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Lenovo refreshes ThinkPad range for 2018 with Intel 8th-gen chips

Lenovo has given its ThinkPad lineup a through refresh, boosting the innards of the series’ laptops and 2-in-one devices ahead of CES 2018.

Every model in the ThinkPad line, from the ultraportable ThinkPad X280 through to the business-grade ThinkPad L38 Yoga have been given access to Intel’s latest eighth-generation Core i processors, which offer a boost in processing power as well as better energy efficiency.

RAM goes up to 32GB of DDR4 running at 2,400MHz in most ThinkPad models.

Most of the ThinkPads can be specced to have up to 1TB of speedy PCIe SSD storage; the ThinkPad X280 and ThinkPad T480 can be tweaked to have the same capacity but don’t have PCIe SSDs.

For the more powerful Lenovo laptops aimed at professional and business use, dedicated graphics are on offer in the form of Nvidia’s GeForce MX150 for the ThinkPad T580, ThinkPad T480 and the think and light ThinkPad T480s.

The enterprise focused ThinkPad L580 and ThinkPad L480 come with AMD’s Radeon 530 graphics.

Neither the Nvidia or AMD graphics accelerators in the ThinkPads aren’t much good for modern gaming but they should handle more graphically intensive tasks that laptops without dedicated graphics may struggle to run.

While most of the models offer relatively minor refreshes, Lenovo has gone a little further with the ThinkPad X280.

Following on from the ThinkPad X270, the new laptop is thinner and lighter than its predecessor, weighing in at 1.16kg and 17.4mm thick with models running the entry-level specifications. It has also been given a more angular and modern looking chassis over its rather locky predecessor.

This design overhaul does mean it drops access to a battery that can be hot-swapped. But Lenovo notes that the 48Wh internal battery can be rapidly charged. It has also lost the full-sized Ethernet port, through a dongle can be used to wired network connections.

A microSD slot can be found behind the display in place of a standard SD reader and docking is now handled via a Thunderbolt 3 based side port rather than a mechanical port on the laptop’s bottom.

While the redesign is hardly radical, it shows Lenovo is looking at modernising it laptops with streamlined connections yet without sacrificing the laptop’s flexibility for mobile and office-based work.

Prices for the ThinkPad X280 start at $999, while the rest of the ThinkPad lineup ranges from $609 for the Lenovo ThinkPad L380 to $1,699 for the portable but well-specced ThinkPad T480s. All the laptops will launch this month.

Related: Best ultraportable laptops

Can Lenovo’s laptops compete with the best from Asus and Acer? Let us know your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter.

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