home CES, Laptop, News, Reviews, Ultrabook, Workstation Closer look at: 2016 ThinkPad T-Series – T460, T460s, T460p & T560

Closer look at: 2016 ThinkPad T-Series – T460, T460s, T460p & T560

Skylake T-Series Hero Image


T-Series, the bread-and-butter, the heart and soul of the ThinkPad series. Lenovo is continuing this legendary series now with four new models based on Intels 6th generation Core i CPUs codenamed “Skylake”. This is the 2016 ThinkPad T-Series.

T460s: The Flagship model of the T-Series

Since its inception in 2009 with the T400s, the T4xxs models are the flagship models of the T-Series. They are the thinnest and lightest, and offer the most advanced technologies.

The newest model, the T460s, follows this tradition. Unlike the T450s, which was a mere T440s with Broadwell CPUs and TrackPoint buttons (basically, although there are more, smaller changes), T460s features a completely new chassis. Its overall design is like a mixture of the T450s and the X1 Carbon (Gen 3). The new chassis is much thinner, just 16.9 mm thin at its thinnest point and 18.9 mm at its thickest point, which is a big step down from the 21 mm thick chassis of the T440s/T450s. Its also features slightly chamfered edges, which makes it look even sleeker and gives the design a more aggressive note similar to the ThinkPad X1. Maybe even more important: The T460s is the lightest T model yet. With just 1.4 kg / 3.0 lbs, its entering the territory of the X260, which is, depending on the configuration, either a little bit lighter or slightly heavier then the T460s. Like the X1 Carbon, the T460s has a large removable cover at the bottom of the base unit, which you have to remove to gain access to all the internal components. T450s had a different design where you had to remove the entire base unit to get access to the components.12052342_10153622345173418_3195605756234816959_o

 

To make this new chassis possible, Lenovo had to make a few changes of course, changes some people may not and will not like: Unlike the T450s, the T460s does not feature a hot-swappable, expandable battery. This is one point where the T460s is closer to the X1 Carbon line then the older T440s/T450s models. Instead, the T460s features an integrated battery with a capacity of 47 Wh, which is like the T450s in its 3 + 3 cell battery configuration. Still, this is likely going to turn off some people. Luckily, Lenovo still offers models with expandable batteries – T460 & X260 are good alternatives for people who absolutely need the expandable battery option. Another change necessary for the thin & light chassis: The 2.5″ SATA III bay is removed in favor of a 2280 M.2 NVMe PCIe slot, which naturally also means the T460s is a SSD only systems – no more HDDs in the slim T-Series. This change is likely going to be welcomed by most buyers, as HDDs are only a legacy option anyway these days. Lastly, it also helps that the VGA port is going away, replaced by a slightly smaller HDMI port.

12091167_10153622346853418_7862128676076328178_o

Another notably area of improvement over the T450s are the screens: Where the T450s had a 1600×900 TN screen as the low-end option, T460s is upping the ante with a 1920×1080 IPS screen as the low-end option (also available with as a touch-screen). As the 1920×1080 IPS option is now to be considered the new low-end here, Lenovo introduces a 2560×1440 IPS screen as the new high-end option, which means the T460s is equal in the screen area now with the X1 Carbon (Gen 4). Its also the first 14″ T model sold with a resolution beyond Full HD.

You may ask in the end, where´s the point of the T460s, if its so close to the new X1 Carbon now? Well, there are still plenty of differences between the two models. Very notably, the ports – as the T450s, the T460s features a full-size Ethernet port, a standard-sized SD card reader and a docking port for mechanical docks (compatible with ThinkPad Basic, Pro and Ultra docks). Its also optionally available with a smartcard reader, an important security option for some company buyers. These are all features the X1 Carbon Gen 4 does not have. Also, the T460s features not only soldered on RAM (either 4 or 8 GB), but also one DIMM slot, which gives you the option to expand the RAM to up to 24 GB DDR4 RAM (8 GB soldered on + 16 GB as one module). The X1 Carbon 2016 is limited to 16 GB DDR3 RAM, and you have to buy it with 16 GB to the get the maximum capacity, as all the RAM is soldered on the motherboard. As all T-Series models, the T460s features a keyboard removable by the user, which is a nice option, as you can exchange worn out keyboards after the warranty ended yourself. And lastly, the T460s has an option for a dedicated GPU (nVidia GeForce 930M, 2 GB VRAM), which is a nice option for people who want to do some light gaming sometimes.

