Notebookcheck

Lenovo ThinkPad L450 Notebook Review

Sascha Mölck (translated by Bernie Pechlaner), 04/21/2015

Changing of the guards. Lenovo's new Thinkpad L450 now sports ULV processors instead of standard mobile CPUs. Unfortunately, the Thinkpad doesn't benefit that much from the more frugal processor-series.

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Lenovo's Thinkpad L-models are a series of medium-priced business notebooks bracketed by the affordable Thinkpad E-series on one side and the higher-priced Thinkpad T-series on the other. Our review notebook is the 14-inch version Thinkpad L450. The new model differs in several areas from the predecessor Thinkpad L440: the L450 is slimmer, the optical drive is gone and ULV processors now power the notebook. If those changes are positive or negative is the subject of our review.

Competitors are other medium-priced business notebooks like the Dell Latitude 14 E5450, the Fujitsu Lifebook E544, and HP's Probook 640 and Probook 645, respectively.

Lenovo Thinkpad L450 20DS0001GE
Processor
Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 5500, Core: 300-900 MHz, 10.18.10.4013
Memory
4096 MB 
, DDR3-1600, Single-Channel, zwei Speicherbänke (eine Bank belegt)
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, Lenovo LP140WF3-SPL1, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Broadwell-U PCH-LP (Premium)
Storage
Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15, 500 GB 
, 5400 rpm, 420 GB free
Soundcard
Realtek ALC292 @ Intel Broadwell PCH-LP - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 VGA, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: Audiokombo, Card Reader: SD, 1 Fingerprint Reader, TPM 1.2
Networking
Intel I218-LM Gigabit (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265 (a/b/g/h/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 25 x 339 x 235 ( = 0.98 x 13.35 x 9.25 in)
Battery
48 Wh Lithium-Ion, 10.8 V, 4400 mAh
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (64 Bit) + Windows 8 Pro (64 Bit)
Camera
Webcam: HD-Webcam
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, MS Office (Testversion), Nitro Pro 9, Norton Internet Security (Testversion)
Weight
2 kg ( = 70.55 oz / 4.41 pounds), Power Supply: 298 g ( = 10.51 oz / 0.66 pounds)
Price
850 Euro

 

Case & Connectivity

Compared to the predecessor, the L450 is not only a little slimmer, but also slightly lighter. Additionally, L450 doesn't come with an optical drive any longer. Otherwise, it's pretty obvious that the two versions are related: both are made out of plastic and feature a very rectangular chassis. The L450's battery protrudes roughly 1 cm from the bottom.

The Thinkpad L440 was equipped with a maintenance hatch, but the L450 is lacking one. To access the hardware, the bottom cover of the base unit needs to be taken off. After all screws are removed, the bottom shell can be pried off with either a pallet knife or a spatula. Caution is advised, as there are small plastic clips which break quite easily. 

The chassis features decent build quality overall, although it's not entirely flawless: the upper edge on the right side has a noticeable ridge and it appears that the top half of the base unit hasn't been deburred properly. The lid could be a bit sturdier as well, as it twists fairly easily and flexes when pressure is applied to the back. The hinges hold the display securely; opening the display with one hand is possible - if only just.

The physical ports remain largely unchanged, although they are arranged differently. Compared to the L440, the L450 comes with one less USB port, although the three remaining ones are now USB 3.0. Our review notebook comes with a SIM card slot plus the necessary antennas and could be outfitted with a 3G/LTE modem. The Thinkpad is also available with a SmartCard reader, although our version isn't equipped as such. The chassis has the appropriate cutouts already.

Our notebook comes with Windows 7 Professional (64-bit) preinstalled, although the user has the option to switch to Windows 8.1 Professional (64-bit) instead, since it's includes as well. A recovery DVD is not part of the package and both OS versions only exist on the hard drive. Unfortunately, Lenovo didn't include any instructions on how to switch operating systems, but references the electronic user manual instead. Although the L450 only comes with a 12-month warranty, Lenovo offers plenty of upgrades and extensions. A two-year onsite warranty costs 77 Euro (~$83).

We are already familiar with the outstanding imput devices, since the Thinkpad T450s is equipped with them as well. For detailed information about the keyboard, touchpad, and the trackpoint please take a look at that particular review.

