Notebookcheck

Lenovo ThinkPad E555 Notebook Review

Sascha Mölck (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 11/13/2014

Facelift. Lenovo once again offers a device for private and business users with the latest model of the inexpensive ThinkPad E-series. There are some visual changes compared to the predecessors – but you still get a matte panel and a good keyboard.

For the original German review, see here.

The ThinkPad E555-series is the latest version of Lenovo's entry-level line-up for the business segment. We reviewed several predecessors in the past, including the ThinkPad Edge E525ThinkPad Edge E535 and ThinkPad Edge E545. Lenovo waived the "Edge" for the new version. The E555-series once again uses APUs from AMD. Can the ThinkPad E555 keep up with its predecessors or even surpass them? Our review gives the answer.

Competitors for the ThinkPad E555 are all office notebooks with a price between 400 and 600 Euros (~$499 and ~$748) that are designed for private and business users. Examples would be the Acer TravelMate P255-MFujitsu Lifebook A544 and HP ProBook 450 or ProBook 455, respectively.

Case

The ThinkPad E555 uses the same basic shape from its predecessors (ThinkPad Edge E545ThinkPad Edge E535) and looks very similar. There are, however, many changes: The E555 is a couple of millimeters thinner than its predecessor. Furthermore, the case is not black anymore but the color is a very dark anthracite and the silver frame around the display is gone. Lenovo also replaced the glossy plastic between the keys with matte plastic - finally. The rubberized display cover was waived as well. Compared to the predecessors, the stability of the lid is now much better. The battery is not integrated and the E555 still has two maintenance covers, just like its predecessors.

The build quality of the device is decent and the stability meets the expectations for this price range. You can slightly dent the case underneath the touchpad, and the same applies for the area left next to the keyboard. Pressure on this area will let the right front corner rise from the surface. The torsion resistance of the base unit could be better as well. You notice that this is an inexpensive device. You can twist the lid as well, but there are no display distortions. The hinges keep the display well in position, but it bounces a bit. You can open the lid with one hand if you move it a bit.

The ThinkPad E555.
The ThinkPad E555.
Contrary to the predecessors, the display cover isn't rubberized anymore.
Contrary to the predecessors, the display cover isn't rubberized anymore.
You can maintain and upgrade the device.
You can maintain and upgrade the device.

Connectivity

Compared to the predecessors, the port variety hardly changed, only one USB 3.0 port was waived. Rivals like the TravelMate P255 and the Lifebook A544 have almost the identical ports. However, only the ThinkPad has a docking port (Lenovo OneLink). We don't like the port layout; the ports at the left side are very far to the front in the area of the palm rest.

Left side: slot for a Kensington lock, Ethernet, VGA, HDMI, 2x USB 3.0
Left side: slot for a Kensington lock, Ethernet, VGA, HDMI, 2x USB 3.0
Right side: combined audio, DVD burner, USB 2.0, AC power, docking port (OneLink)
Right side: combined audio, DVD burner, USB 2.0, AC power, docking port (OneLink)
The front accommodates the card reader.
The front accommodates the card reader.

Communication

The communication modules of the ThinkPad are provided by the company RealTek. WLAN connections are provided by the RTL8723BE chip with support for the standards 802.11 b/g/n. We did not notice any signal issues, there were no dropouts in direct proximity to the router (around 3 meters) or two floors down. The Gigabit Ethernet chip (RTL8168/8111) is familiar and is used in countless notebooks. A Bluetooth 4.0 module is available as well. The integrated webcam creates a pale picture with a maximum resolution of 1280x720 pixels.

Security 

Even though the device is designed for business customers, there are no security features like TPM or a fingerprint reader.

Accessories

The ThinkPad obviously comes with a quick-start guide with information about the security, warranty and the configuration of the notebook.

Operating System

Windows 8.1 (64-bit) is the preinstalled operating system ex-works. A Windows DVD is not provided. Alternatively, you can also install Windows 7 instead of Windows 8.1; Lenovo provides all the necessary drivers on its website.

Maintenance

The ThinkPad has a large maintenance area that gives you access to the hard drive, the memory, the WLAN module and the BIOS battery. The notebook has two memory slots, but only one slot is occupied. Replacing the hard drive is possible, but you can only use 2.5-inch drives with a height of 7 mm. You can even replace the BIOS battery if necessary. You also had access to the fan with the predecessors, but that is not possible anymore in the case of the E555.

