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Community SeniorMod
Community SeniorMod
Posts: 1,976
Registered: ‎05-01-2010
Location: US
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Message 1 of 11

ThinkPad T480s and Mechanical Side Dock : A Quick Review

Shortly before Christmas Lenovo sent me a pre-production test model of the new mechanical side dock ThinkPad Pro Docking Station along with the new Thinkpad T480s for me to review. Review items are not packaged for sale. Often they arrive without instructions and/or without one or more production model components. Future reviews on production models will be more comprehensive.


ThinkPad Mechanical Side Dock Docking Station
ThinkPad_Ultra_Docking_Station Photo.png


The new side dock connects by just that: a slide-to-connect mechanism. According to specs the dock is designed to accommodate most 12, 14 and 15-inch ThinkPad laptops, I have not had a chance to try it with anything other than the T480s. More reviews will be coming in the future.
The following ports available:
DockPorts Photo.jpg
Considering the dock’s compact size, compared with other brands’ older models that I’ve owned, this dock would be fairly easy to travel with for anyone needing to connect mouse, network, power, printer, and other peripherals. Similar to older Lenovo Pro docking stations, a lock is also included.

 

ThinkPad T480s
T480s Photo.jpg
Pictured above is the ThinkPad T480s in silver. One nice thing I’ve noticed so far regarding the exterior, is that the paint seems to be more durable than the silver paint on my Lenovo YOGA 900 that has scratches caused by my moving it between various surfaces. As I was attempting to seat and secure the ThinkPad into the mechanical dock I wondered if the paint on the bottom would show any marks, but much to my surprise it is still as clean as when it was unwrapped from shipping.

 

Ports:
T480s_side view_ports Photo.jpg

Undocked the following basic Input/Output Ports are available on the T480s:
1 x Intel® Thunderbolt™
3 1 x USB-C
2 x USB 3.0
1 x 4-in-1 Micro SD card reader (SD, MMC, SDHC, SDXC)
1 x headphone and microphone combo jack
1 x HDMI
RJ45 (Ethernet)

 

Additional specs on the model that I received:
Processor and Memory: 8th generation (Kaby Lake) Intel® Core™ i7 with vPro™ ( 2.10 gigahertz / 8650U)
256 kilobyte primary memory cache
1024 kilobyte secondary memory cache
8192 kilobyte tertiary memory cache
64-bit ready
Multi-core (4 total)
Hyper-threaded (8 total)

 

Operating System: Windows® 10 Pro 64-bit Windows version 1709, Build 16299.125


Graphics and Display: Intel® HD Graphics 620 Display Adapter, NVIDIA® GeForce® MX150 with 2GB, GDDR5, Wide viewing angle & High density FlexView Display 2560x1440 Monitor (13.9” vis)


Camera: (without ThinkShutter) 720p IR Camera with dual-array microphone

 

Memory: 16GB

 

Memory slots:
Total memory slots 2
Used memory slots 1
Free memory slots 1

Storage 476 GB

 

Battery:  Preliminary marketing specs for the T480s show up to 13.5 hours. For my quick tests I did not get that many hours of power, but taking into consideration that this was only a demo model and that battery life varies with settings, usage, and other factors, that is to be expected.

 

Audio: Dolby® Audio Premium™

 

Security: Touch fingerprint reader, IR Camera facial recognition, 2.0 Smart card reader, Kensington® lock slot

 

Display: 14" FHD IPS, FHD IPS touch, WQHD IPS Dimensions (W x D x H) mm: 331 x 226.8 x 18.45 inches: 13.03 x 8.92 x 0.72 Resolution: 1280x720 pixels


Weight: 1.32 kg / 2.90 lbs


WLAN: Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC (2 x 2) AC Bluetooth® 4.1


WWAN: Integrated Global Mobile Broadband PTE-A (CAT9) Sierra Wireless EM7565 with Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X16 LTE Modem


Watch this CES 2018 board for later reviews, and feel free to post questions.