Left side: power jack, USB 3.0, audio combo-jack
Left side: power jack, USB 3.0, audio combo-jack
Right side: SIM slot, 2x USB 3.0, mini-Displayport, Gigabit Ethernet, VGA, Kensington lock slot
Right side: SIM slot, 2x USB 3.0, mini-Displayport, Gigabit Ethernet, VGA, Kensington lock slot
The front houses the SD card reader.
The front houses the SD card reader.

Our review model is equipped with a matte 14-inch display with a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The brightness of 202.1 nits is not impressive and only adequate for bargain-basement notebooks in our opinion. We would like to see at least 300 nits here - especially since a Thinkpad is likely to be used in different environments and subsequently at varying ambient brightness levels. The display brightness of the Dell Latitude 14 E5450 (270.8 nits; Full-HD) seems more appropriate for the class.

195
cd/m²
194
cd/m²
205
cd/m²
203
cd/m²
206
cd/m²
211
cd/m²
195
cd/m²
196
cd/m²
214
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 214 cd/m² Average: 202.1 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Center on Battery: 202 cd/m²
Contrast: 528:1 (Black: 0.39 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.63 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 6.29 | - Ø
37.3% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.48
Thinkpad vs. sRGB
Thinkpad vs. sRGB
Thinkpad vs. AdobeRGB
Thinkpad vs. AdobeRGB

The contrast ratio (528:1) and the black point (0.39 nits) are OK, but could be better as well. The Latitude (1007:1; 0.29 nits) once again leads the way here. The Thinkpad doesn't cover the color spaces sRGB and AdobeRGB with coverages of 53 % (sRGB) and 37.2 % (AdobeRGB), respectively.

As shipped, the DeltaE deviation is 6.63 (target is a DeltaE of less than 3). The screen is free of any bluish tint and a calibration can improve the color accuracy. When we calibrated the display, the DeltaE deviation dropped to 3.71, which is just shy of the target range.

CalMAN - Color Checker
CalMAN - Color Checker
CalMAN - Graylevels
CalMAN - Graylevels
CalMAN - Saturation
CalMAN - Saturation
CalMAN - Color Checker (calibrated)
CalMAN - Color Checker (calibrated)
CalMAN - Graylevels (calibrated)
CalMAN - Graylevels (calibrated)
CalMAN - Saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN - Saturation (calibrated)

The L450 comes equipped with an IPS display panel and the viewing angle stability is therefore very good. We were able to read the screen content in any position. Outdoor use is possible, but bright sunlight needs to be avoided.

Viewing angles Thinkpad L450
Viewing angles Thinkpad L450
The Thinkpad outdoors (exposed to direct sunlight)
The Thinkpad outdoors (exposed to direct sunlight)
Lenovo Thinkpad L450 20DS0001GE
IPS 1920x1080
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
TN 1600x900
Dell Latitude 14 E5450
IPS 1920x1080
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
TN 1600x900
HP Probook 645 G1
TN 1366x768
HP ProBook 640 G1 H5G66ET
TN 1600x900
Lenovo ThinkPad T450-20BV001VGE
TN 1600x900
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS03F00
IPS 1920x1080
Screen
-28%
41%
-52%
-14%
-20%
-30%
43%
Brightness
202
255
26%
271
34%
233
15%
170
-16%
272
35%
163
-19%
268
33%
Brightness Distribution
91
67
-26%
85
-7%
81
-11%
87
-4%
91
0%
68
-25%
91
0%
Black Level *
0.39
0.696
-78%
0.291
25%
1.3
-233%
0.27
31%
0.54
-38%
0.71
-82%
0.245
37%
Contrast
528
362
-31%
1007
91%
199
-62%
674
28%
494
-6%
234
-56%
1110
110%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6.63
9.1
-37%
3.81
43%
11.83
-78%
10.49
-58%
10.39
-57%
7.16
-8%
4.35
34%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
6.29
9.44
-50%
3.97
37%
6.24
1%
11.42
-82%
11.13
-77%
7.62
-21%
3.7
41%
Gamma
2.48 97%
2.56 94%
2.51 96%
2.3 104%
2.32 103%
2.29 105%
2.25 107%
2.68 90%
CCT
5823 112%
10890 60%
7368 88%
5429 120%
12682 51%
13721 47%
9371 69%
6076 107%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
37.3
38.6
3%
60.4
62%
40
7%
37.6
1%
37.4
0%
37.8
1%
54.7
47%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
83.5

* ... smaller is better

Performance

The  Lenovo Thinkpad L450 is a mid-priced 14-inch business notebook. The every-day performance is more than adequate and the notebook features both docking port and TPM. Our review model sells for around 850 Euro (~$920), but Lenovo offers other versions as well. At the time of writing, the least expensive model with Core i3-5005U CPU and HD display costs about 600 Euro (~$650).

