Lenovo ThinkPad T431s review: our opinion
Here is the Lenovo Thinkpad T431s test conducted in collaboration with our American colleagues from cnet.com. The ThinkPad T431s is a mix of old and new. Just like the older T-series laptops, it’s built for the business world first and foremost. However, thanks to smart adjustments, this notebook does not look too steep in the past. Either way, if you’re looking for a computer that’s crazy about its design, you may be on your way. The Thinkpad t431s is a sensible computer that can satisfy a company’s IT department and individuals.
Design and technical characteristics
Like the previous generations, the T431s is a laptop with a classic design that is quite far from a MacBook Pro for example. This is not a bad point in itself, the T341s are more discreet.
The chassis is made of two unique materials: carbon fiber for the cover and magnesium for the bottom. To protect the parts, a metal structure is also added. Additionally, the T431s have passed the “MIL-STD-810” endurance test. The Lenovo computer is therefore resistant to high temperatures, pressures, dust, humidity and vibrations and finally, the keyboard is also resistant to splashes.
In addition to a solid construction, Lenovo also thought to secure the software by including an Intel vPro technology suite with anti-theft protection (AT-p). Finally, a fingerprint reader is also available on the touchpad.
|Screen: size and definition||14 inches, 1600 x 900 pixels||13.3 inches, 1366 x 768 pixels||14 inches, 1366 x 768 pixels|
|Processor||1.9GHz Intel Core i5-3437U||1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U||1.8GHz Intel Core i5-3337U|
|memory||4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz||4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz||6GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz|
|Display||Intel HD Graphics 4000||Intel HD Graphics 4000||Intel HD Graphics 4000|
|Storage||500 GB 7200 rpm hard drive||500 GB 5400 rpm hard drive||SSD 128GB SSD|
|Network||802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0||802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0||802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0|
|WHISPER||Windows 8 Pro||Windows 8||Windows 8|
At first glance and given the technical characteristics of the T431, the price may seem high. However, it should be noted that laptops intended for businesses often have a higher price, generally due to a more robust design and various security systems included. With the same configuration, this computer is shown at a higher price than a consumer computer. If you don’t need more than maximum security or a hardened computer, this laptop might not be the best choice.
Lenovo has updated the keyboard of its T431s to make it more consistent with the interface of Windows 8. You will find function keys specific to Windows 8 to quickly access settings, research but also applications in the background process. To be honest, the typing experience is very good, the keyboard is pleasant and the keys are well thought out.
The T431s doesn’t have a touch screen so you have to use the touch pad or the Trackpoint to operate the Windows 8 interface. The latter supports more than twenty gestures.
The screen offers a diagonal of 14 inches showing a definition of 1600 x 900 pixels. Strong point, it is matte and therefore not very sensitive to reflections, the light is good, so it is possible to work outside. The only downside is that the viewing angles are a bit disappointing.
Connectivity and performance
In terms of connectivity, you’ll find a minijack port, two USB 3.0 ports, an Ethernet port, a VGA video output and another mini DisplayPort. The basic model (without options) offers enough power for everyday office tasks as well as some photo and video editing. However, if you need more raw power, the Lenovo T431s comes in several versions. Thus, it is possible to opt for an Intel Core i7 3687U processor that can reach a rate of 3.30 GHz. Other specifications are also flexible: the memory range is from 4 to 12 GB (4, 6, 8 and 12 GB) and hard disk capacities from 320 GB to 1 TB. It is also possible to opt for SSD from 24 GB to 256 GB (24, 128, 1820, 240, 256 GB). Any change will be immediately reflected in the price of the machine. The Lenovo T341s does not have an optical drive. All this fits into a 33.1 x 22.6 x 20.6 cm machine that weighs 1.63 kg.
For autonomy, the T431s are a bit disappointing. Announced at 9 am, the Thinkpad lasted just 5 hours and 33 minutes during our video-heavy and power-hungry tests. With more “normal” use the autonomy will increase, which turns out to be quite honest.
The ThinkPad T431s is a laptop aimed primarily at businesses. It is effective, stable and has some very effective security options. With its matte finish screen, it may appeal to home use, but its high price may be a deterrent.