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Lenovo ThinkPad T470s (Core i7, WQHD) Laptop Review


High-end business. We review the top-tier configuration of the new Lenovo ThinkPad T470s. Besides a healthy amount of memory as well as storage and a new Kaby Lake processor, the Chinese manufacturer also implements a brighter WQHD panel. We are a bit surprised by the weak cooling performance, because the ULV processor cannot utilize its full potential. Update: BIOS 1.07, Verdict, Rating

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For the original German review, see here.

Since we have already reviewed the new Lenovo ThinkPad T470, we can now focus on the new ThinkPad T470s. It is sitting right between the T470 and the flagship model ThinkPad X1 Carbon in Lenovo’s 14-inch lineup. The construction is a bit more compact compared to the regular ThinkPad T470, but the biggest difference is the weight. Our test model is significantly lighter thanks to more expensive materials, which improves the mobility.

However, the ThinkPad T470s is one of the systems that Lenovo hardly updated this year, and the basic construction is identical to the previous ThinkPad T460s. The differences are limited to the implementation of a USB-C port (including Thunderbolt 3) and Intel’s new Kaby Lake processors. Our test sample is also equipped with a different WQHD panel.

Our sample carries the designation 20HGS00V00 and represents the high-end campus (teacher & student) model for 2,099 Euros (~$2256). It is equipped with the fastest ULV Core i7 processor Intel currently offers, a WQHD panel, 16 GB RAM and a generous 1 TB NVMe-SSD from Samsung. There is no corresponding Topseller version for regular customers so far, but it should be a couple of hundred Euros more expensive. A corresponding model in Lenovo’s online shop (configured) currently retails for almost 2,850 Euros (~$3063).

We will obviously compare the ThinkPad T470s with the new T470 in this article. The latter was able to reduce the gap a bit thanks to the updated chassis. Other rivals are high-end business notebooks from other big manufacturers like the Dell Latitude E7470 or the HP EliteBook 840 G4. We will also include the previous ThinkPad T460s in the comparisons, just like the even more portable ThinkPad X1 Carbon.

Change log:

  • March 7th – Case, connectivity, display, CPU performance, battery runtime
  • March 8th – BIOS updates, performance on battery, temperatures, stress test
  • March 9th – SD-card reader, system noise, TPFanControl, power consumption
  • March 14th – BIOS 1.07, warranty, input devices, system performance, storage devices, new NVMe driver, charging time, communication, security, accessories, viewing angles, speakers, verdict, rating, several additions

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Ticker

Memory

16384 MB

, DDR4-2400 MHz, Dual-Channel, 8 GB soldered, 1 Slot (in use), up to 24 GB

Display

14 inch 16:9, 2560 x 1440 pixel 210 PPI, B140QAN01.5, IPS, glossy: no

Mainboard

Intel Kaby Lake-U Premium PCH

Storage

Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0), 1024 GB

, 916 GB free

Soundcard

Intel Kaby Lake-U/Y PCH – High Definition Audio

Connections

3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo audio, Card Reader: 4-in-1 (MMC, SD, SDHC, SDXC), 1 SmartCard, 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC

Networking

Intel Ethernet Connection I219-LM (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1, Sierra Wireless EM7455 4G LTE-A, LTE

Size

height x width x depth (in mm): 18.8 x 331 x 226.8 ( = 0.74 x 13.03 x 8.93 in)

Battery

51 Wh, 4339 mAh Lithium-Ion, 1x 24 Wh internal, 1x 27 Wh internal, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 8 h

Operating System

Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit

Additional features

Speakers: Stereo (2x 1 Watt), Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 65-Watt USB-C-PSU, Service leaflets, Lenovo Companion, Lenovo Settings, Microsoft Office (trial), 36 Months Warranty

Weight

1.364 kg ( = 48.11 oz / 3.01 pounds), Power Supply: 356 g ( = 12.56 oz / 0.78 pounds)

Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

We have already mentioned that Lenovo did not change the chassis of the ThinkPad T470s compared to the previous T460s. You can immediately recognize the dark chassis as a ThinkPad and it does not attract any unwanted attention in productive environments.

The base unit is made of magnesium and there are no visible material transitions – you can call it a unibody construction. Only the bottom panel can be removed. High-end metal constructions still have a small advantage, but the ThinkPad T470s leaves an extremely sophisticated impression. The more expensive materials also have a positive effect on the weight as well as the stability. At just 1.36 kg (~3.0 lb), our test sample is very light and can easily be used on the lap or carried around for long periods.

The stability is also very good and you have to apply a lot of pressure to provoke some warping. However, the surfaces are rock solid during normal use. We cannot criticize Lenovo for the build quality, either. The two metal hinges allow a maximum opening angle of 180 degrees and are well adjusted, but they cannot prevent bouncing completely. You should still use both hands to open the lid.

The lid, which is made of a carbon fiber plastic hybrid, is still a bit weak. Especially pressure along the edges quickly results in ripples on the screen and clouding at the bottom, respectively. The panel can also be twisted with some force, but this does not affect the picture. There is no special maintenance hatch and the batteries are not accessible from the outside, either.

