Although there are plenty of business laptops out there, Lenovo’s ThinkPad T460 is the best tool for getting work done. Starting at $810 (the model we tested came in at $1,362), this 14-inch productivity powerhouse combines epic battery life with a comfortable keyboard, an accurate touchpad, a durable chassis and strong performance.
Design and Durability
At 3.8 pounds and 13.4 x 9.2 x 0.83 inches, the ThinkPad T460 certainly is not the thinnest or the lightest 14-inch business laptop. But it is compact enough to carry everywhere or set on your lap. Lenovo’s laptop uses its larger size to make room for a removable battery. This is a huge positive, especially if you opt for the 6-cell unit.
Not to be confused with the thinner ThinkPad T460s, which is thinner, lighter and has a non-removable battery with sub-par life.
The ThinkPad T460 has the same simple, but beautiful aesthetic as most other Lenovo business laptops. Its matte black chassis with the simplicity of a silver ThinkPad logos. There is a red status light on the lid and deck, and a red TrackPoint on the keyboard. The ThinkPad T460 boasts a spill-resistant keyboard which provides a truly excellent typing experience.
The glass-fiber-reinforced plastic chassis allows the Lenovo ThinkPad T460 with withstand a few scrapes. According to the Lenovo, the T460 passed durability tests, including those for extreme temperatures, shocks and vibrations.
The Thinkpad T460 has Intel vPro-capable CPU options and a Trusted Platform Module, in addition to the security and manageability features that enterprise IT departments require. It also comes standard with a fingerprint reader.
Keyboard, TrackPoint and TouchPad
The ThinkPad T460’s spill-resistant keyboard offers great response for an excellent overall typing experience. The keys are crescent shaped and have 2.33 millimeters of vertical travel, which is deeper than the typical 1.5 to 2mm is typical. The keyboard requires just 50 grams of force to actuate (or press down), so it doesn’t feel quite as snappy as most other ThinkPads, which require 55 to 60 grams.
Like most ThinkPads, the T460 has a TrackPoint pointing stick between its G and H keys. It provided extremely accurate navigation. Whether I was navigating through Windows or highlighting text, I could keep my hands right on home row.
The navigation of the large touchpad was smooth and responsive, with little of the jumpiness or stickiness can sometimes be an issue on button-less pads. It also responded quickly and consistently to multi-touch gestures like pinch-to-zoom, two-finger scroll and three-finger swipe.
The ThinkPad T460’s 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 touch screen displays sharp images and fairly accurate, but not the most rich, colors. Images started to fade when viewed at more than 45 degrees off center.
Most touch screens offer glossy displays, but the ThinkPad T460 offers a matte display. This helps to eliminate glare.
The ThinkPad T460 reproduces 67 percent of the sRGB color gamut with both touch and non-touch panels, which is a lot fewer shades than the category average (84 percent). However, the colors on the display are notably accurate. The Delta-E error rate came in at just 0.45 (0 is perfect).
The ThinkPad T460’s display brightness maxes out at 239 nits of brightness with a touch screen and 242 nits with non-touch. These ratings are just about on park with the category average (242).
The bottom-front-mounted speakers on the T460 work well enough for conferencing and watching videos, but not ideal for music. When played back, drums sounded thin and toy-like and vocals were somewhat distorted.
The preloaded Dolby Audio software change the equalizer settings or use presets for music, movies, games or voice calls.
Ports and Webcam
The ThinkPad T460 includes just about every port someone could need, but it lacks the USB Type-C connector that is being seen more and more on new technology. On the right side of the laptop, there is a 3.5mm jack, an SD card reader, a SIM card slot, a USB 3 port, Ethernet, HDMI out and a Kensington lock slot. The left side includes a mini DisplayPort, an optional SmartCard reader and two more USB ports, making a total of 3 USB ports.