Warranty

Lenovo only grants a one-year warranty for its ThinkPad, and that applies for the Lifebook A544 as well. Only Acer equips its TravelMate P255-M with a two-year warranty. Lenovo offers several warranty extensions for the ThinkPad. A three-year on-site warranty, for example, is available for 93 Euros (~$116).

Input Devices

Keyboard

The predecessors of the E555 were equipped with very good keyboards, and this didn't change with the E555. It still uses the familiar AccuType keyboard from Lenovo, but there is no illumination. The keys have a slightly roughened surface and a concave curvature. All keys have a medium travel and a well defined pressure point. We also like the resistance. All in all, Lenovo offers a good keyboard that should also be convenient for frequent writers.

Touchpad & TrackPoint

The latest generation of the ThinkPad E is equipped with a TrackPoint and a ClickPad as well. However, there is a small difference compared to the predecessors: The separate mouse buttons of the TrackPoint are gone. Instead, the top stripe of the ClickPad represents these buttons. The multi-touch ClickPad is roughly 10 x 7.5 cm. The smooth surface has good gliding capabilities and gestures are executed without problems. The pad has a short travel with a clear pressure point. The TrackPoint works without problems, allows the precise control of the cursor and you get used to it very quickly.

The keyboard is not illuminated.
The keyboard is not illuminated.
Besides a ClickPad with multi-touch support,...
Besides a ClickPad with multi-touch support,...
...you also get a TrackPoint.
...you also get a TrackPoint.

Display

The ThinkPad E555 has a matte 15.6-inch display with a native resolution of 1366x768 pixels. The expectations are not very high when you buy a notebook for 449 Euros (~$560). The display only manages a brightness of 209.3 cd/m², but we expect at least 250 cd/m². However, rivals like the Lifebook A544 (196.7 cd/m²) and the TravelMate P255-M (169.4 cd/m²) are even worse.

220
cd/m²
205
cd/m²
187
cd/m²
221
cd/m²
203
cd/m²
201
cd/m²
219
cd/m²
213
cd/m²
215
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 221 cd/m² Average: 209.3 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 85 %
Center on Battery: 203 cd/m²
Contrast: 312:1 (Black: 0.65 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 11.01 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 11.57 | - Ø
39% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.09
Lenovo Thinkpad E555
Radeon R5 (Kaveri), A8-7100, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
Acer TravelMate P255-M-54204G50Mnss
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
Fujitsu LifeBook A544
HD Graphics 4600, 4200M, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
HP ProBook 455 G1 H6P57EA
Radeon HD 7420G, A4-4300M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E545-20B2000PGE
Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M Dual Graphics, A10-5750M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
Screen
4%
-5%
14%
-10%
Brightness
209
169
-19%
197
-6%
202
-3%
224
7%
Brightness Distribution
85
85
0%
85
0%
83
-2%
81
-5%
Black Level *
0.65
0.7
-8%
1.06
-63%
0.43
34%
1.46
-125%
Contrast
312
266
-15%
199
-36%
507
63%
173
-45%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
11.01
7
36%
6.77
39%
10.22
7%
6.22
44%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
11.57
8.1
30%
6.82
41%
10.5
9%
7.52
35%
Gamma
2.09 115%
2.27 106%
2.66 90%
2.59 93%
2.4 100%
CCT
12849 51%
9452 69%
12864 51%
9598 68%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
39
33.9
-13%
36.1
-7%
46.3
19%

* ... smaller is better

ThinkPad E555 vs. sRGB
ThinkPad E555 vs. sRGB
ThinkPad E555 vs. AdobeRGB
ThinkPad E555 vs. AdobeRGB

Neither the contrast (312:1) nor the black value (0.65 cd/m²) of the panel are very good, but the results of the predecessors were even worse. The same applies for the rivals like the Lifebook A544 (199:1; 1.06 cd/m²) and the TravelMate P255-M (266:1; 0.7 cd/m²). The AdobeRGB and sRGB color spaces are not covered by the ThinkPad display; our measurements show 56% sRGB and 39% AdobeRGB coverage, respectively.

