• High performance
  • Pretty solid build
  • Faster SSD storage
  • Much more dual channel RAM for smoother multitasking
  • A dedicated NVIDIA graphics
  • Pretty above average brighter display
  • Average screen color gamut
  • Lightweight
  • Pretty tactile backlit keyboard
  • Smooth, responsive, and accurate precision touchpad
  • Opens up with just one finger
  • Enough big 4 arrow keys
  • Laptop has red pointer nub
  • Silent
  • Both camera and microphone have good quality
  • Fingerprint reader with Windows Hello support
  • Camera does support Windows Hello unlock
  • Pretty loud and clear speakers
  • 180-degree hinge
  • Pretty faster wireless connection powered by Wi-Fi 6
  • Rapid charge technology
  • Thunderbolt-3 port
  • Much more durability
  • Touchpad doesn't click down anywhere
  • Fingerprints do show up but easy to clean
  • Page Up and Down buttons are too small and very closely placed
  • Can do
  • Android Programming
  • Desktop Programming
  • Web Programming
  • Run engineering-specific software like AutoCAD, CFD, and many more
  • Graphics & Video editing
  • Small-scale machine learning
  • Can't do
  • Medium and above-scale machine learning
Buy at Amazon

Check Other 2 Variants

Hello, guys. Today, In this article, I am going to review the Lenovo ThinkPad T490 laptop. In addition to that, I will also compare it with other laptops I have reviewed to tell you that, is it the machine you should consider buying?

So, let's get started. But, before I proceed, read out my dedicated article on laptop specs. In that article, I have explained the specs in easy-to-understand language.

Table of Contents

Furthermore, I have received the review unit of Lenovo ThinkPad T490 from New Delhi. It has the following specs.

Technical Specs of Lenovo ThinkPad T490

  • CPU: 1.8GHz 4 Core 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10510U Processor | 8MB Smart Cache, 4.8GHz Max
  • Graphics: Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX250 2GB GDDR5
  • RAM: 2400MHz Dual Channel 16GB DDR4 | Expandable up to 48GB
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Display: 14-inch FHD display | IPS & Anti-glare panel | 428 nits
  • Battery: 50Wh 3 Cell Li-ion battery
  • Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi 6 AX201, Bluetooth 5.0
  • Weight: 1.55 kg (3.4 lbs)
  • Laptop dimensions: 32.9 x 22.7 x 1.8 cms
  • Ports: 1 x Thunderbolt-3 port (Power and DisplayPort), 1 x USB 3.1 Gen-1 Type-C (Power and DisplayPort), 1 x USB 3.1 Gen-1 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen-1, 1 x HDMI 1.4b, 1 x Ethernet (RJ-45), 1 x 3.5mm Audio/combo jack, 1 x microSD card reader.

The Build Quality and Material

A solid and sturdy build of Lenovo ThinkPad T490 laptop.

This Lenovo ThinkPad T490 isn't made of the single material. The lid, base, and a bottom are made of different material to meet the military standards. According to Lenovo, this laptop has passed the MIL-STD 810G test of durability.

The display lid is made of Polyphenylene Sulfide with 50% of Glass Fiber. The base and keyboard are made of Poly carbonate/Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene/Talc15 with Magnesium alloy. And, the bottom is made of Polyamide with 50% of Glass Fiber.

The display lid has ThinkPad branding at the top-left corner. In this laptop, Lenovo has used the plastic material mostly to fight with wight. Like ThinkPad E14, this one is also highly durable. And, Lenovo's ThinkPads are generally the highest durable laptops compared to other laptops I have reviewed.

Dimensions and Weight

ThinkPad T490 on hand.

The dimensions are 32.9 cms (13-inch) in width, 22.7 cms (9-inch) in depth, and 1.8 cms (0.7-inch) in height. For weight measurement, I have used Propert's weighing scale. The weight is for

  • Laptop only: 1.55 kg (3.4 lbs)
  • Laptop with charging accessories: 1.61 kg (3.6 lbs)

So, it’s lightweight to carry while traveling. The purpose here to test the machine’s weight with its accessories is to give you an idea of the weight you may need to carry while traveling.

In terms of weight, it found heavier than Mi Notebook 14 Horizon (1.35 kg), but lighter than other laptops I have reviewed like Lenovo ThinkPad E14 (1.69 kg), Lenovo IdeaPad S540 (1.8 kg), HP 14 DK0093AU (1.74 kg), Aspire 3 (1.9 kg), and IdeaPad S145 (1.85 kg).

