Lenovo ThinkPad T580 review – two batteries are better than one

Last’s year Lenovo ThinkPad T570 was a great device – reliable with amazing battery life. Now we have its successor the Lenovo ThinkPad T580 in the house and we are eager to share our thoughts with you.

The ThinkPad T580 returns bringing Intel’s 8th generation CPUs and the iconic double battery setup. We expect a lot, in terms of battery life, from the T580 as the T570 was certainly more than generous in that manner.

As usual, we are about to test the notebook’s performance, cooling system, display etc. The T580 is not meant for heavy usage – after all, it packs 8th gen ULV chips – but you can expect great input devices, security options such as discrete TMP, and of course reliability verified by the MIL-STD-810G military certification.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: http://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-thinkpad-t580/

Contents


Specs Sheet

Lenovo ThinkPad T580 technical specifications table

Acer
Not available
Display
15.6”, Full HD (1920 x 1080), IPS
HDD/SSD
256GB SSD
M.2 Slot
1x 2280 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe M.2 slot
RAM
8GB DDR4, 2400 MHz
Dimensions
366 x 253 x 19.95 - 20.2 mm (14.41" x 9.96" x 0.79")
Weight
1.95 kg (4.3 lbs)
Body material
Plastic / Polycarbonate, Glass Fiber
Ports and connectivity
  • 1x USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps), Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort, HDMI
  • 1x USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
  • 1x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps), Sleep and Charge
  • 1x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
  • HDMI 1.4b
  • Card reader SD, SDHC, SDXC
  • Ethernet lan
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ac
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Audio jack combo audio / microphone jack
Features
  • Web camera
  • Microphone Dual-Array Microphone
  • Speakers 2x 2W
  • Security Lock slot
  • Spill-resistant keyboard
  • MIL-STD-810G military certification

What’s in the box?

Inside the box, you can find a few brochures, the 65W power adapter which uses USB Type-C interface instead of a proprietary DC input jack, and the device itself of course.


Design and construction

If you have ever used a ThinkPad before, you would be quite familiar with the T580’s design. It has the traditional matte black finish. The lid has that rubbery feel when you touch it and although it catches fingerprints and smudges it’s not too bad, we have seen worse. It’s notable that there is little to none flex when pressure is applied to the lid. There is also a ThinkPad logo with a glowing dot on the “I” letter and an engraved Lenovo logo on the opposite corner.

Opening the lid reveals the 15.6-inch display with its not-too-thin bezels and the iconic AccuType keyboard accompanied by the TrackPoint pointing device between the G, H, and B keys and the touchpad with three physical buttons. As always with ThinkPad notebooks, the keyboard is excellent with well-spaced keys and good key travel. There are some extras like a second Backspace button on top of the Num pad, a dedicated key that launches the calculator app, and a dedicated Print screen key between the right Alt and Ctrl keys.

The physical sizes of the notebook are listed below. You can see that it is practically identical to its predecessor – the only difference is that the T580 has shed a few grams of its weight.

Width Length Height Weight
Lenovo ThinkPad T580 365.8 mm (14.4″) 252.8 mm (9.95″) 20.2 mm (0.8″) 1.95 kg (4.29 lbs)
Lenovo ThinkPad T570 365.8 mm (14.4″) 252.8 mm (9.95″) 20.2 mm (0.8″) 1.97 kg (4.34 lbs) (+0.1%)

MIL-STD-810G is a United States Military Standard that is design to test the limits of a given equipment in different hazardous environments. Although designed for the army, it is often used in commercial products as well. When it comes to ThinkPads, it means that the notebook can survive in extreme conditions like high or low temperature, low air pressure, shock, vibrations, humidity etc. More information about the limits and test can be found at Lenovo’s web page.

Ports

The ports are mostly located on the right-hand side which might cause inconvenience for right-handed users when you connect a few peripheral devices. It is a bit hidden but you can find a SIM card slot when you remove the external battery, unfortunately, our model didn’t come with a WWAN module so we couldn’t test it. Let’s start from left to right.

On the left-hand side, you will find two USB Type-C port (the future is here!). One of them is also used for charging the device up and the other supports Thunderbolt 3. There is also a Smart Card reader on our configuration.

Moving to the other side, it gets a bit crowded. Here, we find a security keyhole, Gigabit Ethernet port, two USB 3.1 ports (one has Always on functionality), 4-in-1 card reader, and a 3.5mm combo jack.

Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance

Opening the device requires unscrewing 10 Philips screws (do not force them out just unscrew) and a pick.

