John Galea's Blog

My blog on Gadgets and the like

ThinkPad L480s model 20LTS39500

I recently got a new laptop for work, a ThinkPad L480s model number 20LTS39500 not that this is a new model, but thought I’d put it through the paces (you can query the model number is WMIC CSPRODUCT GET NAME). Ok, let’s start off with this is NOT a model I recommend for anyone. This is a business targeted workhorse. Let’s start out with physicals, this is a lovely thin somewhat light model

Dimensions (W x D x H)          336.6 mm x 232.5 mm x 19.95 mm / 13.25″ x 9.15″ x .078″
Weight                       Starting at 1.58 kg / 3.49 lbs

Display wise this is a 14″ 1366×768 display, so obviously this is NOT a high end display and it shows up front as an average experience in crispness and vividness, and this one is not a touch display, something that shocks me that they still sell non touch displays. Memory wise this can go up to 32G which is awesome. Power wise this is standard USB-C which is awesome and I’m thrilled to see this trend. Adding a USB dumb dock, or even smart dock are options. I have a few of these and love how conveniently one connection takes care of everything. I look forward to when this is the standard, not that Apple are likely to be embracing it anytime soon.

This particular model is completely undermined by a Seagate BarraCuda Pro ST500LM034 500GB 7200 RPM 128MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 2.5″ physical drive. The fact that laptops today are even offered in ANYHING other than SSDs today is shocking to me. As fast as this hard drive is, nothing will ever compete for the silence, power, and random access of an SSD. That said here are the numbers, it’s a pretty fast hard drive. Using the system with 16GB of memory the hard drive positively NEVER shuts up. I really have become so spoiled by SSDs, it’s really hard to go back.

I quickly replaced the hard drive with an SSD, I went for a cheap, quick drive from Amazon a WDS500G2B0A. I used Clonezilla to block copy the old/new which was needed since the drive included SecureDoc encryption. In short order the drive was copied. The L480 is one of easiest systems I’ve taken apart in a while. The only complication was the thin ribbon cable that had to be removed to replace the drive. Once replaced I got improvements in both read and write, but more importantly in random access, oh and it’s silent! Ahhhh. These numbers are still around half of what specs say the drive is capable of “Sequential read speeds up to 560MB/s and sequential write speeds up to 530MB/seconds”. Once cloned Windows did have to reactivate so be sure you have access to you activation server (KMS).

This has the typical trackpoint and glide point arrange which I love about Lenovos. The keyboard as always feels good and the keys are where they belong! This particular model does not seem to be backlit on the keyboard.

Processor wise the one I got came with a Intel Core i5 8350U which is 4 core, hyper threaded. Memory wise this is standard DDR4 with two slots, so choose your upgrades carefully. Video is standard Intel 620 which is fine for business use.

The camera is 720p camera (required for facial recognition) with dual array microphone which is adequate for video conferencing which today with so many working from home is a must, and can be used for Microsoft Hello based facial recognition for sign in, assuming your company hasn’t disabled it.

Port wise there’s 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1** (one Always On), 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C (Power Delivery, DisplayPort, Data transfer), 1 x HDMI, Micro SD card reader, RJ45 Gigabit ethernet, Audio headphone/microphone combo jack, as well as the standard kensington lock port. So well appointed and everything you will need, but if anything USB 3 or USBC can bring it to you at speed.

All in all this is a perfect corporate work horse. As mentioned earlier, I personally would NOT buy this model due to the rotating media and touch screen.

January 20, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment