Interestingly, Lenovo is not trying to sell the ThinkPad L590 to the average user like you and me. It is more accurate to say that they seek corporations and large IT companies to accommodate their new laptops. When you think about it – it makes a perfect sense. First, the notebook is very cost-efficient. Add to that the whole business nature of the ThinkPads, pretty capable hardware, which spreads out to the vPro version of Intel’s ULV processors and even an optional dedicated AMD Radeon 535.
On top of that, Lenovo promises more than 12 hours on battery power (we are sure going to put that to a test) and you get an IPS 1080p display. What else would somebody want from a laptop for work?
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-thinkpad-l590/
Lenovo ThinkPad L590 - Specs
What’s in the box?
So, with that said – do not expect a shiny obnoxious box. You only get the ordinary package that says ThinkPad on the outside. Surprisingly, there is indeed a ThinkPad inside, as well as a 65W USB Type-C power brick and the mandatory paper manuals.
Design and construction
Let’s face it, when you try to give competitive pricing to a product – you need to cut some corners. Usually, the first thing to take a hit is the build quality and the materials used to manufacture the laptop itself. While the materials of use are solely plastic composites, we didn’t feel that the rigidity of the device suffered, whatsoever. In fact, Lenovo state that their laptop can pass the MIL-STD-810 toughness test. Size-wise, the ThinkPad L590 has a 22.95mm profile and weighs 2.03 kg.
On the other side, we have to note that this device uses a dated design, which has very thick bezels all around the screen. Additionally, we found an IR-sensor for face recognition, as well as a camera with a physical shutter on top of it.
Moving to the base of the device, when we see one of the strong points of this laptop – its keyboard. It has pretty large keycaps, which are clicky and have decent travel. Moreover, it features a full-sized NumberPad segment, a backlight, and a nipple. What we found somewhat annoying, however, is that the keyboard is easy to bend, even when you press a random key pretty lightly.
Its touchpad, on the other side, is pretty basic and matches what we have learned from our ThinkPad experience.
On the bottom side of the laptop, we see the ventilation grill and the speaker cutouts, while its exhausted hot air comes out of the right side of the laptop.
Looking at the I/O of this laptop we see a USB Type-C for charging, another USB Type-C and a Network extension, followed by a USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1), an HDMI port, a MicroSD card reader with an LTE SIM card slot beneath it, an RJ-45 connector an a Smart card reader on the left side, while the right houses another USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1) and an Audio Jack. That is a lot of ports by the way. Sadly, none of the Type-C ports has Thunderbolt support. This is a pity, but at this starting price, it is acceptable.
Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance
Getting inside this laptop requires the unscrewing of its 9 Phillips-head screws. The good thing about it is that Lenovo designed the laptop in such a way, that they stay attached to the bottom panel.
We have a standard cooling solution going on – just a single, but rather bulky heat pipe. However, it is rather long and you can clearly see the empty space for the optional dedicated graphics card.
Thankfully, Lenovo provides you with two RAM DIMMs that support up to 32GB of DDR4 memory. As of the storage – well, our unit had an M.2 SSD that is mounted inside of the 2.5″ drive tray. If you need to switch it for a SATA disk you need to get rid of the M.2 device… or it just seems like that.
Battery-wise there is 45Wh pack inside of it. At first, it doesn’t seem too big, but if you fast forward to our battery tests, (spoiler alert), things are different.
Lenovo ThinkPad L590 is equipped with a Full HD IPS panel with a model number N156HCE-EAA (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).
Lenovo ThinkPad L590 has comfortable viewing angles. We offer images at 45° to evaluate image quality.
We measured a maximum brightness of 264 nits in the middle of the screen and 240 nits as an average for the whole area, with a maximum deviation of 16%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen is 6450K – almost matching the optimal for the sRGB standard of 6500K. The average color temperature through the grey scale before profiling is even warmer – 6420K.
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 – 1430:1 (1340:1 after profiling).
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 L590’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 L590 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 = 25 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.
Lenovo ThinkPad L590’s display uses PWM to adjust its brightness until 68 nits. Additionally, the flickers have a high frequency, which makes the display comfortable for work.
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.
