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Lenovo ThinkPad T450s Review: An ultrabook aimed squarely at professionals

By Rick
Jul 29, 2015
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  1. The Lenovo Thinkpad T450s is the company's latest addition to the “legendary” Thinkpad T series. This update brings Broadwell and several other refinements, but most notably a much needed trackpad redesign. An ultrabook aimed squarely at professionals, the T450s carefully balances portability, power and features in a semi-rugged 3.5 pound package.

    The T450s succeeds the T440s which debuted in Q3 2013. The best qualities from its prior model endure, namely dual batteries, CFP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) lid and IPS display. Any and all changes made since the last model seem only positive. It’s an earnest refinement to the T440s and I believe the best Thinkpad in recent years. Let’s take a look at how it stacks up.

    Read the complete review.

     
  2. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Maniac Posts: 399   +207

    Good, thorough review.

    How would you assess/compare this model to something like the Thinkpad Yoga 14 from BB ?
     
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,153   +1,427

    Professional body-builders?

    All professional IT people I know who's out shopping for a laptop for around $2,000 today opt for real ultrabooks, not a 3.5 pound brick that somebody called an ultrabook as a joke, as much as its spec for the kind of money.
     
  4. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,059   +645

    Then you've never used a ThinkPad T.
     
    madboyv1 likes this.
  5. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,153   +1,427

    So, you're saying that Lenovo is betting on sentimental users? Because nobody else will fall for it.
     
  6. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,059   +645

    No, I'm saying those are great machines.
     
    madboyv1 and Burty117 like this.
  7. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,153   +1,427

    Maybe they were. But the way this machine looks, its weigh and spec-to-price ratio - everything is out of date.

    Particularly screen, 1080P for the kind of money - nobody will pay $2000 for such an obsolete screen today. Even DELL today offers better machines for the kind of money.
     
  8. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,059   +645

    From the review: Starts at $953.10, $1,350 as tested
     
    madboyv1, Burty117 and Steve like this.
  9. trarmstrong

    trarmstrong TS Rookie

    Call me crazy, but I am about to purchase my first PC in over ten years. I've grown tired of the same old OS X. My 2010 MacBook Pro, while still running fine, is starting to show its age (1280x900 resolution, 2GB memory, etc.) and I just basically want a change of scenery (Windows 10).

    After looking at PC notebook options, most look like either toys or the "cool thing" of the day. Who is going to know what a HP Spectre is five years from now (much less, next year), while ThinkPads have carried on a legacy now for 25 years.

    I have always enjoyed the looks of the professional and non-flashy IBM laptop, but never considered owning one until now. Yes, I'm moving to the darkside, my younger self would be appalled by me going back to Windows, but whatever, change is good.
     
  10. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,153   +1,427

    Ok, that much you are. It is moving from Windows to OS-x is turning to the dark side, not the other way round.
     
  11. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,918   +684

    I'm sorry but I don't want a higher res screen when it's so Tiny, I'm guessing your the kind of guy who likes a 1440p screen on his phone? Windows still doesn't scale well when the resolution is so high, just check out any 4K reviews.

    At my company we're HP re-sellers mainly but we do sell the odd ThinkPad and I can say after being here 7 years now, ThinkPads don't die, they slow down, the batteries wear out, they have the odd LED light that just gets stuck on for no particular reason but they do not die.

    They are fantastic machines, I'm guessing you're a form over function kinda guy?
     
    madboyv1 likes this.
  12. Mark E

    Mark E TS Rookie

    Oh man I'm super-jealous now . . . this looks amazing! Because of the previous trackpoint redesign, I opted for a Surface Pro 3 and while I like it a lot, nothing will ever replace my love for the Thinkpad. I even use a trackpoint USB keyboard with my SP3 docking station.
     
  13. amstech

    amstech TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 1,455   +606

    They're ok. We bought four T410's and four T400's for a project years ago and they've held up pretty well. The screen bezels come loose easy and the keypads are cheap but overall not a bad laptop.
     
  14. Brodo Laggins

    Brodo Laggins TS Rookie Posts: 22   +12

    The best laptop I have ever used is a T420s. The only negative about it is a rather mediocre screen. Now the T450s has an IPS option (and a damn good one at that) I am really thinking about upgrading even though this machine does everything I need and more power wise.
     
  15. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 4,573   +65

    This shouldn't come as a surprise, but the T450s is a significant improvement over the T420s, at least in my opinion. The T450s runs a lot cooler and quieter. The display is gorgeous in comparison, of course... and the keyboard is surprisingly better (not that the T420s had a bad keyboard, mind you!). I remember thinking the T420s was pretty light for the time period, but the T450s is even a bit lighter.

    It's not for you.. and that's okay. :) I mostly disagree though. Significantly lighter laptops also make significant compromises in versatility (ports), power (CPUs), screen size, ruggedness and/or battery life. As it is, for work purposes, the T450s is pretty uncompromised... even if it isn't exciting or sexy. Also, for an IT Pro, there's no reason to spend $2K on a T450s anyway unless you're a sucker or just have too much disposable income ;-)

    I actually haven't handled the Yoga 14 in the wild, so I can't draw a comparison. My instinct is it might be a better *consumer* machine overall, primarily because of its discrete Nvidia GPU (better for gaming). Touchscreen is the default and the form factor is interesting. I happen to like the Yoga 2 quite a bit although I don't know how similar they are. On the negative side, the Yoga 14 is about a half pound heavier and the touchpad looks an awful lot like the T440s clickpad, which may or may not be an issue.
     

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