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Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE Notebook Review Update

Sebastian Jentsch (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 11/18/2014

Beefed up. The L-series is the affordable entry into the world of ThinkPads. It offers typing comfort, many interfaces including a docking port, and a rigid, timeless chassis. Lenovo now ships the classic with an SSD and HD+ screen. Will that make the L440 the ultimate laptop among the budget-priced pro-books?

Lenovo ThinkPad L440 (20AT004QGE) with HD+ and Intel SSD
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 (20AT004QGE) with HD+ and Intel SSD

For the original German review, see here.

Lenovo sells its ThinkPad L line with different components for prices ranging from 620 to 800 Euros (~$777 to ~$1003). Users who are not satisfied with a Core i3, HDD and HD screen can opt for the premium model, which we now have on our desk. A Core i5-4300M, 180 GB SSD, and 1600x900 pixels in non-glare - that stirs the blood of every ambitious office friend.

We will only look at the new components in the form of an Intel 520 Series SSD (180 GB), and an HD+ screen with 1600x900 pixels in this review update. This version of the L440 is currently sold for 799 Euros (~$1001). Both the SSD and higher resolution could have an impact on the runtimes and system performance. Therefore, we will take an in-depth look at these aspects. We would refer to the review of the Lenovo ThinkPad L440 for further information concerning build, input devices, connectivity, and sound.

We selected two 14-inch office contenders that also feature HD+ and have a similar low price tag. Dell's Latitude 3440 even sports a dedicated GeForce GT 740M but does not have an SSD. HP's ProBook 640 G1 (H5G70EA) with a 128 GB SSD only costs slightly more.

Display

The non-glare Innolux screen (N140FGE-EA2) based on TN technology is a typical a-Si TFT with a resolution of 1600x900 pixels in our case. However, it is not meant to replace the 1366x768 pixel screen of the first L440 review sample; the HD version is still available. A Full HD model is not offered here, same as for the 14-inch ProBook 640 and Latitude 3440.

238
cd/m²
220
cd/m²
209
cd/m²
247
cd/m²
259
cd/m²
229
cd/m²
235
cd/m²
231
cd/m²
229
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 259 cd/m² Average: 233 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 81 %
Center on Battery: 259 cd/m²
Contrast: 199:1 (Black: 1.3 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 11.83 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 6.24 | - Ø
40% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.3
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
HD Graphics 4600, 4300M, Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2BW180A3L
Dell Latitude 3440
GeForce GT 740M, 4200U, Seagate Momentus ST750LM022 HN-M750MB
HP ProBook 640 G1 H5G66ET
HD Graphics 4600, 4200M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
Lenovo Thinkpad L440
HD Graphics 4600, 4330M, 500 GB - 5400 rpm
Screen
24%
23%
32%
Brightness
233
320
37%
272
17%
204
-12%
Brightness Distribution
81
86
6%
91
12%
92
14%
Black Level *
1.3
0.78
40%
0.54
58%
0.3236
75%
Contrast
199
438
120%
494
148%
655
229%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
11.83
8.96
24%
10.39
12%
10.83
8%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
6.24
9.64
-54%
11.13
-78%
11.42
-83%
Gamma
2.3 104%
2.26 106%
2.29 105%
2.68 90%
CCT
5429 120%
11592 56%
13721 47%
13243 49%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
40
38.34
-4%
37.4
-6%
37.84
-5%

* ... smaller is better

Innolux states a contrast of 500:1. However, we only measured 176:1, and the dull colors on the matte screen confirm that. Consequently, colors are no fun on the L440. The contenders do a better job as can be seen in the chart. The Latitude 3440 is miles ahead in brightness, and it also features a non-glare screen.

The color space is important when using tools like Adobe Lightroom, Quark Xpress or InDesign on the ThinkPad. A TFT should cover AdobeRGB in the best case, but only a few high-end workstations have achieved that until now. This is no different with the Innolux screen that only manages to cover 40% of AdobeRGB. The contenders are not better here.

We assessed the screen before calibration with a spectrophotometer and ascertained high DeltaE shifts particularly in the mixed colors. ColorChecker recorded a DeltaE of almost 12. The Latitude 3440's rates were somewhat better. Consequently, the difference between the actual and the reproduced colors is visible to the naked eye. A DeltaE of 6 in the grayscale does not speak well for the device. We also noticed the usual bluish cast.

CalMAN Grayscale - bluish cast!
CalMAN Grayscale - bluish cast!
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
CalMAN ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN ColorChecker (calibrated)
AdobeRGB1998 40%
AdobeRGB1998 40%
sRGB 57%
sRGB 57%

The L440 can also be used outdoors because the brightness is not throttled in battery mode - a must for a good office device.

