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Hands On: ThinkPad T440 review

It has Haswell, but read the fine print on that 17-hour claim

Our Early Verdict

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1600 x 900
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Low starting price
  • Choose touch or no touch
  • Plenty of ports
  • 12-hour battery life standard

Against

  • A bit chunky for an ultrabook
  • That 17-hour battery life claims requires a bulbous battery, not included

This time last year, we saw Lenovo reworking the design of its classic ThinkPad laptop. Gone were the lid locking "sweater-catchers," the dedicated volume button and classic touchpad design.

Everything became a bit more unibody, clean to look at and a bit more Apple MacBook Pro-ish.

Then Haswell arrived and it became time to change out the internals as well.

Lenovo ThinkPad T440 review

That's just what Lenovo has done, introducing the ThinkPad T440 at IDF 2013. The same chip that put the MacBook Air past the ten-hour mark in battery life powers this Windows 8 ultrabook.

It's a bit chunky for an ultrabook, weighing 4lbs in its most basic configuration. Adding a touch display adds a bit of weight to it, as well as extra cost. It's still only 21mm at it's thickest point though.

The MacBook Air might be thinner and lighter but the T440 has more ports. In addition to two USB 3.0 ports, there's an SD card slot, Ethernet and VGA.

Lenovo ThinkPad T440 review

Storage options are big and functional as well, with the option of either a 512GB or 1TB SSD. The T440 can also get up 12GB of DDR3L, though we're not sure you'll need that much, since an i5 processor is your only option, not i7.

RAM and storage aside, Lenovo is really bragging on 17-hours of battery life. Manufacturer claims are always a bit inflated, but you should know that to get this MacBook Air beating longevity, you'll have to pony up for a second cell.

Lenovo ThinkPad T440 review

Not only does it cost more, it's awkwardly large. It's has a bulbous rounded bottom that makes the T440 sit at a propped up angle.

We're not sure it'll be worth the hassle and cash, especially since the T440 already claims 12-hours with its normal battery setup. It actually has two batteries by default, one that's internal and another that's swappable.

Lenovo ThinkPad T440 review

If you do decide to purchase extra batteries, they'll work on a number of the new T-series machines, basically all of them expect the T440P, so your IT department will get its money's worth. You can also hot swap the cells without shutting down, providing the internal battery still has some charge.

Early verdict

Post-Haswell, you can't launch a premium ultrabook without offering jaw dropping battery. Unless you seriously cut the price it just won't be considered competitive.

That was our biggest problem with the ThinkPad Helix convertible. Despite all it had going for it, the price was just too much to ask for with comparably priced machines lasting far longer.

That oddly engorged battery reminds us of the flap on the back of the Helix; an unfortunate design flaw in exchange for better performance. Thankfully it's an option, not a necessity, as the T440 already claims very solid batter life.

The ThinkPad name is still well respected, and deserves to be, but Lenovo has its work cut out for it in the ultrabook market. We're eager to see how this machine does in a our full review.

Tech Specs

Product TypeUltrabook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity500 GB
TouchscreenNo
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 4400
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time8.60 Hour
Finger Print ReaderYes
Solid State Drive Capacity16 GB
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
DisplayPortYes
Product FamilyThinkPad T440
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Keyboard BacklightYes
Processor Modeli3-4010U
ColourBlack
Operating SystemWindows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Professional Upgradable to Windows 8 Pro
Brand NameLenovo
Processor Speed1.70 GHz
Processor TypeCore i3
Screen Size35.6 cm (14")
Number of Cells3-cell
Screen Resolution1600 x 900
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.68 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR 5.0, RoHS, GREENGUARD, EPEAT Silver
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Number of Total Memory Slots1
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
WWAN SupportedYes
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11ac
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
vPro TechnologyNo
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports2
Memory StandardDDR3L-1600/PC3-12800
Height21.1 mm
Width339.1 mm
Depth232.4 mm
Screen ModeHD+
Memory TechnologyDDR3L SDRAM
Product SeriesT440
ManufacturerLenovo Group Limited
Product Model20B60065UK
Product NameThinkPad T440 20B60065UK Ultrabook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad, Trackpoint
Product LineThinkPad
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number20B60065UK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lenovo.com/uk/en/
Marketing Information

YOU TAKE AIM AT THE BOUNDARIES, WE'LL HELP YOU BREAK THROUGH.

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.

TORTURE-TESTED

Baked, battered, blistered.

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.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion), Lithium Polymer (Li-Polymer)
Package Contents
  • ThinkPad T440 20B60065UK Ultrabook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
  • Windows 8 Pro License Media
Limited Warranty3 Year