At first glance the ThinkPad L480 looks like… a ThinkPad, a build that consists primarily of plastic and that bright red “TrackPoint” smack dab in the middle of your keyboard. The ThinkPad line has always attracted a specific type of consumer, but is the L480 any different? Let’s dive into the specifics.
The L480 consists mainly of plastic and at almost 4 lbs, it’s not the lightest option out there. That said, it has a solid feel to it. According to Lenovo, it passed some vigorous tests including use at high altitudes and extremely cold and hot conditions. I personally didn’t put these claims to the test (since I’m never in those conditions) but that might appeal to some people. My favorite addition is that of two USB-C ports, one for charging and the other a Thunderbolt 3 port. There’s also an HDMI port and Ethernet port, so no need for dongles on this one. The addition of a fingerprint scanner was also nice, although I found it struggling about 25 percent of the time.
At a 14 inch, 1920×1080 display it feels… basic. It gets the job done and has a surprisingly good 170 degree viewing angle. This model didn’t come with a touchscreen or antiglare coating but these are optional at a higher cost, of course.
The keys are comfortable and have a “crunch” feel while typing. If you like this feel or dislike the way slimmer laptops are handling their keyboards, then this won’t be a disappointment. The only uncomfortable part of this keyboard for me is the “TrackPoint” found in the middle. I personally don’t use it and would prefer for that not to be there but if it’s something you would find useful then look no further.
Performance and Battery Life
The first thing I did to test performance was, of course, Fortnite, and no it didn’t run very well. It was pretty unplayable so if you’re looking for a PC for work and casual gaming, look elsewhere. However, for the non-gamer who just needs a PC for spreadsheets and internet browsing, the Intel i5 processor and 8GB of RAM handles those tasks with ease. As for the 45-watt battery, it gave me several hours of use, but the best feature is its support of rapid USB-C charging. With just 1 hour of charge time, it’ll give you 80 percent charge, and I found this to be true.
As for my first question, who is this laptop for, I would say it’s not for your average consumer. At $600+ you could probably get better hardware for your money. However, if you are a person that needs a computer while working in direct sunlight, works around dusty or even harsher environments, I would say look no further than the ThinkPad L480 series.