Outdoors using maximum brightness
Outdoors using maximum brightness
Outdoors from the right
Outdoors from the right
Outdoors in cloudy conditions
Outdoors in cloudy conditions
Outdoors using minimum brightness
Outdoors using minimum brightness

The image inverts quickly in vertical shifts. The user will not be annoyed by contrast deviations for a longer time horizontally. Here, the user has a leniency of approximately 90 degrees.

Viewing angles: Lenovo ThinkPad L440 HD+ (Innolux N140FGE-EA2)
Viewing angles: Lenovo ThinkPad L440 HD+ (Innolux N140FGE-EA2)

Performance

Working in applications with high requirements on the processor is fast owing to the standard voltage i5-4300M (2.6 GHz) Haswell CPU alongside its HD Graphics 4600 IGP. However, it is primarily the Intel SSD 520 Series that vigorously accelerates the experienced and measured system performance.

System info CPU-Z CPU
System info CPU-Z Cache
System info CPU-Z Motherboard
System info CPU-Z Memory
System info CPU-Z SPD
System info GPU-Z HD 4600
System information: Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE

Processor

The R15 benchmark reveals that the i5-4300M is state-of-the-art. The CPU not only outperforms the ULV chip in the Latitude 3440 but also surpasses the i5-4200M in the ProBook. The clock rate was 3.2 GHz in both the single-core and multi-core tests. This was not different in battery mode, where the scores were identical.

Cinebench R15 Multi CPU @3.2 GHz stable
Cinebench R15 Multi CPU @3.2 GHz stable
Cinebench R15 OpenGL GPU @1250 MHz stable
Cinebench R15 OpenGL GPU @1250 MHz stable
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
126 Points ∼68%
Dell Latitude 3440
100 Points ∼54% -21%
HP ProBook 640 G1 H5G66ET
118 Points ∼64% -6%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
313 Points ∼20%
Dell Latitude 3440
231 Points ∼15% -26%
HP ProBook 640 G1 H5G66ET
295 Points ∼19% -6%

Legend

 
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE Intel Core i5-4300M, Intel HD Graphics 4600, Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2BW180A3L
 
Dell Latitude 3440 Intel Core i5-4200U, NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M, Seagate Momentus ST750LM022 HN-M750MB
 
HP ProBook 640 G1 H5G66ET Intel Core i5-4200M, Intel HD Graphics 4600, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
 
Lenovo Thinkpad L440 Intel Core i5-4330M, Intel HD Graphics 4600, 500 GB - 5400 rpm
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4726
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
10709
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
7249
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
126 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
313 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
18.16 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Help

System Performance

The application performance tops the ProBook 640 contender because it does not sport an SSD. We did not perform this version of the test with the Latitude. The system's experienced speed is excellent. Copying and installations were finished in lightning speed, and the L440 booted within seconds from a cold state.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
3951 Points ∼65%
HP ProBook 640 G1 H5G66ET
3475 Points ∼57% -12%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
2590 Points ∼46%
HP ProBook 640 G1 H5G66ET
2452 Points ∼43% -5%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
2590 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
3951 points
Help

Storage Devices

The Intel SSD 520 Series (SSDSC2BW180A3L) has a gross capacity of 180 GB. The user, however, only has 105 GB available in state of delivery. That is due to the usual formatting differences and the recovery partition of various tools, such as Norton Internet Security.

PCMark 8's storage score impressively shows the advantage of the SSD system. The L440 HDD version lags behind by 54%, and it looks similar for the ProBook 640. The CrystalDiskMark scores illustrate the disadvantages of an HDD in detail. Spinning HDDs and NAND models are worlds apart particularly in 4K read and write.

Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGEDell Latitude 3440HP ProBook 640 G1 H5G66ETLenovo Thinkpad L440
PCMark 8
Storage Score
4899
2339
-52%
2246
-54%
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
-83%
-75%
-76%
Write 4k
85.77
0.707
-99%
1.039
-99%
1.123
-99%
Read 4k
24.05
0.326
-99%
0.466
-98%
0.506
-98%
Write Seq
165.2
80.65
-51%
118.6
-28%
112.9
-32%
Read Seq
455.7
82.26
-82%
120.1
-74%
121.5
-73%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-83% / -83%
-64% / -70%
-65% / -71%
Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2BW180A3L
Sequential Read: 455.7 MB/s
Sequential Write: 165.2 MB/s
512K Read: 368 MB/s
512K Write: 158.6 MB/s
4K Read: 24.05 MB/s
4K Write: 85.77 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 223.2 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 174.7 MB/s

Graphics Card

Intel's HD Graphics 4600 has a slight disadvantage due to the single-channel memory (only one slot filled). The ProBook 640 G1 in the chart also has single-channel memory. The GT 740M in the Latitude 3440 naturally passes the finish line first owing to its GT 740M. Users who do not need quite as many professional office features but want to play games should consider the cheaper Latitude 3440.

