Lenovo ThinkPad T450s Broadwell Preview

Written by Eric Griffith in Computers on 4 April 2015 at 10:00 AM EDT. Page 1 of 3. 34 Comments.

Today's Linux hardware review is a guest article by Phoronix reader Eric Griffith sharing his thoughts about his new Lenovo ThinkPad T450s laptop with Intel Core i5 Broadwell processor. Thank you Eric for this freelance Linux article contribution to Phoronix.

This is a "first impression" review. I've had the system in my hands for all of about twenty-four hours and am still exploring and forming more solid opinions. Also any problems I had likely do have solutions, but as I said: less than forty-eight hours of ownership so I haven't had a chance to. Linux-centric system review will follow this weekend / next week.

Where I'm coming from: The laptop I've had since May 2012 has been a Dell XPS 13z-- the original one, before Sputnik. While its served me well I've decided that it was time for me to upgrade sometime this year. Originally I was going to wait for Skylake but given the uncertain nature of its ETA, and the fact I prefer to come in on die-shrinks where the architecture is a bit more refined, I decided to pull the trigger now. My XPS 13z came with a dual-core Intel i5-2467M, HD4000 graphics, 4GB of 1600mhz DDR3L RAM, 128GB Lite-ON m.2 SSD, and a 1366x768 13.3inch screen.

Linux compatibility was pretty good, eventually, on the XPS 13z. It took awhile, and some prodding by yours truly, for the patches to get merged upstream but eventually you were able to boot up the 13z without having to compile your own kernel for proper support.

What I'm going to: The T450s comes with a dual-core Intel i5-5200U CPU, HD5500 graphics, 8GB (4 minimum, 12 maximum-- possible 20 maximum, unconfirmed.) a 16GB SSD cache and a 500GB 7200rpm HDD, and a 1080p 14.1inch screen.

Couple notes: the model I bought came with a 3 cell internal battery, 3 cell external battery, 500GB 7200rpm HDD, 4GB of RAM. I bought a 6cell external battery and 4GB memory module off of Amazon, those arrived in time for this writing. The Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD did not arrive in time.

The Pros:
Great battery life with the extended 6-cell battery.
IPS 1080p matte screen
M.2 and SATA interfaces available for storage.
Plethora of ports available.
Keyboard is a pleasure to type on.
User-serviceable SODIMM
Charger seems to be much more stable.

The Cons:
Only available configuration is with dual-core CPU's.
Lenovo opted for HD 5500, rather than HD 6000/6100
Trackpad has improved, but can be finicky
Far too easy to mistake fn for ctrl

The Ugly:
The entire base cover design.

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