Out of the box the display shows a DeltaE 2000 deviation of 11.01. This is a normal result in the price range of the ThinkPad. The target would be a value smaller 3. The display has a blue cast.

CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps

The ThinkPad has a common TN panel. The characteristic feature of this technology is the limited viewing-angle stability. While the horizontal viewing angles are pretty big and multiple persons can easily look at the display, vertical shifts quickly result in picture distortions. Thanks to the matte display surface you can use the E555 outdoors.

Viewing angles ThinkPad E555
Viewing angles ThinkPad E555
Outdoor use ThinkPad E555
Outdoor use ThinkPad E555

Performance

Lenovo's ThinkPad E555-series represents simple office notebooks for private and business users. The performance is sufficient for usual office and web tasks. Our review unit is available for around 450 Euros (~$561). At the time of writing there were only two other configurations, which are different in terms of the operating system. The version without Windows costs around 400 Euros (~$499), the version with Windows 7 Professional and Windows 8.1 Professional is available for around 550 Euros (~$685).

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
GPU-Z
HWInfo
System information Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E555

Processor

Lenovo equips the ThinkPad E555 with an A8-7100 APU from AMD based on the Kaveri APU generation. The CPU part of the APU is a quad-core processor with a nominal clock of 1.8 GHz, but the clock can be raised up to 3 GHz via Turbo. AMD specifies the TDP with 19 Watts, which means it is slightly above the Intel Haswell ULV processors (15 Watts).

The test results of the processor are disappointing since it is not even close to its full performance. The Cinebench single-thread tests are executed with 1.8 up to 2.5 GHz, the multi-thread tests with 1.6 up to 1.8 GHz. The behavior is identical with mains and battery power. This means the performance of the AMD processor is clearly below the Intel Haswell ULV Core i3 processors. The theoretical performance with the maximum clock would easily be between Core i3 and i5 processors.

Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
4103
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
3611
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
1287
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
1.55 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
0.56 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
16.32 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
18.03 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
140 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
48 Points
Help
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad E555
Radeon R5 (Kaveri), A8-7100, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
0.56 Points ∼2%
Acer Aspire E1-572-34014G50Dnkk
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
0.76 Points ∼3% +36%
Acer Extensa 2510-34Z4
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
0.79 Points ∼3% +41%
HP ProBook 455 G1 H6P57EA
Radeon HD 7420G, A4-4300M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
0.68 Points ∼3% +21%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E545-20B2000PGE
Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M Dual Graphics, A10-5750M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
0.84 Points ∼3% +50%
HP ProBook 450-H0V92EA
HD Graphics 4000, 3120M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
0.95 Points ∼4% +70%
Acer TravelMate P255-M-54204G50Mnss
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
1 Points ∼4% +79%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E540 20C60041
HD Graphics 4600, 4000M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
1.06 Points ∼4% +89%
Dell Latitude 3540
Radeon HD 8850M, 4200U, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVX-75JC3T0
1.11 Points ∼4% +98%
Fujitsu LifeBook A544
HD Graphics 4600, 4200M, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
1.35 Points ∼5% +141%
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad E555
Radeon R5 (Kaveri), A8-7100, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
1.55 Points ∼2%
HP ProBook 455 G1 H6P57EA
Radeon HD 7420G, A4-4300M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
1.03 Points ∼1% -34%
Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E535-NZR5BGE
Radeon HD 7640G, A8-4500M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-08HXZT3
1.76 Points ∼2% +14%
Acer Aspire E1-572-34014G50Dnkk
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
1.87 Points ∼3% +21%
Acer Extensa 2510-34Z4
HD Graphics 4400, 4030U, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
2.01 Points ∼3% +30%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E545-20B2000PGE
Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M Dual Graphics, A10-5750M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
2.19 Points ∼3% +41%
HP ProBook 450-H0V92EA
HD Graphics 4000, 3120M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
2.45 Points ∼3% +58%
Dell Latitude 3540
Radeon HD 8850M, 4200U, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVX-75JC3T0
2.47 Points ∼3% +59%
Acer TravelMate P255-M-54204G50Mnss
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
2.49 Points ∼3% +61%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E540 20C60041
HD Graphics 4600, 4000M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
2.55 Points ∼4% +65%
Fujitsu LifeBook A544
HD Graphics 4600, 4200M, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
3.27 Points ∼5% +111%

System Performance

The system runs smoothly and without stutters, which is not least a result of the fast hard drive. The PCMark 7 benchmark result is good. We could not determine a result for PCMark 8 because the notebook repeatedly froze in the middle of the benchmark.

