A few weeks ago I was blessed with a new Lenovo ThinkPad T460 to replace my old and very beaten up HP Pavilion DV6-3180EA. This also meant an upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 that I have been putting off for some time. Here are my first impressions of both the T460 and Windows 10.
Key specs of the T460
- Intel i7-6600U
- Windows 10 Pro 64
- 14.0″ FHD IPS (1920 x 1080),Touch
- Intel HD Graphics 520
- 16GB PC3-12800 DDR3L (2 DIMM)
- Keyboard Backlit (UK)
- 1TB Samsung EVO SSD (from my previous laptop, it actually came with a 256GB SSD)
- 3 cell Li-Ion (23.2Whr) Front battery & 6 cell Li-Ion (72Wh) Cyl HC Rear battery
Prior to arrival of the T460
- Ordering a custom build on the Lenovo site can take some time. The order was shipped roughly 18 days after the order date and arrived after a total of 20.
- The T460 (13.35″ x 9.15″ x 0.83″) is roughly the same same size as the previous years T450s (13.03″x 8.90″x 0.83″). This years slim version the T460s is smaller again (13.03″ x 8.93″ x 0.66″ – 0.74″). Mainly note the thickness!
- The reason I went for the T460 rather than the T460s was the extra battery capacity.
First impressions of the T460
- On the T460 keyboard the left Ctrl & Fn keys ARE THE WRONG WAY AROUND! In the bottom left corner you have Fn and next to it Ctrl. This made me screw up keyboard shortcuts for days. The BIOS does have a setting to switch these keys around although physically switching the keys isn’t really an option as the Fn key also has a lock option and contains an LED. The keys are also different sizes.
- Taking the case off to switch out the hard drive started off as an easy task, simply undoing 8 screws. But the second step of prying the case off the bottom of the machine was much harder, some areas of the bottom housing around various parts are very thing and I was constantly worried about just snapping these areas.
- The expanded rear battery is not actually that much bigger than the regular rear battery and I would highly recommend that anyone buying a T460 goes straight for the expanded battery.
- It has a card read… Which I have absolutely no use for whatsoever.
- Spill resistant keyboard (not that I have tested this one) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0U5n2WaMMHo. If you look at the underside of the laptop there are a few holes that appear to go straight through the machine to the underside of the keyboard, which I imagine is for direct draining. The difficultly opening the case in a previous point was also likely partially due to this amazing spill resistance.
- In a review that I read prior to buying the laptop the speakers were described as below average and not really that good for music. I however would describe them for just fine for a laptop of this profile. No issues for me.
- I wonder if there is a way to turn the red LED located at the dot of the ‘i’ on the back of the screen off.
- Not much bloat ware was pre installed, and what was hanging around was easily removed. The most annoying pre installed bit of software was actually Office 365 that kept pestering me to set it up.
One of the main reasons for not upgrading my old HP laptop to Windows 10 was that the upgrade just would not work. Thankfully I have now totally avoided the hassle of upgrading a machine myself and have also started with a lovely fresh install.
- Simply being able to hit the Windows key and access a system wide search that actually works well is great. This also works as a speedy launcher. Google used to make a great launcher for previous Windows versions, but that died a long time ago.
- Google apps are not very well integrated. I would love to simply have links directly to Docs, Slides and Sheets but Google has avoided creating apps for Windows except for the Google search app. It would also be cool to have OK Google integrated instead of Cortana. If you want to use the built in search to search Google instead of Bing then checkout the Bing to Google chrome extension.
- If you are a developer it is well worth giving the “Microsoft Web Platform Installer” a shot, especially if you need a LAMP set-up and normally use XAMPP or WAMP. I managed to install a few version of PHP, MySQL, Python2 & 3, Git and a few others with a few super easy clicks. If it didn’t come pre installed you can find it at https://www.microsoft.com/web/downloads/platform.aspx
- Take a look at ALL of the settings and their defaults and change them…
- Setting application defaults for file types etc. is harder than it should be.
- Something causes the mouse to scroll across the page when you finger gets near to the edge of the touch pad. This is very annoying and I really need to look into how to turn it off.
Generally Windows 10 seems to be a well rounded product. Much better than Windows 8 that was a blunder in my opinion. I’m glad someone realised the whole world doesn’t use tablets. As my T460 is a touch screen I appreciate the touch aspects of the OS but of course spend most of my time using a Keyboard and Mouse.
Playing with the upcoming Linux subsystem for Windows should be interesting https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2016/04/06/announcing-windows-10-insider-preview-build-14316/
The T460 is a great machine and I would highly recommended it, at least in the specs listed above. A few reviews have said that if you are going for a lower spec machine it may be worth looking at other models.
I would also recommend the upgrade to Windows 10 if you are on any older version of Windows (of course machine spec dependant). This is more like the release of XP than the release of Vista or 8.