Just last month, Lenovo unveiled another contender in its ThinkPad lineup. It’s called the E480 and is supposed to be a mid-range laptop that delivers great performance that the ThinkPad lineup is famous for. With price bracket starting from $260 all the way to $670, it is one of the most versatile models with 19 variations, all suited to meet your needs. How does it stack up? Let’s find out.
Keeping in mind that the ThinkPad E480 is a business laptop, the display is not that impressive. It comes standard with a 14-inch HD (1366×768 pixels) resolution. Which is decent in my opinion, but in this day and age it still lags behind the displays boasting full HD. You do get an option to go for a full HD variant for a little extra cash but that’s as high as it goes.
The screen has a matte anti-glare coating on it which does help with the visibility outdoors or with bright lights in the room, but it sacrifices viewing angles. The colors are surprisingly vibrant considering it’s just an IPS panel and not an OLED. You can get better display’s on other laptops in the same price range but they won’t offer the same level of performance.
There isn’t anything particularly special in the design of the ThinkPad E480. It looks almost the same as any other ThinkPad from the same model year. There are some minor details that do differentiate some models from the others, but they can only be noticed upon close inspection.It has the same matte-finish body inside out with the same keyboard area and touchpad.
ThinkPad are known for their rugged appearances and this one’s no different. The materials don’t feel as premium and they’re not the most light-weight either. However, the E480 did feel a bit lighter and slimmer than the usual ThinkPad’s. Although, this doesn’t make them any better feeling or looking than the competition, but that’s the thing about ThinkPad’s. They’re made for people who don’t care about looks and want a work machine that gets the work done. And that’s exactly what they get.
After you open the lid, you’re greeted with a nice backlit keyboard that’s fairly easy to use. On the top-right, you get a standard power button and a fingerprint sensor on the bottom right. The touchpad is definitely one of the better one’s out there and those red accents at the top definitely giveit a bonus over the otherwise boring yet stealthy look.
Performance and Storage
When it comes to performance, ThinkPad’s don’t disappoint; and they shouldn’t as they are, after all, known for being a performance-oriented series. And the E480 is no exception. It comes with Intel’s 8th Gen Core i5 and i7 which are one of the best and commonly used processors out there. The RAM is expandable up to 32Gb and is DDR4. But the cherry on top, that makes the E480 a beast to use, is the 2Gb AMD Radeon RX550 dedicated graphics card. This helps the ThinkPad plough through intensive editing apps, multiple browser windows and even some games.
As far as storage is concerned, the E480 comes in various configurations. You can either have a one with a 512Gb SSD with optional additional HDD up to 2TB. Other than that, you have an option for either a 2TB HDD (5400rpm) or a 500GB HDD (7200rpm). My recommendations would be to go for the one with the SSD as it promises the most performance but comes at a higher price.
As far as connectivity is concerned, it has the usual Wi-Fi with a fast 802.11ac with 2×2 transmission/reception along with Bluetooth 4.1. Other than that, you also get a USB type-C and two USB 3.1 ports, a USB 2.0 post, a Micro SD card reader, and HDMI port and an audio combo jack.
The battery life of the ThinkPad, as advertised by Lenovo, is around 13 hours. This is, of course, subject to the usage of the laptop. There have been claims on getting 7-9 hour from this battery through light to average use. Which, in my opinion, is close to the claimed figure. We do, however, believe that these figures won’t be the same while using heavy duty and intensive apps and will be worse. While this may not be the best battery out there, it is still a healthy figure, but it’s recommended to carry a charger when on the go.
The E480 is definitely a good option as it provides ample performance with a decent enough battery life for a reasonable price. With prices starting at just $262, it is a bargain. However, you do sacrifice looks and premium feeling materials but that’s subjective. Some people like the basic stealthy look of the ThinkPad compared to brushed aluminum or polycarbonate finishes. The bottom line is that, if you value performance over anything else, The E480 is the laptop for you.