LENOVO ThinkPad T490 (2019) Review

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In this article, I give you my Lenovo ThinkPad T490 (2019) review with specs included. There were big changes from the last generation T480. You know lately with the T series they just kind of get a new generation CPU refresh get a little thinner a little lighter. Well this one certainly has gotten thinner and lighter. Again in fact a lot of ways it’s more like last year’s T 4 80s.

Lenovo ThinkPad T490 Ports
Lenovo ThinkPad T490 Ports
Lenovo ThinkPad T490 Front and Back
Lenovo ThinkPad T490 Front and Back
Lenovo ThinkPad T490 Up and Down
Lenovo ThinkPad T490 Up and Down

The S series is always a little thinner and lighter you get the idea. So yeah this one has lost weight. It is actually under 18 millimeters thick. So it’s relatively thin though the lines on the side are not trying to conceal the height. Might not look that skinny to you.

But the bad news is no more Bridge battery system. You remember that this had a built in battery like on the T 480 and then a removable rear battery and he’d get high-capacity batteries and go to Mount Everest with a bunch of them in your backpack and be happy.

That’s gone in the interest apparently of making it even thinner and lighter. And maybe because there are so many USB power banks on the market for laptops these days which is a non-proprietary solution. Lenovo figured you could just go that way if you want to extend runtimes.

There’s no more hard drive bay insight. I don’t think a lot of people are gonna be too disappointed now that SSD storage is both large and affordable depending on the drive that you get. So yeah only the IT department probably love those hard drives because they were cheaper.

New and the good stuff is is that you can go all the way up to a wqhd resolution IPS wide gamut display. That’s the same high-end display that’s also available on the thinkpad x1 carbon sixth generation. And there’s a lot of crossover between different thing pad miles I’ll talk a little bit the help you decide which one’s for you.

Anyway we’re gonna look at it now. So the t49 t starts at around 850 dollars in the united states. That’s for a pretty low in configuration of core i5 eight gigs of ram 128 gig SSD ok that’s not horrible. But the base display option is again one that the IT departments are going to pick and you would never pick because they’re either on a tight budget or they don’t like you.

1366 by 768 so you probably don’t want that one. But if you want the configuration that we have which is pretty high in. A core i7 16 gigs of ram of 512 gig SSD nvme that lovely wqhd high gamut despite. That’s around 1440 dollars on the Nova’s website. You can go with 1080p. There are several display options with this.

There’s that 720p display I mentioned there’s our high-end display I’ll talk about the specs on that more it’s lovely. But there’s also 1080p touch 1080p non touch and a privacy screen is coming too. Probably they want to compete against HP because there are elites and there’s ebooks have these really nice privacy screens going on so spies can’t see what you’re doing when they’re sitting next to an airplane.

These are ultra ebooks so we’re talking 15 watt quad core until eighth generation whiskey like CPU. So that’s the latest generation that’s available now for Intel processors. Core i5 core i7 options are available to you. One pcie nvme m dot 2 s SD slots. Really fast SSD speeds on this pretty impressed with the benchmarks that we got.

Ram there is one RAM slot and there’s eight gigs soldered on board so our 16 gig has at 8 gigs of DDR 420 400 megahertz ram soldered on board and one 8 gig module. So you could go all the way up to 48 gigs with the upgraded It Yourself.

The most that lenovo sells it with is 32 gigs which for most ultrabook buyers is way more than enough I would say. The machine has Thunderbolt 3 and a host of ports. That’s one of the charms of the t-series and happily even though it’s lost that Bridge battery system I know how many times are gonna mention that but I think a lot of people are gonna miss that but.

You’ve got things like not only just Thunderbolt 3 / USB see by those USB C port support power delivery out so you can charge other devices. You have USB a you have actually an Ethernet jack. Now if you go with the thinkpad x1 carbon if you’re trying to fair which of these to buy that one is thinner it’s lighter it doesn’t have room for an Ethernet port for example.

And the same thing is true for the thinkpad t4 90s. The S is still around it’s thinner and lighter than the T 490 not enough room from Ethernet port. Those two have slightly larger batteries 57 watt hour. We have a 50 watt hour battery in the t4 90. Which is kind of average for ultrabooks.

