Notebookcheck

Lenovo ThinkPad 25 Anniversary Edition Laptop Review

Retro rewind. What's old is new again in this special anniversary ThinkPad that throws out the AccuType keyboard in favor of the classic layout and design. Outside of the new keyboard, there isn't anything particularly new about the ThinkPad 25 that we haven't already covered on the ThinkPad T470.

2017 ThinkPad 25 next to a 1:1 replica of the 1992 ThinkPad 700C
2017 ThinkPad 25 next to a 1:1 replica of the 1992 ThinkPad 700C

Stirring up nostalgia is a proven way to drive sales if the recent Nintendo Classic consoles are of any indication. In celebration of the ThinkPad's 25th anniversary, Lenovo has repackaged the standard ThinkPad T470 with the classic 7-row ThinkPad keyboard of old and relabeled it as the new ThinkPad 25. This "retro-style" ThinkPad had been rumored for over two years and it is now finally available in limited quantities directly from Lenovo for $1900 USD. The manufacturer has informed us that this is the only planned configuration; what you see here is what you will get.

Beyond the keyboard and packaging changes, however, the ThinkPad 25 utilizes the same chassis as the T470 released earlier this year. It is, in essence, a T470 with the AccuType keyboard swapped out for a traditional ThinkPad T420 keyboard and with new rubberized coating on the lid and palm rests. There has been some internal updates since the last time we checked out the T470 including the CPU (i5-7200U to i7-7500U), GPU (HD Graphics 620 to GeForce 940MX), and RAM (8 GB DDR4 to 16 GB DDR4), but we recommend reading up on our existing review of the T470 for more information on the chassis and connectivity features since both are nearly identical.

In this review, we'll be focusing on the performance of the ThinkPad 25 and the advantages and disadvantages it carries over the standard T470.

Lenovo ThinkPad 25 (ThinkPad Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX - 2048 MB, Core: 1082 MHz, Memory: 5010 MHz, 385.69, Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, PC4-19200 DDR4-2400 SDRAM, Single-Channel
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel 157 PPI, 10-point capacitive, ID: LEN40A9, Name: R140NWF5 R1, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U Premium PCH
Storage
Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e, 512 GB 
Soundcard
Intel Kaby Lake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo, Card Reader: 4-in-1 SD reader, 1 Fingerprint Reader, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Intel Ethernet Connection I219-V (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1, Qualcomm Sierra EM7455, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 19.95 x 336.6 x 232.5 ( = 0.79 x 13.25 x 9.15 in)
Battery
48 Wh Lithium-Polymer, removeable, Internal 24 Wh + removable 24 Wh
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Additional features
Speakers: 2 x 2 W stereo, Keyboard: Beveled, Keyboard Light: yes, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.73 kg ( = 61.02 oz / 3.81 pounds), Power Supply: 365 g ( = 12.88 oz / 0.8 pounds)

 

Case

ThinkPad veterans hoping for a new chassis design inspired by the weighty roll-cage skeleton of old IBM ThinkPads will likely be disappointed with the ThinkPad 25. As mentioned above, the ThinkPad 25 exhibits the same pros and cons as the T470 in regards to rigidity and quality. Users can consequently expect a dense and very stable impression even if the build is not quite as firm as aluminum unibody notebooks. The glass fiber-reinforced and MIL-STD 810G-certified plastic case certainly feels classier now that its surfaces have a slight rubberized texture, but fingerprints and grease will accumulate more quickly as a result.

While base stability is still respectable, the lid could use improvement in future ThinkPad redesigns as it is more flexible when compared to the lids of the XPS or Spectre x360 series. Creaking is otherwise kept to a minimum when attempting to twist the unit and the small hinges are sufficiently firm up to the 180-degree maximum.

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The dimensions are unsurprisingly the same as on the T470. The competing Samsung Notebook 9 is smaller and significantly lighter while offering a larger 15-inch display with similar internal specifications, but it is nowhere near as rigid as the ThinkPad 25. The T470s is still a relevant alternative to the ThinkPad 25 since it is the lighter and thinner version of the standard T470.

Other than a few superficial changes, this is still a ThinkPad T470
Other than a few superficial changes, this is still a ThinkPad T470
Classic ThinkPad colors adorn the logo
Classic ThinkPad colors adorn the logo

Connectivity

All ports from the T470 have returned with the odd omission of the SmartCard reader on our test unit. The Thunderbolt 3 and dedicated docking ports are fortunately unscathed for compatibility with both future and legacy docking stations, respectively. A VGA port like on the HP ProBook 440 would have been a nice callback to the classic ThinkPad series, but port positioning is already quite tight as it is.

Front: No connectivity
Front: No connectivity
Right: 3.5 mm combo audio, 2x USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4, Gigabit Ethernet, SD reader, Kensington Lock
Right: 3.5 mm combo audio, 2x USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4, Gigabit Ethernet, SD reader, Kensington Lock
Rear: No connectivity (battery compartment w/ micro-SIM)
Rear: No connectivity (battery compartment w/ micro-SIM)
Left: AC adapter, USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Type-C + Thunderbolt 3
Left: AC adapter, USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Type-C + Thunderbolt 3

SD Card Reader

The integrated spring-loaded card reader returns average transfer rates of about 86 MB/s with our Toshiba UHS-II SDXC test card. Transferring 1 GB worth of images from the card to desktop will take about 13 seconds compared to 8 seconds on the XPS 15.

A fully inserted SD card sits flush against the edge of the notebook for safe transporting. On the flip side, ejecting the card can be a challenge for larger fingers.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
120.5 MB/s ∼100% +55%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
77.58 MB/s ∼64%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HF0012US
73.67 MB/s ∼61% -5%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
252.6 MB/s ∼100% +193%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HF0012US
91.23 MB/s ∼36% +6%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
86.33 MB/s ∼34%

Communication

WLAN and Bluetooth 4.2 are provided by a 2x2 Intel 8265 M.2 2230 module whilst the Qualcomm Sierra EM7455 M.2 4230 module provides Cat-6 WAN speeds of up to 300 Mbps with GNSS tracking. We are able to measure a real-world WLAN transfer rate of 659 Mbps when standing one meter away from our Linksys EA8500 router and 4G cellular data works effortlessly after inserting a T-Mobile Micro-SIM card and logging into the network.