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
GPU-Z
HWInfo
LatencyMon
System information Lenovo Thinkpad L450 20DS0001GE

Processor

The models in the Thinkpad L440-series featured standard mobile processors with a TDP of 37 watts. The new models in the Thinkpad L450-series come equipped with ULV processors instead (TDP: 15 watts). Our praticular review model houses a dual-core Core i5-5300U (Broadwell) CPU with a base frequency of 2.3 GHz. The Turbo can overclock both cores to 2.7 GHy and a single core to 2.9 GHz no matter if the notebook is plugged in or running on battery power. The CPU offers a 5 - 10 % performance improvement compared to the Haswell predecessor (Core i5-4300U). These improvements are largely the results of the increased efficiency of the Broadwell-architecture, since both CPUs top out at a maximum frequency of 2.9 GHz.

The CPU is soldered on. The Thinkpad L440 features a socket design so the processor can be swapped out.
The CPU is soldered on. The Thinkpad L440 features a socket design so the processor can be swapped out.
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
5552
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
9284
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4360
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
16.56 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
3.01 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.34 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
22.2 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
270 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
115 Points
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad L450 20DS0001GE
HD Graphics 5500, 5300U, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
115 Points ∼62%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
HD Graphics 4600, 4210M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
121 Points ∼65% +5%
Dell Latitude 14 E5450
HD Graphics 4400, 4310U, Lite-On LCS-128L9S
93 Points ∼50% -19%
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
HD Graphics 4600, 4300M, Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2BW180A3L
126 Points ∼68% +10%
HP Probook 645 G1
Radeon HD 8450G, A6-5350M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
73 Points ∼39% -37%
HP ProBook 640 G1 H5G66ET
HD Graphics 4600, 4200M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
118 Points ∼64% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450-20BV001VGE
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP
110 Points ∼59% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS03F00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
130 Points ∼70% +13%
Toshiba Tecra Z40 A-147
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
100 Points ∼54% -13%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad L450 20DS0001GE
HD Graphics 5500, 5300U, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
270 Points ∼17%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
HD Graphics 4600, 4210M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
304 Points ∼20% +13%
Dell Latitude 14 E5450
HD Graphics 4400, 4310U, Lite-On LCS-128L9S
268 Points ∼17% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
HD Graphics 4600, 4300M, Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2BW180A3L
313 Points ∼20% +16%
HP Probook 645 G1
Radeon HD 8450G, A6-5350M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
118 Points ∼8% -56%
HP ProBook 640 G1 H5G66ET
HD Graphics 4600, 4200M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
295 Points ∼19% +9%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450-20BV001VGE
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP
262 Points ∼17% -3%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS03F00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
302 Points ∼19% +12%
Toshiba Tecra Z40 A-147
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
231 Points ∼15% -14%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad L450 20DS0001GE
HD Graphics 5500, 5300U, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
1.34 Points ∼5%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
HD Graphics 4600, 4210M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
1.39 Points ∼5% +4%
Dell Latitude 14 E5450
HD Graphics 4400, 4310U, Lite-On LCS-128L9S
1.11 Points ∼4% -17%
HP Probook 645 G1
Radeon HD 8450G, A6-5350M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
0.87 Points ∼3% -35%
HP ProBook 640 G1 H5G66ET
HD Graphics 4600, 4200M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
1.35 Points ∼5% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450-20BV001VGE
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP
1.26 Points ∼5% -6%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS03F00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
1.51 Points ∼6% +13%
Toshiba Tecra Z40 A-147
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
1.11 Points ∼4% -17%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad L450 20DS0001GE
HD Graphics 5500, 5300U, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
3.01 Points ∼4%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
HD Graphics 4600, 4210M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3.35 Points ∼5% +11%
Dell Latitude 14 E5450
HD Graphics 4400, 4310U, Lite-On LCS-128L9S
2.94 Points ∼4% -2%
HP Probook 645 G1
Radeon HD 8450G, A6-5350M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
1.34 Points ∼2% -55%
HP ProBook 640 G1 H5G66ET
HD Graphics 4600, 4200M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
3.24 Points ∼5% +8%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450-20BV001VGE
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP
2.85 Points ∼4% -5%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS03F00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
3.31 Points ∼5% +10%
Toshiba Tecra Z40 A-147
