At CES 2016, Lenovo announced the T460s, along with the thicker and more powerful T460 and T460p. The T460s is thinner and lighter than the T450s, and will have Skylake CPUs and up to 24GB of RAM, as well as a an actual matte touchscreen option .The T460 keeps the removable battery, but is thicker, and the T460p has more powerful processors. All three will ship in February.
Most people don’t need one, but if I had to get a no-BS, reliable laptop for everyday work—and an ultrabook just wouldn’t cut it—I’d get the $1,470 configuration of the Lenovo ThinkPad T450s, the model with 1920×1080 screen, backlit keyboard, 12 GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD.
Keyboard and Trackpad
The ThinkPad T450s has one of the best keyboards I’ve ever used. The 1.9mm key travel, sculpted keys and damping come together for typing’s perfect storm. As ever with ThinkPads, the keyboard is backlit and you’ll turn it on using the Fn and spacebar keys (there are two stages of brightness). Actual mechanical buttons line the top of the trackpad for those who use the TrackPoint eraser stick pointer. The bottom clickers are still the buttonless variety. ThinkPad trackpads are some of the best you’ll find in the world of Windows, and the T450s is no exception. The glass Synaptics trackpad tracks perfectly and multi-touch gestures are responsive and reliable. It’s as close to a Mac as you’ll get in Windows land.
Screen and Display
At 13 x 8.9 x 0.83 inches and 3.8 pounds, the ThinkPad T450s (touch-screen version) isn’t the thinnest or lightest business notebook in its size range, but it was more than svelte enough for me to carry around indoors or bring to work in my laptop bag. If you get a regular display rather than the touch screen our review model came with, your ThinkPad T450s will be just 3.5 pounds. This makes it the same weight as the 13-inch MacBook Pro (12.4 x 8.6 x .71 inches, 3.5 pounds), though a bit larger.
The 1,920 x 1,080 touch screen provided sharp, colorful images in our tests. When I watched a 1080p trailer for the Avengers: Age of Ultron, the red in Black Widow’s hair and the green in the Hulk’s skin appeared deep and rich, while the battle scarring on Captain America’s shield really stood out.
Unlike thinner notebooks, such as the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, the ThinkPad T450s has a full compliment of ports, letting you connect to a variety of peripherals and networks without using a dongle. On the right side sit a USB 3.0 port, an Ethernet connection, VGA out, a headphone/mic jack, a Kensington lock slot and a 4-in-1 card reader. A number of business notebooks lack Ethernet, making it more difficult to connect to wired networks, and VGA, which is still standard on many conferencing systems and projectors.
With its 2.3-GHz Intel Core i5-5300U, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD, our configuration of the ThinkPad T450s was more than powerful enough to handle any productivity task. On Geekbench 3, a synthetic benchmark that measures overall performance, the T450s scored 5,993. That’s below the 7,082 thin-and-light notebook category average but on par with similarly specced systems like the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. The MacBook Pro 13-inch and its 2.7-GHz Core i5-5257U were noticeably faster, notching 7,113.
The Thinkpad T450s is aimed right at the heart of business, with plenty of features that businesses look for, a well built chassis, and MIL-Spec tested components. Though it is not as thin and light as a lot of Ultrabooks, including Lenovo’s own ThinkPad X1 Carbon, there is a lot of laptop here which should be interesting to anyone looking for a 14-inch laptop.