Lenovo ThinkPad T490s – Introduction
Lenovo’s 14-inch T-Series Business Notebook PCs are the ultimate productivity tools for many users. This screen size is almost dead in the consumer space but is still very popular for office devices. Lenovo’s high-end system portfolio includes the two T Series devices (T490 and T490) and the flagship X1 Carbon product.
Today we review the ThinkPad T490s laptop. The Lenovo ThinkPad T490s is a professional notebook that can be used with a comfortable keyboard, numerous ports, enough power for an Intel Core i5-8265 processor and a bright, clean display. With $1,786.99 on trial and $921.75 to start with, it’s a useful, albeit costly, the choice for businesses looking for a productivity-savvy machine.
This is the thinnest version of the ThinkPad T490, which seems to be better in almost every respect. This year’s T490 does not have a removable battery, so the only real benefit of the T490 is that it offers an option for discrete graphics. The ThinkPad T490s weighs only 2.81 pounds and, with thinner glasses, it now provides an opportunity for a Dolby Vision 1440p display. And of course, this year’s model incorporates Intel Whiskey Lake processors.
Lenovo ThinkPad T490s – Design
The Lenovo ThinkPad T490s is available in black and silver, although Lenovo sent me a black as usual. The top is made from a carbon-fiber hybrid, and the bottom is magnesium, which partly explains why it’s so lightweight at 2.81 pounds.
Weight is one of the best things about this laptop. The logo on the top left is the standard silver ThinkPad logo, rather than the new gloss black logo we see on the X1. Like all ThinkPads this year, there is no Lenovo logo on the lid. It’s just a matte black cover with the ThinkPad logo.
The overall shape of the design is similar to that of a convertible ThinkPad, and I always notice it about the T4XX models. The front of the machine is tilted down, giving it a stuck appearance. Like all ThinkPads, it is designed to be quite robust, achieving 12 MIL-STD-810G tests. This means that it can withstand extreme conditions such as humidity, vibration, shock, extreme temperatures, high altitudes, dust, and sand, etc.
Lenovo ThinkPad T490s – Display
The 14-inch FHD IPS anti-glare screen is crisp and bright. I watched the trailer of Sonic the Hedgehog in 1080p and found that the blue and red of the title screen appeared on the black background. The dusty browns of the desert were fantastic while a blue blur of this iconic hedgehog stood on a deserted highway. Even Jim Carrey’s ridiculously curly handlebar mustache looked very strong against a green military decor.
Despite the overall clarity of the display, the ThinkPad only covers 106.4% of the sRGB color range, which is the lowest in our sample, well below the 176% Surface Surface laptops in the category. With over 100% of the color gamut, this screen will look great for movies, web browsing, and other applications, but others can be even more vivid.
Lenovo ThinkPad T490s – Performance
The Lenovo ThinkPad T490s that Lenovo sent me includes a Core i5-8265U processor and 16GB of RAM, which is a standard commercial reference. I feel like an i7 is better with 16GB of RAM, but I have not encountered any performance issues.
The Core i5 belongs to the Whiskey Lake family or the second generation of eighth-generation chips. It is quad-core with eight threads and has a TDP of 15W. The good thing is that this processor comes in a basic model, so there is no Core i3 variant.
You can also configure it with a Core i7-8565U or vPro variants of i5 or i7. Unfortunately, the RAM reaches 16 GB maximum. As I was hoping for a PC generally considered a “workaholic,” the T490s did not let me down. He was able to handle all the tasks I gave him, causing choking for functions such as video editing. This is to be expected, though. After all, there are many PCs with Core i5, built-in graphics, and 16GB of RAM, so performance is never far apart.
Lenovo ThinkPad T490s – Battery
The battery life is fantastic because it does not hurt to get eight full hours of actual use. The 15W Core i5, combined with a 1080p display and a 57Whr battery, does the trick. You will have less battery life of the QHD model. As a rule of thumb, the higher the screen resolution, the brighter the display, or the stronger the internal devices, the lower the life of the battery. It also includes Lenovo’s fast charge, which reaches 80% of the battery in less than 60 minutes.
Lenovo ThinkPad T490s – Ports
As you would expect from a laptop like this, you have a choice of many ports. It is essentially the T490. On the left side of the laptop, there are two USB Type-C ports, one being USB 3.1 Gen 1 and the other Thunderbolt 3. The latter can be used for mechanical connection with one of Lenovo’s Thunderbolt docks.
There is also a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port, a 3.5mm combo audio jack, HDMI 1.4b, and a port for an Ethernet extension connector. The Ethernet connector is integrated with the side docking station. And on the right side, you will find another USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port, as well as the optional smart card reader.
You will also find a slot for a MicroSD card on the back, which also serves as a SIM card slot. Of course, if you do not get the cellular model, installing a SIM card does not do anything.
Lenovo ThinkPad T490s – Keyboard & Touchpad
The Lenovo ThinkPad T490s comes with a familiar and a comfortable keyboard. With a 1.5mm of travel and only 76 grams of force to record a hit, this keyboard will help users to type quickly and accurately. During the 10fastfingers.com hit test, I easily beat my average, cold, 60-wpm speed with 91 percent accuracy at 73 wpm and 98 percent accuracy.
The 3.8×2.4-inch trackpad is smooth and responsive. Windows precision drivers allow easy use of trackpad gestures, a must for experienced users and professionals. The gestures worked smoothly the first time I tried them. I also found that the follow-up was fluid and accurate.
Lenovo ThinkPad T490s – Conclusion
The Lenovo ThinkPad T490s is a perfect laptop, mainly because I do not see any significant drawback to buy one. The biggest problem is perhaps the display, which is a little mediocre. Plus, if the Dolby Vision option is similar to the T490 that I reviewed, it’s not as good as the other Dolby Vision displays I’ve seen on Lenovo computers.
It has a multitude of ports, and if for some reason, the battery lets you down, the fast charge allows you to use up to 80% in 60 minutes. There is a ThinkShutter privacy feature on the camera. So you do not need to put tape, but you do not have to give up the infrared camera for Windows Hello.
If you’re looking for a double-hull laptop that will not let you down and is easily portable, the ThinkPad T490 is a great option. If you are looking for a convertible or something with dedicated graphics, Lenovo also offers alternatives to the ThinkPad.