Lenovo Reveals ThinkPad T431s Business Ultrabook

Posted on 20 March 2013 by

lenovo thinkpad t431s ultrabook 2

Lenovo has announced the ThinkPad T431s business Ultrabook, succeeding their prior T430s laptop. The new vPro equipped Ultrabook is aimed squarely at businesses, much like Lenovo’s premium ThinkPad X1 Carbon. The T431s has a 14-inch 1600×900 display (which can fold back 180 degrees), backlit keyboard, up to 12GB of RAM, a fingerprint scanner, and more.

Although the ThinkPad T431s is aimed primarily at business users, the company’s blog notes that some of the changes over previous iterations were made to bring new users on-board with ThinkPad (to the dismay of some commenters). In all they say that 26 aspects of the unit’s visual design has changed from the T430s including a buttonless all-glass trackpad.

The T430s wasn’t an Ultrabook, but the T431s is. What does that mean for users? Ultrabook users can generally expect extremely fast sleep/resume times, at least 5 hours of battery life, and a thin and light chassis — the T431s weighs in at 1.64kg  and is 20.6mm thick, while the 47Whr battery reportedly gets 9 hours of run time (but probably closet to 6 by our estimation). Here’s a breakdown of the ThinkPad T431s specs:

  • Windows 7 or Windows 8
  • Intel Core i5-3337U, i5-3437U, or i7-3687U
  • 14-inch 1600×900 display
  • backlit keyboard
  • 4GB, 6GB, 8GB, or 12GB of RAM
  • 320GB, 500GB, or 1TB HHD / 128GB, 180GB, 240GB, or 256GB SSD
  • WWAN options: Sierra Wireless 7355 – Gobi 5000 or Ericsson HSPA+ (M5730)
  • Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi a/b/g/n
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Intel vPro
  • Ports: full SD, 2x USB 3.0, 3.5mm mic/headphone combo, Smart Card reader, full ethernet/LAN (RJ45), full VGA, and Mini DisplayPort

We’re fairly surprised to find only 2x USB ports on a business Ultrabook and this might be one of the low points of the unit. However, Lenovo likely justified that decision thanks to the docking port on the bottom of the T431s which allows it to connect to three different types of docks, the largest of which adds 6 USB ports, full DVI, full DisplayPort, 3.5mm headphone, 3.5mm mic, another VGA, and another ethernet/LAN port — but you’ll have to shell out $229 for it!

lenovo thinkpad t431s ultrabook

Lenovo hasn’t been specific about the ThinkPad T431s release date, they only say that it’ll be coming “Spring 2013” so hopefully we’ll be seeing it soon. As for price, there’s also no indication, but we expect it to be under the $1250 starting price of the lighter and slimmer ThinkPad X1 Carbon. A starting price of $900 for the T431s is our best guess.

Hat tip to v3 for pointing out this news.

  • hez

    Does it make sense to launch worse machines than the Samsung 900×3/4? Is the finger print reader the deal hear?

  • Robert

    I am still pleased to see that my Samsung Series 9 128 ssd 13 Inch Ivy Bridge i5 4GB is still Holding up so well .. true some new ultrabooks have full HD a few have matt Screen, some have a bigger RAM but in Overall Options and build I dont think I would make a different purchase than last year (apart from a 256 ssd instead of 128, but it was the only one available last summer and I could simply not wait longer.

  • Jon

    I can’t say for sure without trying it yet but integrating the trackpoint buttons into the clickpad (I already know clickpads aren’t great from actual use) doesn’t seem like a good idea. It’s yet another way to lose tactile feedback.

    I see it similar to making the entire keyboard a capacitive keyboard and have the keys separated by faint grooves.

    • Jon

      Also, since I find clickpads to be a step backwards in function, I just disable it in the BIOS for my current ThinkPad. Does anyone know if Lenovo plans to keep the ability to disable the clickpad without also disabling the integrated trackpoint touch spots?

      • Buttons on the touchpads are actual, physical button, not only capacitive one. So you should both have the tactile feedback you want, and the ability to disable the touchpad but not the buttons. At least, I hope so.

      • matt

        @Fanf
        You still lose feedback of which button is which, apart from the dots. It’s definitely not better or the same in terms of usefulness.

        I feel bad for the ThinkPad line. Aesthetics have been bringing down function for years now. I hate the clickpad on my X230. The keyboard layout is worse. I don’t even have a Bluetooth LED on the case. What’s next? No more extended batteries, matte screens, docks?

        I may go Dell or HP next time. They have trackpoints too.

  • Andre

    No CD / DVD drive, only 2 USB port? This is not a business class laptop.

    • Joseph

      The ThinkPad is a consumer notebook brand now. My company stopped issuing ThinkPads. We can only choose HP or Dell now.

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