Micro-SIM slot is tucked underneath the secondary battery compartment
Micro-SIM slot is tucked underneath the secondary battery compartment
Both WLAN and WAN cards are easily accessible and replaceable
Both WLAN and WAN cards are easily accessible and replaceable
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
659 MBit/s ∼100%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
648 MBit/s ∼98% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HF0012US
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
634 MBit/s ∼96% -4%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
529 MBit/s ∼100% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
529 MBit/s ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HF0012US
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
495 MBit/s ∼94% -6%

Security

TPM, fingerprint reader, and Windows Hello are all included on our test unit. We experienced no login issues or long delays after setting up the fingerprint, facial recognition, and password via Windows 10 sign-in options.

Fingerprint reader adjacent to iconic Blue Enter key
Fingerprint reader adjacent to iconic Blue Enter key
Windows Hello + fixed-focus 720p webcam
Windows Hello + fixed-focus 720p webcam

Accessories

The anniversary system ships in a different box than the standard T470 and with different accessories as well. A small booklet reminisces about the design philosophy and qualities that have made the ThinkPad series unique from day one. Additionally, three extra TrackPoint nubs are included with different textures and shapes on each. Lastly, the AC adapter is now a Thunderbolt 3 charger instead of the usual proprietary AC charger that shipped with the T470. While the proprietary charging port remains for compatibility reasons, we see this as a transition period where future ThinkPad models could omit the charging port entirely in favor of Thunderbolt 3 only.

The same optional accessories that take advantage of the docking port underneath the T470 are also compatible with the ThinkPad 25. This is an uncommon case of a Thinkpad that integrates both Thunderbolt 3 and proprietary docking for a very wide range of compatible solutions.

"Bento box" style packaging
"Bento box" style packaging
"Cat's tongue", "Crescent moon", and "soft dome" textured TrackPoint nubs
"Cat's tongue", "Crescent moon", and "soft dome" textured TrackPoint nubs
Short 36-page booklet written by Lenovo Chief Design Officer David Hill
Short 36-page booklet written by Lenovo Chief Design Officer David Hill

Maintenance

Servicing requires the removal of six screws from the underside of the unit. The panel is latched very tightly around its corners and edges and we recommend using a sharp edge to pry it open safely. As expected, the internals are essentially identical to our T470 save for the slightly larger cooling solution in order to accommodate the discrete Nvidia GPU. Users have direct access to both SODIMM slots, WLAN and WAN cards, and the M.2 slot within the 2.5-inch SATA caddy.

ThinkPad 25
ThinkPad 25
ThinkPad T470
ThinkPad T470

Warranty

The base one-year limited warranty applies. Lenovo offers one of the most comprehensive warranty options should users wish to extend coverage up to five years with onsite service, accidental damage protection, and data protection.

Input Devices

Keyboard

The classic 7-row keyboard layout is the major selling point of this anniversary model. Should Lenovo completely miss the ball on this retro keyboard, then the entire purpose of the ThinkPad 25 would have been moot. Thankfully, we can comfortably say that the keyboard works wonderfully and feels great to use. Feedback is tight and dare we say firmer than on the newer AccuType keyboards on modern ThinkPads. The enlarged Esc and Delete keys are also a boon since they are easier to reach and not as soft as on the T470. It definitely feels like the keyboard on the 6-year old T420 in the best way possible.

The main drawback is that the smaller Function keys, Volume keys, and Arrow keys are softer in feedback than the larger QWERTY keys. Clatter is definitely louder compared to the AccuType layout as well, though this is the price to pay for a firmer stroke. Additionally, the beveled style can feel more cramped since there is no space separating each key unlike on the more popular chiclet style. Finally, any ThinkLight fans will be upset to know that the feature has been omitted in favor of the modern keyboard backlight.

Touchpad

The Precision Trackpad on the ThinkPad 25 is actually slightly shorter than on the T470 (10.0 x 5.5 cm vs. 10.0 x 7.0 cm) because the chassis must accommodate for the slightly taller keyboard. Its surface is lightly rubberized in texture and is smaller in area than the ones on the XPS 15 (10.5 x 8.5 cm) and ProBook 440 (11.0 cm x 6.5 cm) due to its large dedicated mouse keys. While cursor control is smooth and without issues, clicking on the trackpad or mouse keys feels very spongy and without much feedback in contrast to what we experienced on the T470. Clatter is very soft and quiet as a result, but firmer feedback would have been appreciated.

Classic ThinkPad beveled layout
Classic ThinkPad beveled layout
Two levels of keyboard backlight brightness
Two levels of keyboard backlight brightness
The plastic keys are firm with moderately loud clatter
The plastic keys are firm with moderately loud clatter
Trackpad is shorter and softer than the one on the T470
Trackpad is shorter and softer than the one on the T470

Display

The system utilizes the exact same LEN40A9 IPS matte touchscreen as the one found on our T470s and thus provides a nearly identical viewing experience. Contrast, colors, and response times are also quite similar between them. One notable difference, however, could be the display backlight of the ThinkPad 25. Average brightness is dimmer at about 227 nits on our unit compared to 264 nits and 287 nits on the T470s and T470, respectively, even after double-checking. Additionally, pulse-width modulation is now present on all brightness levels up to 99 percent whereas it was absent on our T470 unit. We're not exactly sure why this difference exists between the ThinkPad 25 and T470, but users sensitive to onscreen flickering may want to avoid the ThinkPad 25 and just opt for the T470 instead.

