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Last updated on September 1st, 2020 at 03:41 pm

Lenovo ThinkPad T480 Vs T480s – Which One Should You Get?

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Last updated on September 16th, 2020 at 02:22 pm

In this article, we compare the Lenovo ThinkPad T480 and T480s. Here’s everything you need to know about Lenovo ThinkPad T480 vs T480s.


Design (5)
Build Quality (5)
Upgradeability (5)
Display (5)
Thermals (5)
Performance (5)
Battery Life (5)
Total (35)

Lenovo ThinkPad T480 – Pros & Cons

2019 Lenovo Thinkpad T480 14' Full HD FHD(1920x1080) Business Laptop (Intel 8th Gen Quad-Core i5-8250U, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB PCIe M.2 SSD) Backlit, Thunderbolt 3 Type-C, WiFi, Windows 10 Pro – Black


Solid Performance

Slim & Lightweight

Long Battery Life

Plenty Of Upgrade-able Internal Components


No Quick Charge

Dim Display

Lenovo ThinkPad T480s – Pros & Cons

OEM Lenovo ThinkPad T480s Laptop 14” FHD IPS Display 1920x1080, Intel Quad Core i7-8650U, 16GB RAM, 512GB NVMe, Fingerprint, W10P


Solid Performance

Slim & Lightweight

Good Battery Life & Fast Charge


Dim Display

No Fast Charge

One RAM Slot Is Soldered

Lenovo ThinkPad T480 vs Lenovo ThinkPad T480s – Differences


The Lenovo ThinkPad T480 has models that have up to 8th Gen Intel Core i7, 32GB RAM and WQHD display. Depending on your budget, you can either get a base model which is an Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, Full HD and 256GB SSD/ 500GB HDD. Or you can go for the maxed-out configuration.

The Lenovo ThinkPad T480s also has similar configurations. The only difference is that you can upgrade the RAM up to 24GB. Aside from that, you have Intel Core i5 and i7s models. However, none of them has HDD storage.

Design & Build Quality

The Lenovo ThinkPad T480 and T480s have the same design and build quality. Both are made from plastic except the bottom which is magnesium alloy.

The chassis meets the requirements of MIL-SPEC which tests for reliability and durability. It also meets Lenovo’s durability test which comprises of bumps and falls.

Even though, it passes these test the laptops flex and warp under sufficient force.

Lenovo ThinkPad T480 Review

However, the Lenovo T480 is thicker and heavier than the T480s. It weighs 3.6 lbs (1.63 kg) and its 0.78 inches thick. The Lenovo T480s, on the other hand, weighs 2.49 lbs (1.3 kg) and it’s 0.7 inches thick.

When it comes to port selection. Both have the same amount of ports including a Thunderbolt 3 port. There is also another USB-C port that supports USB-C charging.

Overall, there is no difference in build quality and design between the Lenovo ThinkPad T480 and T480s. The only difference is the weight and thinness. And the T480 is thicker and heavier than the T480s.


The Lenovo T480s is easy to upgrade. Remove the Philips screws on the back and you have access to the internal components. From there, you can upgrade the RAM, SSD and WLAN card.

t480 teardown
T480 Teardown credit mobietechreview

However, one of the RAM slots is soldered whiles the other is not. The soldered RAM is 8GB and the other slot can take up to 16GB RAM. This allows you to upgrade the system to up to 24GB RAM in total. Also, the battery is not replaceable.

For the cooling system, the T480s makes use of a single fan and two heat pipes. It does a great job of keeping the system cool. But, heavy-duty tasks run for long periods will make it run hot.

For the Lenovo T480, you have more upgrade options than the T480s. You need to be careful when removing the bottom panel. Once removed you can proceed to do your upgrades.

There are two slots of RAM which are not soldered and can be upgraded up to 32GB. You can install a WWAN module, replace the Wi-Fi card or upgrade the SSD. There is also an HDD bay if you want cheap and large storage.

T480s teardown
T480s Teardown credit mobiletechreview

For the cooling, you have a single large fan and a heat pipe. Although, there is one less heat pipe than the Lenovo T480s it does a great job at cooling the system. However, pushing it to the limits will cause it to run at high temperatures just like every other laptop.


The two laptops come with two options – Full HD (1920 x 1080) and WQHD (2560 x 1600). There is also a touchscreen option. Both laptop displays have good viewing angles and sharpness. Unfortunately, they are not vivid and colours do not “pop”.

It’s also not bright and outdoor use will be difficult. On the bright side, the WQHD option has better brightness and colour accuracy. The display is so much pleasant to look at. Both displays do not have slim bezels and you can turn the display hinge 180 degrees.

