Notebookcheck

Lenovo ThinkPad T560 (Core i7, 940MX, 3K) Notebook Review

Till Schönborn (translated by Martina Osztovits), 06/21/2016

All of everything! Equipped with a Core i7 processor, 3K display, and dedicated graphics, the T560 aims to take the lead in our business charts. But, is the generous number of features justify a price of almost 2000 Euros (~$2267).

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For the original German review, see here.

After the entry level model of the ThinkPad T560 series with a score of 88%, now is the turn of the expensive premium configuration for almost 2000 Euros (~$2267; school children/university students: from 1700 Euros/~$1927) to go through our tests. Buyers  not only get Intel's Skylake top model Core i7-6600U for this price, but also a dedicated GeForce 940MX graphics card from Nvidia. However, with 8 GB of DDR3L RAM and a 256 GB SSD the memory capacities appear slightly low, even though the T560 can certainly be further upgraded. As we have already covered maintenance, case, and input devices extensively in the previous review, we want to refer to it here. In the following, we will focus particularly on display and performance of the new test model.

As a 15-inch premium business notebook, the ThinkPad competes with the HP EliteBook 850 G3, the Dell Latitude E5570 (English review will follow), and the Toshiba Tecra Z50 among others.

Recommended reading: Lenovo ThinkPad T560 (Core i5, SSHD) review

Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE (ThinkPad T560 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX - 2048 MB, Core: 1122 - 1242 MHz, Memory: 1000 MHz, DDR3, ForceWare 359.30, Optimus
Memory
8192 MB 
, 1x 8 GB DDR3L-1600, 1 von 2 Slots belegt
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 2880x1620 pixel 212 PPI, Panasonic VVX16T028J00, IPS, LED-Backlight, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Skylake-U Premium PCH
Storage
Samsung SSD PM871 MZ7LN256HCHP, 256 GB 
Soundcard
Intel Skylake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: Headset-Buchse (3,5 Millimeter Klinke), Card Reader: SD, 1 SmartCard, 1 Fingerprint Reader
Networking
Intel Ethernet Connection I219-LM (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2, 4G/LTE (Huawei ME906s), LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 22.4 x 380 x 252 ( = 0.88 x 14.96 x 9.92 in)
Battery
67 Wh Lithium-Ion, removeable, 44 Wh intern + 23 Wh extern
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 65-Watt-Netzteil, 36 Months Warranty
Weight
2.25 kg ( = 79.37 oz / 4.96 pounds), Power Supply: 340 g ( = 11.99 oz / 0.75 pounds)
Price
2000 Euro

 

Note: The images stem from the Core i5 model without dedicated GPU and LTE module (20FH001FGE).

Display

Subpixel grid
Subpixel grid

The display is undoubtedly one of the highlights of our configuration. While the HP, Dell, and Toshiba are only available with a Full HD panels, Lenovo offers a 3K variant in addition to the Full HD model. Its huge resolution of 2880x1620 pixels increases the pixel density to as much as 212 PPI (Full HD variant: 141 PPI). Very good eyes are needed for using the native pixel count without scaling. On the other hand, you will get an almost gigantic screen. A magnification of 125 or 150% might be the best compromise between display size and effective image content for most users.

Fortunately, the Panasonic display does not only shine in terms of resolution, but also scores with a very high maximum brightness of 322 cd/m². When decreasing the brightness, the backlight periodically turns on and off via PWM control (220 Hz), which sensitive eyes perceive as slight flickering; this is also the case in many other current notebooks. In case of doubt, you should test the device extensively for such problems (headache, dizziness) before buying or within the return period. Subjectively, we could not detect limitations during the test.

Thanks to the IPS technology, black areas appear very saturated and deep. This is reflected in the excellent contrast ratio of 1059:1. Competing IPS FHD panels have similar contrast ratios while the contrast ratio for the TN panel in the EliteBook is halved in comparison.

