Today’s hero – the ThinkPad E590 is a direct successor, if not just a refresh, to the ThinkPad E580 series. As we found the latter to be a pretty decent device, we are placing our expectations high with this model as well. It is aimed at small to medium business market, which is not very sensitive about raw performance. However, security, usability and battery life are the more important features.
Now equipped with Whiskey Lake CPU and the choice of a dedicated GPU in the form of an AMD Radeon RX 550X, it should even suffice some mild gaming and graphically intensive work. On the other side, there is the dated, but beloved ThinkPad design, which not only is exactly the same as the one on the previous model but also stays true to the legacy, dating all the way back to IBM.
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-thinkpad-e590/
Lenovo ThinkPad E590 technical specifications table
What’s in the box?
Lenovo ships the laptop in an unamusing box, which contains the ThinkPad E590 itself, documents and manuals telling you how to use your machine and a 65W Type-C charging brick.
Design and construction
This laptop utilizes aluminum and plastic for its build – the former covers the lid, while the latter is used for the rest of the chassis. Despite the mostly plastic body, we found it to be very sturdy and well built. A quick look at the tech specs confirms the connection to its predecessor – 19.9 mm profile and a weight of 2.12 kg.
Contrary to the archrival – HP ProBook 450 G6 the lid refuses to open if you don’t press down the base of the device. On the bright side, it goes all the way down to make the Reclining Hero Yoga pose.
Switching the focus to the keyboard shows us one of the best units on the market yet. With its long key travel and clicky feedback, it is very comfortable to type on and at the same time it is not super loud, so it would suffice quiet environment needs. Additionally, the touchpad is accurate but we’ve seen better ones on the market. However, not many laptops feature a nipple… it is reserved for the ThinkPads of Lenovo, Latitudes of Dell and EliteBooks of HP (we’re sorry if we missed anyone).
Expectedly, on the bottom plate, you can see the air intake grills as well as the speaker cut-outs. As with the previous model, the hot air comes out from in between the body and the screen, thus blowing heat directly towards the screen, which may result in some sort of damage in the long run.
|Lenovo ThinkPad E590||369 mm (14.53″)||253 mm (9.96″)||19.9 mm (0.78″)||2.12 kg (4.7 lbs)|
|ASUS VivoBook S15 S530||361 mm (14.21″)||243 mm (9.57″)||18 mm (0.71″) (-10%)||1.80 kg (4 lbs) (-14%)|
|HP ProBook 450 G6||361 mm (14.21″)||244 mm (9.61″)||17.9 mm (0.70″) (-10%)||1.70 kg (3.7 lbs) (-20%)|
|Lenovo ThinkPad E580||369 mm (14.61″)||252 mm (10.04″)||19.95 mm (0.74″)||2.10 kg (4.4 lbs)|
Its left side houses a Type-C 3.1 (Gen. 2) connector, which doubles as a charging port, next there are an HDMI 1.4b, two USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 2) ports and the Jack. On the other side, there are an RJ-45 connector, USB Type-A 2.0 port, and a microSD card slot.
Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance
Taking the Lenovo ThinkPad E590 apart is extremely simple. In fact, Lenovo has made sure that you don’t lose your screws, thus they stay attached to the bottom plate even after you unscrew them. Either way, you have to pry the bottom up, using a thin plastic tool and you are inside the device.
Upon making the first contact with the internals, there is one thing that made an instant impression on us. It was cooling. If you buy the laptop without the dedicated GPU, perhaps this cooling is going to be perfectly fine. However, in a model where a Radeon RX 550X is present, this is not going to be very efficient. Two heat pipes, starting from the CPU, going over the GPU and then finishing at the heatsink. This way they literally connect the CPU and the GPU thermally.
Just beneath the processor, you can see either of the RAM DIMMs, supporting 32 GB of DDR4 memory. Additionally, the storage devices are located on the left side of the battery. They consist of an M.2 NVMe enabled slot and a SATA connector, which has a plastic dummy sealing the place.
Speaking of the battery, the unit of use here has a capacity of 45Wh.
Lenovo ThinkPad E590 has a Full HD IPS panel with a model number LG LP156WFC-SPDB (LEN40BA). Its diagonal is 15.6″ (39.62 cm), and the resolution 1920 х 1080 pixels. The screen ratio is 16:9, and we are looking at a pixel density of – 142 ppi, and a pitch of 0.18 х 0.18 mm. The screen turns into Retina when viewed at distance equal to or greater than 60cm (24″) (from this distance one’s eye stops differentiating the separate pixels, and it is normal for looking at a laptop).
