Notebookcheck

Lenovo ThinkPad L480 (i5-8250U, UHD 620, IPS, SSD) Laptop Review

Sebastian Bade (translated by Christoph Wendler), 03/19/2018

No-Frills! In the convoluted world of office devices, the Lenovo ThinkPad L480 positions itself below the T-Series, but above the more affordable E-Series, all by the same manufacturer. In this review, we shall dive into what sets the L-Series apart and whether this ThinkPad is worth a consideration.

Currently, Lenovo offers very affordable office notebooks with their E-Series of ThinkPads, as well as more premium devices with their T-Series. The Lenovo ThinkPad L480 is supposed to slot right in between these two, focusing on both educational facilities and public administration, two areas were good pricing is key. With a base price of 559 Euros (~$685) in its base configuration, the ThinkPad L480 is well priced for the fields it is aimed at. It should be noted that said configuration only offers an Intel Celeron 3965U with 4 GB of memory and a 500 GB HDD. Equally, you will have to settle for a TN-Panel at that price point. More reasonable in our opinion is our test device configuration offering an Intel Core i5-8250U, 8 GB of DDR4 memory and a 256 GB SSD. At this configuration, the price increases to 959 Euros (~$1180). The top of the line configuration contains the Intel Core i7-8550U, a CPU that on paper should be slightly faster than the one found in our configuration. It should be noted though that, under certain conditions, an Intel Core i5-8250U can actually beat an Intel Core i7-8550U, so careful comparison of test results is a must. 

The Lenovo ThinkPad L480 will find itself battling predominantly against its own bredren in our comparison testing. All laptops in our comparison are based on the newest Intel architecture Kaby-Lake, leading to great comparability of performance. The oldest model in our line up is the Lenovo ThinkPad L470 which should predominantly serve to illustrate the performance improvement between generations. Following are the specific technical details of every device mentioned during this review.

Lenovo ThinkPad L470 Lenovo ThinkPad E480 Lenovo ThinkPad E480 HP ProBook 440 G5 Dell Latitude 5490
CPU Intel Core i5-7200U Intel Core i5-8250U Intel Core i5-8250U Intel Core i5-8250U Intel Core i5-8350U
GPU Intel HD Graphics 620 Intel UHD Graphics 620 AMD Radeon RX 550 Intel UHD Graphics 620 Intel UHD Graphics 620
Display 14 Zoll 1.920 x 1.080 (IPS) 14 Zoll 1.920 x 1.080 (IPS) 14 Zoll 1.920 x 1.080 (IPS) 14 Zoll 1.920 x 1.080 (IPS) 14 Zoll 1.920 x 1.080 (IPS)
RAM 8 GB DDR4 4 GB DDR4 8 GB DDR4 8 GB DDR4 8 GB DDR4
Speicher 256 GB SSD 128 GB SSD 256 GB SSD 256 GB SSD 512 GB SSD
Wertung 85% 88% 83% 84% 86%
Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGE
Graphics adapter
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 23.20.16.4905
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR4-2400, 1 slot filled, 1 slot empty, 32 GB max.
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 157 PPI, B140HAN02.4, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U + iHDCP 2.2 Premium PCH
Storage
Toshiba KXG5AZNV256G, 256 GB 
, SSD, M.2-2280, 180 GB free
Soundcard
Realtek High Definition Audio
Connections
4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: stereo, Card Reader: microSD
Networking
Intel Ethernet Connection I219-V (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 22.5 x 335 x 235 ( = 0.89 x 13.19 x 9.25 in)
Battery
45 Wh, 3980 mAh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Primary Camera: 0.9 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: stereo, power supply, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.667 kg ( = 58.8 oz / 3.68 pounds), Power Supply: 357 g ( = 12.59 oz / 0.79 pounds)
Price
959 EUR

 

Chassis - Thinner than the ThinkPad L470

The chassis of the Lenovo ThinkPad L480 has undergone significant changes compared to its predecessor. The now non-removable battery leads to an overall thinner chassis compared to the ThinkPad L470. Equally, the base is rather stable, significant force is required to distort it. Applying pressure on the center of the base leads to slight flexing, though this is not outside the norm. Local pressure put on the display's lid does not show on the panel. Esthetically, the Lenovo ThinkPad L480 is very basic, staying true to its ThinkPad lineage. Only a silver logo with a red, lid-up “i point” graces the display lid. Build quality is good, so are the hinges which minimize movement of the display during use. One handed opening is sadly only partially possible, the last third of the opening process requires considerable force, leading to one being required to hold the base by hand.

Lenovo ThinkPad L480
Lenovo ThinkPad L480
Lenovo ThinkPad L480
Lenovo ThinkPad L480
Lenovo ThinkPad L480
Lenovo ThinkPad L480
Lenovo ThinkPad L480
Lenovo ThinkPad L480
Lenovo ThinkPad L480
Lenovo ThinkPad L480
Lenovo ThinkPad L480
Lenovo ThinkPad L480
Lenovo ThinkPad L480
Lenovo ThinkPad L480
Lenovo ThinkPad L480
Lenovo ThinkPad L480
Lenovo ThinkPad L480
Lenovo ThinkPad L480

Size comparison

All laptops in our comparison are similar in footprint. Only a few millimeters differentiate all of them in width, height, and length. With a weight of 1.7 kg (~3.75 lb), the Lenovo ThinkPad L480 is on the light side though. Only the HP ProBook 440 with its 1.6 kg (~3.53 lb) is minimally lighter. The included 65 W power supply comes in at around 357 grams (~0.8 lb).