320
cd/m²
317
cd/m²
316
cd/m²
303
cd/m²
339
cd/m²
307
cd/m²
323
cd/m²
343
cd/m²
326
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 343 cd/m² Average: 321.6 cd/m² Minimum: 4 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 341 cd/m²
Contrast: 1059:1 (Black: 0.32 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.88 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 7.41 | - Ø
87.68% sRGB (Argyll) 57.14% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.36
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE
2880x1620, IPS
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
1920x1080, IPS-Panel
HP EliteBook 850 G3
1920x1080, TN LED
Dell Latitude E5570 N026LE557015EMEA
1920x1080, AHVA
Toshiba Tecra Z50-C-10P
1920x1080, IPS-Panel
Response Times
-46%
-24%
-18%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
32.8 (17.2, 15.6)
58 (23, 35)
-77%
46.4 (22.4, 24)
-41%
20 (9, 11)
39%
Response Time Black / White *
22.4 (11.6, 10.8)
36 (11, 25)
-61%
27.2 (9.2, 18)
-21%
26 (13, 13)
-16%
PWM Frequency
220 (90)
220 (50)
0%
200 (50)
-9%
50 (40)
-77%
Screen
-16%
-33%
8%
11%
Brightness
322
220
-32%
287
-11%
363
13%
277
-14%
Brightness Distribution
88
84
-5%
85
-3%
84
-5%
83
-6%
Black Level *
0.32
0.27
16%
0.54
-69%
0.3
6%
0.27
16%
Contrast
1059
900
-15%
537
-49%
1257
19%
1067
1%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.88
7.49
-27%
9.7
-65%
4.7
20%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
7.41
7.5
-1%
10.83
-46%
3.1
58%
Gamma
2.36 102%
2.35 102%
2.91 82%
2.7 89%
CCT
6036 108%
6115 106%
12761 51%
6603 98%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
57.14
38.9
-32%
51.15
-10%
61.9
8%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
87.68
60.9
-31%
78.96
-10%
90.3
3%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-31% / -24%
-29% / -30%
8% / 8%
-4% / 3%

* ... smaller is better

AdobeRGB coverage (57%)
AdobeRGB coverage (57%)
sRGB coverage (88%)
sRGB coverage (88%)

Color representation was not one of the strength of our first test model. Thus, we had big hopes that the 3K panel would also perform better in this respect. The color space is indeed significantly larger and colors and grayscales are precise, although an sRGB coverage of 87.7% and average DeltaE deviations of between 6 and 7 are average at best in this price range. After calibration, colors and grayscales are displayed with the desired accuracy. Thus, at least semi-professional graphics editing is possible.

Grayscale
Grayscale
Color precision
Color precision
Color saturation
Color saturation
Grayscale (calibrated)
Grayscale (calibrated)
Color precision (calibrated)
Color precision (calibrated)
Color saturation (calibrated)
Color saturation (calibrated)

As a massive 15-inch device, the ThinkPad T560 is not primarily targeted at mobile workers. However, its very bright and anti-reflective display allows outdoor use without any problems. We could not say this about the darker Full HD model. Even in the brightest sunlight, the display content can be easily read.

Außeneinsatz (Bewölkung)

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
22.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 11.6 ms rise
↘ 10.8 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 21 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (26.7 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
32.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 17.2 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 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 19 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (42.8 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 220 Hz90 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 220 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 90 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 220 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

In comparison: 57 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 6272 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Viewing angles: Lenovo ThinkPad T560
Viewing angles: Lenovo ThinkPad T560

The test model takes a small step backwards in terms of viewing angle stability. The performance of the 3K panel is only average (at least for an IPS display). For example, the display shows an unusually high contrast loss when viewed diagonally from above, which makes the image appear slightly faint and overexposed. This phenomenon does not occur from other perspectives. Thus, we would say that this is more an academic  problem without impact on everyday use. Several users can view the display simultaneously without limitations.

Performance

Maximum Turbo: 3.4 GHz
Maximum Turbo: 3.4 GHz

With a clock range from 2.6 to 3.4 GHz (2 cores: 3.2 GHz), the Core i7-6600U  is currently the fastest representative of the Skylake ULV series. Compared to the cheaper Core i5-6200U (2.3 to 2.8 GHz), which also features two cores and Hyper threading, the i7-6600U also comes with a slightly larger L3 cache. As in all other current ULV models, the TDP is 15 watts by default.

