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Baterka

[REVIEW] ThinkPad T580 - 14 day experience

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Information for moderators: Yes, this text is written in absolutely horrible English. It's because I'm not from an English-speaking country and English is not my native language. I beg you, therefore, if you have some free time, to adjust my text to a nicer form. Surely it is pain to read it in the state it is: D I apologize sincerely.

 

I remember the day my friend showed me how it was to have a ThinkPad T-Series as if it were yesterday.

He showed me how much he would last, how he had all the ports, and how everything was just perfect.

My first ThinkPad was the T420 (Refurbished - 2016). I changed it after about 2 years for the T430 (Refurbished - 2018) and 14 days ago I bought the brand new ThinkPad T580.

I have been deciding whether to spend money on performance, style, or if I buy a cheaper ThinkPad and save a little. But finally I chose the best I can get today (unprofessional) ThinkPad T580.

 

As a student, programmer, sometimes a player and especially a proud owner of several still "good old" ThinkPads, I have big demands on this notebook, so I decided to describe my experience with it.

 

First, I would like to mention:

The competition:

After a long browsing the main finalists were those laptops:

  • ThinkPad T580
  • ThinkPad E590
  • MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF
  • Dell XPS 15
  • ASUS ZenBook 15

There were a lot of others, but it wasn't worth listing all.

One of the main reasons I didn't choose Dell XPS or Asus ZenBook was the lack of ports. I wasn't interested in VGA or a lot of USBs but I don't know if I would survive a laptop without RJ-45 or with one USB-C.

Next reasons were missing numpad (I wanted that for mz programmer work) and not be able to tilt screen flat.

The reason I didn't choose the cheaper "Edge" model of the ThinkPad will probably be clear to everyone. Notebooks feel cheap plastic and you just don't feel like they are ThinkPads.

Finally, I said that if I buy a ThinkPad then it will be a T-series.

The main finalists were T580 and MSI. Finally, I decided that I would be more comfortable with a replaceable battery, a better keyboard, a numeric pad and a 3 year on-site warranty than gaming-level performance.

 

So what I got:

I bought what looks like the highest model in terms of components that can't be upgraded:

  • Intel Core i7-8650U processor
  • 8GB 2400MHz RAM (I will 100% upgrade this soon)
  • 256GB SSD PCIe NVMe Opal2 (I will 100% upgrade this soon)
  • Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  • Fingerprint reader, camera, 4G LTE, card reader, backlit keyboard
  • 1080p display (4k on 15" laptop??? Nonsense...)
  • 32+24Wh batteries (More about that later)

Total cost: 1481$ (USD) (Official local lenovo shop - lenovoshop.cz)

 

First impression:

Carefully unpack, pull out power adapter, instructions, notebook .... Wow ... He is skinny as fuck!

Open, turn on ... Nothing happens ...
Plug adapter .. Woow USB-C charger: D
Turn On ... Works ... External battery 0%. Interesting.... (Charged without any problem)
Display turned on ... Wooow IPS: D
First words on keyboard ... Amazing ... Same as on older models.
This is how I would sum up the first impression.

 

Impressions after 14 days:

I don't have time to go into full details at this point, because I'm in a hurry, but if you're interested, be sure to check out this post a few more times. I'll add more content and impressions.

 

Build quality:

At first, the overall quality of processing fascinated me, but now I can say that the notebook is not as tough as its predecessors. Of course, he is half thinner and I also had 14" models, but it can be littlebit more rigid.

What's worse than older models, but it doesn't make me sad is a little bend if you grab a corner on your notebook. It's normal for a 2kg laptop to bend a little.

But I wouldn't hold the notebook on display, I'm sure the display would survive if I grabbed it by the corner but it wasn't what it used to be, and no one expected to wear it at the corner of the display.

 

So I rate overall build quality positively for the weight and thickness, but there are three things that are really bad:

  • After 1 day of use, the keyboard began to squeak where the "Fn" key is located. Creaking was worse when the laptop was warm. It was an unbearable sound. I used the warranty and they exchanged the keyboard today after 15 minutes in service. The sound is gone and I hope it won't come back.
  • The notebook suffocates on a flat surface and is even worse if you have a tablecloth on it or a mat. But more about it later.
  • Worst problem. The keyboard touches the display when the notebook is closed. After 2 days of wearing in the notebook bag, prints began to appear. Unfortunately, one print remained permanently. Lenovo should give me at least a piece of cloth or protective foil. I would rather have a notebook 2mm thicker than this. I know almost all the new laptops are having trouble with it, but I didn't expect Lenovo to have it. My old T430 didn't do it even though I was staying on it.