Equipment

The Lenovo ThinkPad L480 offers a decent selection of ports. The four USB ports, two of which are of the Type-C variety, offer great expandability. Adding to that, one of the USB Type-C ports can serve as a charging port if desired. External displays can be connected directly via HDMI or using an optional docking station that utilizes both of the USB Type-C ports or a proprietary port. Also on the left are a microSD card reader and an ethernet jack. A nano-SIM card slot is built in though unusable due to the lack of a WWAN module in our configuration. The placement of ports is acceptable, though the ethernet jack at the front of the device can be rather cumbersome.

Left: 2x USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 1, Docking-Port, USB 3.0 Gen 1, HDMI 1.4b, nano-SIM, microSD card reader, Ethernet
Left: 2x USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 1, Docking-Port, USB 3.0 Gen 1, HDMI 1.4b, nano-SIM, microSD card reader, Ethernet
Right: Combo audio jack, USB 3.0 Gen 1, ventilation, Kensington lock
Right: Combo audio jack, USB 3.0 Gen 1, ventilation, Kensington lock
Front: no ports
Front: no ports
Rear: no ports
Rear: no ports

SD card reader - Just like the E480/E580

Lenovo moved, just like we have seen on the E-series (Lenovo ThinkPad E480/E680) from an SD card to a microSD card reader. We doubt that this is advantageous for users, whom now will have to rely on adapters to transfer images from their camera to their laptop. Transfer speeds are decent and above average, though lag behind the competition when it comes to transferring images, leading to the last place with only 71 MB/s for the L480. The microSD card reader operates at least at USB 3 speeds. The UHS-II based reader found in the Dell Latitude 5490 is far more impressive in that regard.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
166.4 MB/s ∼100% +134%
HP ProBook 440 G5-3KX87ES
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
79.5 MB/s ∼48% +12%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KQS00000
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
76.3 MB/s ∼46% +7%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
76.1 MB/s ∼46% +7%
Lenovo ThinkPad L470-20J5S00C00
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
74.7 MB/s ∼45% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC 64GB)
71 MB/s ∼43%
Average of class Office
  (10.2 - 191, n=215)
62.2 MB/s ∼37% -12%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
208.2 MB/s ∼100% +142%
HP ProBook 440 G5-3KX87ES
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
87.9 (min: 79.5) MB/s ∼42% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
87.3 MB/s ∼42% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC 64GB)
85.9 MB/s ∼41%
Lenovo ThinkPad L470-20J5S00C00
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
83.8 MB/s ∼40% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KQS00000
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
83.6 MB/s ∼40% -3%
Average of class Office
  (9.5 - 255, n=195)
80.1 MB/s ∼38% -7%

Communication - Quick and reliable

WLAN module
WLAN module

For wireless communication, the Lenovo ThinkPad L480 relies upon an Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 with added Bluetooth 4.2 support. Transfer rates during testing were good, reaching about 667 MBit/s during sending and 529 MBit/s when receiving data. This is an above average result for office devices. Those preferring a wired connection can fall back on the GBit ethernet port found on the left side. Those wanting to browse on the go may have to splash out an additional 62 Euros (~$76) for the optional WWAN module.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo ThinkPad L470-20J5S00C00
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
674 MBit/s ∼100% +27%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KQS00000
Realtek 8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC
659 MBit/s ∼98% +25%
HP ProBook 440 G5-3KX87ES
Realtek 8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC
649 MBit/s ∼96% +23%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
607 MBit/s ∼90% +15%
Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
529 MBit/s ∼78%
Average of class Office
  (5 - 688, n=155)
470 MBit/s ∼70% -11%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
306 MBit/s ∼45% -42%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
667 MBit/s ∼100%
HP ProBook 440 G5-3KX87ES
Realtek 8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC
629 MBit/s ∼94% -6%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KQS00000
Realtek 8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC
602 MBit/s ∼90% -10%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
511 MBit/s ∼77% -23%
Lenovo ThinkPad L470-20J5S00C00
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
506 MBit/s ∼76% -24%
Average of class Office
  (34 - 688, n=155)
437 MBit/s ∼66% -34%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
300 MBit/s ∼45% -55%

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Security - More money for more features

Our configuration includes a dTPM 2.0 (Discrete Trusted Platform Module). Kensington lock support is also present on our device. Optionally, there is a fingerprint scanner, as well as a smart card reader. Equally, an infrared base camera for facial authentification is on offer.

Accessories

Our device was delivered together with a 65 W power supply and the ever-present safety- and warranty paperwork. We assume that most Lenovo ThinkPad L480 customers are likely interested in one of the optional docking stations. Aside from USB Type-C based docks, there are also ones using a proprietary port on the back. Prices start at 199 Euros (~$249) for the ThinkPad Basic Dock.

Maintenance

Maintenance can be tricky due to lack of a maintenance hatch on the back. The bottom plate is removable though with the right set of tools. After one opens the device, all components are easily accessible to replace or upgrade them. Our configuration offers both an empty memory slot and place for a WWAN module.

Lenovo ThinkPad L480 with bottom plate removed
Lenovo ThinkPad L480 with bottom plate removed

Warranty - Only 12 months standard

The basic warranty period is 12 months long. One can prolong it up to five years if desired. The premium “on-site warranty” sets you back 365 Euros (~450$) across five years in Lenovo's online shop. Additional protection covering defects not regularly covered under manufacturer warranty can be obtained for 50 Euros (~$62) during the initial 12 month warranty period.