The integrated HD Graphics 520 (24 EUs, 300 to 1050 MHz) only has to handle simple 2D and multimedia task in this case, since the dedicated Nvidia GeForce 940MX with 2 GB DDR3 VRAM is available for 3D applications. If its performance is not needed, the Optimus technology turns the GPU off completely in order to save energy.

In view of the steep price of about 2000 Euros (~2267), we would have wished for slightly more memory capacity than 8 GB DDR3L 1600 RAM and a meager 256 GB SSD: Since only one of two RAM slots is used, you can simply add a second 8 GB module. However, you would need to replace the existing 2.5-inch SSD by a larger model if required, since a free slot is missing.

Processor

15-Watt TDP
15-Watt TDP

Despite the modern 14 nm process, a TDP of 15 watts is often not sufficient to drive both CPU cores of the Core i7-6600U at a maximum possible full load frequency of 3.2 GHz. Although Lenovo allows up to 19 watts for short periods of time, which at least makes an initial clock of 3.0 GHz possible in Cinebench R15, the 15-watt limitation becomes effective after just less than 30 seconds and the clock rate falls to only 2.7 GHz. Thus, the expensively paid for performance potential of the i7 cannot be exploited to a large extent. This is particularly annoying, since Lenovo itself proves in the ThinkPad T460s how you can do better: In this model, the TDP was simply increased to 25 watts and the maximum Turbo Boost is used consistently. In contrast, the power consumption is not a limiting factor in single thread tasks, i.e. as long as only one core is used. The T560 can consistently use the maximum of 3.4 GHz.

In Multithreading, the ThinkPad performs only slightly better than the Tecra Z50 and falls behind the EliteBook 850 G3. The Latitude E5570 is the undisputed leader, since it is the only competitor with a quad core standard volt CPU.

We could not detect any performance differences between mains operation and battery mode.

Note: We could increase the TDP setting to a maximum of 25 watts by using Intel's Extreme Tuning Utility, which led to a perfect Turbo Boost use. Although this usually will not cause defects, the user should consider that the warranty will not necessarily cover such modifications.

Single-Threading
Single-Threading
Multi-Threading (start)
Multi-Threading (start)
Multi-Threading (end)
Multi-Threading (end)
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell Latitude E5570 N026LE557015EMEA
Intel Core i5-6440HQ
149 Points ∼76% +4%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
143 Points ∼73%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
143 Points ∼73% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
141 Points ∼72% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad T550
Intel Core i7-5600U
131 Points ∼67% -8%
HP EliteBook 850 G3
Intel Core i7-6500U
130 Points ∼67% -9%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
Intel Core i5-6200U
113 Points ∼58% -21%
Toshiba Tecra Z50-C-10P
Intel Core i5-6200U
105 Points ∼54% -27%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Dell Latitude E5570 N026LE557015EMEA
Intel Core i5-6440HQ
519 Points ∼24% +49%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
348 Points ∼16%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
306 Points ∼14% -12%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
347 Points ∼16% 0%
HP EliteBook 850 G3
Intel Core i7-6500U
322 Points ∼15% -7%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
Intel Core i5-6200U
290 Points ∼14% -17%
Toshiba Tecra Z50-C-10P
Intel Core i5-6200U
280 Points ∼13% -20%
Lenovo ThinkPad T550
Intel Core i7-5600U
279 Points ∼13% -20%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell Latitude E5570 N026LE557015EMEA
Intel Core i5-6440HQ
1.69 Points ∼76% +4%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
1.63 Points ∼74%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
1.62 Points ∼73% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
1.57 Points ∼71% -4%
HP EliteBook 850 G3
Intel Core i7-6500U
1.49 Points ∼67% -9%
Lenovo ThinkPad T550
Intel Core i7-5600U
1.48 Points ∼67% -9%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
Intel Core i5-6200U
1.29 Points ∼58% -21%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Dell Latitude E5570 N026LE557015EMEA
Intel Core i5-6440HQ
5.98 Points ∼25% +56%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
3.84 Points ∼16%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
3.39 Points ∼14% -12%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
3.83 Points ∼16% 0%
HP EliteBook 850 G3
Intel Core i7-6500U
3.6 Points ∼15% -6%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
Intel Core i5-6200U
3.23 Points ∼14% -16%
Lenovo ThinkPad T550
Intel Core i7-5600U
3.07 Points ∼13% -20%
X264 HD Benchmark 4.0
Pass 2
Dell Latitude E5570 N026LE557015EMEA
Intel Core i5-6440HQ
35 fps ∼21% +56%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
22.62 fps ∼13% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
22.45 fps ∼13%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
19.96 fps ∼12% -11%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
Intel Core i5-6200U
19.04 fps ∼11% -15%
Pass 1
Dell Latitude E5570 N026LE557015EMEA
Intel Core i5-6440HQ
161 fps ∼69% +41%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
120.37 fps ∼52% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
114.34 fps ∼49%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
108.56 fps ∼46% -5%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
Intel Core i5-6200U
97.96 fps ∼42% -14%
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
5109
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
10836
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5469
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
3.84 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.63 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
56.38 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
62.74 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
143 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
348 Points
Help

