They come in the instantly-recognizable black and boxy design that’s supposedly inspired by Japanese bento boxes. In the past, IBM was the company that produces the entire lineup, but that eventually changed. By 2005, they sold their PC business to Lenovo, a Chinese multinational tech company that has carried on the ThinkPad lineup.
Fast forward to 2017 and Lenovo released the ThinkPad E580, from the eighth-generation of ThinkPad E series. This laptop stays true to the spirit of ThinkPad as it offers excellent performance tailored specifically for business users. It packs a lot of value in this sleek laptop, especially when you consider how affordable it is for the performance that it offers. Overall, these factors make it ideal for new entrepreneurs and small or medium businesses.
Typically, any laptop that you might consider to be ‘affordable’ will only offer a small screen that makes it hard for users to be productive. Instead, the E580 provides a 15.6-inch display, not too small or too large but ideal for most uses. Plus, the built-in HD laptop allows users to make video calls and host remote meetings comfortably.
In terms of computing power, the ThinkPad E580 comes packed with an Intel Core i5-7200U 2.5 GHz processor, 4GB of DDR4 RAM, and 500 GB of hard disk space. That’s pretty impressive for a business laptop! But even more impressive than that are the security features Lenovo has included in it, like a touch fingerprint scanner, Kensington lock slot, and Discrete Trusted Platform Module (DTPM) 2.0 chip (which helps secure your hardware).
All of that sounds great (and it is!), but of course, the laptop might not be for everybody. So, in the next few sections, we’re going to look at what kind of users the Lenovo ThinkPad E580 will serve the best. Then we’ll also explore the pros and cons of this excellent laptop.
The Lenovo ThinkPad E580 is a very versatile laptop, and many groups of users will find it useful. Among them are:
Even when it comes to laptops, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Here are some users who might NOT find the Lenovo ThinkPad E580 particularly useful:
There’s plenty to like and love about the Lenovo ThinkPad E580, but out of all of them, the top three things we love about it are the fantastic keyboard, extra-long battery life, and high-grade security features.
If there’s one thing that all ThinkPads are well-known for, is their unique keyboard. Still, the one on the E580, in particular, stands out among other ThinkPad models, namely because of the responsiveness of the keys. You get an excellent audible click and tactile feedback with each keystroke, thanks to the 1.8 mm distance the keys travel every time.
For regular users, that might not seem like a big deal. But power users will tell you that these traits contribute to faster typing speeds, and quicker typing means higher rates of productivity.
Part of that fast typing speed also comes as a result of the dedicated Numpad. Having a numeric keypad means not having to type in numbers above the QWERTY line awkwardly. So, whether you’re calculating a budget or filling spreadsheets, you’ll do it much more swiftly with this ThinkPad.
Some people might not care too much about battery life. Still, it’s important to remember that you won’t always have a plug point near you. Some coffee houses and even airports have scarce power points where you can plug in your laptop to work, so you’ll need to rely on your battery eventually. If you’re on the ThinkPad E580, that won’t be a problem at all. The battery lasts up to about 13 hours in total. That’s more than half a day of non-stop use!
Just imagine what that might mean for you. If you work in an office, you could be sitting at your desk from 9-5 using only the battery, and you’d still have some battery life leftover when you head home.
Also, the ThinkPad E580 has several security features that any business user will appreciate. For starters, it comes with the Discrete Trusted Platform Module (DTPM) 2.0 chip which secures your device and reduces its vulnerability to cyber-attacks.
The Kensington lock slot, on the other hand, protects it physically by allowing you to lock the device locked down onto your workspace, wherever that might be. So, it’s going to be difficult for someone just to snatch your laptop away. Lastly, the touch fingerprint reader will ensure that you, and only you, can biometrically access the computer, even if you forget your password.
As we go through this Lenovo ThinkPad E580 review, it’ll also become clear that there are some things that we feel Lenovo could improve upon. Among them are the dim display, underperforming WiFi, the lack of a touch screen option, and the sub-par speakers.
It’s quite unfortunate that the ThinkPad E580’s display is one thing that holds it back. For starters, the screen is quite dim when you compare it to almost any other laptop available on the market. That’s not good for the eyes, especially if you’re going to use this for hours on end as your primary work computer. Plus, it’ll reduce your ability to see things clearly if you’re doing light editing work on photos or videos.
Second, we agree with plenty of other reviewers out there that the color reproduction on this laptop is mediocre at best. Again, it pains us to say this. But with all the many positive traits of this laptop, it’s sad that the display is its Achilles heel.
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Unfortunately, the WiFi connectivity on the E580 isn’t as seamless as one would expect. The laptop doesn’t always connect with the WiFi hotspot automatically, even though it’s a familiar one that you use daily. Plus, that connection has a habit of dropping from time to time for seemingly no reason at all. A quick search online shows that some people work through this issue with driver updates, but overall this tends to be a common problem with the E580.
No Touch Screen
A touch screen seems like a standard option these days, yet Lenovo didn’t include it with the ThinkPad E580. That just seems like a waste, considering how far that would go for users who prefer a more tactile interaction with their laptop. Had they included it, users would be able to stay highly-productive even if they were standing and holding their computer without a desk.
Speakers and Sound Quality
Lastly, the speakers and sound quality on this laptop leave a lot to be desired. Lenovo boasts that they’re using stereo speakers with Dolby® Advanced Audio™. Despite that, you’re not going to be able to watch videos comfortably if you’re relying on the built-in speakers.