Input devices - As expected

Keyboard

Keyboard
Keyboard

The Lenovo ThinkPad L480 is equipped with a six-row chiclet keyboard. The keys are level with the hand rest. The keys are 16 x 16 millimeter in size and offer decent grip thanks to their roughened surface. Typing feel is great and there is great feedback, thanks to the clearly defined travel and pressure points. Unfortunately, our configuration is not equipped with backlighting, though this is not much of a problem due to the great legend on the keys. For those who need it, there is the option to equip the ThinkPad L480 with a back lid keyboard, Lenovo demands 22 Euros (~$27) for this addition.

Touchpad and trackpoint

Large touchpad
Large touchpad
Trackpoint
Trackpoint

Due to efficient use of space, the ThinkPad is equipped with a large 10 x 6.9 centimeter (~4 in x 2.4 in) touchpad. The surface is smooth and without any tactile structure to it, allowing for effortless use. The device was precise during all of our testing. The physical buttons at the bottom give haptic feedback, yet are quite. The touchpad feels high quality and using it is fun. Adding to that, the ThinkPad L480 includes a trackpoint. This mouse replacement takes some getting used to, but once you learned its operation, you would not want to miss it. The physical buttons above the touchpad are predominantly for this trackpoint and are of equal quality to those found on the clickpad. Only the center button is slightly louder.

Display - A dark IPS panel

Sub pixel
Sub pixel
Little clouding
Little clouding

Our Lenovo ThinkPad L480 is equipped with a matte IPS display at 1920x1080. Other configurations of the L480 contain a more affordable TN panel (1366x768), as well as an IPS based touchscreen, which like our test device, runs at 1920x1080 (Surcharge: 67 Euros (~$82)).

The average brightness of our configuration is rather low at 222 cd/m². Most competitors offer a much brighter panel. The Lenovo ThinkPad L480 offers excellent contrast (1,306:1) due to its low black levels (0.17). The distribution of brightness at 73% is unfortunately below average. Results of around 90% should be expected in this area. Clouding is minimal, we did not notice any PWM during our testing. The panels reaction time is higher than on competitors.

234
cd/m²
220
cd/m²
221
cd/m²
196
cd/m²
222
cd/m²
170
cd/m²
202
cd/m²
228
cd/m²
189
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 234 cd/m² Average: 209.1 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 73 %
Center on Battery: 2.3 cd/m²
Contrast: 1306:1 (Black: 0.17 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.91 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 1.56 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
55% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 35% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.53
Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGE
B140HAN02.4, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad L470-20J5S00C00
N140HCA-EAB, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
Innolux N140HCA-EAC, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KQS00000
Innolux N140HCA-EAC, 1920x1080, 14
HP ProBook 440 G5-3KX87ES
LGD04B2, 1920x1080, 14
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
AU Optronics AUO263D, 1920x1080, 14
Response Times
19%
22%
23%
29%
21%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
73 (36, 37)
50.4 (27.6, 22.8)
31%
44.8 (23.6, 21.2)
39%
44 (22.8, 21.2)
40%
40 (21.2, 18.8)
45%
46.9 (23.6, 23.3)
36%
Response Time Black / White *
33 (19, 14)
30.8 (16.4, 14.4)
7%
31.2 (17.2, 14)
5%
31.2 (17.2, 14)
5%
28.8 (17.2, 11.6)
13%
31.2 (18, 13.2)
5%
PWM Frequency
25000 (30)
24880 (40)
Screen
-46%
-53%
-20%
-41%
-28%
Brightness middle
222
274
23%
262
18%
251
13%
236
6%
227
2%
Brightness
209
256
22%
245
17%
231
11%
221
6%
211
1%
Brightness Distribution
73
85
16%
83
14%
80
10%
88
21%
88
21%
Black Level *
0.17
0.35
-106%
0.19
-12%
0.19
-12%
0.26
-53%
0.19
-12%
Contrast
1306
783
-40%
1379
6%
1321
1%
908
-30%
1195
-8%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.91
6.1
-56%
7
-79%
5.1
-30%
5.7
-46%
5.6
-43%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
7.74
13.8
-78%
23.6
-205%
10.6
-37%
22
-184%
22.4
-189%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.56
5.7
-265%
6.4
-310%
4.5
-188%
3.8
-144%
2.4
-54%
Gamma
2.53 95%
2.11 114%
2.14 112%
2.18 110%
2.1 114%
2.44 98%
CCT
6701 97%
6419 101%
6065 107%
6146 106%
7318 89%
6506 100%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
35
40.2
15%
39.5
13%
39.8
14%
37.7
8%
34.5
-1%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
55
62.4
13%
61.9
13%
62.5
14%
59.2
8%
54.4
-1%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-14% / -35%
-16% / -40%
2% / -13%
-6% / -29%
-4% / -20%

* ... smaller is better

Lenovo ThinkPad L480 vs. sRGB (55 %)
Lenovo ThinkPad L480 vs. sRGB (55 %)
Lenovo ThinkPad L480 vs. AdobeRGB (35 %)
Lenovo ThinkPad L480 vs. AdobeRGB (35 %)

Thanks to the low black levels, the image representation is good despite the underwhelming illumination. Colors are not matte or washed out despite the matte surface of the display. The delta E-2000 deviation of the greyscales and colors is pre-configured slightly too high, though the L480 still offers the best in our comparison. Color representation is problematic (sRGB 55%; AdobeRGB 35%) making it unsuited for professional image editing. Light office tasks should not be an issue though.