Storage Device

AS-SSD benchmark
AS-SSD benchmark

Instead of an SSHD (see first review), our new test model has a 256 GB SSD. It is one of the PM871 series from Samsung (TLC flash, presumably Samsung MGX controller). The SATA drive achieves decent sequential transfer rates of just above 500 MB/s in reading and 300 MB/s in writing. With 4K files and multiple parallel access, the results are almost on high-end level. Nevertheless, it is a pity that the T560 lacks a second M.2-2280 slot with even faster PCIe 3.0 x4 connection. This would make it possible to use an SSD and an HDD at the same time. The large 15-inch chassis should be more than big enough for this.

Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE
Samsung SSD PM871 MZ7LN256HCHP
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
HP EliteBook 850 G3
Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
Dell Latitude E5570 N026LE557015EMEA
Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB
Toshiba Tecra Z50-C-10P
Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
-89%
-6%
2%
3%
138%
Write 4k QD32
278.9
0.64
-100%
162.1
-42%
84.83
-70%
277
-1%
Read 4k QD32
346.9
0.807
-100%
326.1
-6%
253.2
-27%
561.3
62%
Write 4k
85.64
5.223
-94%
80.11
-6%
86.44
1%
87.61
2%
139.3
63%
Read 4k
33.4
0.36
-99%
30.42
-9%
45.85
37%
24.05
-28%
51.35
54%
Write Seq
306.1
113.2
-63%
426.1
39%
507
66%
415.8
36%
1530
400%
Read Seq
512.6
108.6
-79%
466.3
-9%
525
2%
511.6
0%
1778
247%
Samsung SSD PM871 MZ7LN256HCHP
Transfer Rate Minimum: 132 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 415.9 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 385.8 MB/s
Access Time: 0.1 ms
Burst Rate: 181.1 MB/s
CPU Usage: 4.9 %

System Performance

As a result of the moderate Turbo Boost use, the T560 does not only fall behind the smaller T460s in system performance, but also performs slightly worse than the EliteBook 850 G3 with a nominally weaker processor. However, the differences are not really big. Users will likely not notice any performance penalties in day-to-day office work even if benchmark scores are 20 percent lower. Subjectively, the ThinkPad is very responsive, boots and loads quickly and brings sufficient performance reserves for demanding applications and multitasking. Power users in particular should consider upgrading to 16 GB of RAM and take a closer look at the Latitude E5570 with an optional quad core CPUs.