PCMark 7 Score
2150 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad E555
Radeon R5 (Kaveri), A8-7100, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
2150 Points ∼27%
HP ProBook 455 G1 H6P57EA
Radeon HD 7420G, A4-4300M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
1586 Points ∼20% -26%
Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E535-NZR5BGE
Radeon HD 7640G, A8-4500M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-08HXZT3
1667 Points ∼21% -22%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E545-20B2000PGE
Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M Dual Graphics, A10-5750M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
2025 Points ∼25% -6%
HP ProBook 450-H0V92EA
HD Graphics 4000, 3120M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
2201 Points ∼27% +2%
Acer TravelMate P255-M-54204G50Mnss
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
2373 Points ∼29% +10%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E540 20C60041
HD Graphics 4600, 4000M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
2538 Points ∼32% +18%
Dell Latitude 3540
Radeon HD 8850M, 4200U, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVX-75JC3T0
2627 Points ∼33% +22%

Storage Devices

Lenovo equipped the ThinkPad with a hybrid hard drive from Seagate. It has a capacity of 500 GB and works with 7200 revolutions per minute. The hard drive also has an SSD cache (8 GB), which ensures a quick launch of frequently used applications. CrystalDiskMark determines a read speed of 141.2 MB/s and HD Tune shows an average transfer rate of 108.5 MB/s. These are good results for a hard drive with 7200 rpm. The drive is unfortunately pretty loud; accesses are clearly audible and easily surpass the fan. Many users are probably soon going to want a Solid State Drive.

Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
Transfer Rate Minimum: 5.8 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 142.3 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 108.5 MB/s
Access Time: 17.6 ms
Burst Rate: 88.3 MB/s
CPU Usage: 5 %
Lenovo Thinkpad E555
Radeon R5 (Kaveri), A8-7100, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E545-20B2000PGE
Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M Dual Graphics, A10-5750M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
Fujitsu LifeBook A544
HD Graphics 4600, 4200M, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
Acer TravelMate P255-M-54204G50Mnss
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
-11%
-22%
-30%
Write 4k QD32
0.986
1.472
49%
0.911
-8%
0.724
-27%
Read 4k QD32
1.191
0.576
-52%
0.976
-18%
0.843
-29%
Write 4k
0.961
1.449
51%
0.889
-7%
0.736
-23%
Read 4k
0.581
0.54
-7%
0.438
-25%
0.379
-35%
Write 512
69.22
49.44
-29%
38.68
-44%
44.71
-35%
Read 512
49.2
36.51
-26%
34.81
-29%
31.9
-35%
Write Seq
134.1
84.04
-37%
105.7
-21%
99.94
-25%
Read Seq
141.2
84.8
-40%
106.9
-24%
103.7
-27%

Graphics

Besides the processor, the AMD APU also provides a Radeon R5 (Kaveri) graphics core. It supports DirectX 11.2 and runs with a clock of up to 514 MHz. The GPU is somewhere between Intel’s HD Graphics 4400 and HD Graphics 4600 in terms of performance. The latter can be raised with a second memory module. The memory will then run in a dual-channel configuration, which improves the GPU performance. We tried it and were able to improve the 3DMark 2011 result by around 7.5% with 1,036 points.

3DMark 06 Standard
4317 points
3DMark Vantage P Result
3011 points
3DMark 11 Performance
964 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
24924 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
2594 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
527 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad E555
Radeon R5 (Kaveri), A8-7100, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
964 Points ∼4%
HP ProBook 455 G1 H6P57EA
Radeon HD 7420G, A4-4300M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
501 Points ∼2% -48%
Acer TravelMate P255-M-54204G50Mnss
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
665 Points ∼3% -31%
Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E535-NZR5BGE
Radeon HD 7640G, A8-4500M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-08HXZT3
728 Points ∼3% -24%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E540 20C60041
HD Graphics 4600, 4000M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
828 Points ∼3% -14%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E545-20B2000PGE
Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M Dual Graphics, A10-5750M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
1802 Points ∼7% +87%
Dell Latitude 3540
Radeon HD 8850M, 4200U, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVX-75JC3T0
2589 Points ∼10% +169%

