Review: Lenovo Thinkpad E490

It’s been more or less 4 months since I bought this laptop and I have been using it for most of my university work and surfing the internet. I guess now is the best time to push out a review for the Lenovo Thinkpad E490 so let’s get right to it!

Specs

To start off, the Lenovo Thinkpad E490 model that I have contains:

  • Intel Core i5 8th Gen 1.8Ghz
  • 8Gb RAM
  • 500Gb HDD
  • Intel UHD 620 Graphics (Integrated graphics)
  • 14″ Display

Design

I always loved the Thinkpad design and despite Lenovo now being the creator of the new line of Thinkpads, the classic black, red, and white design-scheme is still preserved somewhat. Of course, the keyboard has changed, along with the bulky weight, and I believe it is for the better.

Straight out of the box, I noticed the sleek black carbon look that is present in all Thinkpads, with the Thinkpad logo on the lid corner that reminds me of the older Thinkpads with the IBM logo on the same corner. The weight itself is not heavy at all but is much thicker than most laptops around the same price range.

Lenovo Thinkpad E490 open view
The open view of the E490

On the sides, 3 USB ports, an HDMI port, headphone jack, Ethernet port, Kensington lock, and the most interesting ports for the laptop: USB C for charging and MicroSD reader.

After some testing, I did find that the USB C port was not only for charging but you could also plug in a USB C cable into it. However, one problem: How would I charge the laptop if I was using the USB C port for something else? Unlike the design of the new HP Envy laptops, there is no dedicated charging port anymore. This means the user has to plan to either get an adapter or hope that their battery does not die before they are done using the USB C port.

I did mention the MicroSD reader because it is usually a full-sized SD card reader. This is a new development in laptops and with the use of MicroSD more and more in phones and some cameras, it certainly is more efficient than a full-sized SD.

On the inside, the signature red finger mouse is still there, with a spaced-out keyboard. Now, with the new models, it is getting increasingly more difficult to take apart the device. Compared to the older models that were more rugged and were put together with screws mainly.

Performance

Overall, I find that the specs were decent for the $900 CAD price tag. However, I was not very happy with the speed of the CPU. As I have gained the habit of just closing the laptop lid rather than shutting down (from my previous Macbook Pro), the entire system struggled to go back to where I left off without either not responding for a few minutes, or straight up crashing. This does not look good, as I would like to whip out my device and immediately start typing away. Instead, I am stuck waiting for my computer to catch up.

Other than that, the E490 runs swiftly with my applications and numerous Google Chrome tabs. I have tried several times with running 10 tabs and it has lagged quite a bit but is doable. Along with Google Chrome, I also usually have Microsoft OneNote, To-Do, Trello, Discord, and Microsoft Excel open. As I am typing this review, I have 8 Chrome tabs open without any signs of lag or unresponsive webpages.

I would not recommend this laptop for any data modeling, photo and video editing, and gaming, as even with 8Gb of RAM, the 1.8Ghz CPU is not enough to handle any computing power-intense tasks.

Experience

In the beginning, I could not get used to the screen’s colors and struggled to adjust to it. I ended up having to increase the screen brightness to 100% in order to properly see. Even at 100%, the graphics quality is not that impressive.

Throughout my time using this laptop, one of my favorite parts was the keyboard. The new Thinkpad keyboard is more spaced out and comfortable. But most importantly, it does not feel like the keys are squished together like some keyboards. When I strike down on a key, there is enough “depth” on the keyboard. Compared to the newest line of Apple Macbook keyboards, I don’t feel as if I am hitting the table.

Other than that, I think Lenovo’s Thinkpad, no matter what model, is geared towards the business consumer, but it does make a decent laptop for university use.

Interested in Lenovo products? Check them out here: https://amzn.to/2NtEvr3

Note: There are affiliate links in this post. Click here for more details.

Angus

Angus

Student, Blogger, and Developer, with an interest in fintech, aerospace defence, and finance.

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