 

 

 

 












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chx
Token Ring
Posts: 100
Registered: ‎09-08-2009
Location: CA
Views: 36,248
Message 2 of 11

Re: ThinkPad T480s and Mechanical Side Dock : A Quick Review

Seeing the slim tip there is bewildering since it's gone from the 2018 laptops -- although it's still not clear what happens to the P machines since the USB C standard tops at 100W. Is this a harbinger of Lenovo going nuts and charging via two USB C ports?? Or they will simply continue using a different dock for the P series.

 

I see a USB C port; is that a Thunderbolt 3 chain port or does this thing just use USB C? Intriguing minds *really* want to know!

le_damjan
Paper Tape
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Message 3 of 11

Re: ThinkPad T480s and Mechanical Side Dock : A Quick Review

Does this dock supprot dual 4K@60HZ?

(Maybe not with T480, but how about the X1 Carbon 6th gen?)

chx
Token Ring
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Location: CA
Views: 30,938
Message 4 of 11

Re: ThinkPad T480s and Mechanical Side Dock : A Quick Review

I believe the answer is negative; although there are two USB C ports, only one is used for display the other is used for data and the Ultra dock is still an MST hub.

 

You'd need a Thunderbolt-to-dual-display adapter like the tbt3-dp2x from Plugable and a full Thunderbolt implementation which is indeed the Carbon (in the 2018 lineup Lenovo shows whether Thunderbolt is x2 or x4, only x4 can drive two displays).

Highlighted
jb42
Punch Card
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Location: IE
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Message 5 of 11

Re: ThinkPad T480s and Mechanical Side Dock : A Quick Review

Does anyone use a T480S already and can tell about the temperatures when the CPU is utilized heavily? Does it get hot? Is it noisy?

 

Moderator note: added post to existing T480s review thread.  Subject edited to match thread.  Was:  How hot and noisy does a T480S get?

gnufreex
Fanfold Paper
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Message 6 of 11

Re: ThinkPad T480s and Mechanical Side Dock : A Quick Review

Does this new dock work with older thinkpads? I know that bottom port is removed on T480 but does dock have a bottom plug so I can connect T460p on this new dock?  And then swap it for T490 latter and not change dock?

chx
Token Ring
Posts: 100
Registered: ‎09-08-2009
Location: CA
Views: 19,548
Message 7 of 11

Re: ThinkPad T480s and Mechanical Side Dock : A Quick Review

That's not possible. The dock has a proprietary connectors aside from the two USB Cs.
MilesLovesThink
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Message 8 of 11

Re: ThinkPad T480s and Mechanical Side Dock : A Quick Review

Has anyone successfully used this dock with a T480s drive multiple LCD screens via display port connections?  I ask because I'm on my second device, and either there is a quality control problem at Lenovo, or I am doing something that is not supported.  

 

Thanks,

Community SeniorMod
Community SeniorMod
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Message 9 of 11

Re: ThinkPad T480s and Mechanical Side Dock : A Quick Review

What's the model of  the dock?  IIRC there are 3 side docks.  Are you using direct DP to DP cables or perhaps DP to HDMI adapters?


The reason I ask: the Basic dock uses a USB-C to DP pass-through connection.  If using an HDMI adapter, it must be active, not passive.

 

AFAIK this is not a problem with the Pro and Ultra versions.  Acive or passive adapters can be used.

 

Z.


The large print: please read the Community Participation Rules before posting. Include as much information as possible: model, machine type, operating system, and a descriptive subject line. Do not include personal information: serial number, telephone number, email address, etc.


The fine print: I do not work for, nor do I speak for Lenovo. Unsolicited private messages will be ignored - questions and answers belong in the forum so that others may contribute and benefit. ... GeezBlog

 

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MilesLovesThink
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Message 10 of 11

Re: ThinkPad T480s and Mechanical Side Dock : A Quick Review

Thanks for the reply. Using DP-to-DP cables for 2 of the monitors and VGA for the third. This worked flawlessly on my previous hardware, T460 and compatible ultra dock. I believe this is just a massive QA issue.

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