Launched earlier this 12 months, the Lenovo ThinkPad T490 is a “do all of it” enterprise laptop computer that has a large gamut of doable configurations, making it easy to deploy to varied roles, from workplace employees to developer and even inventive workers.
Information reveals that prospect T490 prospects are principally evaluating it to different Lenovo laptops, together with the X1 Carbon, the ThinkPad X390, and varied T4xx variants corresponding to T490s and T495 (AMD CPU). The Macbook Professional is the one non-Lenovo comparability that’s often requested.
Fast specs overview
Config as examined: Intel i7-8565U + Intel 620 HD GPU, 16GB, 1TB SSD, 2560×1440 IPS LCD
There are 4 CPU choices presently listed on Lenovo.com, as follows: Core i5-8265U, Core i5-8365U, Core i7-8565U, and Core i7-8665U.
By default, the graphics processor is an Intel built-in GPU, however at the least one SKU has an NVIDIA GeForce MX250 as an choice, which might double the graphics efficiency.
The RAM goes from 8GB-16GB that’s soldered on the motherboard, with a further 32GB as a user-upgradable DIMM module, for a most of 48GB.
SSD NVME storage choices embody 256, 512 or 1024GB. We’ll go over the show choices later within the assessment, however you’ll be able to see that the breath of doable choices
The ThinkPad T490 has the final feel and appear of the ThinkPad household with a delicate black paint end and the identical sturdiness as its cousins (together with the X1 Carbon Gen7 we simply reviewed) with a spill-proof keyboard and a dozen Army endurance checks certifications.
Learn our What’s MIL-STD-810G article for an entire clarification, or you’ll be able to verify Lenovo’s leaflet to see the 12 checks particulars.
“SPILL-PROOF KEYBOARD AND A DOZEN MILITARY ENDURANCE TESTS CERTIFICATIONS”
A more in-depth inspection shortly reveals notable variations with a laptop computer just like the X1 Carbon: the ThinkPad T490 is barely heavier than the ultralight X1 Carbon (2.45 Lbs), however stays within the Skinny & Gentle laptop computer class, at 3.21 Lbs.
The chassis is made fiber-glass blended with Polyphenylene sulfide or Polyamide, relying on the situation.
The Macbook Professional 13 (2019) is ~6% lighter than the ThinkPad T490 however has a chassis measurement, which is smaller by about ~30%. That stated, the Apple laptop computer’s keyboard is extraordinarily shallow, and the MacBook has not been licensed to Army-Specs, nor has an intensive array of ports.
Keyboard and Trackpad
As talked about earlier, the keyboard is a typical “ThinkPad keyboard” with all of the goodness that comes with it: comfy 1.3mm key-travel, curved keys, and spill-proof. Briefly, it has an impeccable typing expertise.
This keyboard is backlit (2 ranges of brightness) with a monochrome gentle, which could be very useful at night time, in mattress, or in a airplane. We’d like
“IN SHORT, AN IMPECCABLE TYPING EXPERIENCE”
The trackpad is a little bit bigger (+18% in floor space) than the one discovered on the X1 carbon. It’s clearly not the largest trackpad in the marketplace, because the MacBook Professional and some others characteristic outsized trackpads.
On laptops, most individuals use scroll and pinch & zoom motions. Extra superior usages require as much as 4 fingers, and round gestures are usually extra comfy with a bigger floor. This trackpad is appropriate for normal utilization. Examine the Home windows 10 gestures
- 2x USB Sort-A, 3.1 Gen1
- 1x USB Sort C, TB3
- 1x USB Sort C, 3.1 Gen1
- 1x Customary HDMI1.4
- 1x Ethernet, RJ45
- 1x Flash Reader, MicroSDXC
- 1x Anti-theft slot, Kensington
- 1x 3.5mm audio
The variety of ports is spectacular, and that’s the benefit of getting a comparatively thick (17.9mm) design. The ThinkPad T490 isn’t a bad-looking laptop computer, however there are sexier and thinner designs in the marketplace.
