- Editor's Rating
- Good quality build and design
- Long battery life
- Mediocre performance
- Limited viewing angles
Quick TakeThe Lenovo ThinkPad T431s offers an excellent build and design, but unfortunately, its performance did not impress reviewers at NotebookReview.
The Lenovo ThinkPad T431s is a business notebook that favors form over function, offering a highly portable design while compromising on specs at a high-end price point. The notebook reviewed by NotebookReview is priced at $1,170 at the time of the review.
The T431s is the slimmest 14-inch T series notebook yet and offers impressive design and excellent durability. The notebook has a black carbon fiber lid that feels smooth and is resistant to fingerprints. A black magnesium shell covers the chassis and the bottom portion also employs a protective plastic layer with added grip. The chassis design also features a roll cage, which improves the durability of the notebook. NotebookReview found the T431s’ chassis easily held form when extreme pressure was applied. The lid was less sturdy, but the hinge design was strong enough to easily hold up to the daily wear and tear of a business notebook. The T431s is 13 x 8.9 x 0.8 inches and weighs 3.4 pounds.
Ports included in the T431s are a power USB, Ethernet, VGA, USB 3.0, headphone jack, 4-in-1 memory card reader, mini Display and chargeable USB 3.0. The notebook also features a fingerprint scanner for additional security, which NBR noted is extremely accurate. The T431s has a 14-inch LED Backlit display with 131 dpi resolution. NBR was disappointed with the lack of touch controls and lower resolution, but was particularly discouraged by the “mediocre color contrast.” NBR said the notebook’s screen is dull, which causes images to look faded. Text is viewable and easy to read. NBR also noted the display offers limited viewing angles. The notebook has two speakers, which NBR noted produces boisterous sound levels and excellent sound quality.
The T431s has a Chiclet-style spill-resistant keyboard. There is no number pad and the keys are square with solid spacing. NBR noted the keyboard offers surprising compression depth with solid tactile feedback. The TrackPoint stick is housed above the ‘B’ key on the keyboard. The notebook has a generously sized touchpad, which NBR noted has an easy-to-grip rubberized surface. There are no dedicated mouse buttons, but rather the touchpad has designated areas for right and left click, which NBR notes is difficult to discern from the rest of the touchpad.
The T431s runs on a 1.9GHz third-generation Core i5 processor with 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD and Intel HD Graphics. It runs Windows 8. NBR noted the specs offer solid performance, but are subpar when considering the high price point. Standard word and web tasks are handled easily, as are more strenuous Office tasks. NBR found no noticeable drop in performance while multi-tasking. NBR said “ the Lenovo ThinkPad T431s will be able to offer much of the same efficiency as competing notebooks, the speed and consistency at which it performs those tasks will be noticeably lower.” NBR found the graphics to adequately handle HD video playback but “not much else.” NBR said the biggest disappointment in performance comes in the lack of storage, causing slower data retrieval and boot up speeds. The notebook remains cool and quiet during use and the battery lasted three hours and 50 minutes in NBR testing, which translates to an entire day in real use.
Overall, the Lenovo ThinkPad T431s offers incredible design and decent performance, but the overall specs come in much lower than expected from a notebook at this price point. NBR was impressed with the T431s’ build quality, portable design, battery life and keyboard but was disappointed with the mediocre performance and the display’s viewing angles. The Lenovo ThinkPad T431s is a good option for business users looking for portability and durability and don’t mind conceding a bit when it comes to the display and performance.