home IFA, Laptop, News, Reviews IFA 2015: Hands-on ThinkPad E560

IFA 2015: Hands-on ThinkPad E560

Lenovo’s budget ThinkPads are called the ThinkPad E-series, also known as the ThinkPad Edge. They had the ThinkPad E560 on display, and here is what we thought of it.

The ThinkPad E-series have stayed the same over the past few years as far as I can remember. Lenovo didn’t make any changes to them, and the specifications remained more or less the same.

The display was the most remarkable change on the ThinkPad E560 being a Full HD IPS display. IPS displays generally have better viewing angles and better contrast ratio’s. Giving much better color appearance than traditional TN displays. TN displays generally have very poor viewing angles, and poorer contrast and color reproduction. But there are exceptions depending on the quality. For example the Full HD TN-panel of the T540p/T550/W540/W541/W550s is of remarkable well quality (for a TN-panel). I think many people will be very happy with this change and I might now consider a ThinkPad E-series maybe myself one day.

Also noticeable was the addition of a smart card reader at the left side of the palm rest. It was not present on the ThinkPad E550 or any other ThinkPad E-series. So if you are a small business or a home user that wants to have a built-in eID card reader in his laptop, get the ThinkPad E560, and you will always have one with you. No need to drag extra smart card readers in your pocket!

Tapping the palm rest with my finger gives a hollow sound, but the palm rest does not bend at all and feels quite strong.

 Processor Intel Core i7-6500U
 Graphics card AMD Radeon R7-M370 2G GDDR5
 Memory 16GB DDR3L
Camera Intel RealSense 3D
 Ethernet  Intel Ethernet Connection I219-V
 WLAN  Qualcomm Atheros QCA61x4
 Battery Up to 9 hours
 Ports
  • 3x USB3.0
  • VGA
  • HDMI
  • OneLink
  • 4-in-1 multimedia card reader
Weight 5.2 lbs (2.3 kg)
Dimensions 14.84″ x 10.03″ x 0.94″
Material ABS plastic

The graphics card is a AMD Radeon R7 M370 with 2GB GDDR5 memory. The R7 M370 was launched in May 2015 and is built on the 28 nm process. The R7 M370 is a slightly different version than the generic one found on regular models with slower DDR3 memory. The ThinkPad E560 may be capable of handling mid-end games.

It also seems that the ThinkPad E560 uses a high quality ethernet chip like the one found in the ThinkPad L-series and higher. The WLAN chip however, is no longer from Intel, but is now a chip from Atheros.

Also note that the ThinkPad E560 might be upgradeable unofficially up to 32GB of DDR3L RAM if you purchase the RAM straight from Lenovo to avoid incompatibility issues. If you want faster and more expensive DDR4, look out for the high-end ThinkPads at CES 2016

  • Petr Vones

    I hope the 15.6″ FHD IPS becomes standard for upcoming T series, it is ridiculous to offer such expensive model with TN garbage these days.

    • Jonas Hendrickx

      This is also something we told the product managers.

      My friend Atli Jarl Martin who is also part of the ThinkScopes team, has a Full HD panel on his W540, which is the exact same model as the one found in the T540p and T550. The viewing angles and color reproductions are quite good for a TN-panel. I was quite impressed. However I do agree that IPS panels are mandatory on premium ThinkPads. We continue to push this.

      If you have other suggestions, make sure to let us know.

    • ImThink

      They won´t be the standard, but Lenovo is going to replace the old FHD TN option with FHD IPS screens. There will still be a low-end HD TN option though (for corporate buyers who don´t care for the eyes of their colleagues).