Lenovo ThinkPad L590 has an IPS panel with a Full HD resolution, comfortable viewing angles and good contrast ratio. Additionally, it doesn’t use aggressive PWM for brightness adjustment, while the downside is the modest 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 L590 configurations with 15.6″ FHD IPS N156HCE-EAA (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 L590’s speakers produce loud sound with good quality. Its lows and highs are clear, while the mids have some deviations.
You can get all of the drivers and utilities for this device here: https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/en/products/laptops-and-netbooks/thinkpad-l-series-laptops/thinkpad-l590-type-20q7-20q8/downloads/driver-list
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. Lenovo equipped the ThinkPad L590 with a 45Wh battery.
We got around 11 hours of Web browsing and just under 9 hours of video playback.
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.
The available processors for the Lenovo ThinkPad L590 are Intel’s Celeron 4305U (2 cores/2 threads), Core i3-8145U (2 cores/4 threads), Core i5-8265U and Core i5-8365U (4 cores/8 threads), Core i7-8565U and Core i7-8665U (4 cores/8 threads).
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)
GPU-wise there are only three options – two of them are the integrated UHD Graphics 610 and 620, while the dedicated one is the AMD Radeon 535 with 2GB of GDDR5 memory.
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)
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 frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.
|Intel Core i5-8265U (15W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|Lenovo ThinkPad L590||2.58 GHz (B+61%) @ 52°C||1.96 GHz (B+23%) @ 52°C||2.00 GHz (B+25%) @ 69°C|
|Lenovo Ideapad L340 (15″)||3.27 GHz (B+104%)@ 72°C||1.99 GHz (B+24%)@ 60°C||2.01 GHz (B+26%)@ 65°C|
|ASUS VivoBook S15 S532||2.96 GHz (B+85%) @ 75°C||2.95 GHz (B+84%) @ 90°C||2.17 GHz (B+36%) @ 68°C|
|Lenovo ThinkBook 13s||2.76 GHz (B+73%)@ 75°C||2.74 GHz (B+71%)@ 84°C||2.11 GHz (B+32%)@ 74°C|
|Lenovo ThinkPad T490s||3.43 GHz (B+114%)@ 91°C||2.69 GHz (B+68%)@ 91°C||2.19 GHz (B+37%)@ 80°C|
|HP ProBook 450 G6||2.69 GHz (B+59%)@ 64°C||2.53 GHz (B+60%)@ 68°C||2.09 GHz (B+31%)@ 71°C|
Lenovo ThinkPad L590 has a very interesting fan curve – it either runs pretty audibly, or it doesn’t actually turn on. Additionally, Lenovo has decided to play it safe on the CPU, without letting it reach its full potential in terms of frequency. It is obvious from the table above that the cooling of this laptop is potent enough to cool down a slightly more aggressive approach.
Lenovo ThinkPad L590 is probably one of the greatest options for corporate users. It combines both reasonable pricing, relatively good performance, and most importantly – versatility. It has all of the needed security features like a fingerprint reader, face IR recognition.
Lenovo ThinkPad L590 has an IPS panel (N156HCE-EAA (LEN40BA)) with a Full HD resolution, comfortable viewing angles and good contrast ratio. Additionally, it doesn’t use aggressive PWM for brightness adjustment, while the downside is the modest color coverage.
Sadly, the ThinkPad L590 doesn’t feature some of the premium Carbon fiber or magnesium materials of this device. Additionally, we noticed some annoying wobble in the middle of the base, which takes from the overall good experience from the keyboard and the touchpad.
Another positive feature of the ThinkPad L590 is its battery life. Despite the battery pack is only 45Wh, which is usually insufficient for a 15-incher, we were able to extract more than 11 hours of Web browsing and just under 9 hours of video playback.
Then, there comes the lack of Thunderbolt connectivity and the frustrating M.2 slot adapter. On the bright side, you can find the I/O ports to most probably suit your needs, while the IPS panel is definitely going to help you (or at least not interfere).
- Reasonable price
- Pleasant spill-resistant keyboard with long travel and clicky feedback
- Broad I/O connectivity
- Great battery life
- Charges with USB Type-C
- Doesn’t use aggressive PWM to adjust its brightness (N156HCE-EAA (LEN40BA))
- M.2 slot sits inside the 2.5-inch tray
- Plastic body
- No Thunderbolt support
- Covers only 54% of sRGB (N156HCE-EAA (LEN40BA))
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-thinkpad-l590/