Subjectively, the 1080p screen is crisp and without any distracting color grains that are common on most matte panels versus those with glossy overlays. On the flip side, the lack of any glass protection makes the display feel more fragile for touchscreen use. Very slight backlight bleeding is present near the top and bottom edges that is essentially unnoticeable in practice. 

Minimal uneven backlight bleeding on the bottom right corner
Minimal uneven backlight bleeding on the bottom right corner
RGB subpixel array (157 PPI)
RGB subpixel array (157 PPI)
239.9
cd/m²
237.9
cd/m²
236.7
cd/m²
231.4
cd/m²
240.1
cd/m²
224.7
cd/m²
202.8
cd/m²
229
cd/m²
203.3
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Basic Pro 2
Maximum: 240.1 cd/m² Average: 227.3 cd/m² Minimum: 2.42 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 84 %
Center on Battery: 240.1 cd/m²
Contrast: 1091:1 (Black: 0.22 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.3 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 3.3 | - Ø
63% sRGB (Argyll) 40.6% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.26
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
ID: LEN40A9, Name: R140NWF5 R1, IPS, 14, 1920x1080
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HF0012US
LEN40A9 (R140NWF5 R1), IPS, 14, 1920x1080
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
N140HCA-EAB, IPS, 14, 1920x1080
Lenovo ThinkPad T470p-20J7S00000
LEN40AA, B140QAN01.5, IPS, 14, 2560x1440
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
APPA033, IPS, 13.3, 2560x1600
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
ID: BOE06E8, Name: BOE HF NV150FHB-N31, IPS, 15, 1920x1080
Response Times
-15%
10%
7%
15%
-18%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
45.6 (18, 27.6)
40.8 (22.8, 18)
11%
41.6 (20.4, 21.2)
9%
52.8 (19.6, 33.2)
-16%
42.8 (22.4, 20.4)
6%
40.8 (20.4, 20.4)
11%
Response Time Black / White *
37.6 (22, 15.6)
28.8 (14.8, 14)
23%
34 (9.6, 24.4)
10%
26.8 (6.4, 20.4)
29%
28.8 (14.8, 14)
23%
32.4 (17.6, 14.8)
14%
PWM Frequency
1000 (99)
219.3 (99)
-78%
208.3 (99)
-79%
Screen
1%
-11%
-10%
42%
27%
Brightness
227
264
16%
287
26%
266
17%
561
147%
524
131%
Brightness Distribution
84
88
5%
88
5%
87
4%
92
10%
88
5%
Black Level *
0.22
0.24
-9%
0.3
-36%
0.25
-14%
0.45
-105%
0.49
-123%
Contrast
1091
1132
4%
1020
-7%
1084
-1%
1307
20%
1154
6%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6.3
6.1
3%
6.2
2%
6.68
-6%
1.7
73%
2
68%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.3
3.4
-3%
5.8
-76%
9.21
-179%
1.9
42%
2.5
24%
Gamma
2.26 106%
2.12 113%
2.04 118%
2.42 99%
2.33 103%
2.21 109%
CCT
6081 107%
6077 107%
6277 104%
6018 108%
6738 96%
6896 94%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
40.6
38
-6%
39.62
-2%
61.49
51%
77.92
92%
61.2
51%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
63
60
-5%
61.44
-2%
94.72
50%
99.94
59%
97.5
55%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-7% / -4%
-1% / -7%
-2% / -7%
29% / 37%
5% / 15%

* ... smaller is better

Color space is nearly identical to our T470 at about 63 percent and 41 percent of the sRGB and AdobeRGB standards, respectively. While sufficient for web browsing, presentations, and word processing, most Ultrabooks and competing business notebooks have much wider gamuts for potentially deeper colors. Users who want >95 percent sRGB coverage ought to consider the T470p or MacBook Pro 13 instead.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. ThinkPad T470
vs. ThinkPad T470

Further measurements with an X-Rite spectrophotometer reveal generally accurate grayscale and RGB balance out of the box. Our calibration efforts improve both with a final average grayscale DeltaE of only 1, but colors do not really improve due to the narrow gamut of the panel becoming a limiting factor. Blue colors in particular are reproduced less accurately compared to others.

Grayscale before calibration
Grayscale before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
37.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 22 ms rise
↘ 15.6 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 93 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (26.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
45.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18 ms rise
↘ 27.6 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 69 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (42.4 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 1000 Hz99 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 1000 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 99 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 1000 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 54 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8499 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Outdoor visibility is average at best owing to the dimmer backlight. We recommend working under shade as sunlight will wash out colors and make viewing uncomfortable. If outdoor usability is a concern, then alternatives like the MacBook Pro 13 and Samsung Notebook 9 are equipped with significantly brighter backlights.

Viewing angles are excellent as expected from an IPS display. Extreme angles can cause apparent contrast and colors to turn slightly purple, but this shouldn't be an issue during normal use.

Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under direct sunlight
Outdoors under direct sunlight
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Performance

The ULV U-class CPU and GeForce 940MX GPU are not an uncommon pair on business and consumer notebooks. Recent systems like the Huawei Matebook D, HP Spectre x360 15, and Samsung Notebook 9 are all shipping with similar core specifications. Even though performance is an upgrade from our previous T470 equipped with the i5-7200U CPU and integrated HD Graphics 620 GPU, there's no denying that Lenovo may have just barely missed the boat on 8th gen Kaby Lake-R and the MX150 GPU now that the Yoga 920, XPS 13, Spectre 13, and more are coming soon with the next generation Intel hardware.

Our test unit houses a single 16 GB DDR4 RAM module in a single-channel configuration. Optimus is included for graphics switching between the integrated HD Graphics 620 GPU and the discrete 940 MX. Luckily, the Nvidia GPU here utilizes GDDR5 VRAM instead of the noticeably slower DDR3 variant as found on the Zenbook UX310UQ or Samsung Notebook 9.