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The ThinkPad T470 performed really well in our review, so many users probably want to know whether the additional price for the lighter T470s is worth it. We want to compare the two models directly. Despite similar dimensions, the two laptops have completely different constructions. We already mentioned that the more expensive T470s is comparable to a unibody construction, while the regular T470 has a kind of “chassis tub” with a cover panel on top. The different materials also affect the haptics, because the plastic of the T470 is noticeably rougher and less sophisticated. The T470s has a clear advantage in this respect, which is obviously the case for the weight as well. The regular T470 is not too heavy by any means, but you will still notice about 400 grams more (~0.9 lb) when you carry it around. It is therefore the better choice when you are often on the go. The footprint is very similar and the two laptops are ~19 millimeters (~0.75 in) high at the rear, but the more expensive T470s gets slimmer towards the front (16.9 mm/~0.67 in).

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Ticker

All comparison devices have similar footprints and the height does not differ all that much, either. The most compact laptop is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, although the new 2017 model (review soon) should have an even bigger advantage. All in all, however, all systems can easily be carried around.

HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470 Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00 Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE

338 mm / 13.3 inch237 mm / 9.33 inch18.9 mm / 0.744 inch1.5 kg3.26 lbs336.6 mm / 13.3 inch232.5 mm / 9.15 inch19.95 mm / 0.785 inch1.7 kg3.67 lbs334.9 mm / 13.2 inch232 mm / 9.13 inch19.4 mm / 0.764 inch1.7 kg3.83 lbs331 mm / 13 inch226.8 mm / 8.93 inch18.8 mm / 0.74 inch1.4 kg3.01 lbs331 mm / 13 inch227 mm / 8.94 inch18.8 mm / 0.74 inch1.3 kg2.97 lbs333 mm / 13.1 inch229 mm / 9.02 inch16.5 mm / 0.65 inch1.2 kg2.64 lbs

Lenovo only changed one thing in terms of the ports compared to the previous ThinkPad T460s: The Mini-DisplayPort was replaced by a modern USB-C port (Gen.2) including Thunderbolt 3 support with the full 40 Gbps. The port also supports power delivery (2.0) and video output via DisplayPort 1.2a. Our test model is also shipped with a corresponding 65-watt USB-C power adapter. However, the location at the center of the right side is a problem. You cannot use an external mouse on the right side and the cable is annoying here in general – it would have been much better towards the rear.

Otherwise, there is not much to criticize. Lenovo equips the T470s with a lot of ports, including a regular Slim-Tip power connector (regular power adapters work as well) and even a full-size Ethernet connector. There are also three regular USB-A ports (USB 3.1 Gen.1), so there should not be any problems. This is also the case for the performance of the USB ports; we can determine very good 390 MB/s in combination with our external Samsung SSD T3. The ports on the right side are a bit squeezed, and it can be tricky to use all of them at the same time. Then there is also the conventional docking port at the bottom, which is compatible with older models.

Front: No portsFront: No ports
Right side: SmartCard reader, USB-C Gen.2 (TB 3), USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4b, USB 3.0 (always-on), Gigabit-Ethernet, SIM slot, Kensington LockRight side: SmartCard reader, USB-C Gen.2 (TB 3), USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4b, USB 3.0 (always-on), Gigabit-Ethernet, SIM slot, Kensington Lock
Left side: Power adapter, USB 3.0, 3.5 mm audio, card readerLeft side: Power adapter, USB 3.0, 3.5 mm audio, card reader
Rear: No portsRear: No ports

The SD card reader (card does not stick out) is located at the front of the left side. We check the performance with our reference card from Toshiba (Exceria Pro SDXC UHS-II 64 GB, up to 260 MB/s), but the test model cannot utilize the full potential.

AS SSD determines a maximum transfer rate of around 90 MB/s, while a 1 GB folder with jpeg pictures (~5 MB each) is transferred at almost 80 MB/s. The ThinkPad T470s is therefore on par with many other modern notebooks. One example with a significantly faster card reader is the full-fledged workstation Lenovo ThinkPad P70 at up to 251 MB/s.

Our ThinkPad T470s is equipped with the popular Dual-Band Wireless-AC 8265 Wi-Fi module from Intel as well as a WWAN module (Sierra Wireless EM7455, M.2). Lenovo also offers the optional Wi-Gig card Intel 18625, which is required for the Wi-Gig docking station. Contrary to the ThinkPad T470, however, both technologies (WWAN & Wi-Gig) are mutually exclusive.

The Wi-Fi adapter supports all common standards including 802.11ac. Our standardized WLAN test with the router Linksys EA8500 shows a mixed picture though. While the receiving performance is very good at 639 Mbps on average, we can only determine ~300 Mbps transmitting. We repeated the test a couple of times, but the results were similar within a certain range.

Nothing changed for the webcam. The HD module does its job for video conferences, but you should use the smartphone or a real camera for decent snapshots. An external headset is often not required, because the dual-array microphone records voices loud and clear.

