The Lenovo ThinkPad t430s is the latest and light model of the brand that has been added into its business line of the ThinkPad T series. The major changes of the T430s, which was released June of 2012, compared to its predecessor, are that the T430s came out with the third generation of Intel Ivy Bridge processors. Aside from that, it also has the new island style or new backlit chiclet “Precision” keyboard. There is an updated discreet graphics alternative that is available for the i5 models as well, being the NVIDIA NVS 5200M utilizing Optimus Technology.
Design and Build
Nearly similar to the T420s, the T430s maintains its Spartan and business look that is seen amongst the ThinkPad models. It has dimensions of 13.50” x 9.05” x 0.83” – 1.02” and although it is wide, it feels light and is surprisingly thin. According to the manufacturer Lenovo, its roll cage is made out of magnesium and its lid and chassis are composed of carbon fiber that is reinforced with materials in order to keep the weight in check. The laptop weights around 4 pounds and like most of the ThinkPad models, it has a fit and durable finish.
Features and Ports
There is a slot at the bottom of the unit which will allow connection to a docking station. Its back has a power jack, Ethernet RJ45 jack, MiniDisplayPort with audio, USB3.0, USB 2.0 which is always on a vent and VGA out. The left hand side has a USB3.0, a 3.5mm Combo Jack, Headphone and MIC and a 4 in 1 SD Card Reader. The Right hand side has a WiFi switch, Kensington lock slot and UltraBay. It is possible to swap the DVD drive in the unit’s UltraBay with a caddy for a secondary hard drive or an extra 3-cell battery.
Taking a look at it overall, the ports of the T430s are satisfactory, even though having another USB port or an eSATA port would be a welcome addition. Its Mini DisplayPort is useful as there are a wide variety of adapters available to convert its output to just about any other kind of standard such as DVI, VGA or HDMI.
In similar contrast to the trend in the industry on eliminating access for the parts and reducing the upgradability of units, the ThinkPad series has continued to provide accessibility to the components. These can be accessed by having two Phillips-head screws removed in order to show the dual DIMMs for the RAM, a mini-SATA connector for the mSATA drive or WWAN and the wireless card.
Finally, we can conclude that the ThinkPad t430s is a solid machine for businesses that is capable of taking on some heavy programs, even though its size and weight are low. Its upgradability is a nice addition for tweaking and since many manufacturers today are already reducing the amount of user-replaceable parts in the laptops. Its screen is still its weak spot but is already considered ideal for business use. The laptop is already destined to be further upgraded with an mSATA SSD for its main drive, which will improve the overall performance of the machine.