Why might this matter? Well, two reasons. One, if your job involves viewing or editing audiovisuals all day. And two, if you’re a traveling worker who relies on the E580 for entertainment on-the-go. In either case or anything similar, you’d be better off using headphones with this laptop.
Typically when you buy a new laptop, you’d expect to find lots of stuff inside. Depending on the brand and model, you’d usually get printed manuals, warranty guides, installation CDs, and of course. Lenovo doesn’t include too much of that stuff with the ThinkPad E580. Instead, all you get are:
1. A small printed user booklet
2. A power adapter
3. The laptop itself
It might seem underwhelming, but rest assured that’s a good thing. These days, computer manufacturers like Lenovo are well-aware of the waste that they generate, so they only include the bare necessities alongside the laptops that they ship out.
So, this is the part of the Lenovo ThinkPad E580 review where we get down to brass tacks. Let’s explore the exact features that make this laptop as great as it is.
Overall design and durability
You have the option of getting the E580 either in black or a dark-silver color, depending on availability. Either way, the device weighs in at 4.7 pounds, though it doesn’t take up too much space at 14.5 by 9.9 by 0.8 inches. That’s not exceptionally thin or light, but it’s easy enough to carry around in your backpack or even a handbag if need be.
Lenovo claims that they built the laptop to be long-lasting and durable. While we didn’t do a shock test of our own, it’s easy to tell just by holding it that the outer shell is pretty tough.
We’ve mentioned the high security of this laptop quite many times already. That increased security comes thanks to three features in particular. First is the fingerprint reader, which allows you to limit access to the device using biometrics. On top of that is the earlier-mentioned Discrete Trusted Platform Module (DTPM) 2.0 chip which provides highly-secure encryption to protect the device and its contents.
Lastly, there’s the Kensington lock slot. If you’re in an office all day, you might not use this feature much. But if you’re ever working on-site or on-the-move, you’ll have the ability to secure your laptop to the table or chair so no one can snatch it away.
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The Lenovo ThinkPad E580 has a 15.6-inch display offering a 1920 x 1080 resolution, which sounds great. Unfortunately, this is one area where the laptop is lacking much. To put it simply, the screen lacks brightness, so you’ll have trouble seeing minor details either while you work or when you’re trying to enjoy a movie.
On top of that, the color reproduction is also lacking, which means that you won’t get the vibrant visuals on the E580 that you may prefer seeing on other displays.
On the plus side, one of the best parts of this laptop is its computing power. It carries the Core i5-7200U processor, paired with at least 4GB of DDR 4 RAM and a 500 GB hard drive. Again, that might not be enough for heavy-duty video editing or gaming, but that’s still plenty of power to get the job done in a business setting. Spreadsheets, word documents, and even video presentations will be a breeze when you prepare them using this laptop.
Here’s another source of disappointment for the Lenovo ThinkPad E580: the audio. As mentioned before, Lenovo boasts putting stereo speakers in this laptop with Dolby® Advanced Audio™, but the sound quality just makes it difficult to enjoy any entertainment off of it. Had they improved on this element and the display, this laptop would’ve been very close to perfect.
Last but not least, let’s talk about the input devices, namely the keyboard, touchpad, and the signature Trackpoint pointing stick (the little red dot on the keyboard that you use as a mouse).
We can only describe the keyboard as being top of its class. It has responsive keys with 1.78 mm of travel, providing you with lovely tactile feedback and that satisfying clicking sound often found on more expensive keyboards. The trackpad is also very responsive, though if that’s not your preference you could always use the Trackpoint to control the cursor more precisely, all while your hand stays on the keyboard.
So, let’s sum it all up. The Lenovo ThinkPad E580 comes from a long line of ThinkPads with stellar reputations. Those reputations come from the fact that pretty much all ThinkPads make for excellent business-use workhorses. Overall, it’s easy to see that this ThinkPad does that lineage proud!
Firstly, its affordability allows for it to get into the hands of those who are just starting. Small businesses, startups, freelancers, and the like can get a durable, secure, and highly-performing laptop without hurting their limited budgets.
The value that they get in exchange is abundant. Despite the lack of brightness, the laptop does come with a decent-sized display and a built-in webcam. These will facilitate any video calls or meetings, especially when you’re part of a team that works remotely. The only downside in this context will be the audio if you’re relying on the built-in stereo speakers. Not to worry, though, you can just plug in headphones as an easy way to work around the audio limitations.
More importantly, the Lenovo ThinkPad E580 satisfies businesses’ need for security. Physical security comes from the fingerprint scanner and lock point, while the laptop enjoys encryption thanks to the Discrete Trusted Platform Module (DTPM) 2.0 chip onboard.
What else does a business need? It needs high productivity. The keyboard (with its dedicated number pad), the trackpad, and the Trackpoint pointing stick make using the laptop super easy and enjoyable. Combined together, you’ll enjoy hours of high-productivity that you wouldn’t get with a clunkier machine.
This ThinkPad isn’t going to be much fun for gamers, heavy-duty video or photo editors, or even animators. But those are clearly not Lenovo’s target markets for this particular laptop. Instead, it’s an excellent device for business users who need a reliable and durable machine that they can spend long grueling hours working on without it frustrating them. So, what’s the bottom line? If you fit into that category and you’re looking for a laptop to help you get the job done, the Lenovo ThinkPad E580 is precisely what you need.
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