Review Lenovo ThinkPad L380: although familiar but strange - VnReview

Review Lenovo ThinkPad L380: although familiar but strange – VnReview

ThinkPad L380 continues to promote the inherent strengths of ThinkPad line like machining quality, durability combined with modern elements such as thin light, high performance, fast charging.

Officially launched in early May in the Vietnamese market, the ThinkPad L380 is the most compact laptop model in the 2018 ThinkPad L Series alongside its "brothers". L480 (14 inches) and L580 (15 inches). The product has a starting price of VND 18.5 million for Intel Core i5-8250U and VND 24 million for Intel Core i7-8550U.

The design of "stone pot" is familiar but strange

Faithful to the design of the "copper pot" of ThinkPad laptops so far, the ThinkPad L380 still possesses a square, rugged and sturdy, somewhat masculine appearance, the right quality of a specialized machine. use for work. In addition to the rough black color with traditional soft touch, it has the option of silver gray with an eye-catching metal cover, creating a new, luxurious look for the product line that has been more than 25 years old. .

ThinkPad L380 retains the ThinkPad quality from before with a square design, sturdy

All hinges and hinges are made of solid metal, good impact resistance

The L380 weighs 1.46 kg and weighs 18.8 mm, which is quite light with a 13.3 inch laptop, neat enough to carry away the work without bulky entanglement. The manufacturer also has a number of tweaks such as tapering the edges or body so that this laptop looks slimmer, more elegant, in line with today's mobile trends.

The machine is beveled on the edges to create novelty as well as optimize mobility

Connectivity on L380 is relatively rich with 2 traditional USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A ports (1 port of the same mode – Always On – support charging for peripheral devices even when shutdown), 1 HDMI port 1.4, 1 headset / mic combo port. It is worth noting that it has 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C ports, in which one port is also responsible for plugging in the charger, and both support image export, data transfer, Power Delivery according to Power Delivery so it can Plug in compatible backup battery types.

The connections on the left side with 2 ports 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C support power transmission, data, image export, the traditional USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A port and HDMI 1.4 port.

However, the connection on L380 still exists some inconvenience when using the standard Mini RJ-45 wireless network port. The device does not come with an adapter that converts to the standard RJ-45 network standard that users will have to buy outside for about $ 12 (280,000 VND). The memory card reader on the L380 only supports microSD cards, which are mostly fixed on the phone instead of the more popular SD card, which is commonly used on current cameras. There's no fingerprint reader or webcam that recognizes Windows Hello, which is gradually becoming standard on high-end business laptops.

The connections on the right side have 1 Mini RJ-45 network port, 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A port, 1 microSD card slot, headphone / mic combo jack

A strange point is that the power button on the L380 is brought to the right side instead of near the keyboard area. On this side there is also a pretty similar detail to the pen slot. Perhaps because Lenovo also has a ThinkPad L380 Yoga version with a flip screen with a Wacom stylus, they have kept these details on the regular L380 for ease of production.

The power button is located on the side of the device

A "legacy" pen slot from L380 Yoga version

Thick border screen, good quality, good sound

The trend of thin screen borders is popular on smartphones and even laptops, but with the ThinkPad L380, Lenovo still firmly retains the traditional thick-rimmed screen that makes the product somewhat less modern and eye-catching. In return, the display quality is good, the color is bright, the viewing angle is wide, the contrast is good thanks to the IPS panel.

13.3-inch Full HD IPS screen is anti-glare with thick edges similar to traditional laptops

Full HD resolution on 13.3 inch size ensures high sharpness and detail. The brightness of the screen is medium, temporarily enough for indoor or outdoor use under the shade. Anti-glare screen should limit the effect of mirror shadow phenomenon.

