Lenovo ThinkPad T440s Ultrabook Review: The Ultimate Business Ultraportable?
Performance - Storage Devices, Synthetic GPU, Gaming
Performance – Storage Devices
Let’s take a look next at the solid-state drive in greater detail:
AS SSD Benchmark
AS SSD is a great way to open for any solid-state drive. Here, the score of 776 reveals some weaknesses, however; specifically, write performance is slow for an SSD, and the 4K performance (especially with 64 threads) is nothing special either. These deficiencies add up to underwhelming scores in both the read/write columns, but the system still feels quick regardless, especially compared to those with a standard mechanical drive.
ATTO Disk Benchmarks
The Samsung drive’s disappointing write performance is again exemplified here across all chunk sizes. With literally half of the write speed of the X240’s 256 GB variant, it’s just one more reason to bite the bullet and go with the larger capacity drive.
Again, quick read speeds and oddly limited write speeds, unwilling to budge beyond the ~130 MB/s mark.
Finally, here’s HD Tune’s results:
Seeing as it’s low-voltage, we obviously can’t expect too much from the T440s’ integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000, which is clocked at 200 MHz – 1000 MHz (Turbo Boost under available thermal headroom). Plus, the single-channel RAM design further inhibits the integrated GPU’s capabilities seeing as the memory is shared. Nevertheless, that won’t stop us from throwing our usual array of GPU tests at it, beginning with our synthetic GPU benchmarks. Let’s see what happens.
Synthetic GPU Benchmarks
We begin with 3DMark (2013 edition).
The most interesting thing about this particular graph is the X240’s higher scores, especially on Ice Storm. We would attribute this to the increased amount of RAM available to the GPU on the X240 (which features 8 GB of RAM as opposed to 4 GB, though both machines are single-channel configurations), as not many other configuration differences exist; the throttling situation is the same for both. Strangely, however, the Flex 14 also was beaten by the same margin, and it also features 8 GB of RAM. So, mysterious as it may be, here are our results, with the T440s and Flex 14 within throwing distance of one another, and the X240 oddly a few leaps ahead.
3DMark 11, on the other hand, offers no such discrepancies, with the T440s actually beating the X240 by a small margin. The Flex 14 falls even further behind, with the X230 nearly matching its score.
Now let’s take a look at some actual games. Quite clearly, not much gaming enjoyment will be possible on the T440s, but it’s still worthwhile to see just how it stands in comparison to other notebooks.
Just Cause 2
Forgoing the temptations to load up the multiplayer mod and wreak some senseless havoc, we benchmarked Just Cause 2 under various different settings templates and found that—as expected—it’s basically unplayable. The most relevant comparison given the inadequacies of the graphics adapter is 768p, low detail, and so that’s what we’ve graphed above. As you can see, with around 16 frames per second, the T440s performs even more poorly than the IdeaPad Flex 14—not surprising when you factor in its penchant for throttling under even short-term GPU stress.
Although Medium quality graphic settings are pretty iffy, the T440s (like most machines) can at least handle StarCraft II on Low.
Diablo III is unfortunately borderline even on Low settings. You might be able to dial back the resolution some to be safe, but for the most part the game is pretty stuttery on the T440s.
For record-keeping purposes, we also benchmarked the performance in Metro 2033 and Bioshock Infinite, but with scores of 10 and 18 frames per second (respectively) on Low settings at 768p, these clearly are not practical options.