Whether you're an overachiever or an up-and-comer, ThinkPad laptops
are the tools you need. From the thin-and-light wonder to the heavy-duty mobile workstation, they're built, tested and enhanced for reliability, durability and speed. ThinkPad notebooks endure a lot before they ever reach you. We meticulously design many of them to pass rugged military spec tests. We outfit them with spill-resistant keyboards, roll-cage technology and shock-mounted hard drives. And we test them in ways you can't imagine - baking, battering, blistering and blowing them with sand.
Lenovo's notebook uses the same chassis as its predecessor, the ThinkPad T440s, and that's a good thing. With the T450 rectangular shape and raven-black lid, sides and bottom, the device has the quiet but classy ThinkPad aesthetic that's equally at home in the boardroom or the coffee shop. The red TrackPoint pointing stick and its red-striped buttons add small splashes of color. ThinkPad logos with glowing red lights for the dot in the "i" sit on the lid and the deck, blinking to show you when your system is asleep. Even if you don't like the ThinkPad T450 conservative looks, you have to love its durability. With a carbon-fiber lid, magnesium body and interior roll cage, the notebook is designed to take some abuse, passing MIL-SPEC tests for extreme temperatures, humidity, vibration, sand, shocks and fungus. The company also tests the T450 by opening the device's stainless steel hinges 30,000 times and dropping metal balls on the machine from over a meter in the air. The keyboard also has a drain to help it survive spills
If typing comfort and speed are important to you, there is no better choice than the ThinkPad T450, which has the best laptop keyboard money can buy. It's even better than many other ThinkPads. With 1.9mm of travel and 63 grams of actuation force (55-60 is typical), the keys have a strong tactile feel that makes typing incredibly comfortable and accurate. Almost as good is the subtle indentation in the keys themselves, which makes it easy to feel your way around and avoid adjacent-key errors.
Trackpoint and Touchpad
Like other ThinkPads, the T450 comes with two different pointing devices: a touchpad and a TrackPoint pointing stick. I prefer the TrackPoint, because it offers much more precise navigation, allowing me to highlight text, click small icons and zoom from one side of the screen to the other, without having to lift my hands off of the home row.
Dolby Digital Plus audio software enhances the sound quality a bit and allows you to customize the equalizer or choose from profiles, including those for movies, music and gaming. When I toggled the Dolby software to off, the music sounded a bit flat.
The ThinkPad T450 stayed pleasantly cool throughout our tests. After 15 minutes of streaming video at full screen, the touchpad measured just 82 degrees, the keyboard clocked in at a mere 85 degrees and the underside was only 89 degrees Fahrenheit. We consider temperatures below 95 degrees acceptable and those below 90 degrees imperceptible. In other words, you won't feel any heat under normal circumstances.
Unlike thinner notebooks, such as the ThinkPad X1 Carbon\, the ThinkPad T450 has a full compliment of ports, letting you connect to a variety of peripherals and networks without using a dongle. On the right side sit a USB 3.0 port, an Ethernet connection, VGA out, a headphone/mic jack, a Kensington lock slot and a 4-in-1 card reader. A number of business notebooks lack Ethernet, making it more difficult to connect to wired networks, and VGA, which is still standard on many conferencing systems and projectors.The left side houses a mini DisplayPort out and two more USB 3.0 ports, for a total of 3. By comparison, the MacBook Pro has no Ethernet port, and the X1 Carbon has an extender port, which requires an adapter. The X1 Carbon also lacks an SD Card reader.
The T450 720p webcam captured colorful images of my face, which were just a little noisy under the somewhat dim fluorescent lights of our office. In a very dark room, the picture was more pixilated but still vibrant and detailed. Frequent video-conferencers will appreciate the notebook's dual-array microphones, which can be optimized for either single- or multi-voice conversations.
Though nobody would mistake the ThinkPad T450 for a gaming machine, its integrated Intel HD Graphics 5,500 graphics processor is fast enough for casual gaming and serious productivity. The notebook scored 59,843 on 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited, a synthetic benchmark that measures graphics. That number is slightly behind the 65,420 category average, but many products in the thin-and-light category are designed with discrete graphics