Good display quality, bright colors, good contrast, wide viewing angle, anti-glare effect

Most ThinkPad laptops can open the screen angle to 180 degrees and L380 is no exception. This makes it possible to adjust the viewing angle flexibly and suitable for use in many different situations. On L380, Lenovo also added a screen opening feature that automatically turns on the device, without pressing the power button quite conveniently.

The screen can open up to a maximum angle of 180 degrees, providing a suitable viewing angle in many situations

Although not emphasized on entertainment, the L380 speaker system is good enough to handle music, movies with high volume, clear, warm sound, with integrated Dolby Audio technology for automatic optimization. bar for each entertainment situation, including work, conversation, voice chat, video call.

Speaker system is placed on the bottom edge

Loudspeaker for high volume, clear, warm sound, not shy when maximized

High bouncing keyboard, sensitive touchpad, specialty trackpoint

ThinkPad laptops have always been highly appreciated for the keyboard part thanks to the good typing experience, high bounce, and reasonable layout keys. On ThinkPad L380, this continues to be promoted. The keyboard of the machine for a good journey, the key presses high bounce, grip, fast typing is also not sticking letters. The keys are arranged reasonably, flex phenomenon (subsidence key) when stressed is limited well. Printed letters on sharp keys, beautiful fonts, spacious keyboard, convenient operation.

Good quality keyboard, uphold the reputation of ThinkPad ever

Journey deep keys, high bounce, reasonable layout

One note is that on L380, Lenovo still retains the Fn function key layout in addition to the ThinkPad style so far so if you are not familiar it may be easy to type wrongly with the Ctrl key next to it. Fortunately, the manufacturer allows to position these two keys together in Lenovo Vantage software.

The Fn and Ctrl keys can swap functions for each other if you are not familiar

Backlight keyboard with 2 different brightness. The backlight is printed directly on each key, not just on the border, so it is high brightness, clear, beautiful, easy to operate when working in the night or in low light without turning on the table lamp.

The keyboard has 2 backlight levels, high brightness, clear night view or low light

Touchpad is made with large size, spacious, covered with glass, for high sensitivity, smooth, without hissing. The touchpad on the L380 has Microsoft Precision driver support so it allows for smooth, multi-point operations, especially zooming in and out of Edge browser. If only using office tasks, basic image editing, the touchpad on the machine can completely replace the external mouse.

The touchpad is relatively spacious, highly sensitive, supporting Microsoft Precision with convenient multi-point operations

The special TrackPoint key on ThinkPad laptops continues to appear. TrackPoint will allow you to control the mouse without lifting your finger from the row of Home row keys (row keys from A to L with 2 keys F and J have small edges for positioning when typing 10 fingers), thereby improving Maximum performance and typing. However, to master the use of TrackPoint will take a lot of time.

Special TrackPoint on ThinkPad laptops exclusively for veteran fans

Fast performance, smooth running, hot temperature

Equipped with quite good hardware with Inel Core i processor generation 8 Coffee Lake i7-8550U or i5-8250U (version in the article using i7 chip), 8GB of DDR4 RAM, SSD M.2 2280 SATA 256GB, Intel UHD Graphics 620 integrated graphics card, pre-loaded with Windows 10 Home, ThinkPad L380 can handle most tasks from basic to complex with agile speed.

The configuration of the ThinkPad L380 is enough to provide a smooth, agile experience

The Intel Core i7-8550U processor itself is also a significant upgrade due to up to 4 real cores (clocked at 1.80 GHz, 8 MB SmartCache, Turbo GHz 4.00 GHz), compared to only 2 cores of the Intel Core i generation. 7 (Kaby Lake) before that.

The Geekbench 4 and Cinebench R15 software measurements for CPU reviews show a single-core performance of i7-8550U about 10% to 20% higher than the i5-7200U and i7-7500U. Meanwhile, multi-core performance outperforms, about 60% more powerful than the previous two popular CPUs. In fact, the Intel Core i7-8550U CPU on the ThinkPad L380 handles all tasks well, including heavy tasks like editing, editing photos, exporting files in Lightroom or Premiere Pro. 8GB DDR4 RAM also provides good multitasking performance, can open multiple apps in parallel without causing the machine to stall, lag.