Lenovo did not change the security equipment compared to the previous ThinkPad T460s, which is not an issue due to the comprehensive features. The touch fingerprint scanner is very fast and reliable, companies are happy about the SmartCard reader and the slot for a Kensington Lock keeps the laptop at its place. Lenovo implements a TPM 2.0 module and there are several passwords. All components and ports, respectively, can be configured individually in the BIOS.

Our high-end SKU of the ThinkPad T470s is shipped with a 65-watt USB-C power adapter and a quick-start guide. Lenovo offers numerous optional accessories and the docking stations are particularly interesting. Lenovo still equips the T470s with a conventional docking port at the bottom, which is compatible with all products from the last couple of years. Lenovo also offers USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 solutions, but they are not a perfect match for the T470s due to the inconvenient location of the corresponding port at the ThinkPad T470s.

The whole bottom panel of the ThinkPad T470 is very easy to remove. You just have to loosen 5 screws and there are no annoying plastic clips. Even inexperienced users should not have any problems to access the components.

Once inside you see the two lithium-ion batteries, the single DDR4-RAM module, the M.2-SSD as well as the communication modules. Our test model is also equipped with the WWAN card in addition to the Wi-Fi module, but the necessary antennas should be prepared in other SKUs as well (LTE ready). You can also clean the fan.

The ThinkPad T470s is shipped with a three-year on-site service in Germany and Austria, which also includes a bring-in international service. It is possible to expand the warranty period (up to 5 years) as well as the scope of the service (like accidental protection).

Keyboard

The keyboard of the ThinkPad T470s was not changed compared to the predecessor. It is still one of the best inputs in the mobile segment. The slightly concave keys of the black chiclet keyboard once again provide a rich feedback and frequent writers will be very happy. The key travel is also very generous for such a slim system and the whole keyboard area is very sturdy. However, the typing noise of the space bar is a bit loud.

Compared to the ThinkPad T470, we noticed a slightly higher resistance and the actuation force is a bit higher as well. However, the differences are small and will come down to your personal preference or what you are used to. Both models are definitely very good.

The layout differs a bit, which is typical for ThinkPads, but you can adjust some settings in the Lenovo Settings app or the BIOS, including switching the Fn and Ctrl keys or the function keys (special functions like volume up/down are triggered by default). Lenovo also uses a two-stage white illumination for this model, but we would have liked a brighter third level.

The Touchpad/TrackPoint section of the T470s (right) slightly differs from the new ThinkPad T470 (left).The Touchpad/TrackPoint section of the T470s (right) slightly differs from the new ThinkPad T470 (left).

The area of the touchpad including the dedicated TrackPoint buttons did not change, either. However, the touchpad is now a (so-called) Precision touchpad, where inputs are processed by Windows directly and not a third-party driver. The Synaptics driver panel only offers a fraction of the features from previous models; all important settings can be adjusted in the Windows settings.

Both mouse replacements work very well in general and an external mouse is not really necessary. However, we can still see room for improvements, especially compared to the recently reviewed T470. There is a small strip between the touch-sensitive surface and the TrackPoint buttons, which does not accept inputs and wastes space. The three TrackPoint buttons (left and middle one in particular) clatter a bit more than on the updated ThinkPad T470 as well, but this does not affect the handling.

Subpixel arraySubpixel array

Lenovo offers the ThinkPad T470s either with Full HD or WQHD panels. Our test model is equipped with the high-resolution screen (2560 x 1440 pixels) based on the AHVA technology (IPS). Contrary to our test models of the previous T460s, however, the panel is now provided by AU Optronics (B140QAN01.5) instead of Panasonic. There might still be some panel lottery going on in this generation; you will only know what panel you have once you start the device and see the ID.

Our initial measurements determine much better results than on the T460s. The average luminance is decent at 311 nits and the black value is also very good at just 0.25 cd/m², which results in a great contrast ratio of 1300:1. Subjectively, we already like the picture ex-works, but there is a slight green cast. The panel does not use PWM to control the luminance.

Similar to the recently reviewed ThinkPad T470, the luminance on battery power is reduced by default, in this case to around 260 nits. The reason is once again the setting “Display Power-Saving Technology” in the Intel driver. Once this item is deactivated, (has to be done for every Windows profile individually), the full luminance can also be used on the go.

288
cd/m²
318
cd/m²
329
cd/m²
290
cd/m²
327
cd/m²
316
cd/m²
303
cd/m²
320
cd/m²
312
cd/m²

Distribution of brightness

X-Rite i1Pro 2

Maximum: 329 cd/m² Average: 311.4 cd/m² Minimum: 3.25 cd/m²

Brightness Distribution: 88 %

Center on Battery: 323 cd/m²Contrast: 1308:1 (Black: 0.25 cd/m²)

ΔE Color 6.1 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2

ΔE Greyscale 8.8 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4

94.88% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 61.56% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)

Gamma: 2.18

Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
B140QAN01.5, , 2560×1440, 14
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
AUO B140QAN Dell PN F0WXVV, , 2560×1440, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
N140HCA-EAB, , 1920×1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
VVX14T058J02, , 2560×1440, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
VVX14T058J00, , 2560×1440, 14
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *

46.4 (20.4, 26)

Response Time Black / White *

28.8 (16.4, 12.4)

