Lenovo ThinkPad T490 Is this the best business laptop

The Lenovo ThinkPad range of laptops has always been about business. When it comes to work, most enterprises entrust their employees with a ThinkPad. While the new ThinkPad Carbon range is becoming a rage for its modern design, the tee lineup continues on its own crown.

The T Series is basically based on the aesthetics of a ThinkPad notebook lineup and adds enterprise grade security and system components. It is difficult to distinguish a T series notebook from an X series model. They differ mainly in terms of target audience.

The latest in the T series is the Lenovo ThinkPad T490. Honestly, the question is not whether the T490 is a good laptop. Because, it really is a very good laptop. The real question is how good it is, and what it brings to a workplace. After using the laptop for a couple of weeks, I find that the ThinkPad T490 mainly brings peace of mind.

It is very well built, has iconic ThinkPad hardware and peace of mind that it will not give up on you. This is one of the reasons it has been dubbed, “This is not a laptop. This is a ThinkPad.” So, is this the best business laptop in the market right now? Can regular customers use it for work and daily use? Are? Let’s answer that.

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Design and performance

Oops, you got a ThinkPad. This response proves to be similar to the design on the ThinkPad T490 alone. It is a ThinkPad-esque left, right and center. For starters, there is ThinkPad branding on the top lid as well as another inside. A classic through and through. It comes in a matte black finish and you will immediately notice its ruggedness. It is designed to take on a daily abuse.

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Lenovo says the T490 has been tested against 12 military-grade requirements. I have no doubt about Lenovo’s claims here. Laptops should easily spread, droplets and even work in very cold environments. The company also says that the T490 undergoes 200 tests for its ability to operate in extreme conditions. However, if you really want a rugged model, I would suggest looking at workstation grade ThinkPad P series.

The ThinkPad T490 is a very premium laptop but it does not show that. In comparison, an XPS 13 or Latitude series from Dell, Microsoft Surface laptop and Apple MacBook Pro only scream aluminum with their design. Depending on where you stand in terms of design, you’ll either like it a lot or be okay with it.

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I have nothing against showy designs, but the ThinkPad serves a clear purpose with its design. It weighs around 1.5Kg, which is not the lightest in the segment. However, the combination of ports introduced makes trade acceptable. The Lenovo ThinkPad series is still not suitable for that quest to manufacture ultra-thin machines.

At the front, the ThinkPad T490 has a 14-inch full HD display. Our review unit does not provide WQHD panels or discrete graphics. In other words, it is not a laptop for working with multimedia. However, the Full HD panel is really sharp and is bright outside as well.

I had a complaint with the Lenovo IdeaPad C340 I tested a few weeks ago. The luminous panel reflected the light, making it impossible to work under office lighting conditions. The ThinkPad T490 has a matte panel and the anti-glare coating means that you see almost zero reflection.

There is an addition on such enterprise machines that the company calls Privacyguard. It is an electronic privacy filter that reduces the angle of vision on your display.

This means that only your eyes can see the material when you are looking at the head on display. If you feel that your coworkers are proud of you then it can be a good relief. Other privacy features available as part of the design include an IR camera that works with Windows Hello. It works really fast and unlocks almost instantly.

The IR camera module is much smaller than those seen on previous generation devices. Above the camera, there is a ThinkShutter, a physical camera cover that you don’t want to see on the camera. I strongly feel that every laptop should come with a physical camera cover.

In short, the ThinkPad T490 builds on the design of the ThinkPad 25. The matte black finish is covered with fingerprints, but you can easily erase it. Sometimes the development of a tried and tested design is better than trying something new and killing the essence of the product.

The hardware

Our review unit is not the most exclusive version of the Lenovo ThinkPad T490. This can easily be described as a middle ground. It comes with 8th generation Intel Core i5-8265U processor. It is a quad-core Whiskey Lake CPU that is clocked at 1.6 GHz and the Turbo is extended to 3.9GHz. While it is a 15W TDP processor, Lenovo has opted for a maximum of 25W TDP.

In some benchmarks, the performance achieved with 25W TDP over 15W TDP is clearly visible. Our review unit also comes with 16GB RAM and 256GB PCIe NVMe storage. Those buying laptops can customize it for the Core i7 model, up to 48GB of memory and 1TB of SSD storage.

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