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Review of Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E 430 after using for just 12 hours

My laptop, HP NC6220 is confirmed dead. Its issue with display repeats after 3 days of servicing and the service engineers couldn’t rectify it permanently. So, they agreed to give a refund and I am forced to buy a Laptop. Thanks to the financial support by parents, I bought a Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E430 (3254 AM4) yesterday. Special thanks to my cousin Prakash for arranging it at the lowest rate possible.

I also bought a Lenovo G580 7036 for my friend Deepak and spent most of the time, yesterday configuring it. Will post a review of that asap.

So, I have used the thinkpad for just few hours and here goes my experience with it.

The basic configuration of the system is:

Intel Core I3 2330M – 2.20GHz
500GB HDD (7000 RPM)
14″ HD Antiglare Screen
DVD Writer
720p Webcam
Card Reader
Finger Print Reader
4 USB ports (2 with USB 3 support)

The first thing I liked about the system is that its light weight. Its somewhat the same weight of my old laptop. The matte finish and the antiglare screen adds to the comfort of using it for development purposes. Came preloaded with DOS and the troubles started with the installation itself. Debian GNU/Linux being my first OS by choice, tried installing the 64 bit CD version. As usual, it didn’t recognize the audio and wireless :-). Tried the 32 bit DVD version giving the same result. Since Squeeze is somewhat old and Wheezy is on its way, thought of giving Mint Debian with Cinnamon a try. The Audio worked, but no hope with wireless. Also found some issues with the touchpad that the right click button down the pad is not working properly. Booted into the Linux Mint 13 Maya Live, where the wireless driver was detected automatically.

The system uses Intel Centrino N 2230 chipset for wireless, which requires a non-free driver . On searching, found many posts which tells to install the firmware-iwlwifi package from the non-free repository, but for me, it was already installed. While restarting, I saw a glimpse of an error, telling “Could not find firmware”. On searching Google regarding that, I came across this post, which tells to download the firmware from website and place it in the /lib/firmware directory. With the next restart, the wireless started working.

Both Linux Mint Maya and Linux Mint Debian had issues with the touchpad, that the right click is not working. On searching more, came to know that the touchpad is called clickpad, which integrates the click button within the area of pad and hence different from other touch pads. With trial and error method, found that right click happens when clicking the button with a finger touching the pad. So, it will take some time to familiarize with the new clickpad, but there is always the trackpad buttons to the rescue. IĀ  believe that some software patches could make the clickpad work similar to usual touchpads, but there were more urgent issues related to work. Will post details of it when I get some time to check it.

The keyboard is very easy to type, except the issue with the Function and Control keys interchanged as in all new Lenovo models. BIOS has feature to swap them, but let me try to get familiar with this layout. 4 USB ports with two of them USB 3 enabled and 1 proving power to charge even if system is off is an added advantageĀ  Haven’t tested Card reader, finger print reader, Speakers, Camera and other features yet. Will post the details regarding them soon.

Overall, the lap suits my needs, didn’t get heated much even after using continuously for more than 5 hours, have a pro look with the red LED on the “.” of “i” in ThinkPad logo. As of now, I’ll rate it 8 out of 10, just because of the issues I faced with GNU/Linux.

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