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ThinkPad T490s and X390: Brighter, more accurate and better contrast

We have first display measurements of the two new ThinkPads T490s and X390. Lenovo managed to improve the brightness as well as the color accuracy, but not everything is better.

We showed you our two test configurations of the new ThinkPad models T490s ad X390 a couple of days ago. There have been many comments and questions about the displays, so we decided to publish our initial results. We also added the results of the respective predecessors for better comparison; in the case of the T480s both the WQHD as well as the 1080p SKUs.

Lenovo ThinkPad T490s-20NYS02A00
B140HAN05.7, 1920x1080
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s-20L8S02D00
LP140QH2-SPB1, 2560x1440
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
Lenovo LP140WF6-SPB7, 1920x1080
Lenovo ThinkPad X390-20Q1S02M00
LP133WF7-SPB1, 1920x1080
Lenovo ThinkPad X280-20KES01S00
B125HAN02.2, 1920x1080
Lenovo ThinkPad L390-20NR0013GE
LP133WF2-SPL8, 1920x1080
Response Times
33%
39%
9%
30%
27%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
61.6 (30.8, 30.8)
38.4 (19.6, 18.8)
38%
35.6 (17.6, 18)
42%
57.6 (28.4, 29.2)
6%
40 (22, 18)
35%
42.8 (22.8, 20)
31%
Response Time Black / White *
38.8 (21.2, 17.6)
28.4 (15.6, 12.8)
27%
24.8 (13.2, 11.6)
36%
34 (18.4, 15.6)
12%
29.6 (16.4, 13.2)
24%
30 (15.2, 14.8)
23%
PWM Frequency
30490 (99)
Screen
-25%
-82%
-1%
-44%
-101%
Brightness middle
391
352
-10%
307
-21%
356
-9%
344
-12%
298
-24%
Brightness
389
343
-12%
295
-24%
336
-14%
313
-20%
278
-29%
Brightness Distribution
87
91
5%
90
3%
88
1%
82
-6%
81
-7%
Black Level *
0.23
0.46
-100%
0.25
-9%
0.16
30%
0.25
-9%
0.33
-43%
Contrast
1700
765
-55%
1228
-28%
2225
31%
1376
-19%
903
-47%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.4
3.3
3%
5.7
-68%
3.6
-6%
4.7
-38%
6.5
-91%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
4.7
7.3
-55%
21.3
-353%
5.5
-17%
19.4
-313%
23.9
-409%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
1.1
4.7
-327%
1.1
-0%
4.9
-345%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4
5.3
-33%
3.7
7%
4.7
-18%
2.2
45%
5.6
-40%
Gamma
2.49 88%
2.22 99%
2.11 104%
2.48 89%
2.16 102%
2.08 106%
CCT
6809 95%
6452 101%
7353 88%
6374 102%
6252 104%
6669 97%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
62.4
68.4
10%
37.4
-40%
61.3
-2%
41.2
-34%
38.4
-38%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
97.4
98
1%
58.7
-40%
95.7
-2%
64.1
-34%
60.1
-38%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
4% / -15%
-22% / -63%
4% / 1%
-7% / -32%
-37% / -81%

* ... smaller is better

Let's start with the good things. The Full-HD panel of the T490s is much brighter and reaches the advertised 400 nits at some measurement points. This makes it much brighter than the previous 1080p SKU and even the WQHD screen is beaten. The black value does not suffer, which results in an excellent contrast ratio. The panel of the X390 is also brighter with an excellent contrast ratio.

The biggest (positive) is the improved color accuracy, which is not common among business devices. Both models cover almost the full sRGB gamut and the DeltaE-2000 deviations of all colors are below the important mark of 3 after our calibration.

We also encountered one drawback: long response times. They result in clearly visible ghosting (very noticeable when you move the cursor or windows).

Expect our full in-depth analysis of the screens in our upcoming reviews.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 04 > ThinkPad T490s and X390: Brighter, more accurate and better contrast
Andreas Osthoff, 2019-04-14 (Update: 2019-04-15)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.