Lenovo's ThinkPad range is renowned as offering arguably the world's best business laptops, thanks to their market leading build quality and usability. The ThinkPad L412 is the latest addition and is a high-powered portable with strong environmental credentials.

Billed as Lenovo's 'greenest enterprise ThinkPad laptop', Lenovo claims the L412 uses the highest amounts of post-consumer recycled content in its production, saving the equivalent of ten plastic water bottles for each machine.

Tough build

The laptop itself looks much like any other machine in the ThinkPad range, with its stark black design and resilient matt-finish to its plastics. Build quality is top-notch, with rigid panels used throughout, making this an exceptionally tough laptop for frequent and demanding travel use.

At 2.4kg this is not the lightest ThinkPad we've seen, but it is more than portable enough to carry comfortably throughout the day.

The slightly curved lid and smooth finish lets the laptop slip easily into your bag and the 231-minute battery life can keep you working for half the day. Despite its compact chassis, the L412 is well-equipped.

A DVD rewriter lets you create CDs and DVDs, an eSATA port allows high-speed data transfers to external hard drives, and a Sleep and Charge USB port lets you charge battery-powered devices, even when the laptop is switched off.

Lenovo laptops are famed for having the best keyboards in the business and the L412 is no exception. The spacious spill-resistant board is quiet and accurate to use and responds with a flawless typing action. The indented CTRL key may frustrate some speed-typists, however.

With an Intel Core i5 processor and 2048MB of DDR3 memory, performance is outstanding and ideally suited to the most demanding business use, with multiple applications running smoothly and quickly.

Graphics are also surprisingly capable. An integrated Intel GPU has been used to keep costs and power consumption down, but the Intel GMA HD chip provides ample power for creating and running PowerPoint presentations and photo/video editing.

For optimum visibility in all lighting conditions, the L412 uses a matt-finish LED backlit screen to eliminate reflections. The 14-inch panel is bright and produces pleasingly sharp and natural images. VGA and DisplayPort outputs let you connect to a bigger screen when in the office.

While the ThinkPad L412 may lack the wow factor of rival corporate machines like Sony's VAIO Z-Series, its stunning usability, ample power and commendable green credentials easily compensate. All in all, this is another success for Lenovo and a great business machine.

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