Lenovo has continued to manufacture quality IBM laptops with success. One of their latest additions to the budget notebook market is Lenovo Thinkpad T440 20B6009TUS, with seemingly powerful components and compact 14″ screen. There should be a lot of good things indeed, but in this review I’ll try to see if there some negative sides as well. And there usually are when it comes to cheap laptops…
The processor is Intel Core i3-4030U, a mid-range CPU launched in Spring 2014. It runs on 1.9GHz (no turbo boost) with core amount of two. It gets around 2700 points in CPU Mark benchmarks, while slowest Core i5 processors reach around 3000. There should be enough performance for this processor to work for heavier use, including multitasking, image editing and some gaming (more on that below).
A solid eight gigabytes memory is installed on Lenovo Thinkpad T440 20B6009TUS. These days, 4GB is the minimum and most common amount and everything above that makes the notebook suitable for power users. The 8GB on this model is installed on one DIMM and it’s also the maximum the system supports.
A conventional hard drive serves as the storage, so you’ll get a lot of space at the expense of slow speed. The size is 500GB so for example, ~100 DVD movies could be stored there assuming 4.7GB size for one flick. The speed is 7200 revolutions per minute, better than a 5400RPM drive but still way behind solid-state drives. That said, you can install an SSD on this Lenovo by replacing the hard drive.
For delight of many, the operating system is Windows 7 Professional (64-bit). There’s also a free upgrade to Windows 8.1 available if you want a taste of the Microsoft’s latest.
Screen and graphics
Lenovo Thinkpad T440 20B6009TUS has a 14″ diagonal screen, contributing to better portability than the usual 15.6″ display. It’s an HD display, but not a Full HD: 1366×768 resolution is the norm in laptops of this price range. It’s not a touchscreen either, but at least to me that’s not an issue – especially when the operating system is Windows 7.
Your games will be powered by the Intel HD 4400 graphics chip. It’s an integrated unit so miracles can’t be expected. New and heavy games will put much strain on it and frame rates will drop quite much. Battlefield 3/4 would get ~30 FPS on low settings, a playable but not fully enjoyable rates. Minecraft and other older titles (Fifa 14, Dota 2 and League of Legends to name some) will work much better even with increased resolution and settings.
Lenovo Thinkpad T440 20B6009TUS has connections that differ a bit from your average budget notebook. There are only two USB ports available, but luckily both of them are USB 3.0 (as opposed to slower and older USB 2.0). Thus, you can use any kind of USB-connecting peripheral without fear of bad transfer rates.
For video, there are VGA (RGB) and mini DisplayPort options available. Yep, no HDMI output, but of course you can use a special cable or adapter if you want that. Anyway, having a DisplayPort is rather odd since the vast majority of displays support only HDMI, not DP.
Accessing Internet works with either Gigabit Ethernet (the usual RJ-45 port) or 802.11 b/g/n WiFi adapter. For mobile device owners there’s also Bluetooth 4.0 support in this computer.
No optical drive is installed in the laptop, probably due to size restrictions. Of course an external DVD drive can be used. Or the built-in MMC media card reader if you’re fine with small memory cards.
For video chatting, the laptop sports a 720p webcam.
Some other things to keep in mind?
Lenovo Thinkpad T440 20B6009TUS could work for road warriors. It weighs 4.0 pounds, so it’s lighter than normal 15.6″ laptops. The battery configuration is two 2-cell Li-ion ones, and they should give up to 8 hours operating time according to specifications. The power supply has a maximum wattage of 45W.
A common feature for laptops of this size (or smaller), the keyboard doesn’t have a numeric keypad. It’s not backlit either, but I consider this only a small disadvantage.
As you might know, cheap laptops have their share of bloatware. There are some Lenovo “utilities” installed on this one as well. However, from Control Panel uninstalling them is an easy task.
Lenovo Thinkpad T440 20B6009TUS is good and bad at the same time. It is indeed a laptop of (ex-)IBM quality, a reliable workhorse for businesses. On the other hand, its price is bit on the high side considering what you get with the money: an i3 processor, quite fast yes, but many similar notebooks come with a Core i5. So I can’t warmly recommend this Lenovo if you’re looking for the best bang for your buck. For example, this Acer is a bit faster if you add some memory – which still totals less than this Lenovo costs.