The ThinkPads from the T-series represent typical business notebooks for most users. Lenovo will not only equip the brand new T470 with modern processors and ports, but also a totally new chassis. Update: Luminance on battery
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Lenovo’s updated business lineup hardly offers any surprises this season. Many models only got the Kaby Lake update, but most series still utilize the same chassis. One exception may be the “standard” T-series – both 14-inch ThinkPad T470 along with the 15.6-inch T570. It’s the first time because the Tx40-series 3 years ago that they get yourself a new case, which is slightly smaller and lighter. The 14-inch model may manage to reducing the gap to the T470s (no changes for the case).
Our test model may be the ThinkPad T470 20HD002HGE for 1,640 Euros with today’s Kaby Lake Core i5-7200U, 8 GB RAM, a 512 GB NVMe-SSD in addition to a matte Full HD IPS panel. The security equipment is really as comprehensive as ever and Lenovo now also contains a full-fledged Thunderbolt 3 port with a USB Type-C connector. The campus model (for students and teachers) of our test model gets the designation 20HES01100 and is a lot less expensive at 1,200 Euros.
Rivals are high-quality business notebooks from the other big manufacturers. The list includes the HP EliteBook 840 G4, the Dell Latitude E7480 along with the Fujitsu LifeBook U747, for instance. However, we’re able to not yet review every one of them yet or they are in review, so we may also include a number of the predecessors for our comparison. The ThinkPad T470s is obviously a fascinating comparison device aswell, so we may also are the similarly constructed T460s.
We have mentioned previously that the ThinkPad T470 is among the few new laptops from Lenovo with a fresh chassis this season. The dimensions (also see size comparison below) hardly changed, nevertheless, you can still easily distinguish the brand new T470 from its predecessor. The Chinese manufacturer now once more runs on the black chassis and waives the dark gray color scheme.
The system leaves an extremely dense impression and the bottom unit is quite stable. Pressure is no issue for the carbon-fiber reinforced plastic chassis, only the region left next to the touchpad contacts the top beneath, which results in hook clattering noise. Twisting attempts only cause minor creaking aswell. The thin lid cannot quite continue in this respect. The low bezel in particular may easily be twisted, which results in picture distortions. Pressure from behind alternatively is no issue and twisting attempts once more only cause minor creaking. Both metal hinges are incredibly firm and basically prevent bouncing completely, nevertheless, you have to use both of your hands to open the lid in exchange. The utmost opening angle is – as usual – 180 degrees.
Overall, both stability and the construction are incredibly good, but, which is no real surprise, nearly on par with high-quality unibody metal constructions. One good thing about the T470, however, may be the external battery (total of two batteries), which is easy to get at at the back. It really is situated in the guts and doesn’t have a support foot, therefore the device is quite stable on a desk even though you take away the battery. There are no dedicated maintenance hatches, nevertheless, you can take away the whole bottom cover to gain access to the pieces (more on that later).
Lenovo also used the brand new chassis to update the ports and relocate a number of them. The SIM tray (micro-SIM) is currently once again inside battery tray at the trunk, for example. The most crucial change when compared to previous model may be the implementation of the Thunderbolt 3 port, which can be a USB Type-C port (Gen2) that can be utilised for charging (Power Deliver 2.0). TB3 is incredibly versatile and for that reason future-proof; the supported protocols likewise incorporate DisplayPort 1.2a, for example. The latter can drive high-resolution 4K screens at 60 Hz; the HDMI 1.4 output only supports 4K at 24 Hz. VGA monitors, which remain common in a few companies, require an adapter (not provided).
Lenovo uses the available space at both sides of the chassis perfectly and in addition implements three regular USB 3.0 ports (USB 3.1 Gen1, 1x always-on), one RJ45 Ethernet, a complete SD-card reader in addition to a SmartCard reader. Dedicated docking stations (previous models still compatible) could be attached via docking port in the bottom. We enjoy the layout – all ports are in the sides towards the trunk and there will do room between your individual ports. The performance of the standard USB ports is good; we measured a lot more than 380 MB/s in blend with this external Samsung SSD T3.
The SD-card reader (UHS-I) at the proper side takes the memory card completely and may therefore be utilized for long lasting storage expansion. We are able to determine a maximum transfer rate of almost 90 MB/s (AS SSD) in combo with this reference card from Toshiba (Exceria Pro SDXC UHS-II 64 GB, up to 260 MB/s). Pictures (.jpeg, ~5 MB each, total of just one 1 GB) are transferred at almost 77 MB/s. They are average results, but a faster card reader could manage higher results.
Aside from the integrated Gigabit controller (Intel I219V) for wired networks, you can obviously use wireless networks aswell. Lenovo offers several adapters; our test model has the Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 8265. The name already shows that this is a dual-band module (2×2, 2.4 & 5 GHz) with a maximum transfer rate of 867 Mbps. All modern WiFi standards like the fast 802.11ac and also Bluetooth 4.2 are supported. The Intel module actually supports the faster 4.2 standard, however the os’s limits it to 4.1 according to Lenovo. The optional Tri-Band Wireless-AC 18265 WiFi module from Intel (2×2, WiGig 802.11ad) can be an interesting option, which is necessary for the wireless docking station. More information regarding the latter comes in the “Accessories” section.
Our standardized WLAN test with the router Linksys EA8500 (1m distance) determines positive results for our test models. We are able to see 657 Mbps receive and 512 Mbps send, therefore the T470 is among the faster systems in this respect and additionally, it may beat small sibling ThinkPad E470. Only Apple’s new MacBook Pro models are noticeably faster. We tested the ThinkPad T470 with different routers during our review period (Fritz!Box 7490 & Asus RCT-AC56U) and there have been no problems with regards to performance or stability.
The ThinkPad can be available with an optional WWAN module. Lenovo offers two the latest models of: Intel XMM 7160 (Fibocom L831-EAU, 4G LTE) and Qualcomm Snapdragon X7 LTE-A (Sierra Wireless EM7455). Additionally it is possible to upgrade a corresponding module following the purchase since all of the necessary antennas already are prepared. The WWAN module uses the M.2-2242 slot, and that means you cannot use yet another SSD (M.2-2242) in cases like this. WWAN and WiGig are compatible. The ThinkPad T470 also supports NFC, nonetheless it was not on our test model.
Nothing changed with regards to the HD webcam. There have been hardly any advancements with regards to picture quality during the last year or two. The module continues to be enough for video calls. The dual-array microphone above the display leaves a far greater impression and convinces with clear voice recordings.
The security equipment of the ThinkPad T470 is quite comprehensive and we usually do not miss anything. It starts with the comprehensive BIOS, where one can create different passwords and configure all ports individually. Lenovo also implements a reliable Platform Module (TPM 2.0) and Computrace is supported aswell.