CalMAN: Grayscale (before calibration)
CalMAN: Grayscale (before calibration)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (before calibration)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (before calibration)
CalMAN: Saturation (before calibration)
CalMAN: Saturation (before calibration)

Thanks to the matte panel, using the device outside would seem trouble free. The very low brightness, however, creates problems in this regard. One should consider a spot in the shadow when using the L480 outside.

Lenovo ThinkPad L480 under sunlight
Lenovo ThinkPad L480 under sunlight
Lenovo ThinkPad L480 in shadow
Lenovo ThinkPad L480 in shadow

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
33 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 19 ms rise
↘ 14 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. » 86 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.8 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
73 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 36 ms rise
↘ 37 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. » 98 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (41.3 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 not detected

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8813 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Viewing angles are, thanks to the IPS panel, very good. Only images in the corners get discolored when looking at them from the side. During day to day use, this should not be a problem.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance - Enough for work

Our configuration, equipped with an Intel Core i5-8250U, offers enough performance for most tasks, though it should be noted that the base configuration comes with an Intel Celeron 3965U, a chip we would not recommend. 8 GB of memory is enough for most office tasks and the 256 GB SSD equally handles its task well. DPC latencies uncover slight issues, something that could be fixed with a driver or BIOS update though.

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
DPC latency
HWiNFO
Intel Extreme Utility
Intel Extreme Utility (Benchmark)

Processor - Two more cores then the L470

Intel Core i5-8250U
Intel Core i5-8250U

The Intel Core i5-8250U is an efficient four core CPU based on the Kaby-Lake architecture. With a TDP of 15 W, the small SoC can handle eight threads simultaneously and clocks in at a base frequency of 1.6 GHz, which can briefly boost up to 3.4 GHz during demanding tasks. Lookin at our comparison, all test devices appear very close in single threaded performance. The multi-thread performance is comparable to that of the HP ProBook 440. Our test configuration thus is above average. Compared to its predecessor, the Lenovo ThinkPad L470, performance has been improved significantly. The Intel Core i5-7200U falls behind the Intel Core i5-8250U, especially in multi-threaded workloads. The two additional cores really pay dividends in this area.

Additional benchmarks and information on the Intel Core i5-8250U can be found here.

To see, whether the Intel Core i5-8250U throttles, we put it through our Cinebench R15 multi-threaded testing loop. During the second run, the result lowers to 580 points. During the rest of our loop, there are no major deviations, meaning performance remains constant. It can be concluded that the cooling system works as intended and is not overloaded. 

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Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
HP ProBook 440 G5-3KX87ES
Intel Core i5-8250U
146 Points ∼100% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KQS00000
Intel Core i5-8250U
145 Points ∼99% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
Intel Core i5-8250U
144 Points ∼99% +1%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel Core i5-8350U
142 Points ∼97% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGE
Intel Core i5-8250U
142 Points ∼97%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U
  (81 - 147, n=72)
141 Points ∼97% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad L470-20J5S00C00
Intel Core i5-7200U
126 Points ∼86% -11%
Average of class Office
  (20 - 178, n=456)
107 Points ∼73% -25%
CPU Multi 64Bit
HP ProBook 440 G5-3KX87ES
Intel Core i5-8250U
620 Points ∼100% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGE
Intel Core i5-8250U
620 Points ∼100%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel Core i5-8350U
599 Points ∼97% -3%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U
  (320 - 730, n=75)
569 Points ∼92% -8%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KQS00000
Intel Core i5-8250U
548 Points ∼88% -12%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
Intel Core i5-8250U
540 Points ∼87% -13%
Lenovo ThinkPad L470-20J5S00C00
Intel Core i5-7200U
320 Points ∼52% -48%
Average of class Office
  (36 - 1050, n=460)
311 Points ∼50% -50%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
Intel Core i5-8250U
1.63 Points ∼100% +1%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel Core i5-8350U
1.62 Points ∼99% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGE
Intel Core i5-8250U
1.62 Points ∼99%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U
  (0.91 - 1.79, n=30)
1.611 Points ∼99% -1%
Average of class Office
  (0.23 - 2.04, n=415)
1.119 Points ∼69% -31%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel Core i5-8350U
7.33 Points ∼100% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGE
Intel Core i5-8250U
7.01 Points ∼96%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
Intel Core i5-8250U
6.1 Points ∼83% -13%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U
  (3.15 - 7.76, n=30)
6.04 Points ∼82% -14%
Average of class Office
  (0.26 - 11.6, n=587)
2.72 Points ∼37% -61%
JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KQS00000
Intel Core i5-8250U
233.47 Points ∼100% +8%
HP ProBook 440 G5-3KX87ES
Intel Core i5-8250U
231.59 Points ∼99% +7%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U
  (155 - 256, n=61)
220 Points ∼94% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
Intel Core i5-8250U
217.74 Points ∼93% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGE
Intel Core i5-8250U
216.87 Points ∼93%
Lenovo ThinkPad L470-20J5S00C00
Intel Core i5-7200U
205.4 Points ∼88% -5%
Average of class Office
  (36.7 - 268, n=192)
176 Points ∼75% -19%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KQS00000
Intel Core i5-8250U
34394 Points ∼100% +18%
HP ProBook 440 G5-3KX87ES
Intel Core i5-8250U
32530 Points ∼95% +11%
Lenovo ThinkPad L470-20J5S00C00
Intel Core i5-7200U
31602 Points ∼92% +8%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U
  (22930 - 35817, n=39)
30821 Points ∼90% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
Intel Core i5-8250U
30373 Points ∼88% +4%
Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGE
Intel Core i5-8250U
29269 Points ∼85%
Average of class Office
  (3727 - 40798, n=193)
22063 Points ∼64% -25%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Average of class Office
  (914 - 9672, n=200)
2226 ms * ∼100% -74%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
Intel Core i5-8250U
1332.8 ms * ∼60% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGE
Intel Core i5-8250U
1275.8 ms * ∼57%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U
  (1005 - 1357, n=40)
1206 ms * ∼54% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad L470-20J5S00C00
Intel Core i5-7200U
1182 ms * ∼53% +7%
HP ProBook 440 G5-3KX87ES
Intel Core i5-8250U
1078.6 ms * ∼48% +15%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KQS00000
Intel Core i5-8250U
1056.6 ms * ∼47% +17%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10
Cinebench R10
Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R15
Cinebench R15
Jetstream 1.1
Jetstream 1.1
Octane V2
Octane V2
Mozilla Kraken 1.1
Mozilla Kraken 1.1
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
7102 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6836
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
19840
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5476
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
7031 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
26132 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.01 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
39.93 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.62 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
142 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
42.13 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
620 Points
Help

