The Lenovo ThinkPad L420's PerformanceText score was 1267.0, not 1210.0 as originally stated. This makes it 9% slower than the HP EliteBook 8460p, not 12%. We apologize for the error, and have corrected the numbers.
Two laptops mean business: HP EliteBook 8460p vs. Lenovo ThinkPad L420
After working and living with both these business notebooks, pushing them to the limit with benchmarks, using them for typical business tasks and several days of road work, I'm convinced that they have the right stuff to make it in the corporate world. Both have excellent manageability and security options, should be more than reliable enough for the business world, and do a reasonable job of dealing with the competing interests of performance and battery life.
Although their specs are very similar, the two machines couldn't feel more different. I like the brushed-aluminum look of the EliteBook, its admirable thinness and its superior performance. The ThinkPad is bulkier, plainer-looking and not as fast as the EliteBook, but it uses less power and has better battery life.
If you're looking for style and speed in a business-friendly notebook, the EliteBook is a solid choice. If, however, your main consideration is price, the ThinkPad is a better option.
How we tested
To see how these business notebooks compared, I used them every day for several weeks in my office and on the road. I read and wrote emails, worked through memos, researched new product ideas on the Web, updated a website, watched videos and used them to create and give presentations.
After measuring, weighing and examining every major aspect, I compared them to a mock-up of the typical airplane seat-back table tray to see if they fit; both did. While on the road, I connected each to a public Wi-Fi network and a mobile hot spot.
Then I tested the performance of each system. First I looked at overall performance with PassMark's PerformanceTest 7.0 benchmark test. The software exercises the major components of the system, including processor, hard drive, 2D and 3D graphics, and memory; it then compiles the results into a single score that represents its performance potential. I ran the software three times and averaged the results.
Next, I measured each system's battery life. With a USB drive containing six HD videos connected to the system, I set Windows Media Player to shuffle through all the videos while PassMark's BatteryMon charted the battery's capacity. While the system was recharging and operating, I measured its power use with a Kill A Watt PS power meter.
I also ran Maxon's Cinebench 11.5 benchmarks for graphics and processor performance. The software renders several photorealistic 3D scenes that stress the processor and graphics card by manipulating up to a million polygons. It reports scores for each.
Finally, I set each system up with PassMark's BurnInTest, which runs the PerformanceTest benchmark in separate windows over and over again continuously, trying to find operational flaws. They each ran for one week.
Brian Nadel is a frequent contributor to Computerworld and the former editor in chief of Mobile Computing & Communications magazine.
Read more about Laptops in Computerworld's Laptops Topic Center.
- Enable secure remote access to 3D data without sacrificing visual perfomance Design and manufacturing companies must adapt quickly to the demands of an increasingly global and competitive economy. To speed time to market for...
- The Truth About Virtual Computing for CAD If you're a user of graphics-intensive software such as 3D modeling, simulation and analysis, and visualization, you might be skeptical about moving to...
- Virtually Delivered High Performance 3D Graphics "A picture is worth a thousand words." That old phrase is as true today as it ever was. Pictures (i.e., those with heavy...
- Simplifying Product Design In A Complex World Product design engineering has moved far beyond the confines of ever-more powerful workstations. Companies can't afford to restrict projects to using only local...
- What should I look for in a Next Generation Firewall? SANS Provides Guidance With so many vendors claiming to have a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), it can be difficult to tell what makes each one different....
- Why Are Customers Really Deploying an NGFW? It seems every IT Security expert is talking about the NGFW, but what are people really doing? This webcast covers 5 real-world customer... All Laptops White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!