It has excellent viewing angles. We offer images at 45° to evaluate image quality.
We measured a maximum brightness of 280 nits in the middle of the screen and 270 nits as an average for the whole area, with a maximum deviation of 13%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen is 6250K – a little warmer than the optimal for the sRGB standard of 6500K – not bad. The average color temperature through the grey scale before profiling is even warmer – 6300K.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. In other words, the leakage of light from the light source.
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color sensitive work. The contrast ratio is great – 1300:1.
To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to 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.
The yellow dotted line shows Lenovo ThinkPad E590’s color gamut coverage.
Its display covers only 54% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.
Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 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.
Below you can compare the scores of Lenovo ThinkPad E590 with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).
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 vice versa.
We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 28 ms.
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.
With the panel used in the Lenovo ThinkPad E590, there is no risk of a further irritation of the eyes during extended periods of use. This is because it doesn’t use PWM to adjust its brightness at any level.
Blue light emissions
Installing 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.
This display has an IPS panel, which ensures a high contrast ratio and comfortable viewing angles. Additionally, the maximum brightness is not too bad and it doesn’t use PWM at any brightness level. As a disadvantage can be considered the narrow color coverage.
Buy our profiles
Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Lenovo ThinkPad E590 configurations with 15.6″ FHD IPS LG LP156WFC-SPDB (LEN40BA).
*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]
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.
THealth-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 E590 has two 1.5W speakers, which produce a sound with not bad quality at all. In addition to that, there are some deviations in the low tones, while mids and highs are clear. However, it is pretty quiet, although you can enable the Dolby enhancements, which greatly improve the sound quality and volume.
If you need access to the drivers and utilities for Lenovo ThinkPad E590 you can find them here: https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/bg/en/products/laptops-and-netbooks/thinkpad-edge-laptops/thinkpad-e590-type-20nb-20nc/downloads
Usually, it depends on the region you are located at, for what model SSD you are going to get. In our case, Lenovo has put an SK Hynix BC501 (NVMe) drive inside this machine. It has Read and Write speeds of 1.44 GB/s and 0.81 GB/s respectively.
|SSD model (240-256GB variants)||Max.Seq.Read (GB/s)||Max.Seq.Write (GB/s)||IOPS 4K Read||IOPS 4K Write||Latency Read (ms)||Latency Write (ms)|
|SK Hynix BC501 (NVMe)||1.44||0.81||9430||25397||0.044||0.035|
|Toshiba KXG50ZMV256G NVMe||1.53||0.79||12187||28625||0.053||0.243|
|Intel Pro 6000p Series||1.83||0.59||7792||28266||0.075||0.033|
Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. ThinkPad E590 is not equipped with the largest batteries of all, but it definitely suffisces.
We got around 10 hours on battery during web browsing and 8 hours and 20 minutes of video playback. However, if you want to play some games solely on battery power, you’ll get less than an hour and a half.
In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.
For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.
Lenovo ThinkPad E590 can be purchased with either Core i3-8145U, Core i5-8265U or Core i7-8565U, which are all part of the Whiskey Lake family. The first of the bunch is also the slowest one. It has two cores and four threads, working at a base frequency of 2.10 GHz and a Turbo of 3.90 GHz. On the other side, the other two are quad-core/octa-thread CPUs with the Core i5 working at 1.60-3.90 GHz and the Core i7 – 1.80-4.60 GHz.
Results are from the Cinebench 15 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)
If you need the ThinkPad E590 for graphically intensive work, you can get it with the AMD Radeon RX 550X (which is literally a rebranded RX 550). Its performance equivalent from the green side would be the GeForce MX150. However, it is rated at 50W, while the MX150 uses twice less energy at 25W.
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)
AMD Radeon RX 550X shows a performance, which is somewhere around GeForce MX150.
|DOTA 2||Full HD, Normal (Check settings)||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||66 fps||41 fps||31 fps|
|TC Rainbow Six Siege||HD 768p, Medium (Check settings)||HD 768p, High (Check settings)||HD 768p, Very High (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||67 fps||56 fps||31 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||96 fps||40 fps||21 fps|
Temperatures and comfort
Max CPU load
In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.