One more thing. The display options for the Lenovo T480 are all matte including touch. That means no glare and reflections. The Lenovo T480s touchscreen display is glossy. The rest of the display options are anti-glare matte.

Keyboard & Touchpad

Both have the same chiclet keyboard, TrackPoint and touchpad. Comfortable keyboards that have a good amount of key travel and tactile feedback. There is no Numpad and so the keys are well-spaced and have sufficient size.

In addition to that, it is spill-resistant and backlit (optional).

Overall, the keyboard provides a pleasant typing experience. One of the main reasons why ThinkPads are highly praised.

You still have your touchpad which has Windows 10 gestures. The touchpad is covered with soft-touch material that is smooth to the touch. Even dry fingers will be able to glide over easily.


Performance is pretty much equal here. Unless one has a higher configuration than the other. Nevertheless, the Intel Core i5s and i7s are sufficient enough to multitask and handle demanding tasks. The cooling system is also good enough to prevent the CPU from thermal throttling all the time.

Lenovo ThinkPad T480s Review

Both laptops are not gaming laptops. They don’t have a dedicated GPU and you won’t be able to run games. Some games might be unplayable. Casual games will run smoothly though.

Overall, performance is the same between them.

Battery Life

This is where the Lenovo ThinkPad T480 wins. Why? Because the battery is replaceable and swappable. There is an external area where you can insert or remove the battery.

You can choose between three options – 24WHr, 48WHr and 72WHr. Plus, it already has an in-built 24WHr battery. For example, if you choose the 48WHr battery adding that to the in-built 24WHr battery will total 72WHr.

In short, you will get better battery life.

The 24WHr plus 24WHr combination will provide 7-8 hours. The 24WHr plus 48WHr will provide 9-10 hours. And the 24WHr plus 72WHr will provide more than 12 hours of battery life.

However, this comes at a cost. The bigger the battery capacity the thicker the battery is going to be. This only applies to the battery. Your Lenovo T480 will remain the same size though.

The Lenovo ThinkPad T480s also has great battery life. It beats the 24WHr plus 24WHr Lenovo T480. It has a 57WHr which can provide 9-10 hours under consistent use. The T480 also has quick charge capability which can get it to 80 per cent in one hour.

Overall, the swappable battery of the T480 allows you to have a long battery life. If you can get a few of the replaceable batteries. You can work for long periods.

Lenovo ThinkPad T480 Vs T480s – Which One To Get?

The Lenovo ThinkPad T480 and T480s are pretty much the same.

However, there a few differences between them. The T480s is slimmer and lighter than the T480. You also can’t upgrade a lot of stuff in there.

The Lenovo T480, on the other hand, has swappable batteries which allow you to get long battery life. Plus, it provides more upgrade options when it comes to the internal components. Aside from that, they are pretty much the same.

Lenovo ThinkPad T480

2019 Newest Lenovo Thinkpad T480 14" HD Business Laptop (Intel Quad-Core i5-8250U, 32GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB SSD) Fingerprint, Thunderbolt 3, Type-C, WiFi AC, Windows 10 Pro
32GB DDR4 RAM; 1TB 2.5" SATA SSD; Professional Installation Service included.; Intel Wireless 8265ac (2x2) + Bluetooth v4.1 | FingerPrint Reader | HD 720p Webcam
Lenovo 20L50010US ThinkPad T480 14-inch Laptop with Intel Core i7-8650U CPU, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, Windows 10 Pro
Love it. Admire it. Beat the hell out of it; ThinkPad's that changes the world; The journey's as important as the destination

Last update on 2020-09-23 at 20:05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Lenovo ThinkPad T480s

OEM Lenovo ThinkPad T490s Laptop 14” FHD IPS Display 1920x1080, Intel Quad Core i5-8265U, 8GB RAM, 256GB NVMe, Fingerprint, W10P
Processor: Intel i5-8265U Quad Core (1.6GHz - 3.9GHz, 6MB Cache); Graphics: Intel UHD 620; Features: 8GB RAM, 256GB NVMe, Fingerprint Reader, Backlit Keyboard
Lenovo ThinkPad T480S Business Laptop: Core i7-8550U, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 14inch Full HD Display, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10
8th Generation Intel Core i7-8550U Processor (1.8GHz Base, up to 4.00 GHz); 16GB DDR4 2400MHz RAM
$1,699.99 −$590.18 $1,109.81
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s 14" (1920x1080) IPS Anti-Glare Display - Intel i7-8550U Processor, 16GB RAM, 1TB PCIe-NVMe SSD, Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Intel Core i7-8550U Quad-core 1.80GHz (Up to 4.00GHz) Processor; 14" FHD (1920x1080, 250 nits) IPS anti-glare Display with ThinkPad Privacy Guard

Last update on 2020-09-23 at 18:15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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