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Lenovo ThinkPad L590: A budget business laptop that falls short of expectations

The Lenovo ThinkPad L590 is a Whiskey Lake upgrade of the L580. (Image source: Notebookcheck)
The Lenovo ThinkPad L590 is a Whiskey Lake upgrade of the L580. (Image source: Notebookcheck)
The Lenovo ThinkPad L590 is a solid business laptop at just under $1,000, but it is not without its problems. The 15.6-inch laptop appears to offer plenty on paper, with Lenovo including a quad-core Core i5 Whiskey Lake CPU, 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of NVMe storage. However, its cooling system holds the device back, hampering its CPU performance.

The ThinkPad L590 has the potential of being another excellent business laptop by Lenovo, despite it being a modest upgrade over the ThinkPad L580. The device we tested, which retails for around US$1,000, has a 15.6-inch IPS 1080p display whose matte finish improves readability in bright conditions, whether that be from artificial lighting or sunlight. Lenovo equips the device with an Intel Core i5-8265U too, a competent ultra-low voltage (ULV) processor that it complements with 16 GB of RAM. The 512 GB SSD that Lenovo also includes is a fast drive that performs on par with the Samsung PM961, which theoretically should combine with the other components to create a powerful system.

However, the sub-par cooling system cripples CPU performance, to the extent that the Core i5-8265U in our review unit falls behind the Core i5-8250U in multi-threaded benchmarks. The L590 even scores less than its ThinkPad E-series equivalent, the performance of which we also complained about when we tested it. The L590 has no such issues in single-threaded tasks, but it is unacceptable to see any laptop make use of its processor so poorly, let alone a 15.6-inch device that should have the space for a decent cooling system.

The display did not impress us much either, despite its matte finish. In short, the panel is too dark for using the L590 outside, and it may struggle under some bright artificial lights too. The L590 is not all bad though, and has the excellent set of input devices to which we become accustomed with ThinkPad laptops. The device has plenty of security features too, which you can read more about in our corresponding ThinkPad L590 review.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 10 > Lenovo ThinkPad L590: A budget business laptop that falls short of expectations
Alex Alderson, 2019-10-30 (Update: 2019-10-29)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor - @aldersonaj
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.