Average core temperature (base frequency + X); CPU temp.
|Intel Core i7-8565U (15W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|Lenovo ThinkPad E590||2.60 GHz (B+44%) @ 65°C||2.00 GHz (B+11%) @ 61°C||2.02 GHz (B+12%) @ 64°C|
|ASUS ZenBook 15 UX533||3.92 GHz (B+118%) @ 65°C||3.82 GHz (B+112%) @ 79°C||2.71 GHz (B+51%) @ 75°C|
|HP Spectre x360 15 (15-df0000)||3.10 GHz (B+72%) @ 69°C||1.92 GHz (B+7%) @ 61°C||1.88 GHz (B+4%) @ 64°C|
|Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1||3.22 GHz (B+79%) @ 90°C||2.63 GHz (B+46%) @ 83°C||2.48 GHz (B+38%) @ 79°C|
|Dell Inspiron 14 5482 2-in-1||3.12 GHz (B+73%) @ 96°C||2.56 GHz (B+42%) @ 94°C||2.01 GHz (B+12%) @ 76°C|
Lenovo has a conservative approach about the thermals of ThinkPad E590. It starts the torture test at 2.60 GHz and never exceeds 65C throughout the entire test. So in order to keep this temperature low, the device lowers the frequencies at just 200 MHz above its Base clocks. However, we are firmly sure that there is more potential in this cooling, as it never pushed the lonely fan too hard.
|AMD Radeon RX 550X||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min)||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)|
|Lenovo ThinkPad E590||1073 MHz @ 74°C||1094 MHz @ 75°C|
Since the Radeon RX 550X is not a very common graphics card, we don’t really have something to compare it to. However, since we know the base frequency of the chip, which is 1100 MHz, we can deduce that the laptop is not utilizing it very properly. Additionally, we noticed significant frame drops when the GPU heats up, which is in contrast to the confidence in the conservative cooling.
This laptop’s GPU heat is transferred directly to the outside of the device. As you can see from the images below, the keyboard reaches 60.6C between the “8” and “9” keys – definitely too much, especially for a business device.
Lenovo is usually a very strong contender on the business laptop market. Interestingly enough, they have decided that their new ThinkPad E590 doesn’t need any significant improvements over the last years model apart from the Whiskey Lake CPUs. We are talking about, looks, weight even on the inside – every single component is on the exact same position as on the predecessor. Thankfully, this year we tested the laptop with its dedicated GPU – the Radeon RX 550X. Now we know that the cooling definitely doesn’t have the capacity to fully extract the performance out of the GPU.
Either way, aside from recommending buying the device with just the integrated UHD 620 graphics card, we have to note that it is certainly not a gaming laptop. So let’s talk more about that. Comparing it to the direct competitor – HP ProBook 450 G6, the ThinkPad E58…E590, excuse us, happens to provide a significantly better keyboard experience. Not only it is a backlit unit, but the key travel is way longer – like a typical ThinkPad. Additionally, there is the red “nipple” and dedicated buttons above the touchpad.
Battery-wise it is roughly the same as the ProBook 450 G6 with the major difference laying in Web Browsing times – around two hours more for the ThinkPad E590 – 8 against 10 hours. On the display side, we see a budget Full HD IPS panel, with good contrast levels, comfortable viewing angles, no PWM, whatsoever, and pretty modest color coverage – 52% of sRGB.
All in all, we see a good business laptop here – with all the security features that distinguish the ThinkPad brand. However, we are a little disappointed by the simple rebranding Lenovo made. We were expecting it to bring something even better, but it happened to be the same device. Still, we would recommend it over the HP ProBook 450 G6, simply because of the amazing keyboard. However, if you are willing to pay a little bit extra, Dell has a great business 15-incher in the face of Latitude 15 5590.
- Incredible keyboard
- Doesn’t use PWM to adjust screen brightness (LG LP156WFC-SPDB (LEN40BA))
- Supports M.2 PCIe NVMe/SATA SSDs
- Simplistic design folowing the well known legacy
- Very good battery life
- Business-grade security features
- Covers only 54% of sRGB (LG LP156WFC-SPDB (LEN40BA))
- Doesn’t offer anything significant over the last-years model
- Radeon RX 550X-equipped model produces excessive heat on the outside
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-thinkpad-e590/