Processor

CPU performance is similar to other notebooks with the same i7-7500U CPU including the Matebook D. As proven many times before, the performance benefits over ULV Core i7 Skylake offerings are minimal especially in multi-threaded loads where differences are measured in single-digit percentages. Upgrading from the i5-7200U in the T470, for example, only brings a rough 15 percent boost in raw performance. Users upgrading from older Broadwell and Haswell ULV cores will see more significant performance jumps by about 30 to 60 percent depending on the CPU load. The latest Kaby Lake-R i5-8550U provides the largest gen-to-gen performance increase yet at 50 percent in multi-threaded workloads due to the doubling of cores.

Running CineBench R15 Multi-Thread in a loop results in steady scores over time to suggest no major CPU throttling issues over extended periods. Some Ultrabooks like the MateBook X must throttle CPU clock rates due to weaker cooling solutions.

See our Core i7-7500U CPU page for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R15
CineBench R15
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Acer Swift 3 Pre-Sample Intel
Intel Core i7-8550U
169 Points ∼85% +16%
Eurocom Q5
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
152 Points ∼76% +4%
Huawei MateBook D
Intel Core i7-7500U
149 Points ∼75% +2%
Toshiba Tecra X40-D
Intel Core i7-7600U
147 Points ∼74% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Core i7-7500U
146 Points ∼73%
Asus Zenbook UX310UQ-GL011T
Intel Core i7-6500U
130 Points ∼65% -11%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel Core i5-7200U
126 Points ∼63% -14%
Lenovo ThinkPad E550-20DF00CNGE
Intel Core i7-5500U
123 Points ∼62% -16%
Lenovo Y40-59423035
Intel Core i7-4500U
114 Points ∼57% -22%
Asus FX550IU-WSFX
AMD FX-9830P
93 Points ∼47% -36%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Eurocom Q5
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
738 Points ∼34% +101%
Acer Swift 3 Pre-Sample Intel
Intel Core i7-8550U
546 (min: 508) Points ∼25% +49%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Core i7-7500U
367 Points ∼17%
Toshiba Tecra X40-D
Intel Core i7-7600U
345 Points ∼16% -6%
Huawei MateBook D
Intel Core i7-7500U
343 Points ∼16% -7%
Asus Zenbook UX310UQ-GL011T
Intel Core i7-6500U
327 Points ∼15% -11%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel Core i5-7200U
326 Points ∼15% -11%
Asus FX550IU-WSFX
AMD FX-9830P
301 Points ∼14% -18%
Lenovo ThinkPad E550-20DF00CNGE
Intel Core i7-5500U
282 Points ∼13% -23%
Lenovo Y40-59423035
Intel Core i7-4500U
255 Points ∼12% -31%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Toshiba Tecra X40-D
Intel Core i7-7600U
1.85 Points ∼81% +15%
Eurocom Q5
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.73 Points ∼76% +7%
Huawei MateBook D
Intel Core i7-7500U
1.69 Points ∼74% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Core i7-7500U
1.61 Points ∼71%
Asus Zenbook UX310UQ-GL011T
Intel Core i7-6500U
1.48 Points ∼65% -8%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel Core i5-7200U
1.46 Points ∼64% -9%
Lenovo ThinkPad E550-20DF00CNGE
Intel Core i7-5500U
1.42 Points ∼63% -12%
Lenovo Y40-59423035
Intel Core i7-4500U
1.3 Points ∼57% -19%
Asus FX550IU-WSFX
AMD FX-9830P
1.1 Points ∼48% -32%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Eurocom Q5
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.14 Points ∼3% +139%
Huawei MateBook D
Intel Core i7-7500U
3.84 Points ∼2% +13%
Toshiba Tecra X40-D
Intel Core i7-7600U
3.84 Points ∼2% +13%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel Core i5-7200U
3.67 Points ∼2% +8%
Asus FX550IU-WSFX
AMD FX-9830P
3.64 Points ∼2% +7%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Core i7-7500U
3.4 Points ∼1%
Asus Zenbook UX310UQ-GL011T
Intel Core i7-6500U
3.15 Points ∼1% -7%
Lenovo ThinkPad E550-20DF00CNGE
Intel Core i7-5500U
3.13 Points ∼1% -8%
Lenovo Y40-59423035
Intel Core i7-4500U
2.74 Points ∼1% -19%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
Eurocom Q5
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
5877 Points ∼66% +5%
Huawei MateBook D
Intel Core i7-7500U
5722 Points ∼64% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Core i7-7500U
5595 Points ∼63%
Asus Zenbook UX310UQ-GL011T
Intel Core i7-6500U
4904 Points ∼55% -12%
Lenovo ThinkPad E550-20DF00CNGE
Intel Core i7-5500U
4563 Points ∼51% -18%
Asus FX550IU-WSFX
AMD FX-9830P
3033 Points ∼34% -46%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Eurocom Q5
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
21824 Points ∼44% +71%
Toshiba Tecra X40-D
Intel Core i7-7600U
15012 Points ∼30% +17%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Core i7-7500U
12799 Points ∼26%
Huawei MateBook D
Intel Core i7-7500U
12236 Points ∼25% -4%
Asus Zenbook UX310UQ-GL011T
Intel Core i7-6500U
10897 Points ∼22% -15%
Asus FX550IU-WSFX
AMD FX-9830P
9822 Points ∼20% -23%
Lenovo ThinkPad E550-20DF00CNGE
Intel Core i7-5500U
9676 Points ∼19% -24%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m
Lenovo Y40-59423035
Intel Core i7-4500U
629.89 s * ∼7% -33%
Lenovo Thinkpad T420 4236-NGG
Intel Core i7-2620M
541.684 s * ∼6% -14%
Huawei MateBook D
Intel Core i7-7500U
485.4 s * ∼6% -2%
Toshiba Tecra X40-D
Intel Core i7-7600U
479 s * ∼6% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Core i7-7500U
473.575 s * ∼6%
Asus FX550IU-WSFX
AMD FX-9830P
315.907 s * ∼4% +33%
Eurocom Q5
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
225.617 s * ∼3% +52%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - ---
Asus FX550IU-WSFX
AMD FX-9830P
870.396 Seconds * ∼4% -47%
Lenovo Y40-59423035
Intel Core i7-4500U
761.85 Seconds * ∼3% -28%
Lenovo Thinkpad T420 4236-NGG
Intel Core i7-2620M
651 Seconds * ∼3% -10%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Core i7-7500U
594.092 Seconds * ∼3%
Huawei MateBook D
Intel Core i7-7500U
582 Seconds * ∼3% +2%
Eurocom Q5
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
561.342 Seconds * ∼2% +6%
Toshiba Tecra X40-D
Intel Core i7-7600U
506.49 Seconds * ∼2% +15%

