Lenovo Thinkpad T560 (20FH001QUS) Laptop Review

     
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4.55

The company of Lenovo is known for many notebooks, but if you were to pick one branch they are famous for it would be the business laptops. Continuing IBM’s legacy, Lenovo ThinkPads are business-ready professional notebooks that can be relied on, even on tight spots. The ThinkPad T560 (20FH001QUS model), for the time it has been on the market, has gotten mostly positive attention. Let’s see what is the verdict on Tech Editorials…

Just Moderate Performance, Should Be Good For Businesses

Being a 2016 model, it’s understandable this ThinkPad T560 sports a 6th generation processor. The Intel Core i5-6200U is nothing to scoff at, for it boasts 2.3GHz clock speed with 2.8GHz turbo boost on a dual-core setup, and is still suitable especially for productivity and business use. True, it’s far from the fastest of processors, but in exchange offers great energy efficiency; a feature businesses are often interested in.

There is 4GB DDR3L memory installed on the unit, and in 2017 (and beyond) four gigabytes of RAM is pushing it. For office use it’s good, but if you were to multitask, having more would be an excellent idea. Luckily the notebook has two memory slots all in all, and the resellers say the unit can max out at 32 gigabytes.

Another “blast from the past” would be the notebook’s storage solution. You see, included is only a 500GB SATA hard drive with 7200RPM spindle speed. Solid-state drives have been in the market for long time and if you are already accustomed to them, going for a conventional hard drive might feel like downgrade. Well, these ThinkPads are made with upgrades in mind, so you can definitely replace the HDD with SSD if you want to.

A 720p Display, Would it Be Enough?

In the era of Full HD (and beyond) laptops it’s rare to see a computer with smaller resolution. Yet, here we are, the ThinkPad T560 with 1366×768 resolution. On a 15.6″ TN display like this, I’d really like to have Full HD as it gives better image quality. Furthermore, screen estate would be better so more things could be added on screen, like operating two documents side by side. Touch display is not available, however that’s often not a problem for businesses.

The graphics of this computer are commanded by Intel HD 520. Being an integrated chip, not much of graphics performance can be expected. Surely, for all software-related things – including video playback – such an integrated unit is fine, don’t worry. But for gaming you would definitely want a better graphics engine. Heck, for gaming you’d want entirely a different laptop, heh.

Video Review

A Few Basic Ports and Interfaces to Get You Started With

In the early 2016, USB-C had hardly hit the market in full force. Hence, this laptop comes only with regular USB ports. It has three USB 3.0 accepting your peripherals and devices. On top of that, it has the video outputs for HDMI and mini DisplayPort so you could hook up an external monitor. In face, I think two extra displays are supported, at least for non-graphics heavy tasks as two external monitors require a lot of effort from the graphics card.

A true business laptop, this ThinkPad sports both Gigabit Ethernet port for wired connection and 802.11ac WiFi card for the wireless. In addition, Bluetooth is supported and can be enabled in the options; you can quickly transfer small(ish) files between smart phone and laptop that way.

This computer features no DVD burner. The reason is, most software can be readily downloaded from Internet these days. And it’s reassuring to know an external DVD drive can be connected to the laptop’s USB port at any time. According to product photos, also SD card slot is included on the side.

Last But Not Least

The ThinkPad T560 seems to have a 3-cell (44Wh) + 3-cell (23Wh) battery configuration, with some specifications stating 13.2 hours battery life. I’m not sure if that is correct, even the best ultrabooks hardly last so long. But realistically speaking, I would expect the Lenovo to run for around 10 hours on a single charge which is great, considering 15-inchers often have battery life half of that.

This product has a backlit keyboard so you don’t have to worry about typing in the dark. It’s not a fancy illuminated keyboard with programmable individual keys but gets the job done for sure.

Pros:
Enough performance for most - Businesses and offices will have no problems with the ThinkPad even though its performance is not on par with the faster 2017 models.

Possibility for Windows 7 Pro - Many people long for Windows 7 Pro for its familiarity and ease of use.

ThinkPad quality - It has the sturdy frame, classic look and the red pointing stick of ThinkPad.

Cons:
Old school resolution - In 2017, practically all laptops are already Full HD (1920x1080). This model, originating from 2016, contains 1366x768 resolution. If you want to fit plenty of things on the screen at once, consider Full HD a better option.

I don’t see a reason why Lenovo Thinkpad T560 (20FH001QUS) would not make a solid business laptop. It is built well, sturdy and has appropriate performance to run all office applications and more. Surely, for gaming and very heavy software the performance is hardly enough, but that is never the point of business laptops anyway. Downgrading to Windows 7 Professional is certainly an advantage, so is the long battery life. In my opinion, the disadvantage of this laptop would be the 1366×768 display – however that is subjective. As the notebook does not put a big dent in wallet I could recommend the ThinkPad T560 as your go-to business laptop.

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