The Lenovo ThinkPad T450s is the latest improved version of the classic business notebook PC with comprehensive connectivity options and a chassis that will endure all kinds of situations. If you've used a ThinkPad in the past 15 years, it is likely that this was a model in the range T. The Lenovo ThinkPad T450s (1450 € for our test version) is the last of a long line that defined the standards of professional notebook series and ultraportables. The Lenovo ThinkPad T440s released last year was slightly disappointing, with its strange piece touchpad, its meager 128GB SSD and the lack of HDMI output. The T450s corrects these defects and the opportunity to offer an Intel Core i5 fifth generation. Many small details bring this model to the forefront, as its hot-swappable battery, its range of connection and its tilting touch screen. Launched at a very competitive price, T450s reached the top of our selection of the best professional ultraportables.
Design and features
The livery of the T450s features full black with dimensions of 33 cm by 22.9 cm and 2.1 cm thick, all for a low weight of 1.6 kg. It's barely 225g more compared to the very end Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch 2015, which uses carbon fiber and magnesium to reduce weight. It is against lighter than 1.8 kilograms of ThinkPad E450, always at Lenovo, which is oriented towards small businesses with a tighter budget. Other comparable notebooks professionals in size and weight, the Dell Latitude 14 include 7000 series (E7450) or the HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G1 (G4U67UT). As for the Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch Retina (2015) and the HP EliteBook Folio 1020, they are slightly more compact but boxing in the same category.
Lenovo delivered its T450s meets specifications MIL-SPEC 810G, enabling it to withstand high altitudes, to withstand drops, with wide variations in temperature, high humidity or significant dust rate. The machine can also continue to operate without flinching after having poured the contents of a can of soda on his keyboard. As for stainless steel hinges that make the connection between the frame and the screen, they give a clear impression of solidity. In short, it T450s will certainly survive in any professional environment.
The 14-inch screen integrates an IPS panel with a resolution of 1980 x 080 pixels 1, which offers a clear and bright image with excellent viewing angles. The matt finish prevents glare and the screen can tilt up to 180 ° to be laid flat. This makes it easy to share the display with other people around the table. The touch response is also excellent.
Praise traditionally accorded to the ThinkPad keyboard is always appropriate, with improved comfort due to the backlight and slightly concave keys that provides a best hit yet. The row of function keys located above the keyboard allows to operate multimedia controls (play, rewind, fast forward, etc) and Windows 8. It is possible to reconfigure the default on the F1 to F12 function if necessary. The dual pointing device is provided by the TrackPoint center of the keyboard and touchpad. There are 3 physical buttons above the touchpad, which is a step backwards compared to the ThinkPad T431s Levovo and T440s. Both previous models were equipped with a single-piece touchpad with five buttons which proved too original for many users. The connectivity options are above average. The power connector, mini DisplayPort, a smart card reader and two USB 3.0 ports are located on the left edge. On the right we find an Ethernet port, a jack headphone output, a security lock slot Kensington, an SD card slot, SIM card for a slot (WWAN module can be added as an option), another USB port 3.0 and a VGA port. 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 chip providing wireless connectivity.
The two security screws surrounding the VGA port - absent on many current laptops - are welcome to maintain the VGA cable in place during a presentation. A dock connector is present in the cell, and 3 cell battery is removable. A second 3-cell battery is sealed inside, to exchange the removable battery with a recharged without requiring the extinction of the laptop, and it's extremely convenient.
Our test model came with 8GB of memory and a 256GB SSD for double capacity compared with its predecessor, the T440s. On the Lenovo site, it is possible to pre-configure the laptop with up to 12GB of memory and a 512GB SSD. The standard warranty of one year seems short, knowing that most business equipment are equipped with a three-year warranty.
The performance achieved on the test bench proved excellent, thanks to the Intel Core i5-5300U and responsiveness of the SSD. The T450s gets the best result in the category of PCMark 8 Work Conventional with 2 937 points, outpacing the Dell Latitude E7450 (2681), the Dell Latitude 12 7000 Series (E7250) and the HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G1 (2775). The HP EliteBook 1020 and Intel Core-M brings up the rear with 1464 points.
The scores on 3D tests are very good for the area and are expected to consider acceptable 3D capabilities for small professional graphics applications. The use of video games, however, remains to forget. The results on the multimedia tests are very satisfactory. It only took 4 minutes and 10 seconds to complete our T450s test Adobe Photoshop CS6, and only 2mn44 our Handbrake video test. These are excellent scores for professional PC. Since the ThinkPad T450s comes with two batteries (one internal, sealed, and another removable), we tested the battery life on both. Endurance reached 3 hours and 18 minutes on the internal battery only, and 7:31 with both. We consider that this represents almost a full day without charging. It's 9 minutes better than the EliteBook Folio HP models (equipped with a single battery), but not as good as the Dell Latitude E7250 and Lenovo X1 Carbon who both achieved nine hours of battery life. As for the Dell Latitude E7450 and the Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch, it is the most enduring 11:10 10:12 ET respectively.
In this sector, it is the small details that make all the difference, and Lenovo has understood with the ThinkPad T450s. The hot-swappable battery, comfort keyboard, touch screen, the quality of the finish and performance are all excellent reasons to detain him. The Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series (E7450) makes better copy than the T450s at autonomy and duration of the guarantee, but the T450s still above thanks to its professional features and more affordable. The ThinkPad T450s becomes the reference professional and ultraportable Editors' Choice in this category.
PLUS: Full connectivity including mini DisplayPort, Ethernet and VGA. Hot-swappable battery. Tilting touch screen 180°. Dual pointing devices with improved buttons. Comfortable and backlit keyboard. Conforms to MIL-SPEC standard.
LESS: lower battery life than its competitors. Guaranteed one year.
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s PRICE: € 1450