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
2.49 Points ∼3% -17%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad L450 20DS0001GE
HD Graphics 5500, 5300U, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
4360 Points ∼62%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
HD Graphics 4600, 4210M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
4585 Points ∼65% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
HD Graphics 4600, 4300M, Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2BW180A3L
4726 Points ∼67% +8%
HP Probook 645 G1
Radeon HD 8450G, A6-5350M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
2563 Points ∼36% -41%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450-20BV001VGE
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP
4069 Points ∼58% -7%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS03F00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
4921 Points ∼70% +13%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad L450 20DS0001GE
HD Graphics 5500, 5300U, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
9284 Points ∼27%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
HD Graphics 4600, 4210M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
10144 Points ∼29% +9%
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
HD Graphics 4600, 4300M, Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2BW180A3L
10709 Points ∼31% +15%
HP Probook 645 G1
Radeon HD 8450G, A6-5350M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
3903 Points ∼11% -58%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450-20BV001VGE
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP
8700 Points ∼25% -6%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS03F00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
10435 Points ∼30% +12%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad L450 20DS0001GE
HD Graphics 5500, 5300U, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
5214 Points ∼32%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450-20BV001VGE
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP
5016 Points ∼31% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS03F00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
6357 Points ∼39% +22%
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad L450 20DS0001GE
HD Graphics 5500, 5300U, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
2607 Points ∼56%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450-20BV001VGE
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP
2499 Points ∼54% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS03F00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
3004 Points ∼64% +15%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad L450 20DS0001GE
HD Graphics 5500, 5300U, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15 (IE 11)
114.3 ms * ∼3%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
HD Graphics 4600, 4210M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
164.7 ms * ∼4% -44%
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
HD Graphics 4600, 4300M, Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2BW180A3L
87.1 ms * ∼2% +24%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450-20BV001VGE
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP (IE 11)
122 ms * ∼3% -7%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS03F00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
86.8 ms * ∼2% +24%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad L450 20DS0001GE
HD Graphics 5500, 5300U, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15 (IE 11)
2404.8 ms * ∼4%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
HD Graphics 4600, 4210M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
1320.4 ms * ∼2% +45%
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
HD Graphics 4600, 4300M, Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2BW180A3L
2233 ms * ∼4% +7%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450-20BV001VGE
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP (IE 11)
2583 ms * ∼4% -7%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS03F00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
2074.3 ms * ∼3% +14%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad L450 20DS0001GE
HD Graphics 5500, 5300U, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15 (IE 11)
13315 Points ∼29%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
HD Graphics 4600, 4210M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
26941 Points ∼60% +102%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450-20BV001VGE
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP (IE 11)
13106 Points ∼29% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS03F00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
15845 Points ∼35% +19%
Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad L450 20DS0001GE
HD Graphics 5500, 5300U, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15 (IE 11)
2585 Points ∼42%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450-20BV001VGE
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP (IE 11)
2465 Points ∼40% -5%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS03F00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
2958 Points ∼48% +14%

* ... smaller is better

System Performance

Our notebook perfromed well without any lags or stutters; we didn't encounter any issues during the entire review period. The results of the PCMark benchmark test are good as well, although the overall system performance could be much better - for example, if the conventional hard drive was swapped out for an SSD. Responsiveness would subsequently increase and Windows would boot faster as well. Another option is the addition of a second RAM module, which would allow the RAM to run in dual-channel mode. The GPU would benefit here and respond with better graphics performance.