The beauty of this pc is that you just don’t must have that HDMI or Ethernet dongle that by no means appears obtainable when you really want it.
The Thunderbolt 3 USB-C connector additionally opens a world of connectivity to excessive bandwidth gadgets corresponding to exterior displays, GPUs, and docking options. Lenovo has a USB-C dock that permits MAC deal with passthrough, which simplified community safety inside enterprises.
Easy issues just like the SD-Card reader could make life a lot simpler for photographers or customers who want to repeat information from such peripherals.
The sound system of the ThinkPad T490 is made from two audio system oriented upwards. They’re hidden behind the grill simply on the backside of the display.
The sound high quality is first rate, however even with Dolby Premium, it couldn’t match the ThinkPad X1 Carbon’s quad-speaker system or the Lenovo YOGA C930’s soundbar which has the most effective sound high quality we’ve heard.
It’s very a lot ok for video convention and informal film watching, however having a greater sound expertise would have taken issues to the subsequent degree.
Lenovo has been providing broader show selections on various laptops, and the T490 is one among them. With a minimum of six show choices (6!!) there’s positively one thing for everybody.
Our assessment unit is provided with the highest-quality WQHD IPS LCD panel. With a decision of 2560×1440, it’s sharp, and we measured the utmost brightness to 519 NITs, or 4% increased than the five hundred NIT specs.
The colours are wonderful, due to the 100% Adobe RGB shade gamut. This panel is, indisputably, a worthy choice for Inventive customers who do picture or video work. That’s significantly true given the CPU/GPU/RAM choices that we’ll cowl later.
“A WORTHY OPTION FOR CREATIVE USERS”
- Default – HD TN antiglare (1366×768, 250 nit)
- +$76 FHD IPS (1920 x 1080, 250 nit), decrease shade gamut
- +$182 FHD IPS Touchscreen (1920 x 1080. 300 nit), decrease shade gamut
- +$182 FHD IPS with PrivacyGuard (1920 x 1080, 400 nit)
- +$187 FHD IPS Low Energy (1920 x 1080, 400 nit)
- +$349 WQHD IPS with Dolby Imaginative and prescient® (2560 x 1440, 500 nit, 100% Adobe RGB)
The FHD “low energy” is of explicit curiosity for many who worth most battery life and relying on the environment, it’s possible you’ll save a bit of cash by getting a show with decrease brightness, however I’ve marked the fashions with a comparatively low shade gamut (~70% sRGB) that it is best to keep away from if you happen to do inventive work.
I used to be shocked to see a 720p choice with low brightness and low shade gamut because the default choice. It’s in all probability okay to make use of for workplace work, however with a beginning value of ~$1300, it might be good to have a 1080p/FHD show.
The show’s webcam is a typical 720p mannequin that may file at 30 FPS. It’s okay for video conferencing, however you probably have a latest high-end cellphone, you’ll get a lot better video high quality out of your cellphone’s selfie digicam.
To guard your privateness, Lenovo has included a bodily shutter to dam the digicam lens. That is hack-proof and appears loads classier than tape or post-its.
From a computing standpoint, the ThinkPad T490 can stretch greater than most as a result of it has a discrete GPU choice related to a most of 48GB of RAM. That may be significantly enticing if it’s essential do scientific or heavy imaging work.
The bottom mannequin comes with 8GB of RAM, however as you improve processors, some include a minimal of 16GB. The extra reminiscence may be added within the type of a DIMM slot and is user-upgradable.
At publishing time, solely Intel Gen8 CPUs can be found, some with vPro and others not. Lenovo was not prepared to substantiate that Gen 10 CPUs would make their approach into thew ThinkPad T490 sooner or later, however if you’re keen to attend, I believe these newer CPUs will arrive quickly and produce barely increased CPU efficiency and about 2X GPU efficiency.