PCMark 7 - Score
HP EliteBook 850 G3
Intel Core i7-6500U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
5201 Points ∼100% +7%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel Core i7-6600U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
5190 Points ∼100% +7%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE
Intel Core i7-6600U, NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Samsung SSD PM871 MZ7LN256HCHP
4853 Points ∼93%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
Intel Core i5-6200U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3609 Points ∼69% -26%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel Core i7-6600U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
4442 Points ∼100% +5%
HP EliteBook 850 G3
Intel Core i7-6500U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
4232 Points ∼95% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE
Intel Core i7-6600U, NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Samsung SSD PM871 MZ7LN256HCHP
4228 Points ∼95%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
Intel Core i5-6200U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
4091 Points ∼92% -3%
Toshiba Tecra Z50-C-10P
Intel Core i5-6200U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
3842 Points ∼86% -9%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel Core i7-6600U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
4338 Points ∼100% +8%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE
Intel Core i7-6600U, NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Samsung SSD PM871 MZ7LN256HCHP
4024 Points ∼93%
HP EliteBook 850 G3
Intel Core i7-6500U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
3932 Points ∼91% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
Intel Core i5-6200U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3546 Points ∼82% -12%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel Core i7-6600U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
3542 Points ∼100% +17%
HP EliteBook 850 G3
Intel Core i7-6500U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
3202 Points ∼90% +6%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE
Intel Core i7-6600U, NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Samsung SSD PM871 MZ7LN256HCHP
3017 Points ∼85%
Toshiba Tecra Z50-C-10P
Intel Core i5-6200U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
2991 Points ∼84% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
Intel Core i5-6200U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2928 Points ∼83% -3%
PCMark 7 Score
4853 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3017 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4024 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4228 points
Help

Graphics Card

Nvidia GeForce 940MX
Nvidia GeForce 940MX

It might still take several months before Nvidia's new Pascal generation will also be available in the notebook range. Thus, the recently introduced GeForce 940MX is an almost unchanged revision of the popular GeForce 940M (Maxwell architecture). With 384 shader units and a 64-bit memory interface (with 2 GB DDR3), the card is in the lower mid-range. This is also due to the clock rates being virtually identical to the predecessor’s with 1122 to 1242 MHz (chip) and 1000 MHz (memory).

Nevertheless, the 940MX is almost twice as fast as the integrated HD Graphics 520 depending on benchmark and memory configuration. In view of the current surcharge of just 70 Euros (~$79/source: Lenovo's online shop), the Nvidia CPU is also recommended for occasional gamers.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Dell Latitude E5570 N026LE557015EMEA
Intel Core i5-6440HQ, AMD Radeon R7 M370
2739 Points ∼100% +16%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE
Intel Core i7-6600U, NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
2360 Points ∼86%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel Core i7-6600U, Intel HD Graphics 520
1416 Points ∼52% -40%
HP EliteBook 850 G3
Intel Core i7-6500U, Intel HD Graphics 520
1327 Points ∼48% -44%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
Intel Core i5-6200U, Intel HD Graphics 520
1111 Points ∼41% -53%
3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Dell Latitude E5570 N026LE557015EMEA
Intel Core i5-6440HQ, AMD Radeon R7 M370
1801 Points ∼100% +9%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE
Intel Core i7-6600U, NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
1651 Points ∼92%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel Core i7-6600U, Intel HD Graphics 520
935 Points ∼52% -43%
HP EliteBook 850 G3
Intel Core i7-6500U, Intel HD Graphics 520
786 Points ∼44% -52%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
Intel Core i5-6200U, Intel HD Graphics 520
591 Points ∼33% -64%
3DMark 06 Standard
12843 points
3DMark 11 Performance
2467 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
6522 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1459 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Even though the performance gain compared to the HD Graphics 520 appears huge, the absolute performance of the 940MX is quite poor: The GeForce GPU can handle most games from 2016 only at 720p and with low settings. Two to three year old games can be played with a higher detail and resolution. Thus, those with serious gaming ambitions will not be happy with a business meteorite such as the T560.

