Today we have a laptop which will be a very common find in corporate offices. Or as the situation stays these days – in a lot of homes. One of the main reasons for that is that the T15 has all of the ThinkPad security features, like TPM 2.0, optional Smart card reader, passwords for pretty much everything, and also some neat stuff, like the NFC antenna, and biometrics authentication, including IR, face recognition and a fingerprint scanner. Not on the last place, you get the ThinkShutter camera cover, which will definitely prevent unwanted individuals from spying at you, while you are sleeping at work.
Other than that, the notebook seems pretty basic, with its Comet Lake processors (although it supports some vPro models), 1080p IPS display, and an optional GeForce MX330 graphics card.
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-thinkpad-t15-gen-1/
Lenovo ThinkPad T15 Gen 1 - Specs
What’s in the box?
Inside the package, we found a 65W USB Type-C power brick and some paperwork.
Design and construction
Despite looking like any other ThinkPad on the market right now, the T15 has some tricks up its sleeve. While the body has a rubber-like finish on top, there is some interesting chemistry happening beneath. So, the bottom panel and the lid are made out of plastic and glass fiber composite, while the base is plastic, but is reinforced by magnesium alloy. This not only makes the chassis stronger, but it also makes the entire laptop lighter – it weighs only 1.89 kg and has a profile of 19.1mm. On top of that, there is an optional anti-microbial surface treatment.
Sadly, you won’t be able to open the lid with a single hand. However, once you open it you will be met by thin side bezels, IR face recognition camera (in our case), and the ThinkShutter (in any case).
By the way, the laptop is not the most structurally sound when it comes to flex. This might be both good and a bad thing. Of course, nobody wants their laptop to bend like crazy when they are trying to move it from the living room to the kitchen, however, if you happen to drop in on the ground, this flex is actually going to absorb a huge amount of the energy in the impact.
So, next, there is the base. As you can see, it houses the speakers, just between the hinges. Neet and tight once again. Further down below, there is the spill-resistant keyboard, which is great for typing, it’s key travel is long, feedback – clicky, but quiet, and it has a backlight. However, we would have loved seeing larger Arrow keys, or at least – not seeing the “Page Up” and “Page Down” keys being put so close to them – it will result in accidental clicks. Other than that, there is the NumberPad, a feature that is great for accountants and people who work with data.
Let’s not forget the favorite thing of every ThinkPad fanboy – the Nipple. Traditionally, it comes with a pair of buttons just above the touchpad, and it works as intended – we still prefer the touchpad, though. Speaking of which – the touchpad is fast and accurate and its only downside is the matte finish, which doesn’t help the gliding experience at all. Lastly, there is the fingerprint reader to the right.
If we turn the ThinkPad T15 upside down, we’ll see the ventilation grills. Hot air, on the other side, escapes through the vents on the right side of the device.
This notebook features two USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen. 2) ports on the left – one of them is for charging, and the other is Thunderbolt 3 (and can also be used for charging). Then, there is the docking component, a USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1) port, an HDMI 1.4b connector, an audio jack, and a MicroSD card reader. On the other side, you will see an RJ-45 connector, a USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1) port with an Always-On function, as well as an optional Smart card reader. Lastly, if you take a look at the back, you will see the optional nano-SIM card slot.
Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance
Getting inside this laptop is easy. You need to unscrew 8 Phillips-head screws and pry the bottom panel away. Just remember to unplug the SIM card tray before that, or you’re risking to damage it.
The cooling here is pretty straightforward – a single heat pipe, a heat spreader, and a fan.
As you can see, there is only one RAM SODIMM slot. This is because it has 8GB or 16GB soldered to the motherboard. They will work in dual-channel with the appropriate amount of additional memory, while the maximum is 48GB. In terms of storage, there is a single M.2 PCIe x4 slot.
Similarly to last year, the battery has a 57Wh capacity.
Lenovo ThinkPad T15 is equipped with an IPS panel, model number AUO B156HAN02.1. 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).
Viewing angles are excellent. We offer images at 45° to evaluate image quality.
The measured maximum brightness of 251 nits in the middle of the screen and 245 nits as an average for the whole area, with a maximum deviation of 10%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen is 6700K – slightly colder than the optimal for the sRGB standard of 6500K.
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 good – 1320:1.
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. 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 T15’s color gamut coverage.
Its display covers only52% 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 T15 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 T15’s display doesn’t use PWM to adjust its brightness levels. This means it is safe for long workdays, without presenting any strain in your eyes in this aspect.
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 T15’s display has an IPS panel with a Full HD resolution, comfortable viewing angles, and good contrast ratio. Thankfully, its backlight doesn’t flicker, but on the downside, it covers only half of the colors of the sRGB gamut.
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 T15 configurations with 15.6″ FHD IPS AUO B156HAN02.1.