Gaming Performance

The ThinkPad was not designed for gaming. The AMD APU manages smooth gameplay in many titles with low resolutions and low or medium details. Similar to the 3DMark benchmarks, games benefit from a dual-channel memory configuration as well. With a second memory module and the activated dual-channel mode, the E555 manages higher frame rates. We tried this as well: The frame rates in Tomb Raider were increased by 27.6% on average to 46.7 fps (min), 32.1 fps (medium) and 16.4 fps (high). BioShock: Infinite shows an increase of 33.1% to 42.3 fps (min), 23.1 fps (medium) and 18.8 fps (high). This means the performance improvement during gaming is bigger compared to the synthetic benchmarks.

You will have to pay a lot if you want a business notebook with gaming capabilities. One example would be the Acer TravelMate P255-MG (Core i5-4200URadeon R7 M265), which is available for around 700 Euros (~$872).

low med. high ultra
Dirt 3 (2011) 61.533.224.3fps
Deus Ex Human Revolution (2011) 42.922.3fps
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011) 27.418.512.9fps
Anno 2070 (2011) 4723.114.6fps
Alan Wake (2012) 14.78.5fps
Diablo III (2012) 41.827.321.8fps
Dishonored (2012) 27.721.419.7fps
Dead Space 3 (2013) 4521.417.5fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 35.918.412.9fps
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (2013) 75.328.317.6fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 3116.813.9fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 14.911.26.9fps
GRID 2 (2013) 47.626.219.3fps
Saints Row IV (2013) 18.514.57.9fps
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (2013) 19.611.28.6fps
Total War: Rome II (2013) 2720.317.1fps
Batman: Arkham Origins (2013) 281610fps
Battlefield 4 (2013) 16.5129.2fps
X-Plane 10.25 (2013) 23.613.25.9fps
Thief (2014) 9.96.85.7fps
Wolfenstein: The New Order (2014) 17.413.9fps
GRID: Autosport (2014) 60.124.4fps
Risen 3: Titan Lords (2014) 21.812.8fps
Fifa 15 (2014) 21.317.6fps
Alien: Isolation (2014) 21.314.2fps
Ryse: Son of Rome (2014) 117.2fps
The Evil Within (2014) 9.47.6fps
F1 2014 (2014) 3425fps
Lenovo Thinkpad E555
Radeon R5 (Kaveri), A8-7100, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
Acer TravelMate P255-M-54204G50Mnss
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
Acer TravelMate P255-MG-54204G50Mnkk
Radeon R7 M265, 4200U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
HP ProBook 650-H5G81ET
HD Graphics 4600, 4200M, Liteonit LCS-128M6S
Tomb Raider
-10%
113%
65%
1366x768 High Preset AA:FX AF:8x
12.9
10.2
-21%
30.9
140%
18.2
41%
1366x768 Normal Preset AA:FX AF:4x
18.4
17.8
-3%
43.1
134%
32.1
74%
1024x768 Low Preset
35.9
33.7
-6%
59.4
65%
64.8
81%

Emissions

System Noise

The fan of the ThinkPad is pretty restrained in general. Maximum load (stress test, Prime95 and FurMark) only results in up to 37.9 fps – a very moderate value, and the fan is often completely deactivated when idling. Still, the device is far away from silent in these scenarios. The reason is the hard drive. Lenovo used a very fast model, but every access is clearly audible in return.

Noise Level

Idle
34.7 / 34.7 / 34.7 dB(A)
HDD
35.1 dB(A)
DVD
38.8 / dB(A)
Load
36.1 / 37.9 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Stress test ThinkPad E555
Stress test ThinkPad E555

The stress test (Prime95 and FurMark for at least one hour) results in a processor clock of 1.1 GHz, both on mains and battery power. The GPU fluctuates between 280 and 380 MHz on mains power during the stress test with occasional spikes, but the GPU is throttled to 281 MHz on battery power. Since the CPU and GPU are heavily throttled, the ThinkPad gets hardly warm. All the surface temperatures stay below 40 °C, even during the stress test. The Lifebook A544 is a bit warmer, but it is also equipped with a common mobile processor. The TravelMate P255-M, however, is the coolest device within the comparison.

