The Lenovo ThinkPad lineup of laptops is built for people who rely on their computers to get the work done. The ThinkPad T480 is a similar addition to the ThinkPad series that Lenovo launched in order to provide excellent computing power to people who need it on the go.
The T480 comes in various different configurations, but in this review, we will evaluate the version that comes with an Intel 8th Gen i5-8350U CPU along with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD. We will look at different aspects of the laptop and see how well it works.
Design & Build Quality
The first time you take out the laptop from the retail box, you will notice that this laptop also follows the same design language that many other ThinkPad laptops out there carry. This has a thick, sturdy design that feels really good. All the ThinkPads are designed to be shock proof, dust proof and basically, they have a really great build.
This laptop is no exception. The Lenovo ThinkPad T480 is made out of carbon fiber, and it has a soft touch finish to it.
This is a 14-inch laptop, and it is quite portable and compact. Coming to the laptop’s design, there’s a ThinkPad branding on the screen lid of the laptop. Opening the lid up will reveal the matte display, the keyboard, the red colored TrackPoint, the touchpad, the fingerprint sensor.
The webcam comes with a privacy shutter which is slowly becoming a standard on a lot of laptops.
Turn it around and you will see that the battery is removable which is a nice thing to have. There is an option to have two batteries in this laptop out of which one is installed inside the laptop itself, and another one is hot swappable.
The design is pretty much basic, and it has a no-nonsense, minimal design which a lot of people will like. Keep in mind that ThinkPad line of laptops always had a very minimalistic and similar design.
This laptop comes with a full HD 1080p anti-glare display. The display itself looks quite nice, and it is a LED display, so it has decent colors. Don’t expect it to be accurate for video or photo editing though.
The display has an anti-glare or what you may call, matte surface to it, so it isn’t reflective at all. This will be useful for those who work in a very bright environment since display reflection can be very annoying.
All the models of the T480 have a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels no matter which variant you choose so even if you get the top model; you are still going to get a 1080p display. This is helpful in conserving the power that any resolution over 1080p would have consumed thereby increasing the battery life of the laptop.
Keyboard, Trackpad and the TrackPoint
Let’s talk about the keyboard first. The keyboard on this thing is excellent. The keys have a good travel distance to them and they feel very responsive while typing. There is no mushy feeling in the keyboard while typing so you can type as fast as you want without losing your typing accuracy.
Talking about the trackpad, it is good to use and uses Windows Precision drivers so the experience is quite good. It also supports multi-touch and gesture support so you have gestures like pinch-to-zoom and three finger swipe etc.
There is also a TrackPoint stick which can be used as a pointing stick and a lot of people who have worked on a ThinkPad in the past prefer the TrackPoint to perform various actions on their laptop. It is used to move around your desktop quite quickly, and once you get used to it, it proves to be quite helpful as you use the laptop.
The ThinkPad T480 thankfully keeps the business laptop features by providing all the important ports and you don’t need to use a dongle at all. You get two USB 3.0 ports, an Ethernet port, HDMI port and an SD card reader as well.
The Lenovo ThinkPad T480 uses a USB Type-C port for charging itself, and there’s another USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3 port so you can connect things like an external GPU, etc. with the laptop.
Fingerprint Sensor & Security
The Lenovo ThinkPad comes with a fingerprint sensor that will help you log-in to Windows and more. The fingerprint uses the match-on-chip technology to make sure that your laptop is always secure and safe. The laptop also comes with an anti-spoofing tech that will authenticate your credentials while logging in and hence it safeguards your data.
Intel vPro is also available on the ThinkPad T480, and it helps your remote management tasks very easy. The laptop’s data is encrypted using a dTPM chip so if you are buying the laptop for enterprise use, you are not going to be disappointed with the features.
Most business-oriented laptops don’t really focus on the audio quality since these laptops are meant to be used in a business environment and purpose. But the speakers on the ThinkPad T480 sound very good. The speakers are plenty loud and the audio sounds good. You can hear the details and different sounds while playing the audio.
You get a Dolby Audio software on the laptop which is included in the Lenovo Vantage suite. You can choose from different profiles such as music, movies, games, voice etc. Dolby can automatically change the profile depending on the app that you are using so if you are using Skype for Business for a video conference, it will make sure that you can hear everyone’s voice correctly and if you are typing during the call, the keyboard noise is filtered out.
Our unit comes with an Intel Core i5-8350U processor, 8GB RAM, Intel UHD Graphics 620 and for storage, we have 256GB PCIe SSD. The laptop performed really well and it doesn’t seem to lag even if you have a lot of programs open.
We tested the performance with several office documents opened in the background and with Google Chrome with more than a dozen tabs open. The laptop seemed to plow through everything that we threw at it.
The laptop does come in other variants where you can choose a better processor or a GPU if you have some GPU intensive programs to run on it. You can choose a variant with the NVIDIA MX150 GPU for your graphics intensive needs.
The PCIe SSD also made sure that the laptop stays snappy as the apps and programs opened up really fast.
This is a perfect laptop to have on the go with all the performance needs that you might have. You can choose a higher variant with a better processor, 16GB RAM, and an NVIDIA MX150 GPU if you want to have the full power on this thing.
Our unit came with no internal battery and an external cell is a 48Wh unit. You can choose to have a 24Wh internal battery along with external battery options of 24Wh, 48Wh, or 72Wh.
As mentioned, ours didn’t have any internal battery and hence the laptop relies on the 48Wh cell that we have. The 48Wh unit provides us with a battery life of around 10 hours for a video loop. If you use the different applications at the same time, the battery life will float around 7-8 hours. As per Lenovo, the 48Wh battery unit should provide a usage time of 13.2 hours which is quite close to what we received.
You can choose to have an internal battery and a 72Wh external battery and you are bound to get a battery life of over 15 hours on this thing.
The Lenovo ThinkPad T480 is a well-balanced laptop, but only if you are buying it for your business needs. The ThinkPad series is a go-to laptop choice for many businesses since it provides everything including the power and balance to make it an efficient business machine.
This is a definite choice that you should make if you want to buy it for business or work purposes but if you want something for gaming or media consumption, you can look at other laptops in the market. The laptop is available at a starting price of 95,990 INR.