PCMark 7 Score
2753 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
2708 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
2938 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
3704 points
Help
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad L450 20DS0001GE
HD Graphics 5500, 5300U, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
2708 Points ∼48%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
HD Graphics 4600, 4210M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2521 Points ∼44% -7%
Dell Latitude 14 E5450
HD Graphics 4400, 4310U, Lite-On LCS-128L9S
2824 Points ∼50% +4%
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
HD Graphics 4600, 4300M, Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2BW180A3L
2590 Points ∼46% -4%
HP Probook 645 G1
Radeon HD 8450G, A6-5350M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
2230 Points ∼39% -18%
HP ProBook 640 G1 H5G66ET
HD Graphics 4600, 4200M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
2452 Points ∼43% -9%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450-20BV001VGE
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP
2989 Points ∼53% +10%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS03F00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
3270 Points ∼58% +21%
Toshiba Tecra Z40 A-147
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
2810 Points ∼50% +4%
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad L450 20DS0001GE
HD Graphics 5500, 5300U, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
2753 Points ∼34%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
HD Graphics 4600, 4210M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3439 Points ∼43% +25%
Dell Latitude 14 E5450
HD Graphics 4400, 4310U, Lite-On LCS-128L9S
3469 Points ∼43% +26%
HP Probook 645 G1
Radeon HD 8450G, A6-5350M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
1908 Points ∼24% -31%
HP ProBook 640 G1 H5G66ET
HD Graphics 4600, 4200M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
2888 Points ∼36% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450-20BV001VGE
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP
4241 Points ∼53% +54%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS03F00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
4797 Points ∼60% +74%
Toshiba Tecra Z40 A-147
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
4126 Points ∼51% +50%

Storage Devices

The Thinkpad comes with a 500 GB, 7200 RPM hard drive from Seagate. Hard drives in this particular speed class are primarily found in business notebooks - if they are used at all nowadays. CrystalDiskMark reports a read speed of 119.2 MB/s and HD Tune an average transfer rate of 102.9 MB/s. Both values are within the normal range for 7200 RPM hard drives.

The Thinkpad is equipped with a 2.5-inch hard drive.
The Thinkpad is equipped with a 2.5-inch hard drive.
Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
Transfer Rate Minimum: 44.7 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 138.2 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 102.9 MB/s
Access Time: 17.1 ms
Burst Rate: 127 MB/s

GPU Performance

The L450 does not come with a dedicated GPU and relies on the integrated Intel HD Graphics 5500 instead. The graphics card supports DirectX 11.2 and operates at up to 900 MHz. The results of the 3DMark benchmark test are as expected. As we mentioned earlier, the addition of a second RAM module (dual-channel mode active) improves the graphics performance. In our case, the score of the 3DMark 2011 benchmark increased to 1130 points.

3DMark 11 Performance
910 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
32331 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
4322 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
541 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad L450 20DS0001GE
HD Graphics 5500, 5300U, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
910 Points ∼4%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
HD Graphics 4600, 4210M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
838 Points ∼3% -8%
Dell Latitude 14 E5450
HD Graphics 4400, 4310U, Lite-On LCS-128L9S
990 Points ∼4% +9%
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
HD Graphics 4600, 4300M, Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2BW180A3L
853 Points ∼3% -6%
HP Probook 645 G1
Radeon HD 8450G, A6-5350M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
789 Points ∼3% -13%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450-20BV001VGE
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP
976 Points ∼4% +7%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS03F00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
1251 Points ∼5% +37%
Toshiba Tecra Z40 A-147
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
782 Points ∼3% -14%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad L450 20DS0001GE
HD Graphics 5500, 5300U, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
541 Points ∼2%
Dell Latitude 14 E5450
HD Graphics 4400, 4310U, Lite-On LCS-128L9S
564 Points ∼2% +4%
HP Probook 645 G1
Radeon HD 8450G, A6-5350M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
420 Points ∼2% -22%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450-20BV001VGE
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP
597 Points ∼3% +10%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS03F00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
753 Points ∼3% +39%
Toshiba Tecra Z40 A-147
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
500 Points ∼2% -8%
1280x720 Sky Diver Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad L450 20DS0001GE
HD Graphics 5500, 5300U, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
2304 Points ∼6%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad L450 20DS0001GE
HD Graphics 5500, 5300U, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
4322 Points ∼12%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
HD Graphics 4600, 4210M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
4396 Points ∼13% +2%
Dell Latitude 14 E5450
HD Graphics 4400, 4310U, Lite-On LCS-128L9S
4358 Points ∼12% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
HD Graphics 4600, 4300M, Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2BW180A3L
4325 Points ∼12% 0%
HP Probook 645 G1
Radeon HD 8450G, A6-5350M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
2337 Points ∼7% -46%
HP ProBook 640 G1 H5G66ET
HD Graphics 4600, 4200M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
4429 Points ∼13% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450-20BV001VGE
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP
4544 Points ∼13% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS03F00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
5782 Points ∼16% +34%
Toshiba Tecra Z40 A-147
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
3789 Points ∼11% -12%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad L450 20DS0001GE
HD Graphics 5500, 5300U, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
32331 Points ∼16%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
HD Graphics 4600, 4210M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
34337 Points ∼17% +6%
Dell Latitude 14 E5450
HD Graphics 4400, 4310U, Lite-On LCS-128L9S
41270 Points ∼21% +28%
HP Probook 645 G1
Radeon HD 8450G, A6-5350M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
32882 Points ∼17% +2%
HP ProBook 640 G1 H5G66ET
HD Graphics 4600, 4200M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
30913 Points ∼16% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450-20BV001VGE
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP
39908 Points ∼20% +23%
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS03F00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
55793 Points ∼28% +73%
Toshiba Tecra Z40 A-147
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
28516 Points ∼14% -12%