 33.7 °C26.4 °C24.8 °C 
 33.4 °C31.2 °C25.1 °C 
 30.2 °C30.6 °C26.7 °C 
Maximum: 33.7 °C
Average: 29.1 °C
25.1 °C29.6 °C37.5 °C
25.6 °C33.7 °C37.2 °C
25.6 °C33.3 °C33 °C
Maximum: 37.5 °C
Average: 31.2 °C
Power Supply (max.)  34.6 °C | Room Temperature 21.9 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Speakers

The stereo speakers of the ThinkPad are located above the keyboard behind a perforated cover. They create a pretty decent sound, but bass is missing. Voices are easy to understand. However, you don’t want to listen to the speakers for longer periods, a better experience can be realized with headphones or external speakers.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The power adaptor of the ThinkPad has a nominal output of 45 Watts, which means the device does not consume very much power. The consumption is between 10.9 and 14.3 Watts while idling, which aren’t really good values by today’s standards. Notebooks with Haswell ULV processors are usually below 10 Watts. One example would be the TravelMate P255-M. The situation is similar with medium (3DMark06 running) and high workloads (stress test, Prime95 and FurMark running), where the ThinkPad (34.1 and 41.5 Watts, respectively) cannot keep up with the TravelMate.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.2 / 0.3 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 10.9 / 14.3 / 14.9 Watt
Load midlight 34.1 / 41.5 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

The battery of the ThinkPad manages an idle runtime of 6:44 hours, the TravelMate is slightly behind. We simulate the idle conditions with the Battery Eater Reader’s Test, which uses the lowest display brightness while the energy-saving features are activated and all the wireless modules are deactivated. Load results in a runtime of 1:31 hours for the E555, the TravelMate is once again not as enduring (1:12 hours). We determine the runtime under load with the Battery Eater Classic test. The display brightness is at its maximum level while the high-performance profile and all the wireless modules are active.

The ThinkPad lasts for 3:58 hours in our WLAN test. Both the TravelMate (5:09 hours) and the Lifebook (6:50 hours) manage much longer runtimes. This test uses a script that automatically refreshes websites every 40 seconds. The energy-saving profile is active and the display brightness is adjusted to around 150 cd/m². We check the video playback runtime with a loop of the short movie Big Buck Bunny (H.264, 1920x1080 pixels). The energy-saving mode is active and the display brightness is adjusted to around 150 cd/m². The ThinkPad lasted for 3:13 hours.

Overall, the runtimes of the ThinkPad are not really impressive. Considering the battery capacity (48 Wh), the device should manage much longer results. The faster Lifebook A544 manages almost 3 hours more in the realistic WLAN test, despite the almost identical battery capacity (49 Wh).

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
6h 44min
WiFi Surfing
3h 58min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
3h 13min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 31min
Lenovo Thinkpad E555
Radeon R5 (Kaveri), A8-7100, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E535-NZR5BGE
Radeon HD 7640G, A8-4500M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-08HXZT3
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E545-20B2000PGE
Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M Dual Graphics, A10-5750M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
Fujitsu LifeBook A544
HD Graphics 4600, 4200M, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
Acer TravelMate P255-M-54204G50Mnss
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
Battery Runtime
15%
-6%
72%
2%
Reader / Idle
404
506
25%
391
-3%
389
-4%
Load
91
91
0%
70
-23%
72
-21%
WiFi
238
288
21%
256
8%
410
72%
309
30%

Verdict

Lenovo’s ThinkPad E555 is a simple office notebook for private and business users. The performance is sufficient for office and web applications. It does not get very warm in operation and could be very quiet – if you replace the loud hard drive. Similar to the predecessors, the input devices can once again convince us. The number of ports can be extended with a docking station. The matte display won’t win any prizes, but it is still just okay for this price range. The battery runtimes are not very good.

Compared to its predecessors, the ThinkPad E555 is a bit disappointing since we cannot really see any advancement – sometimes the contrary. Both the ThinkPad Edge E535 as well as the ThinkPad Edge E545 offered more CPU performance than the E555. The battery runtimes are also shorter, even though the battery capacity is similar.

The Acer TravelMate P255-M offers significantly more CPU performance compared to the ThinkPad, but it is also 50 to 100 Euros (~$62 to ~$124) more expensive. The Fujitsu Lifebook A544 surpasses both rivals in terms of performance and also manages the best battery runtimes among our three comparison devices. This notebook is also around 100 Euros (~$124) more expensive than the ThinkPad.

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In review: Lenovo ThinkPad E555 (20DH0008GE). Test model courtesy of cyberport.de
In review: Lenovo ThinkPad E555 (20DH0008GE). Test model courtesy of cyberport.de

Specifications

Lenovo Thinkpad E555
Processor
AMD A8-7100 1.8 GHz
Graphics adapter
AMD Radeon R5 (Kaveri), Core: 514 MHz, 14.201.1003.1001
Memory
4096 MB 
, DDR3, Single-Channel, two memory slots (one slot occupied)
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, Lenovo N156B6-L07, TN LED, glossy: no
Mainboard
AMD Bolton
Storage
Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15, 500 GB 
, 5400 rpm, 420 GB free
Soundcard
AMD Hudson-2 High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: combined stereo jack, Card Reader: SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Realtek RTL8723BE Wireless LAN 802.11n PCI-E NIC (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0
Optical drive
Matshita DVD-RAM UJ8E2 S
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 27.1 x 377 x 255 ( = 1.07 x 14.84 x 10.04 in)
Battery
48 Wh Lithium-Ion, 10.8 V, 4400 mAh
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD-Webcam
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, Cyberlink PowerDVD 12, MS Office (trial), Nitro Pro 9
Weight
2.4 kg ( = 84.66 oz / 5.29 pounds), Power Supply: 247 g ( = 8.71 oz / 0.54 pounds)
Price
449 Euro

 

The ThinkPad has very good input devices.
The ThinkPad has very good input devices.
A numeric keypad is available.
A numeric keypad is available.
The DVD burner reads and writes every kind of CD and DVD.
The DVD burner reads and writes every kind of CD and DVD.
The hinges...
The hinges...
...keep the display well in position.
...keep the display well in position.
You can maintain the notebook.
You can maintain the notebook.
The device has two memory slots.
The device has two memory slots.
You can replace the hard drive.
You can replace the hard drive.
Good: The notebook has two WLAN antennas.
Good: The notebook has two WLAN antennas.
Even the BIOS battery could be replaced.
Even the BIOS battery could be replaced.
The battery weighs around 291 grams.
The battery weighs around 291 grams.
It has a capacity of 48 Wh.
It has a capacity of 48 Wh.
The power adaptor weighs 247 grams...
The power adaptor weighs 247 grams...
...and has a nominal output of 45 Watts.
...and has a nominal output of 45 Watts.
You can expand the connectivity of the ThinkPad...
You can expand the connectivity of the ThinkPad...
...with several docking stations.
...with several docking stations.

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Links

Compare Prices

Pro

+Matte display
+Fast hard drive with 7200 rpm
+Good keyboard
+Maintenance cover
+Case gets hardly warm
 

Cons

-Loud hard drive
-Only 12 months warranty

Shortcut

What we like

The low temperatures of the case and the good keyboard.

What we'd like to see

A brighter panel with a higher contrast and longer battery runtimes.

What surprises us

The processor cannot use its full performance, but without an apparent reason.

The competition

Fujitsu Lifebook A544, Acer TravelMate P255, HP ProBook 455, Dell Latitude 3540HP ProBook 450, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E545, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E540, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E535, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E530.

Rating

Lenovo Thinkpad E555 - 11/05/2014 v4(old)
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
74 / 98 → 76%
Keyboard
85%
Pointing Device
85%
Connectivity
68 / 81 → 84%
Weight
60 / 67 → 85%
Battery
81%
Display
74%
Games Performance
54 / 68 → 79%
Application Performance
59 / 92 → 64%
Temperature
88%
Noise
81%
Audio
44%
Camera
40 / 85 → 47%
Average
69%
77%
Office - Weighted Average
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo ThinkPad E555 Notebook Review
Sascha Mölck, 2014-11-13 (Update: 2014-11-13)