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Lenovo ThinkPad E450

Editor's rating (1-5): rating starrating starrating starrating star

What's Hot: A more affordable ThinkPad that's ready for Windows 10. Easy RAM and drive upgrades for do-it-yourself types.

What's Not: TN display rather than IPS, no touch screen.


Reviewed August 6, 2015 by , Editor in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)

Lenovo ThinkPad E450

So you want a ThinkPad, but don't want to break the bank. That's where the Lenovo ThinkPad E450 and its larger sibling the E550 come in. The E series is the affordable ThinkPad line that's the much improved replacement of the ThinkPad Edge series. The 4 pound, 1" thick E450 looks like a ThinkPad rather than a chromed chunky box, and it has slimmed down too. The E450 starts around $520, and a nicely configured model like our review unit with a 2.2 GHz 5th generation Intel Core i5-5200U CPU, a 500 gig, 7200 RPM hard drive and a 1080p matte display sells for $750 or less. The base model has a 1366 x 768 matte display and a Core i3 processor. The E450 has Intel HD 5500 integrated graphics, dual band Intel 7265 WiFi 802.11AC with Bluetooth 4.0, Ethernet, a fingerprint scanner, stereo speakers with Dolby audio and a 720p webcam. Lenovo lists the low end AMD Radeon R5 M230 graphics card as an option, though we haven't seen that model for sale.

Lenovo's signature ThinkPad keyboard is here with its deep travel, sculpted keys and excellent tactile feel. Unlike higher end ThinkPads, there's no keyboard backlighting. ThinkPad trackpads are likewise excellent, though we didn't feel the E450's was quite as superb as the ThinkPad Yoga and ThinkPad X and T series model trackpads. It has a TrackPoint pointer embedded in the keyboard and hardware buttons for the pointer, just like other recent ThinkPad models.

Lenovo ThinkPad E450

Windows 7 or Windows 10, Your Choice

The machine ships with your choice of Windows 7 or Windows 10, and we suspect soon it will just be Windows 10, which is the OS we used to test and review our unit. Our laptop shipped with Windows 7 Pro, and the free upgrade was simple and trouble free, though it did take about an hour to complete since it was making a big generational leap and the conventional HDD is slower for software installs (it takes about 20 to 30 minutes to upgrade an SSD-equipped laptop from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10).


The ThinkPad E450 is available with 4, 8 or 16 gigs of RAM and it has 2 RAM slots that are accessible under the removable service door on the bottom. It has a 2.5" SATA drive that's easy to upgrade later to an SSD. Note that there's a spot for an mSATA card, but there isn't actually a connector for a card, so it's not usable. The machine is available with Intel Broadwell 5th generation Core i3 and Core i5 CPUs. Note that there are still older 4th gen models on the market, and Lenovo still sells those too.


We have the 1920 x 1080 matte non-touch display in for review. The 1366 x 768 display is also matte and non-touch, and both are TN panels. We suspect the non-touch was why Lenovo stuck with Windows 7 since Windows 8.1 was touch-centric. Windows 10 works well with non-touch displays, so it's a good fit for the E450. Though the E series ships only with TN panels, viewing angles are tolerable and are much improved from the old ThinkPad Edge models. You'll still want to angle the display for best contrast and brightness, but you'll have more latitude for acceptable and even enjoyable viewing angles. The panel is bright enough for indoor use and contrast and colors are pleasing enough to enjoy a movie or three.


Deals and Shopping:


Lenovo ThinkPad E450 Video Review



PCMark 7: 3040
PCMark 8 Home: 2568
Geekbench 3: 2500, multi-core 5115
wPrime: 19.9 sec.

PCMark 7 Benchmark Comparison Table

Lenovo ThinkPad E450 (Core i5, HDD) 3040
Lenovo ThinkPad X250 (Core i5, SSD) 4855
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s (Core i5, SSD) 5283
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 3rd Gen (core i5-5300U) 5157
Dell XPS 13 - 2015, 2.2 GHz Core i5-5200U 4952
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Core i5 5111
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 14 (HDD, factory spec/ SSD) 3733/ 4603
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga (Core i5-4200U, 12.5") 4769
Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro 4673
Samusng ATIV Book 9 Plus 5050
Acer Aspire S7 (Core i7-4500U) 5075
Asus Zenbook UX303LA, Core i5 4879


The ThinkPad E450's battery is sealed inside (you can remove the bottom cover should it require service down the road, but there's no quick release latch to pop it out). The 15.6" E550 has a removable battery with the standard release latch. The 6 cell, 47 Whr battery in the E450 averaged us 6.5 hours on a charge with WiFi on and brightness set to 50% for mixed productivity work. That's decent but not class leading.


If you're on a tight budget but want that Lenovo ThinkPad durability, superb keyboard and upgradable design, the ThinkPad E450 is a solid machine. It's slimmed down and it has the same understated look as other ThinkPad models. The display isn't as good as $1,000 and up laptops, but it's good for the price. For those who want a removable battery and a DVD drive, there's the ThinkPad E550.


Price: $520 and up

Related Reviews:

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2015) Review

Lenovo ThinkPad T450s Review

Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 12 Review

Dell Inspiron 13 7000 Review

Asus ZenBook UX303 Review



Lenovo ThinkPad E450


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Display: 14", 1366 x 768 or 1920 x 1080 TN display. Intel HD 5500 integrated graphics. HDMI port.

Battery: 6 cell, 47 Whr Lithium Ion rechargeable.

Performance: Intel Broadwell 5th generation Core i3 and i5 processors available. 4 to 16 gigs RAM in two slots. 2.5" SATA HDD or SSD.

Size: 13.35 x 9.41 x 0.94 inches. Weight: 4 pounds.

Camera: 720p webcam.

Audio: Built-in stereo speakers, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack.

Networking: RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet. Integrated Intel 7265AC dual band WiFi 802.11b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.0.

Software: Windows 7 or Windows 10 (Home and Pro available).

Expansion and Ports: 2 USB 3.0 ports, 1 USB 2.0 port, HDMI, 3.5mm audio, OneLink connector and SD card slot.



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