The ThinkPad family of laptops by Lenovo (formerly IBM) are some of the best built laptops on the market. It is true that their black and boxy design isn’t terribly stunning to look at, but the key is that ThinkPads are durable and last a long time — key characteristics for a student laptop. ThinkPad notebooks have also started to come down in price a bit recently, but you can still get further money off if you are a student.
How to get the Lenovo student discount
There are a couple of ways to get a discount on a ThinkPad laptop from Lenovo. Some schools have their own online “stores” on Lenovo.com via links from the school website or even buying a ThinkPad in the campus bookstore, but if your school doesn’t offer such access you can visit Lenovo.com using the following link:
Note, this is for U.S. students only. When you access Lenovo.com via this student discount link you’ll be asked to choose your school and then after doing so you’ll see prices that are 5% lower than typical prices. As an example, here’s a screenshot of the starting prices for the ThinkPad series for regular users (click to see larger image):
And here’s a screen shot of the prices you get when accessing via the student link:
You can see that the price of the ThinkPad X61 Tablet PC is $1,505 regularly, but with the student discount link it shows up 5% cheaper at $1,434.96.
Look for other discounts, they might be better
Something else you should know is that Lenovo often offers eCoupon code discount offers. Search around the web and you’ll find these eCoupon codes you can apply to get an extra 10% or more off of a ThinkPad. Unfortunately, this can not be applied on top of the student discount. This means it might be better to go through the regular Lenovo.com site without using the student link, and then apply the coupon.
As an example, I configured a $1,309 ThinkPad T61 on Lenovo.com via the student site and got the price of $882.77 after all discounts were applied:
When I tried to apply the coupon code “USPTHINKSAVINGS” (valid in May of 2008) it would not apply on top of the student discount. However, when using the code on the regular Lenovo.com priced site it did take effect and gave me a better price of $836.32:
So it pays to do your research and don’t assume the student discount is necessarily the best, poke around and see what other offers are in existence, often times the eCoupon codes available will give you the best deal for a Lenovo product.
5% Lenovo Visa Discount
If you’re not a student but still want the 5% extra discount (again, assuming no good eCoupon offers are available) then you can always use the Visa discount available as well. Simply use the following link to access Lenovo.com:
And use your Visa card at checkout, and you get the same 5% discount as a student can get.
Current Recommended ThinkPad Laptops for 2011 Students
As of 2011 Lenovo has a new product lineup with three laptops in particular that are well suited to students in my opinion:
- Lenovo ThinkPad T420 – A 14″ screen portable and rugged laptop, a nice compromise between having a good screen size and still being easy to carry around.
- Lenovo ThinkPad X220 – The X220 is a 12″ laptop that is very light at around 3lbs and is suited well for students that will need to carry a laptop around campus all day. The X220 can be used with a docking station so that when at home you can easily switch to using a larger size monitor.
- Lenovo ThinkPad E420s – The ThinkPad E420s might be considered a budget version of the ThinkPad T420, but it also offers features many students might prefer such as a chiclet keyboard, more modern design and an HDMI port for video out to a TV.