PWM Frequency

220 (90)

220 (90)

Brightness middle

327

Brightness

311

Brightness Distribution

88

Black Level *

0.25

Contrast

1308

Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *

6.1

Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *

12.2

Greyscale DeltaE2000 *

8.8

Gamma

2.18 101%

2.37 93%

2.04 108%

2.51 88%

2.35 94%

CCT

6172 105%

6771 96%

6277 104%

6238 104%

6360 102%

Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)

61.56

Color Space (Percent of sRGB)

94.88

* … smaller is better

Our measurements show the previously mentioned green cast, but also pretty high deviations for the grayscale and colors compared to the sRGB reference color space. Average DeltaE-2000 values of 8.8 (grayscale) and 6.1 (up to 12.2; colors) are not good results for an IPS panel. The color temperature is also a bit too warm at 6172 Kelvin (ideal: 6500 K).

We can see the potential of the display after a calibration with the professional software CalMAN and the X-Rite i1Pro 2 spectrophotometer. Once calibrated, we can see improvements across all measurements. The average deviations for the grayscale and the colors drop below the important limit of 3 and the green cast is gone. Both the color temperature and the gamma value are close to their respective ideal values as well. The panel of the ThinkPad T470s should therefore definitely be calibrated. If you cannot calibrate the panel by yourself, you should use our icc-profile, which is linked in the box above.

One problem of the Full HD screens from the ThinkPad T460s as well as the new T470 is the low color gamut, so these models are not really suitable for (semi) professional picture editing. The solution has been the optional WQHD screens so far, and this is here the case as well. Our panel from AU Optronics covers the smaller sRGB reference almost completely (95%) and AdobeRGB still by 61%. These are not dream results by any means, but much better compared to the FHD counterparts.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession – a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.

Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9779 (minimum: 43 – maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The T470s works pretty well outdoors thanks to the matte surface and the high luminance. Our pictures below were taken under light sunshine. You can work comfortably under these conditions when you adjust your sitting position and avoid direct sunlight. You should also avoid windows indoors if possible.

That Lenovo uses a high-quality IPS panel is also supported by the viewing angles. The picture is stable from all directions and we can only notice a slight contrast drop from angles from above. However, even multiple users can look at the screen simultaneously and enjoy a perfect picture.

Viewing angles ThinkPad T470s WQHDViewing angles ThinkPad T470s WQHD

The Lenovo ThinkPad is well equipped for all office workloads. Our test model is the high-end SKU with the fast Core i7 processor and the NVMe-SSD, but the less expensive models are equipped with modern processors and SSDs as well. The subjective performance should therefore not be a problem for any model.

A part of the memory is soldered onto the mainboard; either 4 or 8 GB RAM depending on the model. This has an effect on the maximum amount of memory as well (20 or 24 GB). Contrary to the ThinkPad T470, the more expensive T470s is not available with an optional dedicated graphics card.

Maximum Turbo Boost (1 and 2 cores): 3.9 GHzMaximum Turbo Boost (1 and 2 cores): 3.9 GHz

The Core i7-7600U in our test model is currently the most powerful ULV CPU from Intel. The base frequency of the dual-core chip is 2.8 GHz, but the maximum Turbo Boost clock is 3.9 GHz – also for two active cores. The processor obviously supports Hyperthreading and can execute up to four threads simultaneously. ULV chips can usually consume up to 15 watts, and many manufacturers increase this value in the first seconds to compensate peak load scenarios. Lenovo even removed the usual limit for the previous ThinkPad T460s as well as the new ThinkPad T470 – the processor can consume up to 25 watts the whole time. This makes the optional Core i7 chips more interesting because you can also use the additional performance.

This is also the case for the ThinkPad T470s, but the cooling performance cannot keep up with the heat development. We can only see the maximum clock of 3.9 GHz when we stress one core. This is the case for Cinebench R15 Single, for example, where the Core i7-7600U beats the regular Core i5-7200U by more than 20% thanks to the high frequency. The consumption is around 15 watts in this scenario.

Stress for both cores, however, will quickly activate the rather conservative temperature limit at 75 °C (167 °F), where Lenovo reduces the clocks. We can never see the full 3.9 GHz in the CB R15 Multi benchmark, but the processor still runs at 3.5-3.6 GHz (~22 watts) in the beginning. It will drop to 3.3-3.4 GHz after a couple of seconds and the temperature levels off at ~70-72 °C (158-161.6 °F at ~18-19 watts). This means the processor cannot utilize its full performance, even when the machine is not already warmed up. Sustained workloads as our CB R15 Multi loop (50 runs) shows another performance drop by 7-8%. The additional charge for the Core i7 is therefore not worth it for all scenarios. More benchmarks for the Core i7-7600U and the other optional processors for the T470s are available in our Tech section.

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Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit

Another problem is the performance on battery power, because the CPU cannot even maintain its base frequency. We can see between ~2.2-2.4 GHz in Cinebench R15 Multi, despite the High Performance power plan. The result is a score of just 203 points, a 45% performance drop! The adjustment of the BIOS settings did not help, either.

