The Lenovo ThinkPad T431 is the redesigned version of the ThinkPad T430. It’s lighter and thinner, and has a redesigned touchpad and a slimmer LCD bezel. The touchpad is now bigger but the buttons for clicking or selecting are now gone. Not to worry though, users just have to click on certain areas of the touchpad to achieve the same tasks, plus the red tracker button is still present for precision navigation.
The larger touchpad is also beneficial for people who want to transition from Windows 7 to Windows 8, which is better optimized for touch gestures.
The Lenovo ThinkPad T431 is coming to the US in April and will cost $949.
Lenovo has been taking the spotlight away from Hewlett-Packard and Dell for some time now, and reinventing its products might do further damage for its two global rivals. But what has Lenovo products have that others don’t? Let’s compare (after the jump).
Lenovo ThinkPad T431:Height 331 x Width 226 x Thickness 20mm, Weight 1.63 kilograms
HP EliteBook Folio: 231 x 338 x 18.9 mm, 1.61 kg
Dell XPS 14: 233 x 335.8 x 20.7mm, 2.1kg
ThinkPad: 14-inch display, 1,600 x 900 resolution, anti-glar, and a screen hinge that bends back 180º
Folio: 14” LED-backlit display with anti-glare, 1366 x 768 resolution,
XPS: 14.0″ HD+ (900p) Truelife Infinity Display
ThinkPad: 720p HD Camera with Face Tracking
Folio: Optional 720p HD webcam
XPS: Skype-Certified Hi-Def Webcam, 1.3MP webcam with dual array digital microphones
ThinkPad: Windows 7 or Windows 8
Folio: Windows 7 or Windows 8
XPS: Windows 7 or Windows 8
ThinkPad: Will come with Intel Core i5 or i7 processor based on the Ivy Bridge microarchitecture.
Folio: Available with Intel Core i5-3427U with Intel HD Graphics 4000 (1.8 GHz, 3 MB cache, 2 cores), Intel Core i5-3437U with Intel HD Graphics 4000 (1.9 GHz, 3 MB cache, 2 cores), Intel Core i5-3317U (1.70 GHz, 3 MB L3 cache, 2 cores), Intel Core i5-3427U (2.80/1.80 GHz, 3 MB L3 cache, 2 cores), Intel Core i5-3317U (1.70 GHz, 3 MB L3 cache, 2 cores), Intel Core i7-3687U with Intel HD Graphics 4000 (2.1 GHz, 4 MB cache, 2 cores), Intel Core i5-3427U (2.80/1.80 GHz, 3 MB L3 cache, 2 cores), or Intel Core i7-3667U (3.20/2.0 GHz, 3 MB L3 cache, 2 cores)
XPS: Available with 3rd Generation Intel Core i5-3317U processor (3M Cache, up to 2.6 GHz) or 3rd Generation Intel Core i7-3517U processor (4M Cache, up to 3.0 GHz)
ThinkPad: 12GB DDR3 1600 MHz
Folio: Two slots for DDR3 SDRAM which can support up to a total of 16GB
XPS: Available in 4GB DDR3 1600MHz Memory or 8GB DDR3 1600MHz Memory
ThinkPad: Intel HD Graphics 4000, NVIDIA GeForce GT 620M (1GB)
Folio: Intel HD Graphics 4000
XPS: Intel HD Graphics 4000, NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M with 1GB GDDR5 VRAM
ThinkPad: 1TB (5400rpm) 256GB SSD, 24GB Micro SSD with ExpressCache and DiskKeeper Utility
Folio: 180 GB SATA SSD or 256 GB mSATA SSD, 500 GB 7200 rpm SATA,
XPS: Up to 500GB SATA hard drive (5400RPM)
ThinkPad: Dolby Home Theater v4
Folio: SRS PRO Audio; Integrated stereo speakers; Integrated dual-microphone array; Button for volume mute; function keys for volume up and down; Headphone/Microphone combo port
XPS: High Definition Audio + Waves MaxxAudio 4
ThinkPad: Gobi 3K 14.4Mbps/HSPA, Ericsson HSPA + WWAN Minicard (H5321gw), Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2230
Folio: Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 Combo, optional HP un2430 EV-DO/HSPA Mobile Broadband
XPS: Killer Wireless-N, 1202 for Video 7 Voice + BT 4.0
ThinkPad: Standard full size, backlit keyboard, bigger touchpad sans buttons
Folio: Standard full size keyboard
XPS: Standard full size, backlit chiclet keyboard; spill-resistant; Glass integrated button touchpad with gesture support
Ports and slots
ThinkPad: MiniDisplayPort with audio (1), 1 3.5mm Combo Jack Headphone/MIC, USB 3.0 HDMI (2), 4-in-1 SD Card Reader (2) (SD/SDHC/SDXC/MMC slot)
Folio: USB 3.0 (2), Ethernet, VGA, Displayport 1.1a, docking connector, media card reader, headphone/mic jack, power connector, smart card reader, USB 3.0 charging port.
XPS: USB 3.0 (2) 1 w/PowerShare,mini DisplayPort (1), HDMI (1), RJ-45 (1), 3-in-1 card reader, headset jack (1), mini Kensington lock
ThinkPad: Starts at $949
Folio: Ranges from $1,049 to $1758
XPS: Ranges from $999.99 to $1499.99
*The specifications of the ThinkPad T431 is not yet available and most of the specifications used in this article came from the ThinkPad T430u since the T431 is an upgraded version of the Ultrabook.
Which is the best Ultrabook?
To be honest, the three Ultrabooks have very similar specifications but each has its own higlights. The T431 has a better resolution and bigger storage while XPS has a better webcam and Folio has a bigger RAM. As for the best Ultrabook, it’s hard to tell. It would depend on what you’re looking for in an Ultrabook, its price and of course the design. The ThinkPad is more on the boxy side, and will allegedly come in various colors but the Folio and XPS looks more sleek in their metallic finish.