Recently we showed you a laptop that is an attempt by a company to combine the rigidity of the past with modern looks – the ThinkPad E480. Today we are looking at essentially the same shell but in larger form factor – the 15.6-inch Lenovo ThinkPad E580. Lenovo is well known for its super sturdy ThinkPad products, dating all the way back to the IBM age. But modern times need modern methods. The old square body is not that appealing anymore. In an era of super thin MacBooks and even slimmer Dell XPS business devices, the ThinkPad series would be doomed if they didn’t change something. Okay, you are thinking why would we talk about MacBooks and XPSes when the ThinkPad E580 starts at $630. Well, because this device offers all that you need.
First of all, the CPU line-up of this model is on point – ultra-low-voltage and super powerful Core i5-8250 and Core i7-8550U. Lenovo also provides the option of a dedicated Radeon RX 550 graphics card, although our review unit features only the integrated HD Graphics 620U. And one more time we want to emphasize that this model tries to offer everything you actually need in the business segment (like a fast SSD with NVMe support, for example).
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: http://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-thinkpad-e580/
Lenovo ThinkPad E580 technical specifications table
What’s in the box?
Lenovo ThinkPad E580 was accompanied by a 65W charging adapter as well as a bag, containing some manuals and set up guides. We have to prise Lenovo for using two huge foam pieces to protect the precious laptop from eventual kicks or drops during transportation.
Design and construction
Lenovo ThinkPad E580 has a plastic design following strictly the ThinkPad model. It possesses more of a simple look, rather than being eye-catchy, but hey, the logo in the corner is 3D and the dot of the “i” letter glows red when you turn the device on. Nice details, Lenovo. This device is neither the thinnest nor the lightest but the shape is appealing to business customers. It measures at 369 x 252 x 19.95 mm (14.53″ x 9.92″ x 0.79″) and weighs 2.10 kg (4.6 lbs). Expectedly, the plastic material on top is a huge magnet for fingerprints.
When you open the lid (the use of two hands is mandatory), you see a full-size keyboard, thankfully. It features adequately positioned arrow keys that spill from the usual rectangular shape of the keyboard down to the palm rest area just a little. Appart from being large enough, keys have good travel and feel super clicky which we really liked. However, the decision to switch the places of the “ctrl” and “fn” buttons left us confused. So often we found ourselves mixing them that it got kind of annoying. However, there is a setting in the BIOS that enables you to swap one for the other.
Anyhow, as usual for a ThinkPad, you can see the distinctive red “joystick” and mouse buttons on top of the touchpad, while there are also two embedded into the touchpad itself. Speaking of it, it has Windows Precision drivers and works fast and responsively. It’s not the best on the market but is actually very good for a business device. On the right, just above the ThinkPad logo (the dot of “i” letter glows again) is the location of the fingerprint reader.
No matter how much you turn the device around you won’t be able to easily find the heat exhaust vents. That’s because they are hidden right at the connection between the body and the lid. This means that the sides are reserved only for I/O. On the left side, we are happy to see that a USB 3.1 Type-C port is used to charge the notebook. It also supports DisplayPort output. Next, we have an HDMI connector as well as two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, one of which is Always On enabled. Lastly, we got the 3.5 mm combo jack. On the other side, there are just the Ethernet connector, one USB 2.0 Type-A port, and a Micro SD card reader.
Disassembly and maintenance
It is fairly easy to get inside the Lenovo ThinkPad E580 because you are 9 screws away from its guts. Once you unscrew them and carefully pry open the bottom panel, you are going to see a pretty regular package.
The Intel Core i5-8250U is cooled by a single heatpipe, while the heat is blown out by a medium sized fan. It’s not super effective, but given the ULV nature of the CPU, you won’t need more.
Very close to the CPU is where two RAM DIMMs are located. They support up to 32 GB of DDR4 memory and as you can see in our case one of them is free. On the right, you can see the tiny Intel made Wi-Fi adapter.
Further down you can see the 45Wh battery with its three-cell clearly visible through the black protective material.
Here you can see a fast PCIe NVMe SSD actually manufactured by Lenovo themselves. It bears a model number of LENSE20256GMSP34MEAT2TA and has a capacity of 256 GB. We weren’t able to find a lot of information about it on the Internet but you can check the Read and Write speeds we tested in the “Storage performance” part of this review. However, keep in mind that it’s common for storage devices to be region dependent so don’t be mad at your retailer if the unit you receive lacks this specific drive.
Lenovo ThinkPad E580 has a Full HD (1920×1080) IPS panel with 15.6-inch diagonal, a pixel density of 142 ppi and 0.18 x 0.18 mm pixel pitch. The panel has a model number NV156FHM-N49 and can be considered as “Retina” when viewed from at least 60 cm.
Viewing angles on this device are excellent.
