Anybody who's been following me here knows I have a bias toward ThinkPads. I had been using an off-lease T43 for a while but it started off (for me) with a pinky display and wouldn't run Windows 7 Aero.
Over the Black Friday weekend I lurked at the Lenovo Outlet site. They had some incredible deals but they came and went pretty quick. One of the deals that caught my eye was a T420s. I grabbed it and put it in my shopping cart but thought better and removed it. It immediately disappeared! That told me that it was a good deal. I hung around there a while longer pressing F5 every few seconds and it came back! This time I didn't hesitate. I bought it and then started trying to figure out what I'd bought.
What it was was a 3.7 lb. (the "s" in T420s stands for "slim") Intel Core i5-2540M (2.6GHz) with Windows 7 Pro. It came with 4GB RAM (which I'll upgrade to 8GB) and a 128GB SSD. It has a 14" screen (1600 x 900) and a 720p web cam. It's got a DVD burner and Bluetooth in addition to the expected Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n wireless.
Being a "T" series it was mostly clean of crapware so my first inclination was to just go with the Lenovo image.
But after a couple of days I began to notice that I was using 80% of real memory and had almost 120 processes running. That compares to the X100e that uses less than 50% of 2GB and has less than 50 processes running. I'm not sure that's apples to apples but it certainly is an indicator.
Recently I did a clean install of Windows 7 Pro using Lenovo's instructions. I tried to do this using the UEFI feature as described here but it doesn't look like that worked.
Regardless the T420s is a lot cleaner now. It's under 80 processes and less than 50% memory utilized.