Here are the full specs of the T460s:

  • Processor: Up to Intel Core i7-6600U
  • GPU: Intel HD 520 or nVidia GeForce 930M (2 GB VRAM)
  • Memory: Up to 24 GB DDR4 RAM (1 DIMM slot + 4/8 GB soldered down)
  • Storage: Up to 1 TB PCIe SSD, 2280 M.2
  • Battery: 47 Wh, internal battery
  • Display: 14″ 1920×1080 IPS (with touch optional) or 14″ 2560×1440 IPS
  • Footprint: 331 x 226.8 x 16.9 – 18.8 mm
  • Weight: Starting at 1.4 kg / 3.0 lbs
  • Ports: RJ45, HDMI, mDP, 3x USB 3.0, 4-in-1 SD card, Combo Audio-jack, Mechanical Dock-Port (CS13)
  • Communication: Intel 8260 (2 x 2, 802.11 a/c), Broadcom WLAN card (2 x 2, a/c), Sierra EM7455 LTE (optional), Bluetooth 4.1, WiGig (optional), 720p webcam
  • Security: Touch Fingerprint sensor (optional), Smartcard reader (optional), TPM, Kensington Lock, vPro
  • Audio: Dolby Home Theater v4

T460s will be available starting in February 2016, starting at 1059 $ in the US.

T460p: The most powerful 14″ ThinkPad

If the T460s is the flagship of the T-Series when it comes to portability, the T460p is the flagship when it comes to performance. It is the long-awaited update of the 14″ ThinkPad performance line and the successor of the T440p. As such, its not using Intels standard dual-core U CPUs. Instead, the T460p is solely based on Intels HQ line of Quad-Core processors, with no dual-core options available at all. Its also available with a mid-range nVidia GeForce GPU (nVidia GeForce 940XM). Like the T440p, the T460p offers two DIMM slots, but unlike the old model, the T460p can accept up to 32 GB of DDR4 RAM.

lenovo-laptop-thinkpad-t460p-front-2

These relatively powerful components necessitate the chassis to be thicker and heavier then the standard T460. Although in this case, not much thicker. With 24.4 mm, its slightly thicker then the 21 mm thick T460. Its still the thickest T model in the current lineup. Its also not exactly light with 1.8 kg. Still, the T460p is a great improvement over the nearly 3 cm thick & 2.2 kg heavy T440p. How is this possible? The T460p finally ditches the integrated DVD drive that was still present in the T440p. It also has only three USB ports, instead of four, but all the USB ports are finally USB 3.0. Other notable design changes include the jump to drop down hinges and the return of dedicated TrackPoint buttons. Design wise, the T460p is much more like a T460 on steroids, unlike the T440p, which was a completely different machine compared with the T440. It also features the same base-cover design, which means you have to remove the entire base-unit to gain access to the internal components.

lenovo-laptop-thinkpad-t460p-cover-1

The T460p follows the T460s when it comes to the display options, offering only IPS displays and no TN options at all. Unlike the T460s however, the T460p does not have the option for a touchscreen.

Other new features compared with the T440p: The new touch-fingerprint sensor, a HDMI port (instead of VGA) and the option for a 256 GB PCIe SSD. Unlike the T460, the T460p seems to be lacking an internal battery, which means the maximum battery capacity is limited to 72 Wh (with the 72 Wh 6 cell battery that sticks out of the bottom).

Here are the full specs of the T460p:

  • Processor: i5-6300HQ / i5-6440HQ / i7-6700HQ / i7-6820HQ
  • GPU: Intel HD 530 or nVidia GeForce 940MX
  • Memory: Up to 32 GB DDR4 RAM (2 DIMM slots)
  • Storage: 2.5″ HDD/SSD, up to 512 GB SSD / 1 TB HDD, M.2: Up to 128 GB SATA III SSD
  • Battery: Up to 72 Wh, external battery
  • Display: 14″ 1920×1080 IPS or 14″ 2560×1440 IPS
  • Footprint: 339 x 235 x 24.4 mm
  • Weight: Starting at 1.8 kg / 4.0 lbs
  • Ports: RJ45, HDMI, mDP, 3x USB 3.0, 4-in-1 SD card, Combo Audio-jack, Mechanical Dock-Port (CS13)
  • Communication: Intel 8260 (2 x 2, 802.11 a/c), Broadcom WLAN card (2 x 2, a/c), Sierra EM7455 LTE (optional), Bluetooth 4.1, 720p webcam
  • Security: Touch Fingerprint sensor (optional), Smartcard reader (optional), TPM, Kensington Lock, vPro
  • Audio: Dolby Home Theater v4

T460p will be available in January 2016, starting at 1249 $ in the USA.