System Performance - Quick workhorse

System performance increased dramatically compared to the Lenovo ThinkPad L470. Our test configuration is placed third in overall system performance after the ThinkPad E480 with its dedicated RX 550 and the HP ProBook 440. It should be noted that the L480 is usually only a few points behind these two. The quick SSD and fast Intel Core i5-8250U ensure fluid operation.

PCMark 8 Home
PCMark 8 Home
PCMark 8 Creative
PCMark 8 Creative
PCMark 8 Work
PCMark 8 Work
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 10
PCMark 10
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KQS00000
Radeon RX 550 (Laptop), 8250U, Lenovo LENSE20256GMSP34MEAT2TA
5189 Points ∼100% +7%
HP ProBook 440 G5-3KX87ES
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
4922 Points ∼95% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGE
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba KXG5AZNV256G
4871 Points ∼94%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
4849 Points ∼93% 0%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
4774 Points ∼92% -2%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (2699 - 5106, n=43)
4653 Points ∼90% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad L470-20J5S00C00
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, SanDisk X400 256GB, SATA (SD8SB8U-256G)
4111 Points ∼79% -16%
Average of class Office
  (1226 - 5428, n=290)
3928 Points ∼76% -19%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KQS00000
Radeon RX 550 (Laptop), 8250U, Lenovo LENSE20256GMSP34MEAT2TA
4187 Points ∼100% +11%
HP ProBook 440 G5-3KX87ES
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
3774 Points ∼90% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGE
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba KXG5AZNV256G
3757 Points ∼90%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
3695 Points ∼88% -2%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (3076 - 4458, n=51)
3625 Points ∼87% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
3574 Points ∼85% -5%
Lenovo ThinkPad L470-20J5S00C00
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, SanDisk X400 256GB, SATA (SD8SB8U-256G)
3294 Points ∼79% -12%
Average of class Office
  (1169 - 4458, n=334)
2998 Points ∼72% -20%
PCMark 10
Productivity
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KQS00000
Radeon RX 550 (Laptop), 8250U, Lenovo LENSE20256GMSP34MEAT2TA
6862 Points ∼100% +14%
Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGE
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba KXG5AZNV256G
6011 Points ∼88%
HP ProBook 440 G5-3KX87ES
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
5756 Points ∼84% -4%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (3851 - 6653, n=46)
5755 Points ∼84% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
5555 Points ∼81% -8%
Average of class Office
  (1639 - 7142, n=76)
5472 Points ∼80% -9%
Score
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KQS00000
Radeon RX 550 (Laptop), 8250U, Lenovo LENSE20256GMSP34MEAT2TA
3954 Points ∼100% +59%
HP ProBook 440 G5-3KX87ES
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
3577 Points ∼90% +44%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (2208 - 4081, n=46)
3309 Points ∼84% +33%
Average of class Office
  (803 - 4269, n=77)
3136 Points ∼79% +26%
Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGE
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba KXG5AZNV256G
2488 Points ∼63%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
2279 Points ∼58% -8%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3757 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4829 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4871 points
Help

Mass storage

M.2-2280 SSD
M.2-2280 SSD
Adapter in 2.5-inch bay
Adapter in 2.5-inch bay

The L480 is equipped with an M.2-2280 256 GB SSD by Toshiba connected via an adapter in the 2.5-inch bay. There is, unfortunately, no separate M.2 slot. Transfer speeds are good, though sequential writes (556 MB/s) could be improved upon. The 4K-Read rate at 30 MB/s is quick which is advantageous when reading small files.

