Is T480 Better than T490? A Comparative Analysis

The Lenovo ThinkPad series is highly renowned for its durability, portability, and robust performance. Within this esteemed lineup, the T480 and T490 models have garnered significant attention due to their exceptional features and capabilities. However, a lingering question persists among consumers: which is the superior choice, the T480 or T490? This article aims to provide a comprehensive comparative analysis of these two laptops, exploring their specifications, design elements, performance metrics, and other crucial factors to determine the true champion of the ThinkPad series.

Starting with design, both the T480 and T490 retain the classic, iconic appearance that ThinkPads are celebrated for. However, subtle differences can be observed in their dimensions and weight. Understanding these distinctions will be essential in evaluating which model better suits an individual’s preferences and needs. Moreover, by closely examining the technical specifications, including display options, processor capabilities, storage capacity, and connectivity features, we will shed light on the performance disparities between the T480 and T490. Through this comprehensive comparative analysis, readers will gain valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of each model, empowering them to make an informed choice when selecting their ideal ThinkPad.

#1. Design and Build Quality: Comparing the aesthetics and durability of the T480 and T490

Design and build quality are crucial factors to consider when choosing between the T480 and T490. The T480 boasts a classic ThinkPad design, with a solid carbon fiber and magnesium construction that exudes a professional look. Its chassis is MIL-STD-810G tested, ensuring durability even in harsh environments.

On the other hand, the T490 features a slightly slimmer and sleeker build, with a more modern aesthetic. It still maintains the robustness of its predecessor, as it also meets military-grade durability standards. However, some users have reported a slight flex in the T490’s chassis, which could be a concern for more demanding users.

Both laptops come with a spill-resistant keyboard, providing peace of mind for users working in coffee shops or other accident-prone environments. The T480 offers the classic Lenovo Precision keyboard, widely applauded for its excellent typing experience. The T490, meanwhile, introduces a redesigned keyboard with slightly shallower key travel.

Overall, while the T490 showcases a more contemporary design, the T480 provides a sturdier build quality. It ultimately comes down to personal preference, with the T480 winning in terms of durability and the T490 offering a more modern aesthetic.

Performance and Processing Power: Evaluating the processing capabilities and performance differences between the T480 and T490

The performance and processing power of a laptop are crucial factors for productivity and efficiency. When comparing the T480 and T490, it is essential to consider their processing capabilities.

The T480 is equipped with Intel’s 8th generation processors, offering a range of options from the Intel Core i5-8250U to the Core i7-8650U. With up to 32GB of RAM, it can handle demanding tasks and multitasking quite efficiently.

On the other hand, the T490 comes with the newer 10th generation Intel processors, including the Core i5-10210U and the Core i7-10810U. These processors provide improved performance and better power efficiency compared to their predecessors.

In terms of graphics, the T480 features integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620, while the T490 offers upgraded integrated Intel UHD Graphics or optional NVIDIA graphics for enhanced visual performance.

Both models provide sufficient power for everyday tasks such as web browsing, document editing, and multimedia consumption. However, the T490’s 10th generation processors and improved graphics offer a slight advantage in terms of overall performance and processing power.

Display and Screen Options: Analyzing the display options and screen quality of the T480 and T490

The display and screen options play a crucial role in determining the overall user experience and productivity level. When comparing the T480 and T490, it is essential to delve into this aspect and analyze the differences.

Both the T480 and T490 come with 14-inch displays, but the T490 takes a marginal lead in terms of screen quality. With a thinner bezel, the T490 offers a more immersive viewing experience. The colors appear more vibrant and accurate, thanks to its improved IPS panel. Additionally, the T490 boasts a higher resolution, making it perfect for professionals who work with detailed visuals or multiple windows simultaneously.

While the T480’s display is no slouch, especially with its wide viewing angles and ample brightness, it falls slightly behind the T490’s display enhancements. However, it is worth mentioning that the T480’s display is more than adequate for everyday tasks and general multimedia consumption.

In conclusion, if an exceptional display is a priority and you are willing to invest a bit more, the T490 holds the advantage. However, if you are on a tighter budget and require a reliable display for typical usage, the T480 is still an excellent choice.

Battery Life and Efficiency: Assessing the battery life and power efficiency of the T480 and T490

When it comes to portable devices, battery life and efficiency are crucial factors to consider. In this subheading, we will delve into the battery performance of the T480 and T490, providing insight into their capabilities and efficiency.

The T480 is equipped with a 24Whr external battery along with a variety of options for internal batteries, such as the 24Whr, 24/72Whr, and 24/72Whr (slim external). This range allows users to customize the laptop’s configuration based on their specific needs, trading off between portability and battery capacity. On average, the T480 can last around 12-17 hours on a single charge, depending on the chosen battery setup.