CPU and GPU rating scores from Cinebench R15 software

Score of single-core and multi-core CPU from GeekBench 4 software

Speed ​​SATA SATA on the device measured by Crystal Disk Mark 6.0

While Intel UHD Graphics 620 integrated graphics on Coffee Lake chips are still similar to Kaby Lake, it is not surprising that graphics performance is not significantly different. You can play gentle online games like League of Legends, FIFA Online 3 with a moderate set of graphics at Full HD resolution. But, any heavier game like PUBG, PES 2018, Fifa 18 is too much for the machine.

GPU score from 3D Mark software

The operating temperature and noise level of the ThinkPad L380 is quite good. The device runs smoothly but slightly hot when running heavy tasks, CPU, GPU running 100% capacity. The heat can be felt clearly if left on the lap. The cooling system works inefficiently so the machine can only run at high speed for a short time, so the performance is also affected.

The machine has quite a lot of heat sinks but the efficiency is not as high as expected

The ease of maintenance and upgrading is the strength of ThinkPads. On the L380, you just need to remove the entire screws on the bottom side to access the internal components, replace the SSD drive, raise more RAM or clean the fan radiator easily. L380 supports up to 32GB of RAM.

Battery life pretty, "clean" software

Regarding the software, Lenovo does not install too many "bloatware" junk applications according to the device. Only Lenovo Vantage app is pre-installed with a pretty modern interface, in harmony with Fluent Design on Windows 10. In addition to fine-tuning the keyboard, touchpad settings, Lenovo Vantage also allows managing the screen, battery, audio, network connection settings, such as: automatically reducing screen brightness when locking the camera or turning on eye protection during the night … This application has the error checking feature of hardware, software, automatic driver updates, system software is quite useful.

Lenovo Vantage software helps manage and set up many useful settings

In terms of battery life, equipped with a 45 Wh battery, the actual battery life of the ThinkPad L380 is quite good. With common tasks such as web browsing, text writing, gentle image editing, brightness screen of about 70%, set in Balance Better Performance mode in Windows 10, the machine can hold about 5 to 6 hours. continuous use. With the battery test standard movie of VnReview, 70% screen brightness, 70% volume plug in the headset, for playing a 720p HD movie offline, WiFi enabled, L380 can last about 10 hours.

Battery life is quite good, enough for a working day with light intensity

The convenient point is that the ThinkPad L380 has a fast charger. The charger comes with a capacity of up to 65W and the actual test shows that as the manufacturer announced, within 1 hour L380 can charge up to 80% of the battery. It only takes about 1 and a half hours to fully charge.

The charger is really fast, it only takes 1 hour to reach 80% of the battery and the 100% full charge time is only about 1 and a half hours

In addition, USB port Type-C on L380 supports charging so you can use with backup batteries that support USB Power Delivery standard, tubers with compatible smartphone or USB Type-C port on some computer screens very convenient calculator.


With what is shown, it can be seen that the ThinkPad L380 still retains the inherent advantages of ThinkPad line such as solid appearance, sturdy, good impact resistance, strong design, masculinity. The device has high performance, good battery life and supports both fast charging and convenient USB Type C port. Good quality display, right keyboard "quality: ThinkPad. Touchpad, sensitive, accurate trackpoint, almost replace external mouse.

The drawback of the ThinkPad L380 is that the screen brightness is not high, it is difficult to use in the sun or in areas with strong light. Hot air when running heavy tasks and cooling systems are not effective to ensure the system runs at high speed for a long time.

With a price of about VND 24 million for Core i7 and VND 18.5 million for Core i5, it is clear that the ThinkPad L380 is aimed at users who require a high degree of compactness, mobility but still have to ensure good performance. same long battery life.


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