AS SSD
AS SSD
CrystalDiskMark 3
CrystalDiskMark 3
CrystalDiskMark 5
CrystalDiskMark 5
CrystalDiskMark 6
CrystalDiskMark 6
CrystalDiskInfo
CrystalDiskInfo
Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGE
Toshiba KXG5AZNV256G
Lenovo ThinkPad L470-20J5S00C00
SanDisk X400 256GB, SATA (SD8SB8U-256G)
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KQS00000
Lenovo LENSE20256GMSP34MEAT2TA
HP ProBook 440 G5-3KX87ES
Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
-31%
-42%
-30%
13%
-27%
Write 4k QD32
351.3
188
-46%
100.2
-71%
118.3
-66%
417.1
19%
300.2
-15%
Read 4k QD32
384.6
321.3
-16%
197.5
-49%
389.9
1%
287.8
-25%
295.6
-23%
Write 4k
111.7
74.29
-33%
82.29
-26%
95.24
-15%
139.8
25%
88.96
-20%
Read 4k
33.56
34.2
2%
33.35
-1%
25.72
-23%
35.48
6%
27.34
-19%
Write 512
351.9
291.5
-17%
127
-64%
122
-65%
600.3
71%
360.7
3%
Read 512
764.7
323.4
-58%
714.7
-7%
871.5
14%
922.5
21%
410.1
-46%
Write Seq
556.2
485.7
-13%
128.4
-77%
160.6
-71%
602.2
8%
425
-24%
Read Seq
1463
495.2
-66%
909.4
-38%
1295
-11%
1181
-19%
465.1
-68%
Toshiba KXG5AZNV256G
Sequential Read: 1463 MB/s
Sequential Write: 556.2 MB/s
512K Read: 764.7 MB/s
512K Write: 351.9 MB/s
4K Read: 33.56 MB/s
4K Write: 111.7 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 384.6 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 351.3 MB/s

GPU

The Intel UHD Graphics 620 handles graphical loads and, thanks to the support of modern codecs, offers good performance when viewing high-resolution videos. The ThinkPad E480 though, thanks to its dedicated RX 550, offers more graphical performance than any other device in this comparison. Compared to its predecessor, the L480 has again increased performance significantly.

Additional benchmarks of the Intel UHD Graphics 620 can be found here.

3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KQS00000
AMD Radeon RX 550 (Laptop), Intel Core i5-8250U
3249 Points ∼100% +219%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (819 - 1336, n=72)
1070 Points ∼33% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGE
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1019 Points ∼31%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8350U
981 Points ∼30% -4%
HP ProBook 440 G5-3KX87ES
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
929 Points ∼29% -9%
Average of class Office
  (138 - 4109, n=417)
919 Points ∼28% -10%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
882 Points ∼27% -13%
Lenovo ThinkPad L470-20J5S00C00
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
816 Points ∼25% -20%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KQS00000
AMD Radeon RX 550 (Laptop), Intel Core i5-8250U
18158 Points ∼100% +120%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (6910 - 10493, n=76)
8674 Points ∼48% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGE
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
8266 Points ∼46%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8350U
8226 Points ∼45% 0%
HP ProBook 440 G5-3KX87ES
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
7833 Points ∼43% -5%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
7231 Points ∼40% -13%
Lenovo ThinkPad L470-20J5S00C00
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
7153 Points ∼39% -13%
Average of class Office
  (1208 - 27117, n=461)
6438 Points ∼35% -22%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KQS00000
AMD Radeon RX 550 (Laptop), Intel Core i5-8250U
4559 Points ∼100% +172%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KQS00000
AMD Radeon RX 550 (Laptop), Intel Core i5-8250U
1619 Points ∼36% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGE
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1678 Points ∼37%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (1235 - 1915, n=83)
1650 Points ∼36% -2%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8350U
1617 Points ∼35% -4%
HP ProBook 440 G5-3KX87ES
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1595 Points ∼35% -5%
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1518 Points ∼33% -10%
Lenovo ThinkPad L470-20J5S00C00
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
1419 Points ∼31% -15%
Average of class Office
  (185 - 4967, n=581)
1195 Points ∼26% -29%
3DMark Ice Storm
3DMark Ice Storm
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited
3DMark Ice Storm Extreme
3DMark Ice Storm Extreme
3DMark Cloud Gate
3DMark Cloud Gate
3DMark Sky Diver
3DMark Sky Diver
3DMark Fire Strike
3DMark Fire Strike
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme
3DMark Fire Strike Ultra
3DMark Fire Strike Ultra
3DMark Time Spy
3DMark Time Spy
3DMark 11
3DMark 11
 
 
3DMark 11 Performance
1818 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
61656 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
7951 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
954 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
447 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
386 points
Help

Gaming Performance

The focus on office work makes in turn for an underwhelming device when gaming. Simple browser games should however not be an issue for the Lenovo ThinkPad L480.

low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 47.427.8237.7fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 15.29.85.5fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 18.611.46.5fps

Emissions - Quiet and efficient

Noise emissions

Noise levels
Noise levels
Cooling fan
Cooling fan

The new Lenovo ThinkPad L480 is similarly quiet to its predecessor. The fan is during idling completely turned off, for the most part, enabling fully silent operation. During an average workload, the L480 is quiet at only 32.3 dB(A). Under load, the fan does spin up, though at 37 dB(A) it does not become annoying. Our test sample did not display any noticeable coil whine or pulsation.

