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Changes compared with the Lenovo ThinkPad E590
The changes of the ThinkPad E15 compared with the E590 mirror the changes to the ThinkPad E14: The chassis of the ThinkPad E15 is thinner (1 mm) and lighter (roughly 200 g) than the preceding model. The keyboard design has been changed as on the smaller E14, which means that the keyboard (which has a numpad on the 15.6-inch model) is not easily repairable anymore. Different from the E14, the bottom of the ThinkPad E15 is still made out of plastic. Aluminum is only used for the display lid.
As with the Lenovo ThinkPad E14, there is no more microSD slot. On the other hand, there is a new mechanical camera shutter (the ThinkShutter) and the fingerprint-reader is now fused with the power button.
FHD screen of the Lenovo laptop: Matte but mediocre
Lenovo offers exactly two matte screen options: A TN panel with HD resolution (1366×768) and an FHD screen (1920×1080) based on IPS technology. The only feasible choice here is the FHD screen; the HD display should be avoided in any case.
The built-in FHD screen is supposed to reach a brightness value of 250 cd/m², which actually is the case for review sample. On average, measured 257 cd/m². That is less than the predecessor ThinkPad E590, though this one also has a screen specified for 250 cd/m². How high the brightness actually is seems to be a lottery.
The panel has PWM, but the frequency is so high that it should not be a problem. Backlight bleeding is visible too, though it gets overshadowed a little bit by IPS glow.
Lenovo ThinkPad E15 with disappointing GPU performance
Four different Comet Lake CPUs from Intel are offered by Lenovo, from the Core i3-10110U to the Core i5-10210U and the Core i7-10510U. The six-core CPU Core i7-10710U is available as well, but not in Europe. There are three GPU models: Just the Intel GPU or a choice of two additional AMD Radeon GPUs (Radeon 625 and Radeon RX 640). The CPU and GPU are complemented by up to 16 GB DDR4 2400 RAM and up to 1 TB SSD storage as well as 1 TB HDD storage. While the E15 is as flexibly upgradable as the ThinkPad E590 in terms of storage, this is not the case anymore for the RAM. Instead of two SO-DIMM slots, there is only a single one. Accordingly, the maximum RAM capacity decreases from 64 to 32 GB.
The Intel Core i7-10510U is a Comet Lake processor with four cores and a clock rate of 1.8 to 4.8 GHz. The typical maximum power consumption of this CPU is 15 W.
Lenovo allows power consumption of 25 W for 30 seconds. Afterwards, the consumption is limited to 15 W, which explains the performance in the Cinebench loop. In this test, the ThinkPad E15 performs better than its predecessor ThinkPad E590. Compared with the ThinkPad T590 and the MSI Modern 15, it loses out however.
The CPU is not throttled when it runs on battery power.
The AMD GPU is an entry-level chip. Recent games are only playable in reduced details and resolution. Compared with Intel iGPUs, the Radeon does perform better, but the Nvidia GeForce MX250 is clearly faster.
In The Witcher 3 stress test, there is a huge drop in performance right around the start. In other game benchmarks, there are performance drops as well – the GPU cooling system seems to be too weak.
Lenovo saves some money by using the same 45 W battery of the ThinkPad E14 in the bigger ThinkPad E15 as well. Thanks to the low power consumption, the ThinkPad E15 achieves admirable battery life numbers despite the small battery. Only the more expensive Lenovo ThinkPad T590 reaches a much better battery life, thanks to its bigger 57 Wh battery.
Even though the Lenovo ThinkPad E15 sounds like an enormous step forward compared with the Lenovo ThinkPad E590 based on its name alone: The ThinkPad E15 is a lot like its predecessor. The basic concept of the product has not changed, but Lenovo has worked on the details. Still there is the very good ThinkPad keyboard as well as the TrackPoint, a rare feature in this price region. The chassis made out of aluminum and plastic is robust and the upgradability is exemplary – at least in terms of the mass storage.
Like with the smaller ThinkPad E14, the usage of a thinner chassis means that some features are lost. One of them is the microSD slot. The second RAM slot is also sorely missed. Where the E15 differs from its smaller relative is in the fact that the missing features are not the biggest problem here. For the ThinkPad E15 it’s the cooling system, which is simply overwhelmed. In the stress test, the ThinkPad has to throttle both the CPU and the GPU a lot. Throttling can also happen in everyday use and while playing games in this case. Also, the chassis gets extremely hot, with more than 65 °C as the hotspot. Granted, this only happens in the stress test, but in the less demanding The Witcher 3 test, the chassis becomes nearly as hot.
Too hot: A dedicated GPU should only be built in if it can be cooled properly under load. That is not the case for the Lenovo ThinkPad E15, unfortunately.
Overall, The iGPU version meanwhile might be worth the money – as a bigger version of the ThinkPad E14 and a good laptop for the home office.
Kindly note that this article was outsourced and the information within was collected from various online trusted sources. We don’t own, or performed any mentioned tests personally.