Lenovo ThinkPad E15 Laptop Review: Too much performance with too little cooling

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Even though the Lenovo ThinkPad E15 sounds like an enormous step forward compared with the Lenovo ThinkPad E590 based on its name alone: The ThinkPad E15 is a lot like its predecessor. The basic concept of the product has not changed, but Lenovo has worked on the details. Still there is the very good ThinkPad keyboard as well as the TrackPoint, a rare feature in this price region. The chassis made out of aluminum and plastic is robust and the upgradability is exemplary – at least in terms of the mass storage.

Like with the smaller ThinkPad E14, the usage of a thinner chassis means that some features are lost. One of them is the microSD slot. The second RAM slot is also sorely missed. Where the E15 differs from its smaller relative is in the fact that the missing features are not the biggest problem here. For the ThinkPad E15 it’s the cooling system, which is simply overwhelmed. In the stress test, the ThinkPad has to throttle both the CPU and the GPU a lot. Throttling can also happen in everyday use and while playing games in this case. Also, the chassis gets extremely hot, with more than 65 °C as the hotspot. Granted, this only happens in the stress test, but in the less demanding The Witcher 3 test, the chassis becomes nearly as hot.

Too hot: A dedicated GPU should only be built in if it can be cooled properly under load. That is not the case for the Lenovo ThinkPad E15, unfortunately.

Overall, we cannot recommend the Lenovo ThinkPad E15 with the dGPU. The AMD chip is simply misplaced here if it cannot be cooled sufficiently. The iGPU version meanwhile might be worth the money – as a bigger version of the ThinkPad E14 and a good laptop for the home office.

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