Today in the pre-IFA excitement in Berlin, Germany, Lenovo announced updates to their T, X, and S series Ultrabooks, with thinner form factors, a variety of panel options, larger trackpads, and improve battery life. As expected, Intel’s Haswell processors (4th Generation Intel Core Processors) make an appearance, and the new ThinkPad Ultrabooks will be able to offer as much as 17 hours of battery life – with an optional external battery. Here’s a quick overview of the various new products announced today.

ThinkPad T440/T440s

The T440 and T440s are both 14-inch laptops, but the T440s is slightly lighter and has more compact dimensions and is available with a slightly faster CPU and GPU. The T440s also uses a carbon fiber to keep the weight down without compromising on durability. Both notebooks also feature NFC (Near Field Communication) capability, up to 17 hours of battery life with a high capacity battery, and optional touchscreens. Models with the GeForce GT 720M/730M apparently won’t be available in North America but will be in other regions of the world. The T440s is obviously the more potent and exciting of the two, but cost will be higher. Availability is scheduled for the end of October, with the T440s starting at $1149 and the T440 starting at $889.

ThinkPad T440 and T440s Specifications
Model T440 T440s
CPU Up to 4th Generation Core i5 Up to 4th Generation Core i7
GPU Intel HD 4400
Optional GeForce GT 720M
Intel HD 4400
Optional GeForce GT 730M
LCD 14” HD
14” HD+ Touchscreen
14” HD+
14” Full HD
14” Full HD Touchscreen
Storage Up to 1TB HDD or 512GB SSD Up to 1TB HDD or 512GB SSD
RAM Up to 12GB DDR3L Up to 12GB DDR3L
Connectivity Mini-DisplayPort
2 x USB 3.0 (one powered)
SD card reader
3 x USB 3.0 (one powered)
SD card reader
Networking Intel WP2 + Bluetooth
4G LTE and 3G WWAN
Gigabit Ethernet
Intel WP2 + Bluetooth
4G LTE and 3G WWAN
Gigabit Ethernet
Battery 3-cell 23.5Wh
6-cell 48Wh
6-cell 72Wh
Up to 17 Hours
3-cell 23.5Wh
6-cell 48Wh
6-cell 72Wh
Up to 17 Hours
Weight 4.0 lbs. (1.82kg) 3.5 lbs. (1.59kg)
Dimensions 13.35”x9.15”x0.83”
(339mm x 232.5mm x 21mm)
(331mm x 226mm x 20.45mm)
Extras Up to 5-year warranty
2x larger touchpad
HD webcam
Optional smart card reader
Up to 5-year warranty
HD webcam
Pricing Starting at $899 Starting at $1149
Availability Late October, 2013 Late October, 2013

ThinkPad X240

The X240 is a 12.5-inch laptop designed to be the ultimate road warrior. Like the T440/T440s, it includes NFC capability and optional touchscreens. It loses out on a few extras relative to the 14-inch models but it comes in a more portable and lighter package. The X240 also features Lenovo’s new Power Bridge functionality, which allows users to swap out the removable battery for the 6-cell travel battery without powering down. (It appears some models will have an optional 3-cell internal battery with the standard “travel battery” being user replaceable/swappable to support this.) Availability is scheduled for the end of October, with the X240 starting at $1099.

ThinkPad X240 Specifications
Model X240
CPU Up to 4th Generation Core i7
GPU Intel HD 4400
LCD 12.5” HD
12.5” HD Widescreen
12.5” HD Widescreen Touchscreen
12.5” Full HD
12.5” Full HD Touchscreen
Storage Up to 1TB HDD; SSDs available
RAM Up to 8GB single SO-DIMM
Connectivity HDMI
2 x USB 3.0
SD/MMC card reader
Networking WiFi + Bluetooth
4G LTE and 3G WWAN
Gigabit Ethernet
Battery 3-cell internal (optional)
3-cell travel
6-cell travel
Up to 10+ Hours
Weight 2.94 lbs. (1.34kg)
Dimensions 12.0”x8.21”x0.79”
(305.5mm x 208.8mm x 20.3mm)
Extras Up to 5-year warranty
HD webcam
Pricing Starting at $1149
Availability Late October, 2013

ThinkPad S440/S540

The S440/S540 will be available in select markets, which does not include North America. The S440 is a 14-inch laptop while the S540 is a 15.6” design; both support up to Core i7 CPUs with optional HD 8670M graphics from AMD (presumably Enduro enabled). The S series is designed for “business or pleasure”, with more multimedia friendly features like voice control, and they support Lenovo’s OneLink technology to allow docking of sorts with USB 3.0, video, power, and Gigabit Ethernet over a single cable. Availability is scheduled for September on the S440 and October for the S540 in Europe, with the S440 starting at €699 and the S540 starting at €649.

