As before, Lenovo’s venerable ThinkPad T480 remains a top competitor within the business market. It is a product of years of refinement and careful revision, rivaled only by a handful of truly top-notch machines. As we said during our last review, its construction is mostly very solid, the design is ever-practical (and immediately familiar), and there’s a good selection of ports on board. The input devices are also very good, the machine is quiet under operation, and it’s fast, too—at least, for general application performance, and in context with category averages for CPU performance.
What’s improved with today’s model versus the previous starts with the price, which is currently around $1,712 (at Amazon). Beyond that, since this configuration lacks dedicated graphics, temperatures and power consumption are also well below the values we measured from the previous model—though there are still a couple of bothersome hot spots on the bottom of the machine under load. The display remains bright and features good contrast, but as before, the color coverage is woefully inadequate, which leads to drearily washed-out colors and lackadaisical picture quality.
Though it falters in the realm of display color quality and a few other sparse categories, Lenovo’s venerable ThinkPad T480 remains a top competitor within the business market. It is a product of years of refinement and careful revision, rivaled only by a handful of truly top-notch machines.
Unlike the MX150 setup, this machine (of course) can’t really handle any sort of heavy GPU operation such as even light gaming. That’s expected—but what was unexpected is the lower CPU performance we received from the Core i7-8650U in our test unit versus the cheaper Core i7-8550U in March’s model. Perhaps most puzzling of all is the CPU performance ravine separating the T480s and today’s T480; even with the latest BIOS and all power settings properly configured, we couldn’t provoke scores anywhere close to what we saw from our Core i5-equipped T480s last week.
Still, though it falters in the realm of display color quality and a few other sparse categories, the T480 remains mentionable amongst the respected ranks of such competitors as Dell’s Latitude 7490, HP’s Elitebook 840 G5, and Lenovo’s own X1 Carbon. The real choice is whether the T480 or T480s makes more sense for your particular application—but apart from the aforementioned quibbles, it’s hard to find major fault in any of these options.