* ... smaller is better

System Performance

PCMark benchmarks rank the ThinkPad 25 within single-digit percentages of its closest competitors with similar ULV configurations. Strangely enough, the T470p is not scoring any higher even though it carries a faster HQ-class quad-core processor. We didn't experience any slowdown or software issues during our time with the test unit.

PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 10 Standard
PCMark 10 Standard
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HF0012US
HD Graphics 620, 7300U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4999 Points ∼77% +2%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4928 Points ∼76% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
4894 Points ∼75%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470p-20J7S00000
GeForce 940MX, 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4654 Points ∼71% -5%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HF0012US
HD Graphics 620, 7300U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4910 Points ∼53% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470p-20J7S00000
GeForce 940MX, 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4883 Points ∼52% +4%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4769 Points ∼51% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
4693 Points ∼50%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HF0012US
HD Graphics 620, 7300U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3987 Points ∼67% +6%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3852 Points ∼64% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
3764 Points ∼63%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470p-20J7S00000
GeForce 940MX, 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3650 Points ∼61% -3%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3764 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4693 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4894 points
Help

Storage Devices

The 2.5-inch SATA III bay utilizes the same M.2 adapter as our original T470. It can technically accept either one 2.5-inch drive or one M.2 2242/2280 SSD depending on the adapter. The ThinkPad 25 ships with a 512 GB Samsung SM961 M.2 NVMe SSD by default and so owners are stuck with M.2 drives unless if they can somehow get their hands on a proper 2.5-inch SATA adapter.

When compared to the TLC-based PM961 in the ThinkPad T470s, the MLC-based SM961 is theoretically faster with sequential read speeds approaching 3200 MB/s. CDM 5 results, however, are about half that at 1769 MB/s. This suggests that the ThinkPad 25 has not been upgraded from the PCIe x2 chipset on the T470 to support the full PCIe x4 bandwidth of the Samsung SSD. The impact on day-to-day browsing is essentially nil, but users who frequently open and save very large files may be disappointed that they aren't getting the maximum performance out of the SSD.

See our growing table of HDDs and SSDs for more benchmark comparisons.

Looks like a 2.5-inch SATA III bay from the outside...
Looks like a 2.5-inch SATA III bay from the outside...
...but houses only a single M.2 SSD on the inside
...but houses only a single M.2 SSD on the inside
AS SSD
AS SSD
CDM 5
CDM 5
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HF0012US
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Lenovo ThinkPad T470p-20J7S00000
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HR0021GE
Toshiba THNSF5256GPUK
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
AS SSD
11%
17%
-46%
7%
Copy Game MB/s
598.28
309.89
-48%
585.55
-2%
228.98
-62%
539.5
-10%
Copy Program MB/s
400.56
290.98
-27%
347.68
-13%
172.44
-57%
411.54
3%
Copy ISO MB/s
1272.23
796.53
-37%
673.12
-47%
623.18
-51%
1272.4
0%
Score Total
2811
3875
38%
3606
28%
1398
-50%
2810
0%
Score Write
837
803
-4%
1272
52%
337
-60%
1022
22%
Score Read
1317
2083
58%
1546
17%
726
-45%
1206
-8%
Access Time Write *
0.031
0.025
19%
0.024
23%
0.034
-10%
0.034
-10%
Access Time Read *
0.04
0.06
-50%
0.035
12%
0.102
-155%
0.034
15%
4K-64 Write
639.91
537.86
-16%
1007.17
57%
149.6
-77%
788.85
23%
4K-64 Read
1129.66
1764.99
56%
1344.28
19%
526.36
-53%
961.61
-15%
4K Write
113.01
147.91
31%
147.3
30%
109.43
-3%
112.15
-1%
4K Read
50.38
48.84
-3%
56.36
12%
34.34
-32%
41.34
-18%
Seq Write
839.91
1169.55
39%
1176.1
40%
775.49
-8%
1206.58
44%
Seq Read
1368.91
2690.54
97%
1455.12
6%
1649.11
20%
2026.09
48%

* ... smaller is better

GPU Performance

Moving up from the integrated HD Graphics 620 on the T470 to the GeForce 940MX in the ThinkPad 25 will bring a tangible graphics boost of 100 percent according to 3DMark 11. Heavier loads like Fire Strike see an even larger delta as the integrated GPU struggles harder against the increased demand. Of course, the increased graphics performance comes with higher power consumption as our next sections will show. Had Lenovo included the MX150 instead, graphics performance would have been about 60 percent faster than what we've recorded here on the 940MX.

Gaming performance is underwhelming as most newer titles are only playable on very low settings and at 768p. The aging 940MX struggles on modern 3D games, but older or less demanding titles like DOTA 2 will run satisfactorily.