On the other hand, the T490 features an integrated 50Whr lithium polymer battery, offering a considerable increase in battery capacity compared to its predecessor. With this battery, users can expect a battery life of 14-18 hours, depending on usage and configuration.

While the T480 provides the advantage of interchangeable batteries, the T490 compensates with its higher capacity integrated battery. Therefore, users who prioritize longer battery life and fewer interruptions may find the T490 more suitable. However, those who require the flexibility of exchanging batteries on the go might lean towards the T480. Ultimately, the decision will depend on individual preferences and requirements.

Connectivity and Ports

Connectivity and Ports: Examining the range of connectivity options and available ports in the T480 and T490

When it comes to connectivity and ports, the T480 and T490 both offer a comprehensive range of options, ensuring that users can connect to various devices and peripherals without any hassle.

The T480 comes equipped with a wide array of ports, including two USB 3.0 ports, two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, an SD card reader, and an audio jack. This extensive selection of ports allows for easy connectivity with external monitors, storage devices, and other accessories.

On the other hand, the T490 takes a slightly different approach. It incorporates two USB 3.1 ports, two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports, an HDMI 1.4 port, an Ethernet extension connector, and a headphone/microphone combo jack. While it doesn’t have an SD card reader, the T490 compensates by offering faster USB 3.1 ports.

Both models also feature Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities for wireless connectivity, enabling users to connect to the internet or transfer data effortlessly.

Overall, while there are minor differences in the specific ports provided, both the T480 and T490 offer a versatile range of connectivity options to cater to various user needs.

Price and Value for Money: Comparing the prices and assessing the overall value for money offered by the T480 and T490

When it comes to purchasing a new laptop, one of the most important factors to consider is the price and value for money. In this section, we will compare the prices of the T480 and T490 models and assess the overall value they offer.

The Lenovo T480 and T490 are both premium laptops, designed for professional use. They offer similar build quality, performance, and display options. However, there are some differences when it comes to price.

The T480 is generally more affordable than the T490. While the T490 offers some additional features and improvements, such as a slimmer design and faster processor options, the price difference may not always justify these upgrades for everyone.

If budget is a major concern, the T480 provides an excellent value for money. It still offers a powerful performance, good battery life, and a durable build. On the other hand, if you require the latest specifications and can afford the premium, the T490 might be a better choice.

Ultimately, the decision between the T480 and T490 will depend on your specific requirements and budget. It is important to carefully consider the features and price to ensure you get the best value for money.


1. Is the T480 more powerful than the T490?

The T480 and T490 models have different CPUs and specifications, making their performance vary. While the T480 might offer better performance due to its higher-grade CPU options, it is advised to compare individual configurations to determine which model suits your needs.

2. How does the battery life of the T480 compare to that of the T490?

Both the T480 and T490 have decent battery lives, but the T490 utilizes newer components and technologies that may provide improved power efficiency. However, determining the exact difference in battery life would require comparing specific configurations and usage scenarios.

3. Are there any notable design differences between the T480 and T490?

In terms of design, the T480 and T490 have a similar overall appearance. However, the T490 may feature some subtle enhancements, such as slimmer bezels or updated ports. It is recommended to review the latest specifications and product images to identify any notable design differences.

4. Can I upgrade components like RAM and storage in both models?

Both the T480 and T490 offer some level of upgradability, allowing users to expand RAM and storage. However, the specific upgrade options may vary depending on the configuration and model. Checking the manufacturer’s specifications or consulting a professional would be helpful to understand the upgradability of each model.

5. Which model offers better value for money?

Determining the better value for money between the T480 and T490 requires evaluating individual preferences and needs. While the T490 may offer improved features and performance due to its newer technologies, the T480 might be more cost-effective for certain users with specific requirements. Comparing the prices and specifications of both models would be essential for making an informed decision.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, after conducting a comparative analysis between the T480 and T490, it is evident that the T490 surpasses its predecessor in several key areas. The T490 boasts a more compact and lighter design, making it a more convenient and portable option. Additionally, the T490 features an upgraded processor and larger RAM capacity, resulting in improved performance and faster processing speeds. Furthermore, the T490 incorporates newer technology advancements such as Thunderbolt 3 ports and an improved audio system, enhancing the overall user experience. Overall, the T490 proves to be a superior choice for individuals seeking enhanced portability, performance, and cutting-edge features.

However, it is important to note that while the T490 may have several advantages over the T480, it may not necessarily be the optimal choice for everyone. The T480 still stands as a reliable and powerful machine, particularly for those who prioritize durability and prefer a more traditional design. Additionally, the T480 may be a more cost-effective option for those on a tighter budget, as it often comes at a lower price point compared to the newer T490. Ultimately, the choice between the T480 and T490 depends on individual preferences and needs, but it is clear that the T490 offers superior advancements and features for those in search of a more advanced and high-performing laptop.

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