*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 T15’s speakers are Dolby Audio certified and produce a sound with good quality. Its low, mid, and high tones are clear of deviations.
All of the drivers and utilities for this notebook can be found here: https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/en/products/laptops-and-netbooks/thinkpad-t-series-laptops/thinkpad-t15-type-20s6-20s7/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. This unit is equipped with a 57Wh battery pack. It was able to last for 11 hours of Web browsing and 12 hours and a half 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.
Since this notebook comes with the Comet Lake CPUs, you can choose between the Core i5-10210U, the Core i7-10510U, and their vPro variations.
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)
As of the graphics cards, you have the choice of getting only the integrated Intel UHD Graphics, or the discrete GeForce MX330 (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)
|CS:GO||HD 1080p, Low (Check settings)||HD 1080p, Medium (Check settings)||HD 1080p, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||26 fps||– fps||– fps|
|DOTA 2||HD 1080p, Low (Check settings)||HD 1080p, Normal (Check settings)||HD 1080p, High (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||44 fps||23 fps||– 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 frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.
|Intel Core i5-10210U (15W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|Lenovo ThinkPad T15||3.45 GHz (B+116%) @ 91°C||2.74 GHz (B+71%) @ 87°C||2.51 GHz (B+57%) @ 87°C|
|Lenovo ThinkPad L15||3.17 GHz (B+98%) @ 95°C||2.73 GHz (B+71%) @ 97°C||2.04 GHz (B+28%) @ 80°C|
|HP Probook 450 G7||2.54 GHz (B+59%) @ 59°C||2.12 GHz (B+33%) @ 67°C||1.81 GHz (B+13%) @ 72°C|
|Lenovo ThinkBook 15-IML||3.08 GHz (B+93%) @ 73°C||3.00 GHz (B+88%) @ 82°C||2.55 GHz (B+59%) @ 80°C|
|Lenovo ThinkPad L13||3.04 GHz (B+90%) @ 97°C||2.10 GHz (B+31%) @ 97°C||2.12 GHz (B+33%) @ 79°C|
|ASUS ZenBook Duo UX481||3.26 GHz (B+104%) @ 94°C||2.77 GHz (B+73%) @ 98°C||2.06 GHz (B+29%) @ 71°C|
|Dell Vostro 5590||3.50 GHz (B+119%) @ 94°C||2.68 GHz (B+68%) @ 97°C||2.36 GHz (B+48%) @ 79°C|
|Lenovo Yoga C740 (14)||3.09 GHz (B+93%) @ 96°C||2.66 GHz (B+66%) @ 97°C||1.96 GHz (B+23%) @ 71°C|
In contrast to the more budget ThinkPad L15, the T15 manages quite higher frequencies throughout the entire test. Of course, this results in slightly higher temperatures, but we feel that this is inevitable, given the similarities between the two cooling solutions.
Comfort during full load
The notebook isn’t terribly loud under heavy load, and the temperature on the keyboard reaches around 42C.
As you can imagine, this notebook is not particularly cheap. After all, we are talking about materials that include glass fiber and magnesium alloy. Plus, you have the option of LTE connectivity and you have a significantly larger battery than that of the ThinkPad L15 for instance. Ultimately, this gives the users around 11 hours of Web browsing and 12 hours and a half of video playback away from the plug.
Its display has an IPS panel with a Full HD resolution, comfortable viewing angles, and good contrast ratio. Thankfully, its backlight doesn’t flicker, but on the downside, it covers only half of the colors of the sRGB gamut. However, this perfectly describes a typical office display.
What is not typical, however, is the inclusion of an IR face recognition system and a fingerprint reader. Also, the Thunderbolt connectivity allows the connection of fast eGPUs or more appropriately on this occasion – docking stations. And with the Smart card, you can have an extra level of authentication for you or your employees.
All of that sounds great, but we still have to mention the fact that this notebook is incredibly similar to its predecessor – the ThinkPad T590. In fact, the only difference is the processor family. This means two things – don’t upgrade if you have the older model, and don’t be afraid to go for this one, should you come from a totally different device lineup.
In general, we would still consider the great spill-resistant keyboard and the industrial look to be some of the strong points of this business machine, but we would love to hear what you think about it. Would you buy this notebook? And do you think that some manufacturers are getting lazy with some of their “new” devices”?
- Great spill-resistant backlit keyboard
- Good battery life
- A bunch of security features
- Thunderbolt support
- Optional LTE card
- Doesn’t use PWM to adjust screen brightness (AUO B156HAN02.1)
- There are premium materials in the build
- Price is growing rapidly with the higher specs
- A carbon copy of its predecessor (the ThinkPad T590)
- Covers only 54 of sRGB (AUO B156HAN02.1)
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-thinkpad-t15-gen-1/