We recorded a peak brightness of 276 nits in the center of the screen and 261 nits as an average across the surface. The maximum deviation is 16% in the bottom right corner. The correlated color temperature at maximum brightness and white screen is 6000K – just a tad warmer than the sRGB standard of 6500K. The image gets even warmer along the grey scale – 5850K. You can see how these values change at 140 nits (71% brightness) in the image below.
The maximum color deviation dE2000 compared to the center of the screen should be no more than 4.0 and if you are planning to do color-sensitive work, it should be lower than 2.0. The contrast ratio of this display is very good – 1300:1 (1140:1 after calibration)
To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction of the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.
Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people in HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.
Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.
This display is able to reproduce only 50% of the sRGB color gamut, meaning that image will neither be very saturated, nor vibrant.
Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 nits luminance and sRGB gamma mode.
We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.
The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.
The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle and the surrounding light conditions.
Response time (Gaming capabilities)
We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and the other way around.
We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 33 ms – far from the fastest on the market, but okay for an IPS panel.
PWM (Screen flickering)
Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes.
You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.
Our tools were able to detect PWM adjustment at all brightness levels except the maximum one. However, the frequency of the pulsations was high enough, so they are not that harmful.
Blue light emissions
Installing of our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.
The screen fit on Lenovo ThinkPad E580 suits the business nature of the device perfectly. As expected from an IPS panel, it has good viewing angles at superb contrast ratio. While default settings are adequate, there are some setbacks. One of them is the modest color coverage and another one is the unacceptably high deviation of luminance in the lower right corner. There is also a presence of PWM in all brightness levels, except the maximum. And although those pulsations are with very high frequency, you can completely eliminate this threat by installing or Health-Guard profile.
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Lenovo ThinkPad E580 configurations with 15.6″ NV156FHM-N49 (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS screen and the laptop can be found at: Buy from Amazon.com (#CommissionsEarned)
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Read more about the profiles HERE.
In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.
Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.
Design and Gaming
This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.
Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.
Lenovo ThinkPad E580’s sound is loud and clear. The low and mid frequencies have some deviations, while the highs are good.
Our unit of Lenovo ThinkPad E580 came with a 64-bit version of Windows 10 onboard, hence all drivers and Lenovo bloatware were preinstalled. However, if you need them in case of reinstall you can find them here: https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/bg/en/products/laptops-and-netbooks/thinkpad-edge-laptops/thinkpad-e480-type-20kn-20kq/downloads/ds501931
As always, the battery tests were run with Windows power saving setting and Wi-Fi turned on, and the screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits. As we said earlier, this unit is equipped with a 45Wh battery, which at first glance may not sound a lot but it gave exceptional results. It got us through 9 hours and 36 minutes of web browsing and 8 hours and 25 minutes of video playback. However, you can only get around two hours of gaming, although we doubt you are going to do so away from the plug.
CPU – Intel Core i5-8250U
The Core i5-8250U is one of the first (along with the Core i7-8550U from the same generation) ULV (ultra-low voltage) processors from Intel to feature not two but four cores. It’s part of the 8th Generation (Kaby Lake Refresh) and on contrary to the previous generations, the Turbo Boost range is pretty wide now.
The base frequency is 1.6 GHz and can go up to 3.4 GHz for a short period of time before stabilizing somewhere in between during continues loads. This also means that the single-core performance is really good. The rest of the features and specs, however, remain mostly the same with support for dual-channel DDR4-2400/LPDDR3-2133 memory, 14nm FinFET manufacturing process and the same integrated graphics chip, although re-branded now as Intel UHD Graphics 620.
The whole SoC along with the dual-channel memory is rated at 15W TDP but depending on the usage scenario, cooling capabilities and the configured TDP from the OEM, the TDP can vary from 7.5W up to 25W.
You can browse through our top CPUs ranking: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-cpu-ranking/
Results are from the Cinebench 20 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)
Lenovo ThinkPad E580 CPU variants
Here you can see an approximate comparison between the CPUs that can be found in the Lenovo ThinkPad E580 models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which Lenovo ThinkPad E580 model is the best bang for your buck.
Note: The chart shows the cheapest different CPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / CPU.
Results are from the Cinebench 20 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
GPU – Intel UHD Graphics 620
Intel UHD Graphics 620 is a refresh of the HD Graphics 620 found as an integrated solution in many ULV Kaby Lake processors. UHD Graphics 620 is codenamed “Kaby Lake R U GT2” and it’s a part of the Gen 9.5 generation.
Intel UHD Graphics 620 has roughly the same performance as HD Graphics 620, depending on the other components in the system. UHD Graphics 620’s performance is similar to AMD Radeon R5 M420X and NVIDIA GeForce 910M/920M.
You can browse through our top GPUs ranking: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-graphics-ranking/
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Superposition benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Lenovo put its own in-house Lenovo AM6671 M.2 2280 256GB NVMe PCIe SSD. This unit achieved up to 1774.0 MB/s Read speeds and 1041.2 MB/s Write speeds, which is impressive, but normal for an NVMe device.
