I went from a thinkpad T42 to a T420/430, and the screen size was a horrible disappointment! First of all, the T42 had a 14.1" diagonal screen of 101 square inches. The T420/430's screen is only 85 square inches! Second of all, you lose 25% of the real estate (i.e. the "wings"), for a 4:3 aspect ratio picture, on a 16:9 display. So the 85 square inches is cut down to 67 inches!! You have lost fully ONE THIRD of your screen real estate! The T420/430 display has as much real estate as an 11.8" display in the 4:3 generation! In my opinion, 15.6" laptops are essential for serious work, especially programming or writing (vertical) documents.
I have this exact same model and can not recommend this for anyone! First: when connecting external monitor to the laptop it uses the nvidia graphics for the task. This increases system power consumption which increases noise. Then there is the noise issue. System fan has this annoying high pitch noise which is unbearable in silent environment. Third: the display is terrible - close to unusable. At this price the display should be best you can get. Keyboard was much better in t400. This has home and page end buttons in wrong place. I can't believe I chose this lenovo over a Mac book. This will definitely be my last lenovo!
Gentle evolution. Instead of taking a radical change, Lenovo steps gently in advancing their established ThinkPad series. The quick Ivy Bridge processors should increase the performance and innovations, such as USB 3.0, should demonstrate their will to improve. But how will adherents of the ThinkPad react to the first integrated Chiclet keyboard?