Display Quality and Color Reproduction

Size and Quality

14-inch FHD 60Hz IPS display of Lenovo ThinkPad T490 laptop.

This laptop has 14-inch FHD 60Hz IPS display. It has good viewing angles, thanks to the IPS panel. And, it is surrounded by 8.5mm thin bezels with branding at the bottom side bezel.

So, in terms of viewing angles, this one is better than the following laptops. Because, they have VA panel which contributes more in contrast ratio instead.

  • Acer Aspire 3 A315-23 (Review)
  • Asus VivoBook Ultra 15 M513 (Review)
  • Lenovo IdeaPad S145 (Review)
  • Dell Inspiron 14 3493 (Review)

Let's check its color reproduction efficiency.

Color Reproduction

A chart on the screen color gamut results of Lenovo ThinkPad T490 laptop.

As shown in the above image, Spyder 5 PRO has ended up the testing of screen color gamut with 96% of SRGB, 68% of AdobeRGB, and 62% of NTSC. The results are above an average. But, I won't call it incredible.

Such results are great but not enough for professional photo & video editors and anyone who work with color accuracy all the day. But, it's perfect for office uses like web browsing, PDF rendering, MS Office uses, programming, and all other tasks that don't require a color reproduction accuracy.

So, in terms of color reproduction, this one is superior than the following laptops.

  • Mi Notebook 14 Horizon
  • Asus Vivobook Ultra 15 M513
  • Dell Inspiron 14 3493
  • Lenovo IdeaPad S145
  • Acer Aspire 3 A315-23
  • Lenovo IdeaPad S540 (Review)
  • HP 14 DK0093AU

However, there are other laptops that I have reviewed, have better color reproduction than this one. Few of them are as following.

Display Brightness and Nits

A chart on the screen brightness vs nits for this ThinkPad.

As shown in the above image, this ThinkPad T490's display has reached 428 Nits at 100% of screen brightness measured at the center of the screen. The results are falling on quite higher side. This laptop has comparatively brighter display than the following laptops.

  • Lenovo ThinkPad E14 (299 Nits)
  • Lenovo IdeaPad S540 (299 Nits)
  • Acer Nitro 5 AN515 (246 Nits)
  • Mi Notebook 14 Horizon (250 Nits)
  • Asus VivoBook Ultra 15 (245 Nits)
  • Dell Inspiron 14 3493 (224 Nits)
  • Lenovo IdeaPad S145 (227 Nits)
  • HP 14 DK0093AU Laptop (231 Nits)

In addition to that, several consecutive tests for screen contrast ratio measurement found it more than 1400:1. Despite the IPS panel, this laptop got quite heavy results in terms of screen contrast besides color reproduction.

Screen Flex

I have found little flex on the display when intentionally tried to move it up and down using fingers. But, to be frank, it was only noticeable when I have applied more than average pressure. It reflects quite sturdy and solid display lid.

In addition to that, hinges are also play major role in minimizing the flex. Here, in this case, the hinges are placed at the back corners of the base. And, it's not running along it. When tried to open the display using one finger, it got open up very easily. That demonstrates the fairly evenly distributed weight across the hinge.

So, overall, the display is fantastic in our opinion.

Keyboard – Tactile, Flex, Build, and RGB Backlit?

Keyboard Flex and Build Quality

A tactile black keyboard of this laptop with keys with little curve at the bottom.

As said above in the "build quality" section, the keyboard cover is made of magnesium alloy. When pressed it down hard using fingers with fair pressure, I found almost no noticeable flex, not even during aggressive typing.

The plastic capped black keys have white fonts on it. That makes its visibility much more better and easier than the white color keys with little darker fonts on it that you will find on HP 14 DK0093AU laptop.

So, in terms of build quality, it ranks ahead than other office-use laptops I have reviewed.

Backlit

This is the keyboard looks like with backlit in the dark room.

My review unit has a white LED backlit of 2-level. In addition to that, the backlit is also illuminated the secondary functions. Some of the other laptops I have reviewed like, the Lenovo ThinkPad E14, IdeaPad S540, and Asus VivoBook Ultra 15, have also a backlit keyboard.