Noise Level

Idle
30.4 / 30.4 / 30.4 dB(A)
Load
32.3 / 37 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30.4 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2030.432.33230.4253131.130.2313132.731.633.432.74030.329.428.530.3503736.929.4376331.227.327.831.28027.628.126.127.610025.526.825.625.512524.425.424.524.416024.124.123.224.120023.722.922.323.725022.6222122.631523.221.420.923.240023.420.82023.450020.920.419.420.963021.620.11921.680022.519.91822.5100024.920.417.524.9125025.220.117.425.2160027.121.617.427.1200026.220.217.726.2250028.521.617.728.5315027.120.918.527.1400024.619.318.324.6500024.218.718.324.2630020.718.518.420.7800019.718.618.819.71000018.918.618.718.91250018.618.618.618.61600018.719.319.318.7SPL3732.330.537N2.51.71.42.5median 23.7Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGEmedian 20.4median 18.7median 23.7Delta2.11.11.72.1hearing rangehide median Fan Noise
Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGE
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba KXG5AZNV256G
Lenovo ThinkPad L470-20J5S00C00
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, SanDisk X400 256GB, SATA (SD8SB8U-256G)
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KQS00000
Radeon RX 550 (Laptop), 8250U, Lenovo LENSE20256GMSP34MEAT2TA
HP ProBook 440 G5-3KX87ES
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
Noise
2%
4%
-7%
1%
-2%
off / environment *
30.4
29.3
4%
29.1
4%
29.8
2%
29.1
4%
28.8
5%
Idle Minimum *
30.4
29.3
4%
29.1
4%
29.8
2%
29.1
4%
28.8
5%
Idle Average *
30.4
29.3
4%
29.1
4%
31.5
-4%
29.1
4%
28.8
5%
Idle Maximum *
30.4
29.3
4%
30.3
-0%
33.3
-10%
30.7
-1%
30.9
-2%
Load Average *
32.3
33.8
-5%
31.8
2%
39.1
-21%
34.5
-7%
35.6
-10%
Load Maximum *
37
37.5
-1%
33.8
9%
40.4
-9%
36
3%
41.4
-12%
Witcher 3 ultra *
39.1

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

3DMark 11 after stress test
3DMark 11 after stress test

The temperatures of the Lenovo ThinkPad L480 never get problematic. At a maximum of 43 °C (~110 °F) on the top of the base, the exterior does not get too hot. During our stress testing, the SoC reached a maximum temperature of 80 °C (176 °F), thermal throttling was not present. Equally, the constant load did not affect 3D performance negatively. Testing it with 3DMark11 showed a near identical result to the one when got when testing the device cooled down.

Stresstest: Prime95 solo
Stresstest: Prime95 solo
Stresstest: FurMark solo
Stresstest: FurMark solo
Stresstest: FurMark+Prime95
Stresstest: FurMark+Prime95
Max. Load
 33.9 °C
93 F
43 °C
109 F
30.1 °C
86 F
 
 31.4 °C
89 F
37 °C
99 F
32.3 °C
90 F
 
 23.4 °C
74 F
23.7 °C
75 F
24 °C
75 F
 
Maximum: 43 °C = 109 F
Average: 31 °C = 88 F
35.6 °C
96 F
41 °C
106 F
41.7 °C
107 F
27 °C
81 F
34.6 °C
94 F
28.8 °C
84 F
24 °C
75 F
23.8 °C
75 F
23.8 °C
75 F
Maximum: 41.7 °C = 107 F
Average: 31.1 °C = 88 F
Power Supply (max.)  36.3 °C = 97 F | Room Temperature 22.4 °C = 72 F | FIRT 550-Pocket
Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGE
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba KXG5AZNV256G
Lenovo ThinkPad L470-20J5S00C00
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, SanDisk X400 256GB, SATA (SD8SB8U-256G)
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KQS00000
Radeon RX 550 (Laptop), 8250U, Lenovo LENSE20256GMSP34MEAT2TA
HP ProBook 440 G5-3KX87ES
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
Heat
4%
9%
-25%
3%
5%
Maximum Upper Side *
43
40.1
7%
36.7
15%
51.9
-21%
39
9%
38.3
11%
Maximum Bottom *
41.7
51
-22%
42.8
-3%
71.6
-72%
45.5
-9%
44.7
-7%
Idle Upper Side *
25.7
22
14%
23.4
9%
24.8
4%
24.8
4%
23.7
8%
Idle Bottom *
27.1
22.4
17%
22.8
16%
30
-11%
25
8%
25.4
6%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature on top of device (Idle)
Temperature on top of device (Idle)
Temperature on bottom of device (Idle)
Temperature on bottom of device (Idle)
Temperature on top of device (load)
Temperature on top of device (load)
Temperature on bottom of device (load)
Temperature on bottom of device (load)

Speakers

Speaker results
Speaker results

The two speakers at the front of the device are acceptable for office use. Voices are loud and clear without becoming distorted at maximum volume. Playback can be rather heavy on highs though. External speakers may be connected via a headphone combo-jack.


Speaker (left)
Speaker (left)
Speaker (right)
Speaker (right)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.93231.92531.730.231.73133.733.433.74032.328.532.35035.429.435.46328.327.828.38026.326.126.310026.125.626.112528.924.528.916032.723.232.720031.922.331.925042214231548.820.948.840052.52052.550056.419.456.463057.11957.180068.31868.3100060.717.560.7125054.917.454.9160059.317.459.3200064.317.764.3250056.317.756.3315061.918.561.9400058.718.358.750006018.360630059.718.459.7800055.718.855.71000053.818.753.81250056.618.656.61600049.419.349.4SPL72.830.572.8N29.91.429.9median 56.3Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGEmedian 18.7median 56.3Delta7.31.77.33432.628.931.731.831.429.229.727.64226.235.62630.725.829.524.432.924.144.523.849.521.75320.657.718.658.818.95918.15617.871.217.270.317.46316.761.216.760.416.857.51763.217.268.717.562.517.859.818.257.518.254.718.355.118.350.629.876.61.337.1median 18.2Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KQS00000median 57.71.65.2hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGE audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (68.31 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 21.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.2% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (14% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.6% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (9.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (21.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 59% of all tested devices in this class were better, 12% similar, 29% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 20%, worst was 51%
Compared to all devices tested
» 51% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 42% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KQS00000 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (76.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 13.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5.2% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (9.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.8% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (10.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (17.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 26% of all tested devices in this class were better, 10% similar, 64% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 20%, worst was 51%
Compared to all devices tested
» 28% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 66% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram in comparison (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked!)

