Lenovo Thinkpad T490 Review

The ThinkPad T490 represents a radical redesign of the central ThinkPad T series. In this notebook model, the Lenovo has emphasized more on improving the mobility by a compact, thin, and lightweight case. This device is equipped with a 1440p Dolby Vision HDR screen and also includes narrower bezels. It is found that there is a CPU upgrade and also there is a novel dedicated GPU option accompanied with the Nvidia GeForce MX250. The essential aspect to note about T490 is its Dolby Vision screen. Right from the design to performance, you will get an idea about the essential qualities of ThinkPad T490 notebook once you go through the below section:

Dimensions12.95 inches x 8.94 inches x 0.70 inches
Processor8th Gen
Intel Core i5-8265U
Intel Core i5-8365U vPro
Intel Core i7-8565U
Intel Core i7-8665U vPro
Display14-inch 1,920 x 1,080, 250 nits (FHD)
IPS anti-glare display
GraphicsIntel UHD 620
Operating SystemWindows 10 Pro 64-bit


Storage1TB Solid State Drive M.2 PCIe-NVMe, Opal (1,800 MB/s Read / 1,800 MB/s Write)


Camera720p HD camera
KeyboardUS English Backlit Keyboard
AudioDolby Audio Premium, Dual far-field microphones
PortsTwo USB 3.1 Gen1, a USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C, a USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C/Intel Thunderbolt 3, an HDMI 1.4, a MicroSD card reader, a Micro-Sim slot, an RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet and Headphone/microphone combo
Wireless connectivityIntel 9560 802.11AC (2 x 2) & Bluetooth 5.0
BiometricsMatch-on-Chip touch fingerprint reader
Battery50Wh with support for Rapid Charge (up to 80% in an hour)
SecuritydTPM 2.0, Fast Online Identity (FIDO) authentication capabilities, webcam privacy cover, Kensington lock slot, and optional privacy guard


The following sections highlight the essential aspects of ThinkPad T490:

The greatest change brought in ThinkPad T490 compared to the T480 unit is the exclusion of the Bridge Battery system. This system offers a modular design for hot-swapping batteries into the field. The brand has exclusively designed the entire layout in a logical manner. There is a robust case prepared out of the magnesium-reinforced plastic. This plastic material is made lightweight and compact in size. The new narrower bezel design conveys sleek design and facilitates improved productivity for your work.

The ThinkPad T490 presents an FHD panel equipped with PrivacyGuard technology. The mentioned one is an exclusive technology intended to narrow the field of view of the screen information from different angles except for head-on. This ThinkPad unit boasts a 14-inch 1440p Dolby Vision display. Actually, this is the first time where Lenovo has presented such an option. With the 500 nits, it is gauged that the display is bright. From the 6 display options that brand presents for the T490, this one is the brightest. On the display, the colors are vibrant and this is the appealing aspect of Dolby Vision screens.

The actual winner of the ThinkPad T490 is its keyboard. It is extremely comfortable to type and the output is precise. The included keys are quite to type on so there will be no much noise during the operation. It is observed that keys are a bit deeper than those present on the ThinkPad convertibles. The implemented design is the standard clamshell design. There is the presence of TrackPoint amid the G, H, and B keys. The central one is utilized for scrolling. At the bottom of the keyboard, there is a fingerprint sensor, which is optional.

Battery Life
The built-in 50Wh battery in T490 unit delivers up to 16.1 hours of battery life. In case you are running low, the implementation of Rapid Charge technology delivers 80% capacity in only an hour. Simply charging for an hour, will let you use the notebook unit continuously for over 12 hours.  It is this battery competent to support game playing, video watching, online surfing, and many more. Compared to other ThinkPad notebooks, battery life is stronger.

The decent thing to note about T490 unit is it is being loaded with all the necessary ports one may need. On the left side, you will find a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port as well as a Thunderbolt 3 port. The latter could be utilized for mechanical docking. Also, any one of them can be utilized for charging. The other ports included in the left side are a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port, a 3.5mm combo audio jack, HDMI, and a microSD card slot.

On the right side, you will find one more USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port as well as an Ethernet port. On the rear side, there is a micro-SIM slot located; this slot is useless if you do not obtain the cellular variant.

One thing important to say about T490 is it would not let you down all through your trip. Even if there are software issues, there will be no draining of battery. All the light and intense tasks can be effectively handled for several hours. For instance, you can perform light video editing, work on Photoshop, video viewing, game playing and many more. It is fine if there are a dozen tabs open in its browser. Simultaneously, you can operate apps like Skype, Slack, OneNote, and Microsoft To-Do. High performance is delivered by a Core i7-8565U CPU, 16GB RAM as well as a 1TB SSD. This combination represents a solid configuration. In case you wish to upgrade the graphics, you can get an Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU.


  • Lighter and more compact than the predecessor
  • Durable case
  • Many connection options
  • Vivid and multicolored low-power FHD LCD
  • Efficient CPU performance



  • The display has bad response times
  • Flexible is severely influenced without PowerBridge
  • Devoid of full-size SD card reader
  • Its case may get hot under load

Boasting some of the features and design resemblances from ThinkPad T480, the T490 is lighter and more efficient. Essentially, the design of ThinkPad T490 is an amalgamation of the T480 and T480S. While using the T490 notebook, the users will perceive excellent CPU performance, bright display, and decent battery life for use on-the-go.