This behavior is suspicious, so we visited Lenovo’s support homepage and installed all driver updates that are related to the energy management, including the latest BIOS version 1.06 from the end of February. There was unfortunately no change for the temperature limit, or the reduced performance on battery power.

Update March 14th: The BIOS update to version 1.07 from March 10th did not improve the behavior, either.

Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit

6270

Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit

13073

Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit

1.86 Points

Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit

4.16 Points

Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit

162 Points

Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit

368 Points

Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit

51.56 fps

Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit

97.7 %

Help

The everyday performance of the ThinkPad T470s is very good. The fast NVMe-SSD ensures an extremely responsive system with short loading times when you launch applications. This impression is also supported by the synthetic PCMark benchmarks. The combination with the high CPU clock and the fast memory results in the top spot for the ThinkPad T470s in the comparison group.

Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
7600U, HD Graphics 620, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
7200U, HD Graphics 620, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Fujitsu LifeBook U747
7200U, HD Graphics 620, Samsung MZYTY256HDHP
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
6600U, HD Graphics 520, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
6600U, HD Graphics 520, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
6500U, HD Graphics 520, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
7600U, HD Graphics 620, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
6600U, HD Graphics 520, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
7200U, HD Graphics 620, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Fujitsu LifeBook U747
7200U, HD Graphics 620, Samsung MZYTY256HDHP
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
6500U, HD Graphics 520, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
6600U, HD Graphics 520, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
PCMark 7 Score 6118 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2 3968 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2 5050 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2 4856 points

Help

Fast PCIe-SSD from Samsung (PM961)Fast PCIe-SSD from Samsung (PM961)

The storage situation for the ThinkPad T470s is limited since there is only a single M.2-2280 slot. It is at least attached via PCIe x4, so you can use the full potential of fast NVMe drives. Our test model is equipped with a Samsung PM961 M.2-SSD, which has a storage capacity of 1 TB. The benchmark results are very good and we see sequential transfer rates of around 1700 MB/s, and the important 4K results are not bad, either.

Contrary to the ThinkPad T470, the M.2-2242 slot cannot be equipped with an additional SSD according to Lenovo. This would not be possible on our test model anyway due to the LTE module, but this does not seem to be an option for SKUs without a WWAN module. More benchmarks for several hard drives are available in our steadily growing SSD/HDD comparison.

AS SSD often has problems with NVMe drives without special drivers and determines unrealistically low transfer rates. We therefore installed Samsung’s NVM Express Drive 2.1 and repeated the benchmarks. AS SSD now determines realistic results. CrystalDiskMark determines a slightly higher sequential read performance, but there are only small differences for the other results (in both directions).

Sequential Read:
1760 MB/s

Sequential Write:
1666 MB/s

4K QD32 Write:
532.8 MB/s

The maximum core clock is 1150 MHz.The maximum core clock is 1150 MHz.

All SKUs of the ThinkPad T470s are only equipped with the integrated processor graphics card; an optional dedicated GPU is not available. Our test model with the Core i7-7600U is also equipped with the most powerful version of the Intel HD Graphics 620 (24 Execution Units), which reaches a maximum core clock of 1150 MHz.

The test model manages a small lead over other models with the HD 620 in the synthetic 3DMark benchmarks thanks to the high clocks and the dual-channel memory configuration. We cans see an advantage of around 20% depending on the test, but a dedicated adapter like the Nvidia GeForce 940MX is up to 50% faster.

The GPU performance drops by almost 60% on battery power (758 vs. 1777 points @3DMark 11 GPU). More benchmarks with the HD Graphics 620 are listed here.

Lenovo ThinkPad E470-20H2S00400
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Intel Core i5-7200U
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-7600U
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
Intel HD Graphics 520, Intel Core i7-6500U
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel HD Graphics 520, Intel Core i7-6600U
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
Fujitsu LifeBook U747
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
Intel HD Graphics 520, Intel Core i7-6600U
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-7600U
Lenovo ThinkPad E470-20H2S00400
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Intel Core i5-7200U
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
Intel HD Graphics 520, Intel Core i7-6500U
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel HD Graphics 520, Intel Core i7-6600U
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
Fujitsu LifeBook U747
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
Intel HD Graphics 520, Intel Core i7-6600U
3DMark 06 Standard 11506 points
3DMark 11 Performance 1970 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score 69591 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score 7147 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score 1078 points

Help

The gaming performance of the ThinkPad T470s is not particularly good, despite the dual-channel memory configuration. However, this is not a high priority for a business laptop. You are limited to older titles with the integrated graphics card, but you should keep the power adapter attached. While Tomb Raider ran smoothly at 37.5 fps in the Medium preset, it dropped to 26.9 fps on battery.

If you plan to use the laptop for private purposes as well and want to play some games, you might want to consider an optional graphics card via Thunderbolt 3. The dual-core ULV is certainly not ideal for this, but the Thunderbolt 3 port (full speed) does at least not limit the graphics card.

The heat from the processor is transported to the fan via two heat pipes.The heat from the processor is transported to the fan via two heat pipes.