T460 & T560: The business standard

The T460 is the standard model of the T-Series and the most inexpensive one. Its like the middle of the road model – not quite as powerful or thick as the T460p, but also not as portable as the T460s. Unlike the other two 14″ T models, the T460 is a rather small upgrade over the T450 (which was a even smaller update of the T440), using nearly the same chassis as the T450. New features include the optional GeForce 940XM GPU, optional 256 GB PCIe M.2 storage, as well as HDMI and WiGig docking.

Thinkpad_T460_04_Skype

The same is true for the T560. The T560 is the only 15″ model left in the T-Series, since the T540p does not get a Skylake successor, which means the 15″ T-Series Quad-Core line is discontinued (I guess Lenovo wants people to buy the P50 instead). T560 is also a small upgrade over the T550, with the same new feature set: GeForce 940XM, 256 GB PCIe storage, HDMI, WiGig docking. It also is available with a FHD IPS option (with touch optional), which is new, as the T550 did have a FHD TN option. Oh, and a small downgrade unfortunately: Instead of a 2880×1620 IPS display, T560 offers a 2560×1440 IPS display as the high-end option. Thats something that doesn´t make much sense for as the P50s still offers a 288×1620 IPS display, but it seems Lenovo decided to differentiate these machines more, so, its 2560×1440 now.

Thinkpad_T560_07_Win 10 MiniStart

T460 full-specs:

  • Processor: i3-6100U / i5-6200U / i5-6300U / i7-6500U / i7-6600U
  • GPU: Intel HD 520 or nVidia GeForce 940MX
  • Memory: Up to 32 GB RAM (2 DIMM slots)
  • Storage: 2.5″ HDD/SSD, up to 512 GB SSD / 1 TB HDD, SATA Express: Up to 256 GB PCIe, M.2: None
  • Battery: Up to 95 Wh, 23 Wh internal battery, 72 Wh external battery
  • Display: 14″ 1366×768 TN or 14″ 1920×1080 IPS (touch optional)
  • Footprint: 339 x 232.5 x 21 mm
  • Weight: Starting at 1.7 kg / 3.8 lbs
  • Ports: RJ45, HDMI, mDP, 3x USB 3.0, 4-in-1 SD card, Combo Audio-jack, Mechanical Dock-Port (CS13)
  • Communication: Intel 8260 (2 x 2, 802.11 a/c), Broadcom WLAN card (2 x 2, a/c), Sierra EM7455 LTE (optional), WiGig (optional), Bluetooth 4.1, 720p webcam
  • Security: Swipe Fingerprint sensor (optional), Smartcard reader (optional), TPM, Kensington Lock, vPro
  • Audio: Dolby Home Theater v4

T560 full-specs:

  • Processor:  i5-6200U / i5-6300U / i7-6600U
  • GPU: Intel HD 520 or nVidia GeForce 940MX
  • Memory: Up to 32 GB RAM (2 DIMM slots)
  • Storage: 2.5″ HDD/SSD, up to 512 GB SSD / 1 TB HDD, SATA Express: Up to 256 GB PCIe, M.2: None
  • Battery: Up to 95 Wh, 23 Wh internal battery, 72 Wh external battery
  • Display: 15.6″ 1366×768 TN or 15.6″ 1920×1080 IPS (touch optional) or 15.6″ 2560×1440 IPS
  • Footprint: 380.6 x 258.2 x 22.45 mm
  • Weight: Starting at 2.3 kg / 5.0 lbs
  • Ports: RJ45, HDMI, mDP, 3x USB 3.0, 4-in-1 SD card, Combo Audio-jack, Mechanical Dock-Port (CS13)
  • Communication: Intel 8260 (2 x 2, 802.11 a/c), Broadcom WLAN card (2 x 2, a/c), Sierra EM7455 LTE (optional), Bluetooth 4.1, 720p webcam
  • Security: Swipe Fingerprint sensor (optional), Smartcard reader (optional), TPM
  • Audio: Dolby Home Theater v4

T460 and T560 will be available in February, T460 starts at 909 $ and T560 starts at 969 $ in the US.


If you liked this article, please consider sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, reddit and elsewhere! If you want to vent your opinion,or if you have some questions, please tell us in the comments. Also consider to subscribe/like ThinkScopes on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. 🙂 And check out our Youtube channel.