Once you pop the cover lid the whole beauty of the ThinkPad engineering is in front of you. You can see how there is space for everything. The internal battery is only 32 Wh but you also have a removable second battery which is either 24, 48 or 72Wh.  Above the internal battery is a single fan.

There are two RAM slots. One is free on our model. You can upgrade up to 32GB 2400 Mhz. In the top left corner, you can see the Wi-Fi + Bluetooth card and below it another M.2-2242 slot which in our case is empty but it leaves a lot of room for upgrades – it supports Intel Optane drives, WWAN modules or even a regular secondary storage. Some configurations ship with one of the latter.

The main storage is situated inside the 2.5-inch caddy. Our model came with a 256GB SSD which was connected via an adapter. Even if you purchase a configuration with only one M.2 SSD it is located inside the caddy. In other words, the hard disk and M.2 SSD are mutually exclusive. However, as we mentioned above, the secondary M.2 2242 slot can be used for additional storage or an HDD + SSD combo.

In the bottom corners, you can see the two speakers which have great audio output.


Display quality

The Lenovo ThinkPad T580 features a Full HD IPS panel with a model number LP156WF9-SPK2. Its diagonal is 15.6 inches and the resolution is 1920 x 1080 which translates into a pixel density of 142 ppi. The screen ratio is 16:9 and the pixel pitch is 0.18 х 0.18 mm. The panel becomes Retina (the human eye can’t tell the pixels apart) when viewed from further than 60 cm.

The viewing angles of the ThinkPad T580 are comfortable due to the nature of the IPS panel. We offer images at 45° to evaluate image quality.

The maximum measured brightness is 239 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and 233 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 8%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 7520K (average) – a bit colder than the optimal 6504K temperature for sRGB. The average color temperature through the grey scale before profiling is 7340K.

In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from uniformity perspective. In other words the leakage of light from the light source. The illustration below shows how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 75% Brightness (White level = 139 cd/m2, Black level = 0.12 cd/m2).

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 (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio is good – 1140:1.

Color reproduction

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.

The yellow dotted line shows Lenovo ThinkPad T580’s color gamut coverage.

Its display covers 55% 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 ThinkPad T580 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 = 24 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.

The display of ThinkPad T580 doesn’t use PWM for all levels of brightness. This makes the notebook suitable for long sessions of work without causing eye strain.

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.

You can see the levels of emitted blue light on the spectral power distribution (SPD) graph.

Conclusion

The display of the Lenovo ThinkPad T580 has good contrast, Full HD resolution, and comfortable viewing angles and lacks PWM. The only major disadvantage is its limited color range.

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 T580 configurations with 15.6″ LP156WF9-SPK2 (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS.

*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

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

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.

Get all 3 profiles with 33% discount


Sound

Lenovo ThinkPad T580’s speakers get loud and deliver good sound with crisp tones. They support Dolby Audio Premium and high definition audio codec Realtek ALC3287.


Drivers

You can find all the necessary drivers for your ThinkPad T580 at its official support page: https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/bg/en/products/laptops-and-netbooks/thinkpad-t-series-laptops/thinkpad-t580-type-20l9-20la/downloads

Battery

One notable feature of the ThinkPad T580 is the dual battery setup. Thanks to it the notebook can easily survive a whole day without recharging. The internal battery is only 32Wh but the removable one can reach up to 72Wh. Our tests were conducted with the smallest 24Wh external battery.

The ThinkPad T580 is extremely efficient as it can deliver up to 5-6 hours only using the internal battery.

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.

We use F1 2017’s built-in benchmark on loop in order to simulate real-life gaming.


Storage performance

Our model featured a 256GB SSD NVMe 3.0 x4 manufactured by Samsung with a model number MZVLW256HEHP-000L7. From the chart below, you can see that is scores a bit better than a lot of competitors. The maximum sequential read speed is not very high but the other parameters are top-notch.

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)
Samsung MZVLW256HEHP-000L7 (NVMe) 1.77 1.22 12923 27651 0.048 0.033
Intel SSD 760p / PEKKW256G8L (NVMe) 2.35 1.03 13340 24671 0.047 0.048
Samsung SM951 (NVMe) 2.24 1.29 11320 28450 0.057 0.034
Samsung PM951 MZVLV2560 (NVMe) 1.58 0.31 0.121 0.035
SK Hynix SC300 (NVMe) 3.19 0.91 11000 26180 0.060 0.053

CrystalDiskMark – Max.Seq.Read/Write; AS SSD – IOPS 4K Read/Write, Latency Read/Write

CPU options

The Lenovo Thinkpad T580 comes with a variety of Intel processors. The series is limited to ULV chips that deliver better efficiency than performance. Our model is equipped with the Core i5-8250U. If you need a mobile workstation with serious horsepower, you should check out the ThinkPad P52 series.