Gaming Performance

At best, the Thinkpad is suitable for occasional gaming, provided the user picks games which have very low demands on the hardware. Full-HD resolution is usually out of the question: in most cases, HD resolution (1366 x 768 pixels) and low to medium quality settings are required. With a second RAM module (dual-channel mode) installed, the frame rates increase by between 5 and 40 % depending on the game.

low med. high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 39.920.913.36.9fps
Thief (2014) 128.26.62.8fps
GRID: Autosport (2014) 6322.113.512.5fps

Emissions

System Noise

During idle, the fan of the Thinkpad normally doesn't spin at all. The notebook is still audible though because of the noise the spinning hard drive makes and the clicks when data is being accessed. A solid state drive would remedy this situation. Under load, the fan remains well-controlled with a maximum loudness of 34.3 dB. The fan operates at a constant speed and emits a steady whooshing sound.

The fan remains quiet most of the time.
The fan remains quiet most of the time.

Noise Level

Idle
30.8 / 30.8 / 30.8 dB(A)
HDD
31.2 dB(A)
Load
34.3 / 34.3 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Voltcraft sl-451 (15 cm distance)
Lenovo Thinkpad L450
5500/5300U
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
4600/4210M
Dell Latitude 14 E5450
4400/4310U
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
4600/4300M
HP Probook 645 G1
8450G/A6-5350M
HP ProBook 640 G1 H5G66ET
4600/4200M
Lenovo ThinkPad T450-20BV001VGE
5500/5200U
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS03F00
5500/5600U
Noise
-6%
6%
-6%
-9%
-8%
2%
3%
Idle Minimum *
30.8
30.3
2%
28.6
7%
30
3%
31.6
-3%
32
-4%
29.2
5%
29.1
6%
Idle Average *
30.8
30.3
2%
28.6
7%
30
3%
31.6
-3%
32
-4%
29.2
5%
29.1
6%
Idle Maximum *
30.8
32.5
-6%
28.6
7%
36.2
-18%
34.9
-13%
32.2
-5%
29.2
5%
29.1
6%
Load Average *
34.3
36.2
-6%
33
4%
36.8
-7%
36.9
-8%
38.1
-11%
34.9
-2%
34.3
-0%
Load Maximum *
34.3
41.5
-21%
33.3
3%
38.8
-13%
40.2
-17%
39.8
-16%
35.1
-2%
34.8
-1%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

The Thinkpad during stress test
The Thinkpad during stress test

The Thinkpad handles the stress test (Prime95 and Furmark running in parallel for at least one hour) the same way no matter if it is plugged in or running on battery. The CPU maintains full Turbo speed only during the first minute, after which throttling occurs and the frequency drops to around 1.5 to 1.7 GHz. The GPU operates between 750 and 850 MHz. The notebook doesn't get very warm and even during the stress test, all measured points on the chassis remained under 40 degrees C.