 

Display:

I'm no expert on displays. I have an average cheap 22" IPS panel from Samsung at home and I've always had a TN panel in my laptop.
So I can't evaluate the display quality objectively.
The quality and colors of the display seem good to me, despite the fact that official reviews really criticized the colors and overall quality.
The only thing I can criticize is luminosity. The display seems to me relatively dark in well-lit rooms. The viewing angles are really good, but as I say, I cannot evaluate objectively.

 

Battery:

The battery is disappointing for me, but I was expecting it.
Lenovo writes that with 32 + 24Wh combination, I will reach 13 hours of maximum and an average of around 6-7 hours.
I unfortunately at my work (Browser and IDE development, half brightness and Windows performance settings in the middle) not got over 5 hours. I will test even more and try to calibrate the batteries, but I'm not really excited about it and I'm sure I can't get it for 13 hours. I don't think you can get even 10 hours. Maybe on 480p movie on low brightness.

I'm still going to test the battery, and I'm sure I will still write the results here ASAP.

 

Performance:

I haven't had time to test my laptop's performance fully yet, but with the work I have done so far (school, web development, Minecraft with my friends), my laptop doesn't have a problem. Unfortunately, it warms up a lot, but about that in next chapter.
I tested the notebook with Aida64 and I didn't get into throttling in a stress test (CPU, FPU, iGPU) at normal room temperature on flat surface without cloth on it. The processor has stabilized at 75 degrees and  1.9GHz which is base-clock and I see no problem in that. Of course, the notebook was on the charger and set to the highest performance.

 

I want to test a dedicated GPU because I suspect that when I play a game on a dedicated GPU (MX150) it starts to throttle after a while and the performance is worse than if I played on iGPU. Unfortunately, this would mean that I return the notebook and want a GPU-free model because it is useless.

 

Heat and noise:

Temperatures and noise are strange. In idle mode, the notebook is silent only if you do not have a charge connected. When charging, the fan rotates like crazy and blows cold for no reason. Apparently it can be somehow solved in SW.


As I wrote, I haven't done any proper tests on my laptop yet, but I've been playing and working on it a little bit and bottom was melting while gaming. I can't hold my palm on it. It's not normal for me, but let's say its fine :D

On the keyboard, the notebook is warm, but it's definitely nothing terrible. Gaming notebooks are much worse.

 

If I had to summarize so the laptop is not quiet or loud. Fan sound is not annoying even at the highest speed. It doesn't have that horrible high frequency sound like some other laptops. But it certainly deserves better heat dissipation. As I mentioned earlier, the laptop seems to be warming because lack of airflow from bottom, where it has about 3mm of space. Old thinkpads were sucking from behind or from the side and it was fine.

 

Keyboard:

Although there are still people who think that the new ThinkPad keyboard is disgusting,I find it as good as the Dell XPS or Surface keyboard. The keyboard is hard, bends minimally, is quiet and accurate.
The old ThinkPad keyboard (until T420 model) was also excellent. I'm not saying no. I just say that this is also very good and there is nothing to criticize.

Then there is the aforementioned creak, which they fixed in the service, so it was a piece defect. I also like dedicated top line of functional keys :)

 

Ports:

As I mentioned, I wanted my new laptop to have all the necessary ports. I think the ports on the E590 were the same, but Thunderbold 3 was missing.
Total port equipment is good, maybe one more big USB would be useful, but we're in USB-C and dongle times right? :D

Overall I'm satisfied with the ports. With location not so. Both large USBs are on the right side and the headphone jack too. If you plug other than a wireless mouse, flash drive or a headset that does not have a hooked connector, it will really interrupt your mouse (If youre right-handed ofc).

 

Software:

Last thing I want to mention is the preinstalled software. I thought I'd have to reinstall my computer on clean Windows, but I was really pleasantly surprised. No bloadware. Only Lenovo Vantage, which has proven to be a really good and useful tool.

 

 

I have my notebook really short time in comparsion of ThinkPad's lifetimes, so my appreciation is not entirely detective or objective. I hope it will be useful for people who deciding which laptop to choose.

I'm sure it's not a cheap laptop, and although I hate Apple for its high brand price, I know Lenovo does it a little too.
I bought this expensive laptop because I already have a good experience with ThinkPads and this model, with a few exceptions, did not disappoint and pleasantly surprised.

 

Feel free to leave commentary or question.

Have a good time and goodbye in about 3 weeks when I will update my rating to 1 month of use.

 

Information for moderators: Yes, this text is written in absolutely horrible English. It's because I'm not from an English-speaking country and English is not my native language. I beg you, therefore, if you have some free time, to adjust my text to a nicer form. Surely it is pain to read it in the state it is: D I apologize sincerely.

 


Website programmer & Electrician & PC HW lover!

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