Lenovo ThinkPad E480 saw the light of the day last month (September) and we have been using the 14-inch HD display model even before it was officially out. As a daily driver, the ThinkPad range has managed to plug some vital gaps, unlike some of the new laptops. It has the latest specs while featuring all the interfaces and the durable build that a business user won’t get in a sleek laptop.
The series is not really design-centric but over the years we have seen an upward curve in terms of looks for sure and the ‘modern’ appearance is somewhat there. So, at Rs 57,496 (excluding GST). is ThinkPad E480 delivering a balanced mix of all the ingredients or is it all show and no go? Read on.
Design language across all the 2018 ThinkPad lineup has largely been on the same page. They all resemble each other but with minor differences in details if you look closely. After reviewing the ThinkPad X1 Carbon earlier this year, we hardly found ThinkPad E480 a differentiator in terms of looks. It has the same heavy-duty and stealthy appearance with the Black matte-finish body both on the outer side and the inner side. The keyboard area and the touchpad too appear nearly the same.
That said, the body is definitely lighter and slimmer than before and easier to carry around. Naturally, ThinkPad laptops are not the most lightweight ones out there or show signs of premium-ness but they play well on the stealth look. The series aims to lure those who want the most out of a laptop and are not really concerned about the looks but then giving them minor tweaks in the design segment is just a welcome addition, if nothing else.
You get a standard power button on the inner side at the top-right corner of the keyboard area. The backlit keys are easy to use and prevent you from flexing your fingers a lot. The touchpad is also a breeze to use with the iconic red accents adding to the look. As expected, there’s a fingerprint touch sensor as a security layer as well.
As for connectivity, you nearly everything including USB 3.0 Type-C, 2x USB 3.1, USB 2.0, HDMI, microSD card and headphone and microphone combo jack. There is no LAN port but you get the LAN to USB port along with the laptop so there shouldn’t be an issue.
The ThinkPad E480 is not bad when you talk about the display. Like we said above, the laptop is made keeping business users in mind so you shouldn’t expect the display as one of the focus points of the device. It has a 14-inch HD (1366×768 pixels) which is not as much but you get a variant with full HD resolution display as well. There’s no higher variant than that. The unit we received came with a 14-inch full HD display, which is a decent screen to look at. You can even attempt to watch movies and TV shows on it but don’t expect the best performance. The screen reflection is not an issue with the E480 but the viewing angles are as it has a matte coating on it.
However, the IPS panel is vivid but if the display section is one of your concerns, then you can get better-screen laptops in the similar price range. However, you may be missing out on some of the features or the same level of performance like what the ThinkPad laptops deliver.
It is difficult to argue upon the fact that Lenovo ThinkPad laptops aren’t quite there yet when it comes to performance. The series is one of the most powerful ones out there and the E480 too won’t be a disappointment for you. Needless to say, all the editing apps, presentations, multiple browser tabs and even games run flawlessly in the ThinkPad E480. The unit we received used a rather powerful Intel 8th-gen Core i5 processor with up to 8GB upgradable RAM capacity. The device also made use of AMD Radeon RX 550 with dedicated 2GB memory to crunch all the graphic-intensive work and make life easier for us.
You will get the laptop iterations that have up to 512GB SSD storage, up to 2TB hard drive (5400rpm) or up to 500GB storage (7200rpm). Unfortunately, there’s just one SSD model with the new ThinkPad E480 laptop but for the given price, others aren’t bad options either. Also, it is easy to find alternatives on this front.
The Windows 10 operating system stays the same as ever, easy to use, familiar with most of us and with a bunch of security options including Windows Hello facial recognition alongside the inbuilt fingerprint sensor. Also mentioned is that the E480 has a discrete Trusted Platform Module 2.0 chip that works in tandem with Windows 10 Pro BitLocker to keep all the information encrypted. Lenovo says that not just end customers but IT departments will also find it easy to operate, deploy and maintain.
Other features such as the HD webcam with dual array and Dolby Advanced audio speakers and more work without any complaints.
So if you look at the Lenovo ThinkPad E480 from an overall perspective, the laptop performs like advertised while featuring all the functions, security layers and the required power performance. It’s not the best but then it’s not the worst either and gets the job done at the end of the day.
The battery performance, like we say always, is dynamic and completely depends on the apps you use and for how long you work on them. However, on regular usage that includes everything from browsing the web, watching YouTube and doing some image and video editing work, the Lenovo ThinkPad E480 runs just fine for a good number of hours.
Lenovo is pitching the ThinkPad E480 as one of the business laptops that you can work while on the move. This also means that the battery has to be promising on this one and should be last-longing. The firm claims the device to deliver up to 13 hours of battery life, which is of course in ‘ideal’ conditions and may not run for that long in real life usage.
We have been using the laptop since past one month and have managed to get around 7-9 hours of battery usage on light to average use. So doing heavy work on the ThinkPad E480 may not last the device for a long time and we highly recommend to carry around a charger if you are on the move.
Microsoft Windows does give you the standard battery saving options but that too may not help after a particular frequency of use.
Lenovo’s ThinkPad laptops have been one of its most interesting and impressive series till date. The laptops made for power users are reliable and have a legacy on which you can rely on. The ThinkPad E480 manages to get the ‘decent’ tag with it. You get an average display, capable processor and a design that like we said above – sticks to the rest of the line up while having a ‘modern’ spin to it.
If you are all for looks and have portability as the priority, then this might not be the most ideal laptop but if you are a heavy user and won’t mind a slightly thicker laptop that has nearly all the features under the sun, then ThinkPad E480 can be one of your go-to workstations.
You may not find it as the best laptop when it comes to battery life but on the whole, it is not a bad option. You also have different variants for the same model that are priced high, have better screens and processors but the design and the battery performance are likely to stay the same. So priced at Rs 57,496 (excluding GST), it’s not perfect in the given price segment but it’s almost there.