Energy management

Energy consumption

During idling, the Lenovo ThinkPad L480 only requires between 3.3 and 7.3 W, which is very efficient. During moderate use, the small 65 W power supply needs to provide 40 W. The predecessor was slightly more frugal, however. The L480 does offer more performance, however. Seeing how the similarly specced ThinkPad E480 is more efficient as well, however, we believe that the manufacturer may be able to improve efficiency more via firmware updates.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.7 / 0.82 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 3.3 / 6.6 / 7.3 Watt
Load midlight 40.4 / 37.4 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGE
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba KXG5AZNV256G, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad L470-20J5S00C00
7200U, HD Graphics 620, SanDisk X400 256GB, SATA (SD8SB8U-256G), IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KQS00000
8250U, Radeon RX 550 (Laptop), Lenovo LENSE20256GMSP34MEAT2TA, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 14
HP ProBook 440 G5-3KX87ES
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 14
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
8350U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Power Consumption
9%
9%
-26%
-20%
-12%
Idle Minimum *
3.3
2.6
21%
3.5
-6%
4.1
-24%
4.4
-33%
3.3
-0%
Idle Average *
6.6
6.3
5%
5.3
20%
6.3
5%
7.1
-8%
5.54
16%
Idle Maximum *
7.3
7
4%
6.1
16%
7.1
3%
10.2
-40%
6.59
10%
Load Average *
40.4
29.1
28%
30
26%
54.8
-36%
36.5
10%
42.4
-5%
Load Maximum *
37.4
42.3
-13%
42.3
-13%
66.4
-78%
48.7
-30%
67.6
-81%
Witcher 3 ultra *
43.8

* ... smaller is better

Battery life

3DMark 11 on battery
3DMark 11 on battery
45 Wh battery
45 Wh battery

Compared to its competition, the 45 Wh battery is slightly smaller. This leads to a shorter battery life, though one charge was enough to get through 7 hours and 40 minutes of our WLAN test. All in our comparison are far behind the Dell Latitude 5490 though. Efficient use is required to make it through an entire workday on a single charge with the L480. Recharging at only one and a half hours is short, however. Adding to that, 3D performance is not reduced when using battery power.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
16h 51min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge 41.16299.248.0)
7h 40min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
7h 59min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 32min
maximum battery life
maximum battery life
minimum battery life
minimum battery life
WLAN battery life
WLAN battery life
H.264 battery life
H.264 battery life
Charging
Charging
Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGE
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 45 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad L470-20J5S00C00
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 48 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KNCTO1WW
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 45 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad E480-20KQS00000
8250U, Radeon RX 550 (Laptop), 48 Wh
HP ProBook 440 G5-3KX87ES
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 48 Wh
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
8350U, UHD Graphics 620, 68 Wh
Battery Runtime
30%
5%
-1%
5%
55%
Reader / Idle
1011
1398
38%
1106
9%
1164
15%
821
-19%
1556
54%
H.264
479
647
35%
431
-10%
536
12%
224
-53%
791
65%
WiFi v1.3
460
480
4%
495
8%
341
-26%
416
-10%
897
95%
Load
92
130
41%
105
14%
88
-4%
185
101%
97
5%

Verdict

Pros

+ thin chassis
+ stable hinge
+ good selection of ports
+ quiet during operation
+ good touchpad, excellent trackpoint
+ fast processor
+ acceptable battery life
+ quick charging speed
+ matte IPS panel
+ fast WLAN

Cons

- low brightness, horrible distribution of brightness
- microSD instead of SD card slot
- only 12 months standard warranty
Lenovo ThinkPad L480 test model provided by CampusPoint
Lenovo ThinkPad L480 test model provided by CampusPoint

The Lenovo ThinkPad L480 is the definition of a 14-inch business laptop. In our configuration, the device offers a quick, yet efficient processor. The Intel Core i5-8250U offers enough performance for most office tasks and should be future proof due to its performance. The 8 GB of memory and 256 GB SSD are also well sized. The slim, yet stable chassis and IPS panel complete this package.

For less than a 1,000 Euros (~$1230), customers get a well-equipped office notebook with the great input device ThinkPad is known for. The plethora of configurations also allows one to perfectly calibrate the business companion.

The display, however, leaves us with mixed feelings. Having an IPS panel is good, the brightness it delivers, however, is not. Users will have to make compromises when working outside. Adding to that, battery life is not a strong suit compared to the competition. Performance and the high amount of usable ports are good, however. The change from an SD card reader to a microSD card slot is noteworthy too. 

Lenovo ThinkPad L480-20LS001AGE - 03/13/2018 v6
Sebastian Bade

Chassis
84 / 98 → 85%
Keyboard
87%
Pointing Device
93%
Connectivity
61 / 80 → 76%
Weight
67 / 20-67 → 100%
Battery
90%
Display
80%
Games Performance
56 / 68 → 83%
Application Performance
89 / 92 → 97%
Temperature
93%
Noise
93%
Audio
50%
Camera
42 / 85 → 50%
Average
76%
87%
Office - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo ThinkPad L480 (i5-8250U, UHD 620, IPS, SSD) Laptop Review
Sebastian Bade, 2018-03-19 (Update: 2018-03-19)