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This review is from: ThinkPad Laptop T420 Intel Core i5 2nd Gen 2520M (2.50 GHz) 4 GB Memory 320 GB HDD Intel HD Graphics 3000 14.0" Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit (Windows Activation Code can be found in the battery compartment)
Pros: Overall a great laptop. I didn't even need a laptop when I bought this but I stumbled on it, saw the price and literally just said to myself, "alright, let's see what it looks like when it shows up." At worst I thought it might make a fun project. You're always taking a bit of a gamble with refurbs but mine was basically brand new.... No evidence of it being used at all. No scratches, no fingerprints, no idea why it was sent in for service.
As soon as I got it I set about the task of upgrading it. It's okay when it arrives but is certainly not blazing fast with the stock specs (but it'll be fine for most casual users). The i5 processor is good. I upgraded the 4 gigs of memory (which comes with both slots filled in a 2x2 configuration) to 8 gigs (4x4). I also cloned the drive over to a new SSD and stored the old one away as an emergency backup. Both upgrades together make this a very powerful little computer with the only real drawback being lack of heavy-duty graphics performance.
In terms of the case itself it's a very smart-looking and durable laptop and is also completely serviceable. It's built to be taken apart and worked on. I found a massive support community devoted to this exact model (including youtube vids, Lenovo's website and other places) and the full hardware manual is also available online.
Cons: Performance wise, the only real drawback is the graphics performance, which isn't really upgradable. But if you don't game, it's fine. It streams HD video to a large TV just fine.
You'll want to think about purging Lenovo's bloatware and spyware. There's a program loaded on here that phones home to Lenovo every day with usage statistics which is a bit sneakily hidden. Search online for "Lenovo Customer Feedback Program" to learn about this and how to get rid of it - it involved some work in the task scheduler. The only Lenovo program I actually like on here is the battery manager which is somewhat handy. The rest of it I removed.
This review is from: Rosewill RCW-618 USB to IDE / SATA Adapter - Supports Windows 7
Other Thoughts: This might actually be the best thing since sliced bread. Everything feels solid and it just worked.... The instructions are clear (do read them). Drive cases are a nice plus. It was worth the price even if I never have to use it again in my life.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Seagate 500GB Backup Plus Portable Hard Drive USB 3.0 Model STBU500100 Black
Pros: Easy plug and play, reasonably fast if you can utilize the usb 3, quiet, good build
Cons: None so far
Other Thoughts: Love it. Super easy backup. Nothing to do except plug it in and start writing your stuff. It even appears you can connect it via sata by removing the top usb connector panel (pull the whole top rectangle straight out in the direction of connectors). Haven't tried that, so don't quote me on whether or not it works, but I can't imagine why they would make it so easy to access if it didn't.READ FULL REVIEW