Lenovo Thinkpad T460 Windows 10 Review: As hard as it looks
Lenovo Thinkpad T460 Windows 10 detailed review
The Laptop’s ThinkPad line is designed with a specific purpose in mind, providing additional security features as well as imperfect appearance and reliable performance that an enterprise customer may need. It goes from the Basic ThinkPad 13 or the high-end Carbon X1, but Lenovo has a T-Series ThinkPad range that fits somewhere in the middle and adds semi-ruggedness to the ThinkPad portfolio. In general ThinkPad fashion, it is a 14-inch laptop and it is mainly aimed at corporate customers, who purchase in bulk. So, even if you or I are not able to buy it, those niche buyers need to know more about it.
If you’ve seen a ThinkPad laptop before or read our previous reviews, you won’t be surprised by its appearance. In fact, the T460 looks exactly like its predecessor the T450. You get a standard black plastic shell, which is a bit thicker than a normal 0.83-inch ThinkPad laptop, but has the same 14-inch form factor that we like. For the overall look, this isn’t exactly a head turner, but it won’t be completely unnoticed either. Especially the Signature ThinkPad keyboard and touchpad.
Build – Rough and Tough
Lenovo claims that the T460 can do more harm than good than the standard ThinkPad. According to the company, the laptop meets 11 military grade test parameters. The company claims that it can operate in extreme temperatures, pressures and humid conditions. It is resistant to vibration, dust, fungus and salt. Lenovo says that you can literally bake or refrigerate this laptop and it will survive that condition. To test, we actually put the laptop in a pre-heated oven (heated to 180 degrees) for one minute without any damage. The same goes for the freezer.
We took out the battery for safety, but it’s really impressive. You may not need it in real life, but for those special audiences, it’s a simple thing.
One of Lenovo’s claims is that the Thinkpad T640 goes down 4 feet, which is how high most tables are. And the claim seems to be true. I have often dropped this laptop, probably a dozen times during the review, and from 2 feet to 5 feet in height. I tried throwing it on sand, grass, marble and even concrete.
The other thing I like is the spill resistant keyboard, it’s a big plus for any laptop. It can basically handle 500ml of water, coffee or some other liquid and yes, it has passed it even in real life. However, this does not mean that it will handle all kinds of drops. Coffee, water, wine and some regular liquids should be fine.
Lenovo has relied on its premium plastic material, as well as rubber mounting on some interior hardware to provide this level of unhealthiness. The spill-resistant keyboard has channels at the bottom of the keys, which direct fluid away from the internal components and down the keyboard. Then there’s how the hardware is laid out inside. All of this combined to make it the hardest laptop on the ThinkPad line. If you are wondering, there are more rigid machines like the Panasonic Toughbook, even for more special situations.
It’s worth noting that the overall fit and finish of the laptop doesn’t feel as premium as the Thinkpad Carbon X1, but it will. Moreover, there is almost no flex on the display or keyboard. The hinge is quite nice and precise and has metal mounting that adds to the sick quotient of the laptop.
Note: After testing all of these tortures and literally tossing around the laptop, the hard drive finally gave up. So, I would add that although the machine is tough and can withstand occasional drops easily, you should not do it intentionally so that your luck runs out, you can brick your laptop and lose your valuable data.
Display and I / O: Tick the right box
Like the previous ThinkPad laptops we tested, the T460 also has a 14-inch IPS panel. It has 1920 x 1080p resolution and good viewing angle. It’s certainly not the best out there, but if all you want to do is watch the documents or watch a movie occasionally, it does the job well enough. At just 198 lux, it’s not just a bright display, but the matte finish on the display helps reduce some of the clarity issues under bright light.
In case of I / O, you have everything you need from a laptop of this caliber except a USB Type-C port. On the left side of the machine is your standard Lenovo power connector, a USB 3.0 port, a drain and a microphone headphone combo. On the right, it has a SIM card slot, two USB 3.0 ports, an Ethernet jack, a mini displayport and an HDMI-out. The left USB port will charge your phone even with the lid down, even when the laptop is off.
Keyboard and touchpad
As far as keyboards and touchpads are concerned, there’s nothing new to measure well. The Legendary ThinkPad keyboard needs little modification, with its non-slip matte black finish, providing enough key travel and excellent responsiveness. It also has white backlighting, which is not as aggressive as some previous ThinkPads and is now subtle and in-line with the rest of the lineup.
The same goes for the touchpad, which offers precise and smooth glide across the touch area. The touch field in turn is a bit rough, which makes it feel a bit awkward compared to the smooth matte finish we used on previous thinkpads, but it gets the job done. Moreover, the three physical keys at the bottom of the touchpad are precise, and offer excellent travel, although there are no audible clicks. Also, the red trackpoint is pleasant to use every time.
You’ll also find a fingerprint scanner that integrates well with Windows Hello and works well, however, if you try to use it with a salty hand, you’ll run into some difficulties.
Performance – Acceptable
Although the ThinkPad has an exceptional keyboard, the overall performance of the machine is almost good enough. It has an Intel Core i5-6200U processor, a widely used processor with 8GB RAM. Silicone is not the problem here. My frustration is with HDD storage, which occasionally uses 100% during testing, freezing the laptop. At first, I thought it was a hardware problem because of the numerous drop tests I’ve done before. Although after confirming through various software that the HDD was healthy, I rested the PC, which solved the problem. That said, single HDD storage is still slow and its price should have included an SSD-based storage as standard for the T460.
I haven’t tried any heavy gaming on the machine, but rest assured it can play games like Dota 2, Hearthstone and many more. Our PCmark 8 and Cinebench scores indicate that the performance is simply average compared to the category, which further justifies my searches.
Battery Life – Reliable
Among the current generation of laptops, most of which do not have user-replaceable batteries, the T460 has a large 72 whr removable battery. This gives the laptop much more flexibility in terms of portability and provides enough juice to sustain a normal working day at 25% screen brightness. Naturally, I mean browsing, streaming audio, docs and some light photo editing. I should add that the batteries are not impact resistant and you should not turn them on or use if you see white smoke coming out of the laptop after accidentally discarding it.
The last row
The Lenovo T460 is a slightly more expensive alternative to the standard ThinkPads (L-Series), but it also offers rough and enterprise-class security. This is not the first machine in the purchasing department of a company or corporation, unless roughness requires time. In addition, I think Lenovo could add a better storage solution or at least a Core i7 chip to match the asking price.