T420 vs T430

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TPFanatic
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T420 vs T430

#1 Post by TPFanatic » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:02 pm

Similar yet different.

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Commonly misunderstood is parts compatibility and lack thereof between are the T420 and T430 models. Unlike their X220 and X230 counterparts which can share everything, the 14" T-series feature a number of subtle differences in case and motherboard design. Only some internal parts are the same.

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They look the same, dimension wise...

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The outer LED indicator lights are more or less in the same place. The Bluetooth light was deleted for the T430, however.

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Badges are larger on the T430.

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The Optical drive, Expresscard 34, and SDXC media reader are in the same place, but every other port and switch is moved all over the place.

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Barely any difference from the front, though.

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Opening the lid brings the most radical change, and some subtle ones.

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T430's hinges are lower, wider, and the lid is closer to the body. The screen is centered better in the lid. The T420's bezel size is ridiculous, the T430's is less so.

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Both have very bright LED lit screens that are good on power savings.

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T430's palmrest badge is bigger.

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The touchpad buttons are the same. Story time: Before I rebuilt the T430, I had spilled water on the T420's touchpad and wrecked the buttons, so I stole the T430's buttons to replace the T420's. Now when I rebuilt the T430, I took the long-dried T420's buttons to put in the T430.

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The T430 comes across as a much prettier laptop than the T420 due to the full length beveling treatment of its lower edges, while the T420 still has boxes jutting out of it from its T410 heritage. That and the gigantic screen bezel make the T420 a very ugly laptop to me. Amazing how much subtle design changes can change the aesthetic of a laptop. Of course to other people, all Thinkpads are ugly.
Daily driver: lenovo T500 P9700, WUXGA, 8GB
Ultraportable: IBM lenovo X60s
Home theater: lenovo T420

Enable advanced features on older Synaptics touchpads with the registry: http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=122612

dr_st
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Re: T420 vs T430

#2 Post by dr_st » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:19 pm

Nice pics and explanation. I was not aware of these subtle differences.

So, does it mean that with an open lid, the T430 is a bit shorter?
Current: X220 4291-4BG, T410 2537-R46, T60 1952-F76, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G
Collectibles: T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X32 (IPS Screen)
Retired: X61 7673-V2V, A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad
Past: Z61t 9440-A23, T60 2623-D3U, X32 2884-M5U

TPFanatic
Senior Member
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Posts: 754
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:29 pm
Location: Hudson, New Hampshire

Re: T420 vs T430

#3 Post by TPFanatic » Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:08 pm

By a very small amount.

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Daily driver: lenovo T500 P9700, WUXGA, 8GB
Ultraportable: IBM lenovo X60s
Home theater: lenovo T420

Enable advanced features on older Synaptics touchpads with the registry: http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=122612

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