Lenovo’s notebook uses the same chassis as its predecessor, the ThinkPad T440s, and that’s a good thing. With the T450s’ rectangular shape and raven-black lid, sides and bottom, the device has the quiet but classy ThinkPad aesthetic that’s equally at home in the boardroom or the coffee shop. The red TrackPoint pointing stick and its red-striped buttons add small splashes of color. ThinkPad logos with glowing red lights for the dot in the “i” sit on the lid and the deck, blinking to show you when your system is asleep.
Even if you don’t like the ThinkPad T450s’ conservative looks, you have to love its durability. With a carbon-fiber lid, magnesium body and interior roll cage, the notebook is designed to take some abuse, passing MIL-SPEC tests for extreme temperatures, humidity, vibration, sand, shocks and fungus. The company also tests the T450s by opening the device’s stainless steel hinges 30,000 times and dropping metal balls on the machine from over a meter in the air. The keyboard also has a drain to help it survive spills.
If typing comfort and speed are important to you, there is no better choice than the ThinkPad T450s.
At 13 x 8.9 x 0.83 inches and 3.8 pounds, the ThinkPad T450s (touch-screen version) isn’t the thinnest or lightest business notebook in its size range, but it was more than svelte enough for me to carry around indoors or bring to work in my laptop bag. If you get a regular display rather than the touch screen our review model came with, your ThinkPad T450s will be just 3.5 pounds. This makes it the same weight as the 13-inch MacBook Pro (12.4 x 8.6 x .71 inches, 3.5 pounds), though a bit larger.
Lenovo’s own ThinkPad X1 Carbon has a 14-inch screen and is significantly thinner and lighter (13 x 8.9 x 0.73 inches, 3.07 pounds), but it costs more, and has shorter battery life and shallower keys. Using the extended battery rather than the default adds 0.4 pounds of weight and 0.3 inches of thickness to the bottom back of the T450s, but getting more than double the battery life will be worth it for many users.