ThinkPad S440 and S540 Specifications
Model S440 S540
CPU Up to 4th Generation Core i5 Up to 4th Generation Core i7
GPU Intel HD 4400
Optional Radeon HD 8670M
Intel HD 4400
Optional Radeon HD 8670M
LCD 14” Up to HD+ Anti-Glare
Optional Touchscreen
15.6” Up to Full HD Anti-Glare
Optional Touchscreen
Storage Up to 500GB HDD or 256GB SSD Up to 1TB HDD or 256GB SSD
RAM Up to 8GB (1 x SO-DIMM) Up to 16GB (2 x SO-DIMM)
Connectivity OneLink
2 x USB 3.0 (one powered)
SD card reader
3 x USB 3.0 (one powered)
SD card reader
Networking WiFi + Bluetooth
Gigabit Ethernet
WiFi + Bluetooth
Gigabit Ethernet
Optional 4G LTE and 3G WWAN
Battery Up to 6 Hours Up to 9 Hours
Weight 3.92 lbs. (1.78kg)
4.23 lbs. (1.92kg) Touch
4.65 lbs. (2.11kg)
5.2 lbs. (2.36kg) Touch
Dimensions 13.11”x8.85”x0.80” (0.88” Touch)
(333mm x 225mm x 20.5mm, 22.5mm Touch)
14.9”x9.96”x0.81” Touch
(379mm x 253mm x 20.7mm Touch)
Extras HD webcam HD webcam
Pricing Starting at €699 Starting at €649
Availability September, 2013 October, 2013


Source: Lenovo PR

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  • noeldillabough - Thursday, September 5, 2013 - link

    Actually the new keyboard (on the x230) which I thought I woudl HATE is awesome. Really! I notice immediateyl when I'm on a crappy keyboard (any chiclet including macs lol) and this one is actually quite good. Plus while programming I often hit cursor/pgup/pgdn and its just convenient where they are.

    Definatley would miss the trackbutton buttons and the extra ram...

    WTB: 12-13" laptop with Iris graphics, tons of memory and user replaceable hard drives.
  • defter - Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - link

    When we get small affordable laptops with decent screens?

    X240 costs over $1000 but comes with 1366x768 resolution by default, I wonder how much you need to pay to get 1920x1080? At the same time Nexus 7 with the same resolution is sold at $229, what's so difficult of putting this resolution to <$1000 laptops? Full HD should be the default resolution for cheap laptops while expensive laptops should move to 2560x1440 or better.

    Also the connectivity is silly, X240 lacks DP but has VGA!? How about ditching ancient VGA and putting both HDMI and DP so you can use two external screens at the same time digitally and need less adapters?

    What I want from the laptop is:
    - small (<=13")
    - decent screen (at least 1920x1080)
    - removable battery
    - two DIMM slots
    - at least 3xUSB and Ethernet
    - affordable (way less than $1000)

    Such laptops existed in the past, almost three years ago I bought Lenovo Edge 11 with these specs (except the display resolution) for less than $600. Now it's impossible to find similar, but with a better display even if you pay double. I would expect that the technology has advanced enough for full HD displays be affordable enough for this. Phone, tablet, and monitor (27" 2560x1440 monitors for $300) market point to this way, but laptops still have worse resolution than almost 10 years ago.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - link

    10 years is pushing it -- 10 years ago good laptops generally had 1400x1050 or 1280x1024 LCDs, and they had relatively poor contrast with maximum brightness levels of 150 nits or so. LEDs improved brightness but often resulted in worse colors, and the race to the bottom really hurt contrast, quality, and uptake of IPS and similar solutions. That's starting to change, but it hasn't happened 100% yet.

    For the rest: Windows still has lousy dpi scaling (8.1 is supposed to improve this, but only for Win8 Apps, not legacy stuff AFAICT), and if you have too small a dot pitch you end up with text that's hard to read and the older generation -- the people most likely to use a ThinkPad -- get angry. On a 12.5" screen, I can see some people wanting 1366x768, others wanting 1600x900, and still others pushing for 1920x1080, and the X240 at least offers two of those.