Max. Load
 33.9 °C30.4 °C27.3 °C 
 36.9 °C32.3 °C27.9 °C 
 32 °C34.3 °C30.1 °C 
Maximum: 36.9 °C
Average: 31.7 °C
25.5 °C30.4 °C32.1 °C
27.5 °C39.6 °C36.5 °C
31.6 °C36.1 °C30.4 °C
Maximum: 39.6 °C
Average: 32.2 °C
Power Supply (max.)  46.4 °C | Room Temperature 20.8 °C | Fluke 62 Max
Lenovo Thinkpad L450
5500/5300U
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
4600/4210M
Dell Latitude 14 E5450
4400/4310U
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
4600/4300M
HP Probook 645 G1
8450G/A6-5350M
HP ProBook 640 G1 H5G66ET
4600/4200M
Lenovo ThinkPad T450-20BV001VGE
5500/5200U
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS03F00
5500/5600U
Heat
5%
-11%
3%
-17%
-4%
-6%
7%
Maximum Upper Side *
36.9
32.6
12%
44
-19%
36.5
1%
36
2%
34.8
6%
35.8
3%
35.1
5%
Maximum Bottom *
39.6
34.6
13%
41.5
-5%
36.8
7%
52.1
-32%
47.8
-21%
47
-19%
36.6
8%
Idle Upper Side *
28.7
28.7
-0%
32.5
-13%
28.8
-0%
31.5
-10%
29.2
-2%
30.3
-6%
26.4
8%
Idle Bottom *
30.1
31.6
-5%
31.6
-5%
28.7
5%
37.8
-26%
30
-0%
31
-3%
28
7%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

The stereo speakers are located on the bottom. A listening session reveals quickly that this is a business and not a multimedia notebook, as the speakers sound rather tinny and lack bass. The maximum volume level is quite decent, however.

Discussion

Energy Management

Power Consumption

During idle, the Thinkpad consumes less than 10 watts, which was also true for the predecessor Thinkpad L440 equipped with a standard mobile processor. Under load, the power consumption increased to 42.4 watts. We measured this maximum only during the first minute of the stress test, as aggressive throttling causes the value to drop to 30.8 watts afterwards. The power adapter has a nominal output of 45 watts.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 3.4 / 6.1 / 7 Watt
Load midlight 29 / 42.4 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Extech Power Analyzer 380803
Lenovo Thinkpad L450
5500/5300U
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
4600/4210M
Dell Latitude 14 E5450
4400/4310U
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
4600/4300M
HP Probook 645 G1
8450G/A6-5350M
HP ProBook 640 G1 H5G66ET
4600/4200M
Lenovo ThinkPad T450-20BV001VGE
5500/5200U
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS03F00
5500/5600U
Power Consumption
-44%
-20%
-29%
-67%
-32%
7%
-5%
Idle Minimum *
3.4
5.4
-59%
4.5
-32%
3.9
-15%
8.4
-147%
5.4
-59%
3
12%
2.9
15%
Idle Average *
6.1
9.3
-52%
8.4
-38%
7.7
-26%
10.5
-72%
7.9
-30%
5.5
10%
6.6
-8%
Idle Maximum *
7
10.2
-46%
9.6
-37%
8.5
-21%
11.5
-64%
8
-14%
6.4
9%
7.9
-13%
Load Average *
29
41
-41%
33.4
-15%
46.5
-60%
40.3
-39%
39
-34%
28.4
2%
30.8
-6%
Load Maximum *
42.4
52.4
-24%
33.7
21%
52.2
-23%
47.8
-13%
52.5
-24%
40.7
4%
48.8
-15%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

In idle-mode, the battery of the Thinkpad lasts for 13 hours and 18 minutes. The Dell Latitude 14 E5450 (13 hours 14 minutes) and the Fujitsu Lifebook E544 (12 hours 51 minutes) post comparable run times. We use the Battery Eater Reader's Test with the display brightness turned all the way down, the power saver profile active and the wireless modules turned off. Under load, the Thinkpad quite after 1 hour 37 minutes. The Lifebook (1 hour 35 minutes) is dead even; the Latitude (2 hours 12 minutes) lasts longer. To evaluate the minimum run time, we use the Battery Eater Classic Test. Here, the display brightness is set to its maximum, the high performance profile is active and all wireless modules are turned on.  

When we ran the practically relevant WLAN test, the L450 had to be plugged in again after 4 hours and 48 minutes - a run time right between the Latitude (6 hours 23 minutes) and the Lifebook (4 hours 22 minutes). This test makes use of a script which calls up a new web page every 40 seconds. The balanced profile is active and the display brightness is set to about 150 nits. To test the longevity during video playback, we run the short film Big Buck Bunny (H.264 codec, 1920 x 1080 pixels) in a loop. The wireless modules are turned off and the display brightness is set to roughly 150 nits. The Thinkpad managed to last 4 hours and 24 minutes. We can't compare the results to others, since we didn't run this test when we reviewed the competitors.