Lenovo ThinkPad T580 CPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the CPUs that can be found in the Lenovo ThinkPad T580 models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which Lenovo ThinkPad T580 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.


GPU options

The ThinkPad T580 series is not designed for gaming. Our model relies on the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620. For some extra performance, you can opt for the NVIDIA GeForce MX150.


Gaming tests

Gaming on the Lenovo ThinkPad T580 is plausible if you stick to 2D games.

cs-go-benchmarks

CS:GO HD 768p, Low (Check settings) HD 768p, Medium (Check settings) HD 768p, MAX (Check settings)
Average FPS 59 fps 44 fps 20 fps

GTA-V-benchmarks

Grand Theft Auto V (GTA 5) HD, Normal (Check settings) HD, High (Check settings) HD, Very High (Check settings)
Average FPS 25 fps – fps – fps

Temperatures and comfort

The thermal system of the ThinkPad T580 seems to handle low temperatures but at the cost of relatively low frequencies.

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.

Core i5-8250U (15W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
Lenovo ThinkPad T580  2.92 GHz (B+82.5%)@ 86°C 1.88 GHz (B+17.5%)@ 66°C 2.13 GHz (B+33%)@ 69°C

As shown above, the first few seconds you put a high load on the CPU everything is normal, however, a few seconds later the frequency drops near the base clock of the processor. Nevertheless, a temperature of just 66°C is very good. The third column shows that after 15 minutes of heavy load, the CPU manages to crank up the clock a bit without increasing the temperature.

Gaming comfort

Although internal temperatures are low for continuous 100% load, heat dissipation is not perfect as surface temperatures reach 59°C in the are of the I, J, K, L keys. However, the palm rest area remains cool.


Verdict

The Lenovo ThinkPad T580 is an excellent business notebook that has everything covered. As a ThinkPad device, you get that near-perfect AccuType keyboard and military grade MIL-STD-810G certification.

The dual battery configuration makes you forget about your charger. We tested the configuration with the smallest external battery (24Wh) and we got up to 10 hours of battery life. You can imagine that opting for the larger 48 or 72Wh units will increase battery life tremendously.

Also, you get room for upgrades. There is a secondary M.2 slot for either Optane caching drive, additional storage or a WWAN card so you can stay connected wherever you are.

Maybe on of ThinkPad T580’s biggest disadvantages is the poor color range on the Full HD panel. However, there is an optional UHD panel which Lenovo claims to be better. Also, the performance of the device is below average but then again it’s not meant for heavy tasks.

An alternative to the Lenovo ThinkPad T580 would be the HP EliteBook 850 G5.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: http://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-thinkpad-t580/

Pros

  • Two USB Type-C ports
  • Good cooling system
  • Long battery life (32Wh + 24Wh)
  • Room for upgrades
  • No PWM (LP156WF9-SPK2)
  • MIL-STD-810G certification


Cons

  • Poor color range (LP156WF9-SPK2)

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Mig själv
4 years ago

seems like a sponsored review if i ever saw one.

Simeon Nikolov
Admin
4 years ago
Reply to  Mig själv

Hello! Our monetization is based solely on Google ads and affiliate links – we don’t write paid reviews. Also, we get the laptops from an online store with which we have an agreement to give them our display profiles, free for their customers. Sometimes, companies send us laptop samples too but we’ve clearly shown that this won’t change our opinion (that just helps them getting the review earlier) – if they stop, we’ll just keep taking the laptops from the store. We haven’t signed an NDA or another type of contract with any company! Therefore, we don’t really care which… Read more »

Another guest
Another guest
3 years ago

Having 2 batteries is nice, but they are not the best quality. My company purchased several of these less than a year ago and we have had several instances of the internal battery failing and a few of the external battery failing. So, more batteries seems to mean that they don’t need to worry about making sure the batteries will work for a long period of time. Also, the hardware (CPU and thermal) do not handle the Windows high performance power plan properly and the CPU will overclock. We have had many of the T580’s over heat repeatedly until we… Read more »

JOHN
JOHN
1 month ago

why is the laptop switching off during the change over from battery 1 two 2 ??????