The cooling solution of the ThinkPad T470s consists of two heat pipes and one fan, which was also the case for the previous model. The fan is usually deactivated while idling and with light workloads. It only starts spinning at the lowest rpm level occasionally, but 30.1 dB(A) is only audible in very quiet environments.

The fan will react to load very quickly and already reaches the maximum noise level at medium workloads. The noise will increase in steps from 32, 35.2 all the way up to 39.2 dB(A) during the first minute of 3DMark 06. The fan also starts spinning frequently in practice (installation of applications, web browsing) independent of the Windows power profile.

This is also a difference compared to the previous T460s, where the fan delayed reacting to load scenarios and it was quieter at 33 dB(A) as well. However, both models are comparable under maximum load. You can clearly hear the 39.2 dB(A) from the T470s, but the dull murmur is not annoying. We cannot determine other noises, either.

We also used the tool TPFanControl to check whether the fan has more headroom to improve the cooling performance, even though the noise would be higher in return. However, the measured 39.2 dB(A) already represent the highest fan speed at ~4700 rpm.

Noise Level

Idle

28.9 / 28.9 / 30.1 dB(A)

Load 39.2 / 39.2 dB(A)
red to green bar

30 dB
silent

40 dB(A)
audible

50 dB(A)
loud

min:

dark

, med:

mid

, max:

lightAudix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)

environment noise: 28.9 dB(A)

dB(A)0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2030.131.232.132.82532.331.231.332313032.230.931.24032.732.529.635.55028.229.727.930.36328.127.225.628.18027.926.825.929.4100262525.726.512523.623.223.525.716021.922.822.224.120022.122.722.324.225024.124.323.925.631522.521.520.22340021.219.718.921.650022.120.618.921.963021.620.118.121.880022.621.819.323.3100024.42320.424.1125025.923.417.625.5160026.323.614.726200026.323.514.626.1250026.924.414.226.8315029.726.714.229.2400028.524.517.528.5500027.123.114.626.5630024.420.916.124.1800020.817.215.220.21000018.115.915.317.71250015.815.114.415.6160001615.814.515.1SPL38.135.229.137.8N2.72.21.22.7median 23.6median 22.8median 17.6median 24.1Delta2.21.63.32.136.735.938.33736.733.333.936.13433.332.133.333.130.732.136.934.637.736.936.930.432.133.531.130.430.534.736.430.830.53232.630.5303232.332.229.528.532.326.126.426.425.326.126.725.727.325.526.72627.22725.92624.524.624.323.724.52424.624.823.92422.722.522.622.122.722.622.722.721.422.621.621.721.720.521.621.922.121.12021.922.122.22019.322.121.922.119.518.721.922.722.919.218.222.723.523.6191823.52221.818.717.9222019.818.417.82019.919.818.317.819.918.718.518.117.918.718.217.918.117.818.218.11818.117.918.118.217.817.917.718.218.417.817.917.518.418.817.817.917.618.833.533.531.931.133.5221.71.62median 22median 22.1median 19.5median 18.7median 222.12.62.92.22.1hearing rangehide medianshow median Fan NoiseLenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD

The ThinkPad T470s is a very cool device while idling and with light workloads. We measure average temperatures of almost 24 °C (75.2 °F), so the surfaces are conveniently cool to touch and there is no hotspot in this scenario, either. However, we can notice higher temperatures compared to the previous model when we stress the system. The left part of the base (along the cooling unit) in particular warms up noticeably. Our measurement device determines up to 43.5 °C (110.3 °F) at the top and even 46.1 °C (114.98 °F) at the bottom (fan exhaust 45.6 °C/114.08 °F), which is noticeable when you use the laptop. The left keyboard area is much warmer during typing and you should not really use the system on your lap when under maximum load, either.

Stress test ThinkPad T470sStress test ThinkPad T470s

Our stress test with the tools Prime95 and FurMark reveals very interesting results. The maximum consumption (25 watts) can be maintained from the beginning and just slightly drops over the course of the test; we can still see ~22.5 watts after 70 Minutes. The processor runs at 2.4-2.8 GHz and the GPU at 1000-1050 MHz. This is a very good result for such a slim system. A 3DMark 11 run immediately after the stress test did not determine a lower score.

Particularly interesting is the temperature development. The processor never exceeds 3 GHz, so the chip temperature increases very slowly. While the temperature limit at 75 °C (167 °F) kicked in within seconds during the CPU benchmarks, it takes about 6 minutes in the stress test before 75 °C are exceeded and the consumption drops slightly to 24.5 watts. The two CPU cores seem to be quite the hot heads when the clocks surpass 3 GHz, and the cooling solution is a bit overwhelmed by the temperature development.

There would be two solutions for this problem: increasing the temperature limit or implement a more powerful cooling solution. The temperature limit could easily be increased via BIOS update, but this is unlikely considering the already high surface temperatures. If you pay the additional price for the faster processor, you also want to use the performance. Lenovo could have kept the processor below 75 °C at the maximum clocks with a more powerful cooling unit – certainly not too much to ask for a premium product.