See our review on the GeForce 940MX and dedicated GPU page for more technical information and benchmarks on the Nvidia GPU.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Ice Storm
Ice Storm
Ice Storm Unlimited
Ice Storm Unlimited
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Extreme
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Physics
Sager NP5852
NVIDIA GeForce MX150 (Laptop GT 1030), 7700HQ
10637 Points ∼47% +119%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7360U
5933 (min: 5706) Points ∼26% +22%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
5831 Points ∼26% +20%
HP ProBook 440 G4-Y8B51EA
NVIDIA GeForce 930MX, 7500U
5702 Points ∼25% +17%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
5043 Points ∼22% +4%
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
5011 Points ∼22% +3%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Iris Graphics 550, 6267U
4937 Points ∼22% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
4860 Points ∼21%
Acer Aspire E5-575G-549D
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M, 7200U
4618 Points ∼20% -5%
Dell Latitude 7285
Intel HD Graphics 615, 7Y57
4170 Points ∼18% -14%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Sager NP5852
NVIDIA GeForce MX150 (Laptop GT 1030), 7700HQ
3704 Points ∼9% +58%
Acer Aspire E5-575G-549D
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M, 7200U
3574 Points ∼9% +53%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
2340 Points ∼6%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Iris Graphics 550, 6267U
1657 Points ∼4% -29%
HP ProBook 440 G4-Y8B51EA
NVIDIA GeForce 930MX, 7500U
1621 Points ∼4% -31%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
1593 Points ∼4% -32%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7360U
1541 (min: 1484) Points ∼4% -34%
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
933 Points ∼2% -60%
Dell Latitude 7285
Intel HD Graphics 615, 7Y57
866 Points ∼2% -63%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
818 Points ∼2% -65%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Acer Aspire E5-575G-549D
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M, 7200U
22439 Points ∼14% +68%
Sager NP5852
NVIDIA GeForce MX150 (Laptop GT 1030), 7700HQ
22116 Points ∼14% +66%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
13362 Points ∼8%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Iris Graphics 550, 6267U
13172 Points ∼8% -1%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7360U
11495 (min: 10969) Points ∼7% -14%
HP ProBook 440 G4-Y8B51EA
NVIDIA GeForce 930MX, 7500U
9056 Points ∼6% -32%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
8385 Points ∼5% -37%
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
7334 Points ∼4% -45%
Dell Latitude 7285
Intel HD Graphics 615, 7Y57
6862 Points ∼4% -49%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
6824 Points ∼4% -49%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Sager NP5852
NVIDIA GeForce MX150 (Laptop GT 1030), 7700HQ
4421 Points ∼25% +49%
Acer Aspire E5-575G-549D
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M, 7200U
4113 Points ∼23% +38%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
2975 Points ∼17%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Iris Graphics 550, 6267U
2597 Points ∼15% -13%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7360U
2193 (min: 2057) Points ∼12% -26%
HP ProBook 440 G4-Y8B51EA
NVIDIA GeForce 930MX, 7500U
1858 Points ∼11% -38%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
1770 Points ∼10% -41%
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
1414 Points ∼8% -52%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
1207 Points ∼7% -59%
Dell Latitude 7285
Intel HD Graphics 615, 7Y57
1145 Points ∼7% -62%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Sager NP5852
NVIDIA GeForce MX150 (Laptop GT 1030), 7700HQ
4662 Points ∼9% +64%
Acer Aspire E5-575G-549D
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M, 7200U
4251 Points ∼8% +49%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
2849 Points ∼6%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Iris Graphics 550, 6267U
2696 Points ∼5% -5%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7360U
2379 (min: 2355) Points ∼5% -16%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
2230 Points ∼4% -22%
HP ProBook 440 G4-Y8B51EA
NVIDIA GeForce 930MX, 7500U
2206 Points ∼4% -23%
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
1510 Points ∼3% -47%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
1432 Points ∼3% -50%
Dell Latitude 7285
Intel HD Graphics 615, 7Y57
1327 Points ∼3% -53%
3DMark 11 Performance
3063 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
47070 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
8889 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
2129 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
1071 points
Help
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 126.172.161.723.9fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 45.42615.1fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 52.83016.413.3fps

Stress Test

We stress the notebook with unrealistic loads in order to identify for any potential throttling or stability issues. Running Prime95 to stress the CPU shows a steady CPU clock rate of 3.4 - 3.5 GHz or 700 - 800 MHz above the base clock rate of the i7-7500U. This is the maximum rated Turbo Boost for the CPU and it's excellent to see it run at near capacity on the ThinkPad 25. The data also correlates with our steady CineBench R15 loop scores from above, though core temperature will be very warm as a result at just under 80 C. Running both Prime95 and FurMark simultaneously will severely throttle the CPU down to just 400 MHz while the GPU operates comfortably at 1085 MHz. CPU temperature drops to just 66 C to imply that a specific temperature ceiling had been reached for the throttling to occur.

Witcher 3 stress is a more representative of real-world stress than the benchmarks used above. Both the CPU and GPU operate above their respective base clock rates and at a steady mid 70 C range each. Idling on Witcher 3 for over an hour also shows no performance drops over time as our graph below shows.

Running on battery power will not dramatically impact CPU or GPU performance. A 3DMark 11 run on batteries returns Physics and Graphics scores of 4899 and 2895 points, respectively, compared to 5073 and 2849 points when on mains.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Witcher 3 stress
Witcher 3 stress
0123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627Tooltip
The Witcher 3 medium
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 3.4 - 3.5 -- 80 --
FurMark Stress -- 941 69 73
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 0.4 1085 66 74
Witcher 3 Stress 2.8 - 3.5 1071 72 - 80 75

Emissions

System Noise

Single ~50 mm fan accompanied by two copper heat pipes
Single ~50 mm fan accompanied by two copper heat pipes

Fan behavior during low loads is essentially identical to the T470. The fan will idle if word processing, emailing, or performing light browsing. Slightly higher loads like streaming or light editing will initiate the fan to about 30 dB(A), which is still very quiet and barely noticeable in a typical office setting.