We’ll talk about battery life a little bit more. As ever wonderful thing pad keyboard smile shape keys nice convex very ergonomic good key travel very good keyboard dick stiffness so there’s no trampolining going on. White backlighting it is excellent.

And we have a great trackpad on board I like it quite well. And also the usual nap point a race mystic pointer for those of you who are longtime thing to add users and like that pointing method. Performance on this I wish we had the Nvidia it makes 250 graphics which we don’t see very often in laptops these days.

But we don’t. We just have the Intel UHD version. So performance on this is where you would expect for an ultrabook in this class. Really there’s not a lot of variation if you’re looking at the same generation quad core 15 watt CPU in one altra book versus another ultra book.

We see when we look at PC mark 10 that the graph has the clock speed going up and down as it’s running the benchmark. For a while lenovo is really holding those CPU speeds pretty high in turbo boost but with the whiskey like processors a little bit less.

Probably in the interest of battery life to. But performance on benchmarks and real or performance is good. The fanboys on this is well controlled. In fact you won’t hear at most of the times you’re just doing simple productivity work or surfing the web.

And if you’re pushing it hard you will hear it but it’s an ultrabook fan it’s not gonna get that loud. But in general over the years lenovo has improved the the acoustics of the fans and you just it’s not a noisy machine in the least. Now we have that higher end display option.

Like I said it’s the same one you can actually get on the x1 carbon and it is beautiful. It is glossy unfortunately for those who don’t like glare much. It’s non touch also. So if you want that high resolution display you might think you can touch it because it’s shiny like that but no.

But it is a hundred percent obw RGB. They weren’t kidding when they said that we measured it’s actually true. It’s nominally a 500 nits display. We measured it it close to that 469 nits and the rest of the metrics are good. This is a wonderful display.

This is something that for those of you who are doing professional photography or work for print you actually could make use of this display and W Photoshop and get your work done. It’s not a real big up charge either but if you want to save some money you could go with the full HD display or if you wanted the touch screen option. Those are 300 nit displays.

The 720p display is two hundred and twenty minutes. So how about battery life on this. A 50 watt hour berry like I said it’s about average class. Nothing amazing. A little bit less than the x1 carbon and the t4 90s but it’s good enough with our configuration.

And remember we don’t have the Nvidia graphics but we do have the higher resolution display of core i7 plenty ram all that sort of thing. It’s about a seven-hour laptop. So if you need more you’re gonna be looking at things like power banks or be happy the fact that it has Lenovo’s usual fast charging and a 65 watt fast charger so it can top up very quickly.

Now for those who are still trying to decide do I want the x1 carbon do I want this – I want a t4 90s. The t4 90s would be the closest to an x1 carbon because it’s even thinner and lighter. The benefit with this one is it’s not quite as sexy super thin is it but you got the same display options on you’ve got more ports on it. So if you need those quote-unquote legacy points there’s still something to be said for this -.

And it’s obviously several hundred dollars less than an x1 carbon is. Taking off the bottom cover involves just unscrewing the visible Phillips head screws they’re captive screws and then prying it off with a guitar pick. And boy for a thinkpad actually it was really hard to pry this off. Underside here with our copper shielding.

And there’s our internals our battery right there. This is the single RAM slot mylar cover over it. There’s the RAM module. M2 SSD slot right here with our drive in place. If you went with the W and 4G LTE that would plug in right over there and there’s a rear nano SIM card slot by the back hinge.

And the Wi-Fi card is soldered onboard we’re seeing that a lot with ultrabooks these days it’s right over here. Alright heat sinks right here a nice long heat pipe I think that probably helps with the cooling and a bit larger than average fan for an ultrabook.

If it did have the NVIDIA MX 250 graphics my guess is looking at the solder traces on the board it would be right over here and run under the heat pipe as well. So that’s a little about thinkpad T 490. And you know I actually like it as a more affordable alternative to the x1 carbon.

It’s not quite as soon that’s not quite as light but it’s still pretty thin it’s still pretty light. As usual durable thinkpad design the same processors you know inside you. Performance is the same even your display options are the same. So something that starts at under $1,000 nominally and is priced more like $1,200 when you start to get into the options you might want to want it’s pretty darn good. Even if we don’t have the bridge battery system anymore.

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Lenovo ThinkPad T490 (2019)
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