Despite the bravery of the Intel HD Graphics 620 inside this business notebook, it didn’t impress us at all. Still, you can turn down the resolution and also give up some good looking textures if you really want to play titles such as CS:GO and DOTA 2. However, GTA V is terra incognita for this device.
|CS:GO||Full HD, Low (Check settings)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||35 fps||23 fps||– fps|
|Min FPS||4 fps||– fps||– fps|
|DOTA 2||Full HD, Low (Check settings)||Full HD, Normal (Check settings)||Full HD, High (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||57 fps||28 fps||– fps|
|Grand Theft Auto V (GTA 5)||HD 768p, Low (Check settings)||HD 768p, Medium (Check settings)||HD 768p, Very High (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||27 fps||– fps||– fps|
|Min FPS||12 fps||– fps||– fps|
The temperature tests go this way. We use Prime95 and FurMark to torture the CPU and the GPU respectively. This won’t give real-life representation but with our methodology, we try to give you the most optimal results.
The first values from the test are from the 30th second of running the Prime95 stress test, which simulates a heavy task run on your computer (usually lighter tasks take from a part of the second up to a couple of seconds). Next, we take the ones from the 2nd-minute mark, which imitates a very heavy task, run on the CPU. The last values we give you are the ones at the end of the test, which is 15 minutes, simulating the CPU load when rendering a video, for example.
0-15 min. CPU torture test
Lenovo ThinkPad E580 in the configuration we use is equipped with Intel Core i5-8250U, which in this case idles at 37C. It started well at 2.5 – 2.6 GHz until around the end of the first measurement frequencies slumped to 1.9 GHz. This coincided with the CPU package reaching 74C. The single fan on this device remained relatively quiet even when temperatures forced the frequencies to drop.
After that for the whole remaining period of the second checkpoint clock speeds were stable at around 2.0 GHz, while temperatures were in the range between 60 and 64C.
Until the end of the test, we saw some fluctuations in the frequencies of the cores from 2.0 to 1.9 GHz and back again. Although from the 7th minute they established at 2.0 GHz for the rest of the torture. Temperature-wise, a little gradual increase to 69C at the end. We are satisfied with this result as this temperature is a pretty stable one, especially at these extreme conditions. This means that even if you render a video on this laptop, you won’t get it to sweat at all.
We want to note that the Lenovo ThinkPad E580 wasn’t loud at all, even when 15 minutes of Prime95 torture have passed. Surface temperatures were highest in the top left corner at 42C, while the hottest part of the keyboard area was in the middle. However, this will not be a problem as in regular use rarely saw ThinkPad E580 heating up and moreover, the palm rest area remained super cool at all times.
Business laptops aren’t meant just to stay in the office and be connected to a couple of monitors or a dock, or whatever. They are meant to be taken to meetings, in the plane, at home or even at the coffee shop. They are defined by versatility and the best in the class are good all-rounders. Not only that but a business device represents its owner, hence it has to give a sense of authority. Although build solely from plastic, the Lenovo ThinkPad E580 is sturdy enough to give a feel of reliability, and the ThinkPad signature makes it recognizable. However, when we talk about style, we would be happier if we saw an aluminum body as in the case of Acer Swift 3, for example.
Performance-wise, we were impressed by the capabilities of this notebook. There was not a single time that the system lagged or failed to perform swiftly. This is mainly thanks to the Core i5-8250U processor and Lenovo’s in-house PCIe NVMe SSD, which boasts about 4 times faster Read and 2 times faster Write speeds than a casual SSD. Moreover, we noticed that in raw benchmarks and in some games this computer is able to get everything from its ultra-low-voltage CPU.
An area in which ThinkPads are usually strong is input devices. The keyboard has a perfect design for typing with fast feedback, long enough travel and relatively large key size. However, if you are not familiar with the series you’ll need a couple of days adjusting to the switch of the “function” and “control” keys.
Earlier we said that a perfect business device should be a perfect all-rounder. Well, the ThinkPad E580 is capable of almost everything. You can even enjoy some light gaming if you opt for the dedicated Radeon RX 550 GPU. Also, you can enjoy a long enough battery life thanks to the 45Wh battery and ULV processor. Lenovo promises around 13 hours of battery life, which is possible only if you turn on the computer and not use it at all. What we got was around 9 hours and a half of web surfing, 8 hours and a half of video playback and just under two hours of gaming, which is a very good result still. This is a huge improvement over last year’s ThinkPad E570.
Finally, we got the screen. Lenovo used an IPS panel but to cut costs even further they used a budget one. This results in only 50% coverage of sRGB color gamut and PWM used for all brightness levels except the maximum. However, latter can be fixed with our Health-Guard profile. All in all, there is nothing else we can really complain about and moreover, we definitely recommend this business device.
- Super fast and responsive device
- Very good input devices
- Supreme contrast and viewing angles
- Supports M.2 PCIe NVMe/SATA SSDs
- Well calculated cooling
- Very good battery life
- PWM is used to regulate screen brightness (fixed by our Health-Guard profile)
- Poor color reproduction