    Comparing a 12.5" screen to 7" displays is apples and oranges, and the OS makes 1080p on a 7" display usable with Android where it wouldn't be with Windows. Likewise, a 2560x1440 grade B panel sold for $350 is totally different from a laptop display. Realistically, I think the 1080p 13" IPS displays probably cost around $125-$150 right now, so it's not that bad, but manufacturers are still slow to put them into laptops. They hate increasing BoM and it comes back to bite them in the butt.

    VGA is still around because tons of businesses have projectors and other equipment that still "works fine" and only supports VGA input, so almost all business laptops continue to include VGA. When will VGA truly die and go away? Probably 10 years. :-\

    For your wish list:
    13" or smaller laptops are plentiful, so that's not a problem.
    Decent screens are available (X240, some Sony, various other Ultrabooks) as well.
    Removable batteries add to the size and girth of a laptop and so most Ultrabooks avoid them
    Two SO-DIMM slots makes a thicker laptop, so Ultrabooks rarely have more than one and many solder the RAM.
    3 x USB is possible, but on the cramped confines of 13" and smaller it is difficult to do while getting everything else in place (mostly just an engineering problem, so doing it would increase costs).
    Ethernet has a required thickness and again, a lot of Ultrabooks skip it just to be thinner.
    Affordable? Well, with all the above, you're basically going the opposite direction.

    Your Edge 11 has a lousy quality display, no SSD, and an old CULV processor that's less than half the performance of modern budget laptops. Prices on CPUs haven't really come down; the CPUs are just faster, so budget laptops are still $600 -- and don't have the various extras you're after. Finding a replacement for your Edge 11 that's a good upgrade will probably mean spending $600 again, and you'd end up with something that is similar in overall quality and doesn't have an SSD.

    Could someone do all of the above for $1000? Almost certainly. But then they'd have to either sell at a very tiny profit (like less than 5%) and risk losing money, and when most people still prefer $500 to $600 laptops it's a risk. So they make the prices higher to reduce the total risk, which in turn reduces the market interest. Heh. But an MBA11 has an estimated BoM of $700 and it still misses on the quality display, so add another $100, and then add another $100 for the engineering resources required to get the rest of your list. Apple is the most likely company to build what you're after, and I think they'd charge $1500+.
  • noeldillabough - Thursday, September 5, 2013 - link

    Any news on the new dock system they were showing off (it was a proprietary port)
  • Mackan - Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - link

    No Thunderbolt port on any of them. It seems no OEM want to support it. And ExpressPort gone as well. So no eGPU solutions for these laptops then...
  • gobaers - Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - link

    ThinkPads have never been known to have consumer GPU options. Some have workstation graphics options, but they were mediocre at best for gaming. I don't think these are the laptops you are looking for.
  • gobaers - Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - link

    I'm obligated to post my thoughts on any article on new ThinkPads. All I want are:

    * The old keyboard layout. I'm fine if you want to switch to chiclet keys, I just need to delete/home/end/pgup/pgdn keys in the corner, so I can hit them consistently without looking at my keyboard.
    * Please release a nice display (preferably IPS) with enough vertical space. 16:10 < 4:3 < 3:2. We use these to work, I can't fit a full page of text with a short display. I don't need to watch movies on this.
    * Thin bezels around screen, narrower laptops. The T420s I'm typing on has an extra inch of unneeded horizontal size.
    * Trackpoint buttons. I can't believe I'm having to spell this out now. Being able to use it without looking at it leads to efficiency. Though I haven't tried the new TrackPoint buttons, since they are not raised buttons, I'm pretty sure ergonomics will suffer.

    That's it. If you need to make changes to keep up with the times, so be it. These are what I think constitutes the strengths of the ThinkPad design. If these changes make the laptop more expensive, that's fine. This is supposed to be an enterprise product made for work.
  • mammal - Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - link

    Does anyone know whether the Carbon X-1 will be refreshed with Haswell ? No mention of the Carbon X-1 with the new X line roll-out so wondering if it will be phased out. It has been a great machine for me except the battery life, which I had hoped would be resolved with Haswell.
  • tuxRoller - Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - link

    So, what is HD and HD+?
  • nicolaim - Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - link

    HD 1366x768
    HD+ 1600x900
    FHD 1920x1080

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