option.
Lenovo Enhanced Experience 2.0 with Rapid Drive Technology
There is absolutely no doubt that you will be staggered by the boot times of the new ThinkPads. We saw Lenovo Enhanced User Experience 2.0 in action at CES and combined with Rapid Drive, it just blew us away!
Originally created as a workflow improvement for the first release of Windows 7, the Lenovo Enhanced User Experience has grown to include an array of tweaks to software and hardware integration that make ThinkPads the envy of the business laptop market.
The highlight of this generation’s suite of innovations is the Rapid Drive Technology, which creates blazingly fast startup times and incredibly nimble program interaction.
Some computer systems come outfitted with solid-state drives for the operating system and regular disc-drives for applications. This isn’t new. What’s striking about Lenovo’s technology is the way in which it incorporates dual drives which operate as a single unit, making data transfers and program use seamless and lightening fast.
ThinkPad NVIDIA Optimus Graphics
Should you want an additional discreet graphics card instead of the incredible ‘Sandy Bridge’ dual-core integrated graphics GPU, you’ll be staggered by the new ThinkPad T420 and ThinkPad T520 graphics capabilities.
Both the ThinkPad T420 and T520 will feature NVIDIA Optimus graphics cards as an option and that means that you’ll have truly high-end performance on demand. It also means that you’ll get seamless switching to less power-hungry modes when you are surfing the Web, checking e-mail, or conducting business that isn’t graphics-intensive. Your battery will love it.
The ThinkPad X220 we believe should be equipped with the Intel 3000HD integrated graphics chip, but that doesn’t mean that it will be the only option. In fact, judging by current offerings, it’s highly likely that more robust systems will be available here as well.
ThinkPad T520, ThinkPad T420 and ThinkPad X220 – Conclusion
Though there may not be much in terms of detail right now, what we do already know is cause for excitement. There’s sure to be much more detail to come so the ThinkPadToday rumor mill will keep you posted as soon as more information becomes available. Stay tuned and watch out for our pre-launch and extended ThinkPad T520, ThinkPad T420 and ThinkPad X220 Reviews coming soon!