The battery life of the Thinkpad is somewhat disappointing. Only during idle, the more frugal processor manages to outperform the CPU installed in the predecessor - during the more relevant WLAN test, both models perform more or less the same. The reason is the lower battery capacity of the L450 (48 Wh) vs. the L440 (57 Wh). Lenovo does sell a battery with larger capacity (72 Wh) for about 75 Euro (~$81).

The battery has a capacity of 48 Wh.
The battery has a capacity of 48 Wh.
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
13h 18min
WiFi Surfing v1.3 (IE 11)
4h 48min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
4h 24min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 37min
Lenovo Thinkpad L450
5500/5300U
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
4600/4210M
Dell Latitude 14 E5450
4400/4310U
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
4600/4300M
HP Probook 645 G1
8450G/A6-5350M
HP ProBook 640 G1 H5G66ET
4600/4200M
Lenovo ThinkPad T450-20BV001VGE
5500/5200U
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS03F00
5500/5600U
Battery Runtime
-3%
18%
-26%
-20%
-8%
10%
2%
Reader / Idle
798
771
-3%
794
-1%
594
-26%
568
-29%
615
-23%
935
17%
774
-3%
Load
97
95
-2%
132
36%
86
-11%
87
-10%
93
-4%
88
-9%
WiFi
262
383
292
289
283
336
WiFi v1.3
288
324
13%
276
-4%
H.264
264
290
10%
300
14%
322
22%

Pro

+ Matte IPS display
+ Quiet
+ Doesn't get warm
+ Slot for a 3G/LTE modem
+ Outstanding input devices

Cons

- Dark display
- No maintenance cover
- Only comes with a 12-month warranty

Verdict

The Lenovo Thinkpad L450. Test model courtesy of notebooksandmore.de
The Lenovo Thinkpad L450. Test model courtesy of notebooksandmore.de

Lenovo's Thinkpad L450 is a purpose-designed, medium-priced 14-inch business notebook. The processor has more than enough power to handle the average daily task load. The notebook doesn't get hot and stays very quiet. When the hard drive is swapped out for an SSD, the system remains inaudible most of the time. The Full-HD display uses IPS technology and the viewing angles are very good as a result. The contrast is very good but the screen doesn't get bright enough.

The notebook isn't easy to maintain or upgrade, since there is no maintenance hatch and the entire bottom panel has to be removed. When doing so, it's easy to damage the small clips holding the panel in place. Other manufacturers have better solutions. The battery life is also disappointing - especially during the practically relevant WLAN test: a business notebook with ULV processor needs to do better. Another point of criticism is the fact that Lenovo only covers the notebook for 12 months against defects. Given the price point, we'd expect at least two years. The other manufacturers are equally stingy, however.

The Lenovo's Thinkpad L450 isn't really a major step forward.

The new notebook is a little slimmer and lighter than its predecessor and now lacks an optical drive. The biggest change is the choice of the processor: while the L440 was equipped with a standard mobile processor, Lenovo now uses a ULV CPU. The more frugal CPU doesn't bring major advantages. The fan doesn't have to work as hard and is therefore not as loud as the one installed in the predecessor - but we wouldn't call the predecessor noisy, either. The power consumption has only improved marginally. Even though the L450 lasts quite a bit longer in idle mode, there's no real difference during the practically relevant WLAN test. The reason: the standard battery doesn't have as much capacity as the one the L440 ships with.

Lenovo Thinkpad L450 20DS0001GE - 04/11/2015 v4(old)
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
79 / 98 → 81%
Keyboard
94%
Pointing Device
85%
Connectivity
73 / 81 → 90%
Weight
63 / 67 → 91%
Battery
85%
Display
82%
Games Performance
55 / 68 → 81%
Application Performance
76 / 92 → 83%
Temperature
91%
Noise
92%
Audio
63%
Camera
53 / 85 → 62%
Average
76%
84%
Office - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo ThinkPad L450 Notebook Review
Sascha Mölck, 2015-04-21 (Update: 2015-04-21)