With its Intel Core i5-6300U CPU, 16GB of RAM and 256GB SSD, the ThinkPad T460 was adequately equipped for intense multitasking and extreme productivity work. With 12 Chrome tabs open and a local 1080p video playing, the ThinkPad T460 was able to keep up without any lag at all.
Lenovo’s laptop took just over 4 minutes to complete the spreadsheet macro test, matching 20,000 names to addresses in OpenOffice Calc. The ThinkPad T460’s time is way faster than the category average (5:54), slightly faster than the Toshiba Tecra A40 (4:30) and about equal to the ThinkPad T460s (4:10). The Latitude E5470 was just a bit quicker.
The larger battery allowed the ThinkPad T460 to last a whopping 13 hours and 12 minutes.
The ThinkPad T460 and its speedy 256GB SSD took less than 30 seconds to finish the Laptop File Transfer Test. The Laptop File Transfer test included transferring just under 5GB of media. At a rate of 175.5 MBps, that comes in faster than the category average (115.1).
Even with the great multi-tasking power, this is not the laptop to play demanding games or do high-end 3D modeling. The Intel HD Graphics 520 GPU is suitable enough for casual games and watching HD video.
The ThinkPad T460 stayed cool as we used it. After streaming a video for 15 minutes, the touchpad and keyboard measured at 82 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit, well below the 95-degree comfort threshold. While the bottom of the laptop came in right at 95 degrees.
ThinkPad T460 has Lenovo’s useful PowerBridge technology with an internal 3-cell battery along with a removable 3- or 6-cell unit. When the external battery runs out, you can swap it out for a spare unit, without needing to shut down the computer. Additionally, Lenovo provides the option to purchase the laptop with low, medium or high-capacity batteries, the difference in price being just $15.
Having the larger battery means the ThinkPad T460 can last up to Laptop Mag Battery test, which involves continuous surfing over Wi-Fi at 100 nits of brightness. With a touch screen, the time dropped to a still-strong 13 hours and 12 minutes However, with the 3-cell battery, the T460 endured for only 8 :26 (non-touch) and 6:40 (touch).
The T460’s 6-cell battery runtime is way ahead of the thin-and-light laptop category average (8:06). It also bests the Dell Latitude E5470 (7:16), the Toshiba Tecra A40 (6:44) and the HP EliteBook 745 G3 (5:54). The ThinkPad T460s and its sealed-in battery managed only 7 hours and 21 minutes.
You can choose to configure the T460 to order, selecting key components such as the screen, CPU, RAM, storage drive and battery. This option is only available if your order directly through Lenovo.
The $809 base model comes with a 1366 x 768 non-touch display, an Intel Core i3-6100U processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. Our $1,362 review configuration came with a 1920 x 1080 touch screen, a Core i5-6300U CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and a 6-cell battery.
The best configuration option for the T460 is certainly with the 6-cell, 72-watt hour battery, which provides double the endurance and costs only $10 more than the default, 3-cell unit. Unless you really need touch, the ThinkPad also has the option to come without the 1920 x 1080 non-touch screen, which is only $50 more than the default 1366 x 768 panel.
Software and Warranty
The ThinkPad T460 comes preloaded with a handful of useful utilities and a small amount of bloatware. Lenovo Settings lets you tweak the power, sound, camera, display and touchpad controls while Lenovo Companion runs hardware scans and checks for system updates. The laptop also comes with Candy Crush Soda Saga, Flipboard and a tile that links to the Windows Store page for Photoshop Express.
Lenovo backs the ThinkPad T460 with a standard, one-year depot warranty, where the company pays for return shipping of defective products. You can also pay between $39 and $579 extra to extend the warranty up to five years, add on-site service or tack on accidental damage protection
The ThinkPad T460 is an exception tool that will really help the business professional with productivity. The laptop’s deep key travel makes it easy to type fast and accurately, and its larger battery lends to a long battery-life. This gives you the opportunity to work for hours without needing to worry about powering down or plugging in. If you’re looking for a powerful, mainstream business laptop, the ThinkPad T460 should be at the top of your shopping list.