3DMark
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Physics (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
3030 Points ∼8%
Dell Latitude 3440
2444 Points ∼6% -19%
HP ProBook 640 G1 H5G66ET
2985 Points ∼8% -1%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
4928 Points ∼3%
Dell Latitude 3440
7259 Points ∼4% +47%
HP ProBook 640 G1 H5G66ET
5141 Points ∼3% +4%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
4325 Points ∼12%
Dell Latitude 3440
5048 Points ∼14% +17%
HP ProBook 640 G1 H5G66ET
4429 Points ∼12% +2%

Legend

 
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE Intel Core i5-4300M, Intel HD Graphics 4600, Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2BW180A3L
 
Dell Latitude 3440 Intel Core i5-4200U, NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M, Seagate Momentus ST750LM022 HN-M750MB
 
HP ProBook 640 G1 H5G66ET Intel Core i5-4200M, Intel HD Graphics 4600, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
 
Lenovo Thinkpad L440 Intel Core i5-4330M, Intel HD Graphics 4600, 500 GB - 5400 rpm
3DMark 11 Performance
853 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
4325 points
Help
low med. high ultra
Hitman: Absolution (2012) 19.4139.2fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 41.620.112.3fps
Thief (2014) 13.78fps
Tomb Raider
1366x768 Normal Preset AA:FX AF:4x (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
20.1 fps ∼4%
Dell Latitude 3440
42 fps ∼7% +109%
Lenovo Thinkpad L440
19.9 fps ∼3% -1%
1024x768 Low Preset (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
41.6 fps ∼7%
Dell Latitude 3440
88.2 fps ∼14% +112%
Lenovo Thinkpad L440
36.3 fps ∼6% -13%

Emissions

System Noise

The L440's noise development is low, apart from the fierce upsurge (36 dB(A)) that turned up regularly in idle. The review sample disabled its fan completely between that, and the L440 was absolutely silent then due to the SSD. The level never surpassed 40 dB(A) in load.

Noise Level

Idle
30 / 30 / 36.2 dB(A)
DVD
37.5 / dB(A)
Load
36.8 / 38.8 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)
 26.8 °C25.8 °C24 °C 
 27.2 °C26.9 °C24.4 °C 
 27.4 °C28.8 °C26.7 °C 
Maximum: 28.8 °C
Average: 26.4 °C
24.7 °C26.7 °C28.5 °C
24.3 °C28 °C28.3 °C
26.1 °C28.3 °C28.7 °C
Maximum: 28.7 °C
Average: 27.1 °C
Power Supply (max.)  29.3 °C | Room Temperature 21.3 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The power consumption of the former model with an HD screen and HDD is in fact significantly higher, particularly in idle. The review sample is as frugal as a low-voltage laptop and only consumes 4 to roughly 8 watts. The HDD precursor consumed as much as 8 to 13 watts. Dell's Latitude 3440 has a slightly lower load requirement than the review sample due to the processor's lower TDP of 15 and despite its GT 740M.

The compact 65-watt power supply needed 2:11 hours to recharge a fully drained battery (while the device was loaded via system benchmarks).

Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGEDell Latitude 3440HP ProBook 640 G1 H5G66ETLenovo Thinkpad L440
Power Consumption
4%
-4%
-46%
Idle Minimum *
3.9
5.4
-38%
8.6
-121%
Idle Average *
7.7
7.5
3%
7.9
-3%
11.8
-53%
Idle Maximum *
8.5
8.3
2%
8
6%
12.7
-49%
Load Average *
46.5
43.6
6%
39
16%
48.1
-3%
Load Maximum *
52.2
49.3
6%
52.5
-1%
53.4
-2%

* ... smaller is better

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.1 / 0.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 3.9 / 7.7 / 8.5 Watt
Load midlight 46.5 / 52.2 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 960

Battery Runtime

Our review sample was equipped with the standard 57 Wh, 6-cell battery. Buyers can also purchase the small 48 Wh replacement battery or the 72 Wh power battery. The latter clearly juts out from the chassis. The first L440 with an HD screen even featured a 100 Wh, 9-cell battery that achieved an ambitious 471 minutes (Wi-Fi test).

Our L440 lasted for almost five hours in the Wi-Fi test. The 14-inch device opens websites via a script with a brightness of 135 cd/m² (dimmed three levels; closest value to 150 cd/m²). The Latitude 3440 lasts much longer with its 65 Wh lithium-ion battery, and the ProBook 640 G1's 55 Wh presents the worst results.

Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
594 min ∼22%
Dell Latitude 3440
min ∼0%
HP ProBook 640 G1 H5G66ET
615 min ∼23%
Lenovo Thinkpad L440
655 min ∼24%
WiFi (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
292 min ∼11%
Dell Latitude 3440
498 min ∼18%
HP ProBook 640 G1 H5G66ET
283 min ∼10%
Lenovo Thinkpad L440
471 min ∼17%
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
9h 54min
WiFi Surfing
4h 52min

Verdict

Lenovo ThinkPad L440 - take it to university right away?
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 - take it to university right away?

Lenovo beefs up its ThinkPad L440 version 20AT004QGE with an HD+ screen and SSD. However, that does not turn it into an affordable high-end laptop for professionals. The contrast of 200:1 is lousy and the DeltaE color shifts are still much too high. The contenders with HD+ screens, the Latitude 3440 and ProBook 640 G1, have more to offer here (better contrast). The ProBook with an SSD costs only 50 Euros (~$62) more, and though the Latitude 3440 has fewer professional features (input device, interfaces, build), it only costs 670 Euros (~$840) with a GT 740M graphics.

Nevertheless, our test system leads the comparison in application performance because it competes against HDD systems (Latitude 3440ProBook 640 G1) that even have a weaker low-voltage SoC in some cases (Latitude 3440). The CPU's Turbo is maxed out, and throttling is not an issue. Anyone looking for the best possible performance, apart from gaming, will find the ThinkPad L440 with SSD simply perfect.

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In review: Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE. Test model courtesy of Lenovo Germany
In review: Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE. Test model courtesy of Lenovo Germany

Specifications

Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
Processor
Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 4600, Core: 800-1250 MHz
Memory
4096 MB 
, 1x 4GB Samsung PC3-12800, single-channel
Display
14.0 inch 16:9, 1600x900 pixel, Lenovo B140R102 V1 / N140FGE-EA2, TN LED, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel QM87 (Lynx Point)
Storage
Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2BW180A3L, 180 GB 
, 105 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Lynx Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
3 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 VGA, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: headphone, microphone combo, Card Reader: SD/SDHC/SDXC/MMC, 1 SmartCard, 1 Fingerprint Reader
Networking
Intel I218-LM (Clarkville ULT) Network Adapter (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 (a/b/g/n)
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 29 x 344 x 236 ( = 1.14 x 13.54 x 9.29 in)
Battery
57 Wh, standard 6 cell battery
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (64 Bit) + Windows 8 Pro (64 Bit)
Camera
Webcam: 1 MP
Additional features
Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: standard-sized, splash-water proof keyboard optimized for Windows 8, Keyboard Light: no, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
2.114 kg ( = 74.57 oz / 4.66 pounds), Power Supply: 349 g ( = 12.31 oz / 0.77 pounds)
Sold in
DACH

 

Lenovo ThinkPad L440 - now in review with HD+ screen and SSD.
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 - now in review with HD+ screen and SSD.
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 - a classic office worker without frills.
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 - a classic office worker without frills.
Lenovo ThinkPad L440: Its HD+ screen disappoints with an abysmal contrast.
Lenovo ThinkPad L440: Its HD+ screen disappoints with an abysmal contrast.

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Links

  • Manufacturer's information

Compare Prices

Pro

+Very good CPU performance
+Swift SSD
+Long battery life
+Solid build
+HD+ resolution for more overview
+Very good keyboard
+Low waste heat
 

Cons

-One USB 3.0 port only
-Screen's low viewing angle stability
-Screen's low contrast

Shortcut

What we like

Finally a work-suitable resolution for the 14-inch device. The L440 is swift owing to Intel's SSD. The fantastic input devices (mechanical keys) are a joy to type on, no one can belie the ThinkPads in this respect. Even the ClickPad can be used easily after some getting used to.

What we'd like to see

A CRTL key at the outer left, we always hit the FN key instead.

What surprises us

The dull and weak colors are no fun in times of high-end screens in our smartphones.

HD+ competition

Latitude 3440 (GeForce GT 740M, HDD)

HP ProBook 640 G1 (H5G70EA – SSD version)

Rating

Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE - 11/12/2014 v4(old)
Sebastian Jentsch

Chassis
76 / 98 → 78%
Keyboard
92%
Pointing Device
91%
Connectivity
64 / 81 → 79%
Weight
62 / 67 → 89%
Battery
89%
Display
75%
Games Performance
55 / 68 → 81%
Application Performance
75 / 92 → 82%
Temperature
93%
Noise
87%
Audio
63%
Camera
38 / 85 → 45%
Average
74%
82%
Office - Weighted Average
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE Notebook Review Update
Sebastian Jentsch, 2014-11-18 (Update: 2014-11-20)