Higher loads like 3DMark06, Prime95, or Witcher 3 will all cause the fan to run at its maximum of 37.6 dB(A) to be noticeably louder than the lesser-equipped T470. Subjectively, the mid-to-high 30 dB(A) range is audible but not loud enough to be distracting during use. Many thinner Ultrabooks like the X1 Carbon can reach over 40 dB(A) when subjected to similar extreme loads.

We experienced no electronic noise or coil whine on our specific test unit.

ThinkPad 25 (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: 3DMark06, Orange: Witcher 3, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
ThinkPad 25 (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: 3DMark06, Orange: Witcher 3, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N
HP Spectre 13 v011dx
HP Spectre 13 v011dx

Noise Level

Idle
27.9 / 27.9 / 30 dB(A)
Load
37.6 / 37.6 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 27.9 dB(A)
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HF0012US
HD Graphics 620, 7300U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Lenovo ThinkPad T470p-20J7S00000
GeForce 940MX, 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7360U, Apple SSD AP0128
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Noise
-1%
-2%
-3%
4%
off / environment *
27.9
27.8
-0%
29
-4%
30.2
-8%
28
-0%
Idle Minimum *
27.9
27.8
-0%
29
-4%
30.2
-8%
28
-0%
Idle Average *
27.9
27.8
-0%
29
-4%
30.2
-8%
28
-0%
Idle Maximum *
30
27.8
7%
29
3%
30.2
-1%
29.4
2%
Load Average *
37.6
34.8
7%
35.6
5%
32.9
12%
31.4
16%
Witcher 3 ultra *
37.6
42
-12%
Load Maximum *
37.6
42
-12%
39.7
-6%
39.3
-5%
34.6
8%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Surface temperatures when idling are relatively flat on top while hot spots on the bottom are always noticeable near the heat pipes. These bottom hot spots can become as warm as 57 C when gaming or under extreme processing loads to be uncomfortable to use without a proper desk. Furthermore, the positioning of the ventilation grilles makes it very easy to obstruct airflow if using the notebook on one's lap. We don't recommend running very high loads unless if the notebook is set on a flat surface. The palm rests and keyboard temperatures are otherwise mostly even between the left- and right-hand sides of the notebook despite being quite warm at about 40 C.

Idling load (top)
Idling load (top)
Idling load (bottom)
Idling load (bottom)
Maximum load (top). Note the warm exhaust on the left edge
Maximum load (top). Note the warm exhaust on the left edge
Maximum load (bottom)
Maximum load (bottom)
Max. Load
 35 °C37.8 °C37 °C 
 43.6 °C41.4 °C41 °C 
 33.2 °C36.4 °C36.6 °C 
Maximum: 43.6 °C
Average: 38 °C
34.8 °C38 °C34.2 °C
41.6 °C57.2 °C55.6 °C
34.4 °C31.8 °C29.6 °C
Maximum: 57.2 °C
Average: 39.7 °C
Power Supply (max.)  47 °C | Room Temperature 23 °C | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer

Speakers

Stereo speakers near the front two corners of the notebook
Stereo speakers near the front two corners of the notebook

Sound quality from the 2 W stereo speakers is tinny and is more similar to the speakers of cheaper netbooks than those on multimedia notebooks. Pink noise measurements show poor bass reproduction especially at frequencies under 500 Hz. Notebooks with flatter pink curves that extend across a wider range of frequencies are better suited for music and movie playback. For conferencing purposes, however, the ThinkPad 25 is sufficient if not underwhelming since voices tend to sound higher-pitched than normal. High volume settings will not introduce any rattling or static. Headsets or external speakers are recommended for multimedia playback.

Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N
HP Spectre 13 v011dx
HP Spectre 13 v011dx
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs203637.92535.436.63135.133.64034.335.75033.234.36331.632.78031.231.910030.232.11253033.216028.837.920028.242.725027.548.431526.555.640025.961.350025.462.36302567.180024.673.610002467.7125023.866.5160023.769.5200023.363.7250023.364.631502370.4400022.962.950002368630022.964.9800022.865.21000022.964.61250022.9621600022.952.1SPL35.979.4N2.646.1median 23.8Lenovo ThinkPad 25median 63.7Delta2.17.535.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHzmedian 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Lenovo ThinkPad 25 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (73.59 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 22% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.7% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (10.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.3% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (8.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (20.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 55% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 38% worse
» The best had a delta of 11%, average was 21%, worst was 48%
Compared to all devices tested
» 46% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 47% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 1% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 9%, average was 20%, worst was 47%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency Comparison (Checkbox selectable!)
Graph 1: Pink Noise 100% Vol.; Graph 2: Audio off

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Idling on desktop will demand anywhere from 4 W to 8 W depending on the Power Profile and brightness setting while medium loads as represented by 3DMark06 will draw about 55 W. The T470 and T470s are each more energy efficient by as much as 20 W to 30 W since they lack the more powerful Nvidia GPU.

The small power adapter (~11.0 x 4.6 x 2.8 cm) is rated for up to 65 W while the highest we can record is 64 W when at maximum CPU and GPU utilization. There is absolutely no overhead whereas most notebooks typically have adapters that are rated at least 10 percent higher than what the system can effectively draw at maximum load capacity. Perhaps a more capable adapter would have been best for the ThinkPad 25. 

