Lenovo ThinkPad T431s Review

August 22, 2013 by Michael Wall Reads (162,295)

Performance and Benchmarks

Equipped with a 1.9 GHz third generation Intel i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB HDD and Intel HD Graphics the Lenovo ThinkPad T431s offers solid performance capable of handling most tasks, but the specs are a bit lackluster for its plus $1,000 price point.

The device is able to handle typical word and web functions with relative ease; users can even expect solid performance while running more demanding Office tasks such as complicated Excel spreadsheets. With its 4GB of RAM the device is able to multitask without any noticeable drop in performance. While 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, as evident by the notebook’s lackluster PC Mark 7 benchmark scores.

With integrated Intel HD graphics the T431s is able to offer solid performance during HD video playback, but the machine will struggle to do much else. The notebook may be able to play some low-end games, but newer more graphically demanding game titles and high-quality video editing are well beyond the graphical prowess of this machine.

The more concerning bottleneck for performance lies with the machine’s lack of SSD storage. Equipped with 500 GB HDD the T431s provides slower data retrieval and boot up speeds than competing notebooks equipped with a solid state storage device. The Lenovo ThinkPad T431s is certainly still serviceable for the average user, but the device still falls well below what is expected at this price point.

It should be noted that additional configuration options for the T431s are available; including a faster processors and SSD storage, but users can expect to pay considerably more for that added functionality.

Our Lenovo ThinkPad T431s review unit includes the following configuration:

  • Windows (64-bit)
  • 14″ LED Backlit Display 1600 x 900 (250 Nits)
  • 1.9 GHz i5-3437U
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • 4GB DDR3
  • 500GB HDD (7200 RPM)
  • Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Dimensions: 13″ x 8.9 “x 0.8”
  • Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Starting Price: $1,100
  • Price as Configuration: $1,170

wPrime processor comparisons (lower score means better performance):

 

PCMark 7 is a newer benchmark and measures overall systems performance (higher scores mean better performance):

 

3DMark 11 is a benchmark that measures overall graphic card performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance): 

 

Crystal DiskMark storage drive performance test:

 

Heat and Noise
The Lenovo ThinkPad T431s houses a vent on the right side of the chassis. With the bottom portion of the vent curving down towards the machine’s underside, a small portion of the heat can be directed back towards the user if using the device as a laptop. Luckily under normal circumstances the machine stays comfortably cool. After watching a video stream for 30 minutes the notebook did heat up, but even then the temperature was still fairly mild. The T431s also proves to be exceptionally quite, only producing a faint hum when pushed to capacity.

Battery Life
To test battery life, we used our new PowerMark benchmark in balanced mode. The test consists of a combination of automated web browsing, word processing, gaming and video playback workloads. The test is far more strenuous than our previous test, measuring the machine under a litany of scenarios to better simulate real life use. With the test being far more demanding the scores are understandably lower than our previous benchmark.

PowerMark “Balanced” battery life test results (higher scores mean better life):

 

In our tests the Lenovo ThinkPad ran for 3 hours and 50 minutes with the display set at 110 nits before shutting down. While the T431s doesn’t quite boast the same battery life as its predecessor, it still manages to offer considerable endurance falling just shy of four hours. With our test being far more strenuous than real-life conditions, users can likely expect the T431s to easily last an entire day on a single charge.


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