Tactile Feedback

Tactile feedback is the most important quality of the keyboard that everyone should look for. And, it can only be determined by typing on the keyboard. So, I have typed 6 paragraphs on Notepad to check the key travel and tactile feedback.

Fortunately, like ThinkPad E14, this T490 has pretty fine tactile feedback. During typing, I found the keys were traveling 1.45mm distance consistently. In addition to that, the curve on the bottom side hasn't even distracted me unlike Lenovo IdeaPad S540.

In addition to that, the power button is placed at top of the keyboard. It's completely separated from the keyboard to eliminate the possibilities of accidental wrong press. And, Lenovo has done its job very well. Unlike ThinkPad E14, this one has not circle-shaped accenting with lighting around the power button. But, that's something like I don't consider an issue.

Enough Big 4 Arrow Keys

4 Small and closely placed arrow keys on the keyboard.

This ThinkPad T490 has 4 enough big and fairly closely placed arrow keys. Unlike other laptops I have tested except Asus Nitro 5 AN515, the chances of accidental wrong presses are considerably lowered.

But, at the same time, the placement of Page Up/Down keys looks a bit horrible as same as ThinkPad E14. Many laptops that I have reviewed consist of these keys as secondary functions on the Primary Up/Down arrow keys.

But, Lenovo has placed them just above the Left and Right arrow keys. And because of that, I sometimes accidentally placed the Page Up key instead of the Left arrow keys while working on MS Excel to change the cell’s position. But, to be frank, you will get used to it over-the-use.

So, in terms of keyboard quality, T490 has did awesome job.

Precision Touchpad

Smooth, responsive, and accurate precision touchpad of Lenovo ThinkPad T490 laptop.

This ThinkPad T490 has 3.8-inch wider glass touchpad. It's smooth, responsive, and handles the gesture accurately. Furthermore, it's Windows recognized precision unit. It doesn’t click down anywhere. It got two separate buttons placed at top of the surface of the touchpad to register clicks and double clicks.

Red pointer nub of this Lenovo ThinkPad.

In addition to that, to track the cursor, Lenovo has provided an additional way - a red pointer nub. It's located in the center of the keyboard. Still, today, many people are beloved to it.

Unlike Mi Notebook 14 Horizon, it didn't get bend down when pressed hard with fingers with fair pressure that feels enough solid build. Furthermore, this machine can handle gaming, too. But, I wouldn't recommend doing so, since this ThinkPad isn't a dedicated gaming laptop.

But, for gaming, I always recommend a dedicated gaming mouse than this precision touchpad. So, in terms of touchpad, pretty good results have found.

Fingerprints on the Smooth Surface

Fingerprints on the surface of this laptop.

Fingerprints do show up on the matte black surface of this laptop. But, it's easy to wipe away using micro fiber cloths. In addition to that, I have also tested it for color change. Like ThinkPad E14, there's no such case here.

I am telling you that because while reviewing the Alienware m15 R2 gaming laptop, I found its white surface slightly yellowish at some part. Also, it was hard for me to clean. But, thanks to the black surface, that's not the case with this laptop.

Dell Inspiron 14 3493 has textured plastic surface which doesn't attract the fingerprint. So, If you need a laptop of that kind, the better to go with Inspiron 14 3493.

Processor, Graphics, and RAM

Internal components of this Lenovo ThinkPad T490 laptop.

Intel's 10th Gen Core i7 CPU and NVIDIA's MX250 GPU is powering the laptop's performance. In addition to that, Lenovo has equipped 16GB of 2400MHz Dual Channel DDR4 RAM which you can expand up to 48GB. So, you gonna experience much smoother and better multitasking on this machine.

To make the laptop even faster, Lenovo has provided 512GB of PCIe-based M.2 Toshiba solid state storage. So, you can open and edit large files smoothly in parallel. This laptop has no hard drive. So, the absence of the hard drive contributes to little more battery life.

Now, let's check the CPU Cinebench score using Cinebench R20.

Cinebench R20 score

I have taken 3 runs of Cinebench to show you an average of it. Furthermore, Cinebench is a tool used to measure CPU performance. In the Cinebench test, I have checked the CPU score for with and without a cooling pad and CPU undervolting.

A chart on the Cinebench R20 scores for different tests of this laptop.

As shown in the above image, Cinebench R20 scores for with and without a cooling pad is 429 and 1527 for single and multi-core, respectively. With further 0.15 CPU undervolting, the multi-core score has raised by 4 and the single core score was remained same.