low med. high ultra
Crysis 3 (2013) 43.326.320.16.6fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 92.854.143.914.9fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 48.537.822.911.3fps
Battlefield 4 (2013) 67.144.329.911.7fps
Sims 4 (2014) 158.665.836.729.1fps
Dirt Rally (2015) 82.941.42312.5fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 31.41910.3fps
Mad Max (2015) 39.319.718fps
World of Warships (2015) 104.463.526.123.5fps
Anno 2205 (2015) 52.126.412.15.9fps
Fallout 4 (2015) 35.222.1129.8fps
Star Wars Battlefront (2015) 54.132.415.313.2fps
Rainbow Six Siege (2015) 70.343.721.815.6fps
Just Cause 3 (2015) 3829.613.712.7fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 26.917.710.7fps
XCOM 2 (2016) 30.611.27.2fps
Far Cry Primal (2016) 3113128fps
Hitman 2016 (2016) 28.8237.8fps

Emissions

System Noise

Frequency characteristics (idle, 3DM06, full load)
Frequency characteristics (idle, 3DM06, full load)

As expected, the faster processor and the dedicated graphics card make for a slightly louder noise under full load, although the T560 only reaches a maximum of 34.6 to 37.7 dB(A) in this scenario. It is not surprising that weaker equipped competitors such as the EliteBook 850 G3 or the Tecra Z50 remain even quieter, while the Latitude E5570 with quad core processors gets the last place.

While idling, the T560 is an entirely silent work device thanks to an SSD and a deactivated fan. This does also not change during simple office tasks. The cooling system first starts running at a very low, hardly audible rotation speed after prolonged (partial) load.

Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE
GeForce 940MX, 6600U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZ7LN256HCHP
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
HP EliteBook 850 G3
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
Dell Latitude E5570 N026LE557015EMEA
Radeon R7 M370, 6440HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB
Toshiba Tecra Z50-C-10P
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
Noise
-1%
2%
-16%
-5%
off / environment *
29
29
-0%
29
-0%
31.2
-8%
Idle Minimum *
29
30.8
-6%
29
-0%
30.3
-4%
32.4
-12%
Idle Average *
29
30.8
-6%
29
-0%
30.3
-4%
32.4
-12%
Idle Maximum *
29
30.8
-6%
29
-0%
30.3
-4%
32.4
-12%
Load Average *
34.6
33.1
4%
32.6
6%
47.8
-38%
33.5
3%
Load Maximum *
37.7
34.4
9%
34.6
8%
48.5
-29%
33.5
11%

* ... smaller is better

Noise Level

Idle
29 / 29 / 29 dB(A)
Load
34.6 / 37.7 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   ECM8000 + Voltcraft SL-451 (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 29 dB(A)

Temperature

Stress test
Stress test
Prime95
Prime95

Unfortunately, it appears that the ThinkPad can only cope with the higher waste heat of our premium configuration to some extent. The hardware starts to throttle as soon as the core temperatures reach 70 °C (~158 °F/GPU) or 80 °C (~176 °F/CPU). This does not only occur in our stress test, but also (at least for the GeForce 940MX) in several games. Most of the time, the clock rate loss is below 10% and therewith hardly noticeable. However, higher ambient temperatures and a dusty fan might cause significantly higher throttling.

At the same time, the case temperatures reach maximum values of just above 50 °C (~122 °F), however, only at a very small hot spot on the underside of the case. Overall, the temperature increase is acceptable under permanent load and even very low when running idle.

Max. Load
 30.5 °C34.7 °C40 °C 
 31 °C37.2 °C43.3 °C 
 29.8 °C32.2 °C34.7 °C 
Maximum: 43.3 °C
Average: 34.8 °C
35.7 °C34.8 °C31.4 °C
51.1 °C50.2 °C32.8 °C
36 °C33.1 °C30 °C
Maximum: 51.1 °C
Average: 37.2 °C
Power Supply (max.)  50.9 °C | Room Temperature 23.6 °C | Fluke 62 Max

Energy Management

Power Consumption

In idle mode, the new test sample requires 4.4 to 10.9 watts, while the Core i5 model  needed only 4.3 to 7.8 watts. This is a plus of about 3.1 watts, which might be primarily due to the brighter and higher-resolution 3K display. Under load, the top model needs 52.7 to 64.2 watts, which is double the power consumption of the entry-level configuration (26.3 to 32 watts) without a dedicated graphics card. Lenovo takes account of the higher energy demand with a sufficiently large 65-watt power adapter.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.25 / 0.4 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 4.4 / 9.8 / 10.9 Watt
Load midlight 52.7 / 64.2 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Battery Life

Although 7.5 hours are still excellent compared to the competitors, compared to the T560-20FH001FGE, the battery life is significantly shorter, particularly during Wi-Fi surfing (150 cd/m²). By the way, if you replace the 23-Wh battery on the rear side with the optional 72-Wh battery, you can increase the battery life by 70%. In combination with the internal 44-Wh battery, the total battery capacity increases from 67 to huge 116 Wh.