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.45 / 0.64 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 4.2 / 7.3 / 7.7 Watt
Load midlight 55.4 / 64.4 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
7500U, GeForce 940MX, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HF0012US
7300U, HD Graphics 620, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad T470p-20J7S00000
7700HQ, GeForce 940MX, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP, IPS, 2560x1440, 14
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
7360U, Iris Plus Graphics 640, Apple SSD AP0128, IPS, 2560x1600, 13.3
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
7200U, HD Graphics 620, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Power Consumption
13%
-8%
18%
29%
Idle Minimum *
4.2
4.8
-14%
3.8
10%
3.7
12%
3.21
24%
Idle Average *
7.3
6.6
10%
6.5
11%
5.2
29%
6.15
16%
Idle Maximum *
7.7
7
9%
7.2
6%
7.6
1%
6.82
11%
Load Average *
55.4
39.2
29%
62.5
-13%
41.6
25%
28.5
49%
Load Maximum *
64.4
44.8
30%
99.6
-55%
50.5
22%
34.5
46%
Witcher 3 ultra *
49.1

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The T470 chassis is built around a small internal 24 Wh battery pack plus a secondary 24 Wh battery pack that attaches from the rear for a combined 48 Wh of power. Since the removable secondary battery is included in the packaging, we've utilized both batteries for battery life testing. Power is always drawn from the secondary battery first to completion before drawing from the internal module.

Users can expect about 7 hours of real-world WLAN use (or 3.5 hours when halved) before needing to recharge. This is very similar to the T470 even though the ThinkPad 25 is configured with more powerful hardware, but it still falls flat by an hour or more compared to the T470s, ThinkPad X1 Carbon, or MacBook Pro 13 when subjected to similar testing conditions. The above alternatives are also equipped with larger battery capacities that indubitably give it the edge over the ThinkPad 25 and T470 by extension.

Charging from near empty to full capacity will take around 2 hours and 15 minutes. If the secondary battery is attached, then both will charge simultaneously.

Internal 24 Wh battery
Internal 24 Wh battery
Secondary 24 Wh battery attaches from the rear
Secondary 24 Wh battery attaches from the rear
Idling on Power Saver
Idling on Power Saver
WLAN load
WLAN load
BatteryEater Classic load
BatteryEater Classic load
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
15h 19min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
7h 06min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 33min
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
7500U, GeForce 940MX, 48 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HF0012US
7300U, HD Graphics 620, 51 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad T470p-20J7S00000
7700HQ, GeForce 940MX, 72 Wh
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
7360U, Iris Plus Graphics 640, 54.5 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HR0021GE
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 57 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 48 Wh
Battery Runtime
38%
15%
22%
16%
11%
Reader / Idle
919
1062
16%
1059
15%
819
-11%
WiFi v1.3
426
487
14%
602
41%
681
60%
547
28%
438
3%
Load
93
172
85%
82
-12%
78
-16%
122
31%
110
18%

Pros

+ consistent CPU Turbo Boost and GPU performance
+ both Thunderbolt 3 and Port Replicator support
+ internal and removable external batteries
+ matte 1080p touchscreen; high contrast
+ firm keyboard keys; excellent feedback
+ fingerprint reader w/ Windows Hello
+ 512 GB M.2 NVMe SSD standard
+ 4G LTE support; Micro-SIM slot
+ accessible internals

Cons

- trackpad and mouse keys have spongy feedback when pressed
- rubberized surfaces are very susceptible to fingerprint buildup
- small battery capacity; battery life could be better
- keyboard clatter is louder compared to AccuType
- PCIe x2 SSD adapter limits NVMe performance
- dimmer backlight brightness than on the T470
- PWM on all brightness levels up to 99 percent
- 2.5-inch SATA III support requires an adapter
- trackpad is slightly shorter than on the T470
- outdated GeForce 940MX GPU
- poor bass reproduction
- no SmartCard reader
- limited color gamut
- pricey

Verdict

In review: Lenovo ThinkPad 25 Anniversary Edition. Test model provided by Lenovo US
In review: Lenovo ThinkPad 25 Anniversary Edition. Test model provided by Lenovo US

The ThinkPad 25 caters to those who miss the classic ThinkPad keyboard or are die-hard fans of the series. Users who are otherwise content with the AccuType keyboard on newer ThinkPads will have few reasons to choose the ThinkPad 25 over the standard T470.

Interestingly, configuring the T470 as closely as possible to the ThinkPad 25 will retail for about the same price of $1900 USD. The T470 will lack both the GeForce 940MX GPU and classic keyboard, but will gain a Smart Card reader, slightly taller trackpad, and brighter display backlight in return. As such, the ThinkPad 25 is more of a side-step for the ThinkPad series rather than a full-on next generation update. Its existence is solely to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the ThinkPad rather than compete directly with the latest and greatest notebooks as evident by its last generation CPU and GPU. Business users who may be clamoring for more hardware performance will have to wait longer for that inevitable Kaby Lake-R and Pascal refresh or jump ship to the consumer Yoga 920, Spectre 13 2017, or XPS 13. Turbo Boost performance, GPU performance, fan noise, and of course the keyboard are all otherwise excellent with little to complain.

Despite being one of the best 14-inch business notebooks around, there's no shaking off the small disappointment from an anniversary perspective. The ThinkPad 25 feels like a rehashed T470 instead of something truly unique. Again, this isn't necessarily bad because the T470 is great to begin with, but the keyboard alone may not be special enough to satisfy ThinkPad enthusiasts as the classic models were about so much more than just the keyboard.

The Anniversary Edition feels more like a souped-up ThinkPad T470 than the special one-of-a-kind ThinkPad Lenovo is marketing it to be. Unless if the classic keyboard is a must-have, then existing ThinkPad users should just wait until the next major update to the T4x0 series especially since the Anniversary Edition is behind a very pricey paywall.

Lenovo ThinkPad 25 - 10/05/2017 v6
Allen Ngo

Chassis
89 / 98 → 91%
Keyboard
93%
Pointing Device
87%
Connectivity
72 / 80 → 90%
Weight
66 / 67 → 98%
Battery
89%
Display
83%
Games Performance
70 / 68 → 100%
Application Performance
88 / 92 → 96%
Temperature
85%
Noise
94%
Audio
70%
Camera
53 / 85 → 62%
Average
80%
89%
Office - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo ThinkPad 25 Anniversary Edition Laptop Review
Allen Ngo, 2017-10- 5 (Update: 2017-10- 9)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.