(Updated) Closer look at: ThinkPad 13 & 2016 L-Series – L460, L560

2016 L-Series - ThinkPad 13

Update: ThinkPad 13 Specs are now available!

The ThinkPad brand consists of very diverse, very different products. There are not only expensive high-end models. There are also ThinkPad models tailor made for people who don´t have that much money to spend on a PC, but still want parts of the ThinkPad experience. Thats why the ThinkPad L-Series and the new ThinkPad 13 exist.

L460 & L560: The affordable business ThinkPads

If the ThinkPad E-Series is the affordable series for small businesses and consumers, the L-Series is the affordable series for big enterprise and education. Offering features like a traditional mechanical dockingport, a smartcard reader or security features like TPM or a fingerprint sensor is important for this segment of the PC market. Thats also why the newest entries into the L-Series, the L460 and the L560 are the only two ThinkPads left with an analog VGA port. All other models have moved past this port with this generation of ThinkPads, but it seems it was important for Lenovo to continue offering universities, schools and big companies with existing VGA infrastructure an option to keep this infrastructure intact for a few years. Its also a nice option for students who don´t want to carry a VGA adapter all the time.

l560_1

While the L-Series offers all the important business connective and security features, the chassis is the area where the L-Series is saving most of the money. Unlike the T-Series, the entire chassis is made out of ordinary ABS plastics, only reinforced with thin metal sheets. Still, all L-Series models pass the military 810G standard for toughness testing. Chassis wise, the L460 is a direct update of the exisiting L450 plattform, no big changes there. L560 however, had a new chassis. Gone is the buttonsless trackpad of the L540, the TrackPoint buttons are returned in their full glory. Also, it is in general besides the P50 the only 15″ model that hasn´t gone the Ultrabook route, with no internal battery and even legacy feature like an Expresscard slot and an ODD left in place, which means its an important legacy option for buyers who still need these features. In terms of design, its also the only model besides P50 and P70 that still has the more traditional top-mounted hinges instead of drop-down hinges like the rest of the lineup. Of course having a chassis like this showes whn it comes to the weight – L560 is starting at 2.3 kg, and it is 27.6 mm thick.

l560_2

Screens: L460 has the same screen options as the L450. L560 however swaps out the FHD TN screen used in the L540 for a 1920×1080 (FHD) IPS screen, being the first 15.6″ L model to sport such a screen.

Normally there are only two L-Series models every year. Last year however we had a special situation: We had L440, L540 and L450. This situation occoured because Intel did not offer high-voltage CPUs in their Broadwell CPU generation. Thats why Lenovo simply continued to offer L440 and L540, and introduced L450 as a 3rd option. Unlike the L440, which used full-voltage M CPUs, L450 was based on low-voltage U CPUs. It didn´t qualify as an Ultrabook, Lenovo simply called it a “Thinbook” internally. Now it all comes full circle, with the new generation of L-Series all sporting 6th generation Core i U CPUs (Low Voltage). L560 too, despite having a classical Notebook chassis, is now based on Ultrabook type CPUs.

Here are the full specs of L460:

  • Processor: Celeron 3855U / i3-6100U / i5-6200U / i5-6300U / i7-6500U
  • GPU: Intel HD 520 or AMD Exo Pro Radeon R5 (2GB DDR3 vRAM)
  • Memory: Up to 32 GB RAM (2 DIMM slots)
  • Storage: 2.5″ HDD/SSD, up to 512 GB SSD / 1 TB HDD
  • Battery: 72 Wh external battery
  • Display: 14″ 1366×768 TN or 14″ 1920×1080 IPS
  • Footprint: 339 x 235 x 24.3 mm
  • Weight: Starting at 1.9 kg / 4.2 lbs
  • Ports: RJ45, VGA, 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, Kensington Lock, vPro
  • Audio: Dolby Advance Audio

And the full specs of the L560:

  • Processor: Celeron 3855U / i3-6100U / i5-6200U / i5-6300U
  • GPU: Intel HD 520 / Intel HD 510 (with Celeron)
  • Memory: Up to 16 GB RAM
  • Storage: 2.5″ HDD/SSD, up to 512 GB SSD / 1 TB HDD
  • Battery: Up to 9.5 hrs of battery life
  • Display: 15.6″ 1366×768 TN or 15.6″ 1920×1080 IPS
  • Footprint: 377 x 255 x 27.6 mm
  • Weight: Starting at 2.3 kg / 5.2 lbs
  • Ports: RJ45, VGA, 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, Kensington Lock, vPro
  • Audio: Dolby Advance Audio
  • Specialty: ODD (DVD RW), ExpressCard

Both L460 and L560 will be available in February, starting at 749 $ (L460) and 779 $ (L560) in the US.

ThinkPad 13: The affordable education ThinkPad

ThinkPad 13_1

This new entrance to the ThinkPad lineup is interesting for multiple reasons. The ThinkPad 13 fills the gap Lenovo left when they discontinued the 13″ ThinkPad Edge E-Series in 2013. Although the X260 covers a similar market segment (students), its has one problem: Its simply too expensive for many students. ThinkPad 13 is designed to be affordable, without being fragile, since its also passing Mil-Specs. ThinkPad 13 offers a USB Type C port, as well as HDMI, three USB 3.0 ports, a Onelink+ port and a SD card reader. ThinkPad 13 is available with ChromeOS or Windows, and the Windows model is available with SSD option and up to 16 GB RAM. Unlike the Thinkpad 11e, which is also targeting the educational market, the Thinkpad 13 thankfully includes a TrackPoint.

ThinkPad 13_2

Update: We have the spec sheet for the Thinkpad 13 now!

  • Processor: Celeron 3855U / i3-6100U / i5-6200U / i5-6300U / i7-6500U
  • GPU: Intel HD 520 / Intel HD 510 (with Celeron)
  • Memory: Up to 16 GB DDR4 RAM (2 DIMM slots)
  • Storage: 2280 M.2 SATA SSDs, up to 512 GB
  • Battery: 42 Wh battery, integrated
  • Display: 13.3″ 1366×768 TN (200 nits) / 13.3″ 1920×1080 IPS (220 nits) / 13.3″ 1920×1080 IPS Touch (250 nits)
  • Footprint: 322 x 223 x 19.8 mm
  • Weight: Starting at 1.4 kg / 3.2 lbs
  • Ports: HDMI, USB Type C (with video out), 3x USB 3.0, 4-in-1 SD card, Combo Audio-jack, Onelink+ docking port
  • Communication: Intel WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, 720p webcam
  • Security: Swipe Fingerprint sensor (optional), TPM, Kensington Lock, vPro (Core i5-6300U)

ThinkPad 13 will be released in silver and black, with the silver version sporting an Aluminum lid. It will be available sometimes in Q2 2016, and it will start at 449 $.


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.

 

 

2 Comments

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.