Our favorite overall business laptop is getting some nice upgrades this year. That includes more powerful performance, stronger security options and a new way to troubleshoot technical issues. With those additions, it’s easy to see the ThinkPad T470 replacing last year’s ThinkPad T460 as the top pick on our Best Business Laptops page.
In typical ThinkPad fashion, the T470 looks a lot like its predecessor, with a boxy magnesium alloy shell and a matte black finish. It is actually a bit more portable, with a design that’s a hair slimmer and lighter. Weighing in at 3.49 lbs., it’s certainly light enough for a daily commute.
More exciting are the new security features being added this year. For starters, the T470 has Lenovo’s single-touch fingerprint reader, which is much more reliable than the swipe-based reader found on the T460. And you might not even need it, since the system has a special camera that’s capable of facial recognition, letting you unlock your laptop just by looking at it. Of course, the system retains standard business-class security options including hardware-based encryption and secure manageability options.
The T470 – alongside the rest of Lenovo’s updated ThinkPad lineup for 2017 – also provides a new way to troubleshoot technical issues over the phone. When the system is powered down, you simply hold the function key at the bottom right corner of the keyboard and it emits a series of tones. Playing those tones for a Lenovo technician over the phone will allow them to instantly view details about hardware problems, as well as data like your laptop’s serial number and warranty status. It worked flawlessly during my hands-on demo, and looks like a terrific way to quickly diagnose any hardware issues that arise.
I was also glad to see Lenovo finally adding USB-C ports to the ThinkPad line. The T470 comes with one USB-C port, which will come in handy for lightning-fast data transfer and better support for high-res monitors, as well as attaching newer accessories. Other hardware highlights include a sharp, 14-inch display and faster performance, thanks to Intel’s new 7th-generation Core processors.
Check back for a full review of the ThinkPad 470 very soon, or check out our top picks for the best business laptops on the market.