40.4 °C
105 F
37.3 °C
99 F
28.8 °C
84 F
43.5 °C
110 F
38.3 °C
101 F
32 °C
90 F
38.4 °C
101 F
32 °C
90 F
28.8 °C
84 F
Maximum: 43.5 °C = 110 F
Average: 35.5 °C = 96 F
30.9 °C
88 F
40.8 °C
105 F
38.9 °C
102 F
30 °C
86 F
46.1 °C
115 F
44.5 °C
112 F
29.4 °C
85 F
39.2 °C
103 F
40.8 °C
105 F
Maximum: 46.1 °C = 115 F
Average: 37.8 °C = 100 F

Power Supply (max.) 43.7 °C = 111 F | Room Temperature 22 °C = 72 F | Voltcraft IR-900

24 °C
75 F
24.7 °C
76 F
24.2 °C
76 F
23.7 °C
75 F
24.1 °C
75 F
24.1 °C
75 F
23.5 °C
74 F
23.3 °C
74 F
23.7 °C
75 F
Maximum: 24.7 °C = 76 F
Average: 23.9 °C = 75 F
23.3 °C
74 F
24.3 °C
76 F
23.5 °C
74 F
23.8 °C
75 F
24.1 °C
75 F
23.8 °C
75 F
22.9 °C
73 F
23.6 °C
74 F
23.2 °C
74 F
Maximum: 24.3 °C = 76 F
Average: 23.6 °C = 74 F

Power Supply (max.) 28.5 °C = 83 F | Room Temperature 21.8 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-900

(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 35.5 °C / 96 F, compared to the average of 29.4 °C / 85 F for the devices in the class Office.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 43.5 °C / 110 F, compared to the average of 33.9 °C / 93 F, ranging from 21.2 to 62.5 °C for the class Office.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 46.1 °C / 115 F, compared to the average of 36.4 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 23.9 °C / 75 F, compared to the device average of 29.4 °C / 85 F.
(±) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 38.4 °C / 101.1 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.2 °C / 82.8 F (-10.2 °C / -18.3 F).

The speaker grilles are located at the bottom.The speaker grilles are located at the bottom.

The two stereo speakers are not particularly loud at up to 72 dB(A), but the sound is pretty balanced. Voices are loud and clear and even music playback is pleasant at moderate volumes, at least if you do not need too much bass. You should use external solutions in this case. The playback via stereo jack is noise-free and the connection with our Bluetooth speaker (Denon Envaya Mini) was stable.

dB(A)0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2033402535.139.63134.938.34032.237.75031.234.26327.832.48028.233.410026.131.412525.234.216023.635.520023.643.625022.547.931521.954.740021.256.650020.255.163019.155.68001861.1100017.262.8125016.459.4160016.560.3200015.755.2250015.158.2315015.259400018.165.6500015.361.3630016.159.7800015.855.41000015.753.7125001547.41600015.348SPL29.372.2N1.329.6median 17.2median 55.4Delta3.363336.432.635.528.436.629.234.626.23225.934.926.138.325.936.924.339.922.741.62245.324.550.52159.519.262.21862.218.668.618.573.420.369.216.56814.66614.962.814.466.514.771.315.160.214.867.11569.915.357.215.257.614.960.914.953.828.879.71.247.3median 16.5median 62.23.17.1hearing rangehide medianshow median Pink NoiseLenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE

Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (72.1 dB)

Bass 100 – 315 Hz(±) | reduced bass – on average 14.2% lower than median

(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.1% delta to prev. frequency)

Mids 400 – 2000 Hz(+) | balanced mids – only 3% away from median

(+) | mids are linear (6.6% delta to prev. frequency)

Highs 2 – 16 kHz(+) | balanced highs – only 4.1% away from median

(±) | linearity of highs is average (8.3% delta to prev. frequency)

Overall 100 – 16.000 Hz(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (17.4% difference to median)

Compared to same class» 24% of all tested devices in this class were better, 10% similar, 67% worse

» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 21%, worst was 51%

Compared to all devices tested» 27% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 67% worse

» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (80.44 dB)

Bass 100 – 315 Hz(-) | nearly no bass – on average 16.6% lower than median

(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.8% delta to prev. frequency)

Mids 400 – 2000 Hz(+) | balanced mids – only 4.3% away from median

(+) | mids are linear (6.7% delta to prev. frequency)

Highs 2 – 16 kHz(±) | higher highs – on average 5.4% higher than median

(±) | linearity of highs is average (13.3% delta to prev. frequency)

Overall 100 – 16.000 Hz(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (17.3% difference to median)

Compared to same class» 23% of all tested devices in this class were better, 9% similar, 68% worse

» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 21%, worst was 51%

Compared to all devices tested» 26% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 68% worse

» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency Comparison (Checkboxes select/deselectable!)

We can see the impact of the brighter display in our idle measurements because the new ThinkPad T470s consumes a bit more power than the previous ThinkPad T460s. Up to 9 watts at the maximum luminance is still okay though when you consider the high resolution and the bright panel.

The load measurements clearly show the effect of the increased consumption limit for the processor. Our measurement device already indicates 42 watts under average load (simulated by the first scene of 3DMark 06), which is already much more than the usual ~30 watts for an ULV system. The maximum consumption in the stress test is 47.3 watts, and the value only drops a bit to 45-46 watts over the course of the test. This also explains the more powerful 65-watt power adapter. The smaller 45-watt unit would be just sufficient, but it would not have any headroom to charge the battery in this case.

Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
7600U, HD Graphics 620, 2560×1440
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
6600U, HD Graphics 520, 2560×1440
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 1920×1080
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
6600U, HD Graphics 520, 2560×1440
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
6500U, HD Graphics 520, 2560×1440
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 1920×1080
Idle Minimum *

4.64

Idle Average *

8.93

Idle Maximum *

9.12

Load Average *

42.2

Load Maximum *

47.3

* … smaller is better

The capacity of the two integrated lithium-ion batteries was slightly increased compared to the previous model and is now 51 Wh. We did not really understand the solution with two integrated batteries last year, and this did not change for the new model. The regular ThinkPad T470 with the combination of an integrated and an external battery definitely has an advantage in this respect.

We can see increased runtimes compared to the predecessor in our tests. Our Wi-Fi test at an adjusted luminance of 150 nits (73% for our test model) determined a decent runtime of 7 hours – 01:20 hours more than on the T460s (WQHD). The playback of a Full HD video (Big Buck Bunny, H.264, also 150 nits) is possible for 7.5 hours.

We list the result for the minimum runtime, but we have to check that value again. Contrary to the predecessor, we noticed that the new T470s reduces the processor performance on battery power significantly (minus ~40%), so the additional runtime of about 30 minutes is not surprising. We did not find a solution for this behavior so far (a change of the BIOS settings to Maximum Performance did not help, either). Another run confirmed our initial result. The maximum runtime at the lowest luminance and maximum power-saving features is a little more than 13 hours.

ChargingCharging

The charging time is not particularly quick at more than three hours, but the last 10% take – as usual – the longest time. The first battery is charged to 80%, then the second one to 80%, which takes 40 minutes each. Both batteries are then fully charged. Lenovo also equipped the USB-C port with an “Anti-Fry” protection to prevent damages from faulty USB-C power adapters. The connector is automatically deactivated when it detects the wrong voltage.

Battery Runtime

Idle (without WLAN, min brightness) 13h 07min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge 38.14393.0.0) 6h 57min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p 7h 34min
Load (maximum brightness) 1h 33min
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
7600U, HD Graphics 620, 51 Wh
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
6600U, HD Graphics 520, 55 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 48 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
6600U, HD Graphics 520, 49 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
6500U, HD Graphics 520, 52 Wh
Reader / Idle

787

H.264

454

WiFi v1.3

417

Load

93

Pros

+ light and sturdy case

+ bright WQHD panel

+ great keyboard

+ numerous security features

+ LTE integrated

+ USB-C/Thunderbolt 3

+ long battery runtime

+ 3-year warranty

Cons

– high temperatures

– limite CPU Turbo

– significantly reduced performance on battery power

– inconvenient position of the USB-C port

– high price

In review: Lenovo ThinkPad T470s. Test model courtesy of Campuspoint.In review: Lenovo ThinkPad T470s. Test model courtesy of Campuspoint.

The ThinkPad T470s is one of the devices that Lenovo updated only a little this year. The previous T460s was already a very good business notebook, so this is not a big issue.

The chassis is still extremely well built. It is both light and stable thanks to high-quality materials like magnesium. The overall quality is one notch above the regular ThinkPad T470. The keyboard is still one of the best in the mobile segment, but there is still some room for improvements in terms of touchpad and TrackPoint buttons. The revised ThinkPad T470 gets a slightly higher score in this respect thanks to better TrackPoint buttons as well as the slightly bigger touchpad.

Lenovo also improved the WQHD panel, which is now equipped with a more powerful background illumination. The battery runtimes are better as well and there is now a future-proof USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 port, even though the location is rather inconvenient.

The new ThinkPad T470s is still a good business notebook with a light as well as sturdy chassis, a brighter WQHD panel and longer battery runtimes. The performance is also higher thanks to Kaby Lake, but the cooling solution has problems with the powerful processor. The performance is reduced significantly on battery power as well.

Lenovo did remove the consumption limit of the ULV processor on the previous T460s to utilize the full potential of the processor. This is also the case for the new Kaby Lake model, but the cooling solution is working at its limit. The processor gets very warm when the clocks surpass 3.3-3.4 GHz and the maximum 3.9 GHz can only be reached by one core. The conservative temperature limit adds to the problem. Another issue is the drastic performance reduction on battery power, although there is no apparent reason. We still hope for an update, but the two BIOS updates to version 1.06 & 1.07 did not help. We deduct 3 percent from the final rating for this performance limitation, so our test model misses a “very good” rating in its current state.

We will also review the Full HD model of the new ThinkPad T470s shortly.

Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00 – 2017-03-1403/14/2017 v6
Andreas Osthoff

Connectivity

74 / 80 → 92%

Games Performance

50 / 68 → 73%

Application Performance

90 / 92 → 98%

Office – Weighted Average

Andreas Osthoff, 2017-03- 8 (Update: 2018-05-15)

Andreas Osthoff

I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.

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