Even after several tests, we cannot plausibly explain why the battery life even increased in the H.264 test (Big Buck Bunny 1080p, 150 cd/m², Wi-Fi modules off) despite higher power consumption. Maybe drive and firmware updates, which increased the energy efficiency of video playback have an impact here (and make up for the higher energy demand of the 3K display).

Reader's test
Reader's test
WLAN test
WLAN test
H.264 test
H.264 test
Classic test
Classic test
Charging
Charging
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE
67 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
67 Wh
HP EliteBook 850 G3
46 Wh
Dell Latitude E5570 N026LE557015EMEA
62 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad T550
67 Wh
Battery Runtime
29%
-11%
-23%
28%
Reader / Idle
1036
1085
5%
915
-12%
800
-23%
1264
22%
H.264
599
571
-5%
430
-28%
WiFi v1.3
456
661
45%
417
-9%
Load
133
226
70%
142
7%
177
33%
WiFi
297
677
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
17h 16min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
7h 36min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
9h 59min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 13min

Pros

+ robust, purpose built case
+ precise display hinges
+ excellent keyboard
+ fast Wi-Fi and LTE
+ bright, high-resolution IPS display
+ high system performance
+ various security features
+ great battery life
+ 3-years warranty

Cons

- lack of a maintenance hatch
- no USB 3.1 or Type C
- moderate Turbo Boost utilization
- slight throttling under full load
- high price

Verdict

In review: Lenovo ThinkPad T560. Test model provided by Campuspoint.de
In review: Lenovo ThinkPad T560. Test model provided by Campuspoint.de

i7-CPU, SSD, LTE radio, 3K display and dedicated Nvidia graphics - when looking at the specifications of our ThinkPad T560 you might think that you will get a perfect bundle without any flaws. Actually, the premium configuration has eliminated many of the smaller points of criticism on the entry-level model and brings an adequate display brightness and a very appealing system and 3D performance.

However, we have found several weaknesses in detail, which should not occur in a device in this price range. The restrictive TDP configuration of the processor is particularly annoying, since it reduces the performance potential of the i7-6600U significantly. In addition, the reserves of the cooling system do not appear particularly large. Lenovo could have simply overcome these two problems with a larger fan or an additional heatpipe. Nevertheless, we want to emphasize that hardly any limitations are to be expected at realistic load and "normal" ambient temperature.

Otherwise, everything else noted in the first review also applies to the T560-20FH001FGE:

Those looking for a quiet work device with good build quality and excellent input devices may buy without hesitation.

School children and university students should be aware of the highly discounted Campus offers, which reduce the price of the test configuration from 2000 Euros (~$2267) to  1700 Euros (~$1927). Those who cannot or do not want to spend that much, will also find reasonably equipped models for under 1000 Euros (~$1134/T560-20FJS03700 with i5-6200U, 8 GB of RAM, 256-GB-SSD, Full-HD).

Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE - 06/17/2016 v5.1
Till Schönborn

Chassis
90 / 98 → 92%
Keyboard
94%
Pointing Device
87%
Connectivity
70 / 80 → 87%
Weight
61 / 67 → 87%
Battery
91%
Display
86%
Games Performance
63 / 68 → 93%
Application Performance
84 / 92 → 91%
Temperature
88%
Noise
95%
Audio
69%
Camera
53 / 85 → 62%
Average
79%
89%
Office - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo ThinkPad T560 (Core i7, 940MX, 3K) Notebook Review
Till Schönborn, 2016-06-21 (Update: 2016-06-22)