The cinebench results are pretty good.

Thermal Performance

Average CPU & GPU temperature

This test was performed to tell you whether the cooling pad is efficient in temperature reduction with stable or increased performance. For the stress test, I have used the AIDA64 tool. So, the results are in the below image.

A chart on the CPU and GPU temperature of this laptop measured during different stress tests.

At idle, both CPU and GPU were bit warm - just 48 and 47 degrees Celsius, respectively.

During the stress test at an auto fan, both CPU and GPU were at 79 and 70 degrees C, respectively. In the same test, the use of a cooling pad has reduced both' temperatures by 1 degrees Celsius. In the same test with 0.15v CPU undervolting, the CPU temperature was reduced to 74.1 from 78 degrees Celsius and GPU to 66.7 from 69 degrees Celsius.

So, the CPU undervolting has a very positive impact on the reduction of CPU and GPU temperature. In addition to that, a cooling pad has also shown a bit positive effect on the CPU temperature.

Laptop’s Exterior Temperature

At idle at an auto fan, the exterior was near to mid 30 degrees Celsius.

During the stress test, the keyboard was mid 40 degrees Celsius hot. The part of a base just below the bottom bezel was also at mid 40 degrees Celsius. The right off the base near to air exhaust found at mid 60 degrees Celsius. At the same time, both touchpad and a palm rest found cool.

When I have used the cooling pad, the keyboard was reached almost 36 degrees Celsius. The right of the base was reached 54 degrees Celsius. The palm rest and touchpad were already cool.

So, in terms of exterior temperature, a cooling pad is found useful. All I can say that this T490 ThinkPad has little better thermal management governed by single fan with two heat pipes shared between CPU and GPU.

Fans Noise Emission

A chart on the fan noise emission produced by this laptop during idle and stress test.

At idle, the fan's noise level was just 34.9dB - completely silent. During stress test at an auto fan, it was 49.7dB - bit louder. And, during stress test with 0.15v undervolted CPU, it was reduced 0.8dB.

So, little audible during stress test. This test tells that during processor-intensive tasks like video export, you gonna hear such fan noise level. It is similar to Lenovo ThinkPad E14, IdeaPad S540 and Mi Notebook 14 Horizon.

Camera and Microphone

The 720p camera with IR camera and a microphone are placed at the top bezel. It does support Windows Hello unlock here. Both are above an average in quality compared to other laptops have tested like Lenovo ThinkPad E14, IdeaPad S540, and Asus VivoBook Ultra 15.

In addition to that, this laptop has also a fingerprint reader available as integrated. It's placed on the right of the touchpad. It also support Windows Hello unlock.

So, with the price near to 1,50,000, Lenovo has equipped a better camera and microphone on this ThinkPad T490.

Speakers

Top firing speakers of Lenovo ThinkPad T490 laptop.

The 2 Dolby premium speakers are placed at the top of the keyboard. They were heard pretty loud while watching YouTube videos. Digitech's sound level meter has found them 84.1dB louder which is pretty awesome.

In addition to that, they were also heard clear with little bass present. A great combo for conference. Furthermore, I couldn't feel the vibration produced by speakers when at max volume. Such quality doesn't come with all the laptops, but it is in this ThinkPad T490.

Storage

A chart on the ssd storage speed test for this laptop.

I have tested the speed for an SSD storage using CrystalDiskMark tool. As shown in the above chart, the SSD is a lot faster at reading and writing.

The 32 processes in series can read the file stored at single location at a speed of 3147MB/sec. And, the same for writing at 2804MB/sec speed. There are various terms like 4K Q32T1, 4K, etc. You can read the interpretation of these CrystalDiskMark terms here.

Gaming Benchmarks

A chart on the Gaming benchmark of this Lenovo ThinkPad T490 laptop.

Other variants

Other variants may have different performance score due to different specs. It can be better or little poor than this one.

1.6-4.2GHz Intel Core i5-10210U CPU, Intel UHD GPU, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB SSD, Wi-Fi 6 2x2 & Bluetooth 5.0, 14-inch FHD IPS display (250 Nits), Rapid Charge technology.

1.6-4.2GHz Intel Core i5-10210U CPU, Intel UHD GPU, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB SSD, Wi-Fi 6 2x2 & Bluetooth 5.0, 14-inch FHD IPS display (250 Nits), Rapid Charge technology.

Best Laptops