- Core i5-8265U (base)
- Core i5-8365U (+$182)
- Core i7-8565U, 16GB min (+$182) – As examined
- Core i7-8665U, 16GB min (+$409)
Because it stands, the system efficiency is similar to different computer systems geared up with the identical CPU/GPU/Show decision combo. The ThinkPad T490’s principal benefit is to allow 48GB RAM because the upper-limit, which might change every thing if you happen to use Photoshop, Premiere, or some other memory-intensive app.
When RAM will get low, and also you hit the SSD for storage swapping, your CPU efficiency turns into successfully meaningless anyway.
For comparability, the Macbook Professional 13 is restricted to 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM, whereas this one can get 48GB of LPDDR4 RAM. The Macbook Professional 15 will get 32GB max.
Because the gaming benchmark reveals, if you’d like increased efficiency, you will have two choices: swap to an Intel tenth technology processor (XPS 13 7390 i7), or use a discrete GPU just like the NVIDIA GeForce MX (T480s + Matebook X i7 above). The excellent news is that the T490 may be configured with an NVIDIA GPU to succeed in these ranges of efficiency.
From a wi-fi connectivity standpoint, the Lenovo presents a very good WIFI AC (WiFi-5) arrange and an non-obligatory 4G LTE connectivity choice.
This works very nicely for many customers, but when your property or enterprise has a WiFi-6 router, then you definately could be lacking out on further options and efficiency. Maybe some meals for ideas, however in our opinion, it’s not a purchase order criterion for a WiFi-5 laptop computer.
The 50Wh (Watt-hours) of battery capability is first rate however barely below-average within the skinny & gentle class. For example, the MacBook Professional 13 packs 58Wh of battery (+16%).
When you evaluate with the X1 Carbon, Dell XPS 13, Matebook X Professional, and the ThinkPad T480s — all of them have higher capacity-per-weight ratios, they usually all pack extra battery per cubic inch than the T490, so it’s actually one thing that this explicit design might enhance upon.
Thankfully, Lenovo has RapidCharge, a expertise that expenses the battery at a theoretical pace of 40Wh per hour, however in follow, it might probably go as excessive as 47Wh per hour.
In the usual PCMark 8 Work Battery take a look at, we bought 6h38mn of steady use, which isn’t unhealthy for such a take a look at, however remember the fact that our high-resolution show does eat way more energy than 1080p screens.
And don’t overlook that Lenovo additionally has that low-power show choice. Altering screens can get you 30%-50%, or extra battery life. Inversely, including a discrete GPU choice will use extra energy. Overlook the benchmarks and assume when it comes to complete system energy relative to the battery measurement.
Laptops have gotten more and more configurable at order time, and particular person system benchmarks are a lot much less related until you buy the very same mannequin.
Be conscious that battery checks are by no means consultant of real-world utilization, as a result of app settings, background duties, brightness standing, and community situations are all the time totally different. An important a part of battery life is to take a look at the battery capability (in Wh) and the general system energy baseline (CPU thermal design level, or TDP).
The Lenovo T490 (official US product web page) is designed as a enterprise laptop computer, and it reveals. It places apart a variety of typical shopper product “desires,” corresponding to a skinny physique and glam design in favor of extremely versatile configuration choices and a ton of ports that can assist you keep productive and dongle-free.
With a beginning value near $1300, we’d have favored to see a extra highly effective base mannequin with at the least a greater show and maybe extra RAM. On the similar value, the Lenovo X1 Carbon Gen7 presents a a lot lighter chassis and higher display.
The ThinkPad T490 can deal with an enormous market, going from individuals who solely take care of black and white paperwork to creatives who need wonderful shade and quick graphics processing.
In the long run, it might probably serve a user-base that different ThinkPads might not have the ability to, maybe due to explicit technical particulars. Perhaps that explains why potential patrons are evaluating it with many different ThinkPads.
I really feel like this could possibly be the popular ThinkPad mannequin from an IT-department perspective as a result of it might probably serve so many individuals inside an organization. The ThinkPad T490 is a jack of all trades and if price range is a priority, it’s possible you’ll need to learn our ThinkPad T480s assessment as final 12 months’s mannequin remains to be promoting.
Total product score: 8.9/10
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