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Review

Lenovo ThinkPad E480 First Impressions: Let's get to business

The ThinkPad series has always been a no-nonsense option, and this latest variant continues with that same philosophy.

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Highlights

  • The Lenovo ThinkPad E480 that we've tried is priced at Rs 57,496 (plus GST).

If you have a huge budget, you usually have plenty of choice with what laptop you can buy. You can have it fully geared with top-end hardware, and then (probably) not have to worry about it for the next three-to-four years at least. But what if you have a moderate budget, as most of us usually do? You aren’t going to get a flagship laptop, but you’re still spending a lot of money, so you want the best you can get for the price.

A lot of us manage to set aside about Rs 60,000 for a laptop. Indeed one of the most popular options at this price right now is the Apple MacBook Air, which sells in India at around that price. And while MacOS is an enticing draw, it’s nonetheless a dated laptop with hardware that is entirely unconvincing for the price, from a previous-generation processor to just 128GB of storage. Obviously, you’ll also want to look at Windows options then.

One such option is the new Lenovo ThinkPad E480, which is available in various configurations starting at under Rs 40,000. If you pick up one of the higher-end variants, you could well find yourself with a capable, reliable option at under Rs 60,000. We’ve had a chance to use the Lenovo ThinkPad E480, and we’ll try to give you an idea of whether this is the ideal mid-range laptop for you.

Typical ThinkPad Aesthetics

Lenovo ThinkPads generally look the same, and the ThinkPad E480 sticks to the brief. It’s black, bulky and designed to be functional rather than fancy. It’s also fairly thick, and no real effort has been made to keep things slim, whether it’s in the design or the hardware inside. However, that typical build is what makes a ThinkPad so durable, and also easy to use. The keyboard is particularly well laid out with good key travel, making it very easy to type on this machine. You also get the track point, which is a signature ThinkPad touch, along with a particularly good trackpad.

In terms of specifications, there’s nothing too fancy here. The variant I’ve been using costs Rs 57,496 (plus GST) and spots the Intel Core i5-8250 processor, clocked at 1.6GHz. There’s also 8GB of RAM on-board, along with 1TB of HDD storage. While HDD might seem like an odd choice considering SSD is available even on budget laptops, it’s the only way you can get a proper amount of storage on the laptop at this price. Nonetheless, boot times and data copying will be a bit slower.

You also get a 1366×768-pixel 14-inch screen on this variant, but Lenovo does offer up to a full-HD screen, and options of up to an Intel Core i7 processor, 32GB of RAM, 2.5TB of HDD storage or 512GB of SSD storage, but the price will go up depending on what you put into the laptop. With the exception of the top-end variant which comes with dedicated graphics, lower variants use Intel motherboard-based graphics. ThinkPads are a favorite among corporate buyers, and the ThinkPad E480 is the ideal mid-range work machine as such.

Windows 10 inside

There’s plenty of flexibility as to whether you want an operating system pre-installed or not, since a lot of enterprise buyers might already have Windows licenses to use. But if you’re buying this laptop for yourself, you’ll want one with Windows pre-installed in all likelihood. You get Windows 10 Pro 64-bit on most of the higher variants, which was the case on our unit.

As with most mid-range laptops, don’t expect too much out of the Lenovo ThinkPad E480. While we haven’t put it through the paces, we have used it for basic tasks such as writing, keeping multiple tabs open in Google Chrome and generally using the laptop for productivity and daily work use. It’s capable enough to handle these basics, and can even handle some moderate jobs such as image editing and the like, but being a corporate-grade laptop, it isn’t meant for gaming or even heavy video processing.

WATCH: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon First Impressions

Final thoughts

When it comes to affordable, or even reasonably-priced laptops, things tend to be rather under-the-radar. Laptops like the Lenovo ThinkPad E480 aren’t glamorous, but are rather designed to get work done. At first glance, the Lenovo ThinkPad E480 is a perfectly pleasant machine that shouldn’t only see buyers from the corporate world; it’s good enough to consider as a mid-range laptop for even the individual buyer.

A big advantage of this laptop is the flexibility in configuration options. You can get anything from an Intel Core i3 to an i7, as much RAM and storage as you need, and even the choice of whether you want Windows pre-installed or not. It’s the kind of laptop that you have configured to your specific needs, and as such price also varies from under Rs 40,000 to almost Rs 90,000.

While it isn’t the most attractive option in terms of looks, the ThinkPad E480 is built for function. It’s an efficient machine that will help you do your best work, provided you don’t push it too hard. At under Rs 60,000, it’s one of the most efficient options available today.

  • Published Date: September 5, 2018 4:59 PM IST