Even at a second glance, apart from the connections the casing of the T460 is identical to those of the former T450 and T440. It also has the same dimensions and is just as heavy. With a height of 21 mm (~0.83 in), it is roughly 2 mm (~0.08 in) taller than the other rivals in the test. Just like Dell's E7470, it weighs slightly over 1.7 kg (~3.7 lb) and, compared with the more expensive T460s in particular that weighs only 1.37 kg (~3 lb), it is not precisely light.
At a first glance, the T460 is identified as a ThinkPad not least due to the eye-catching TrackPoint keys. We would call the design edgy-simple and rather masculine. The relatively fingerprint-resistant surfaces that adorn the entire device and the matte-black display bezel make a superb impression. The velvety-soft finish is not easy to clean, but provides optimal grip. Once again, the familiar mix of fiberglass-carbon materials is used.
The casing could be warped to some extent with relatively little effort. It produces an unhealthy sounding cracking and creaking noise on the unstable left side. A striking gap, which we could close with intense pressure, was found on the right, above the ports. All other gaps were even and tight. Lenovo has botched the assembly of the review sample, which is not acceptable, especially considering the high price. This is reflected in the rating. Although the slightly too tightly set hinges prevent prolonged rocking after jerks, the laptop cannot be opened with one hand.
For the first time, the ThinkPad T460 does not have a VGA port that is rarely needed for connecting old-fashioned projectors. Otherwise, everything that business users normally expect is installed. In addition to three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI (1.4) and a mini-DisplayPort, the docking port and SmartCard reader will be of particular interest to the target group. Thunderbolt and USB 3.1 Type-C are not present, but a UoIP hub for Wireless USB is found in the device manager.
Ports are ideally situated on the rear lateral sides so that inserted sticks and cables do not interfere with using an external mouse. Lenovo does not quite follow this, but the front right, which is particularly important for most (right-handed) users is kept largely free. Most laptops achieve sequential transfer rates of almost 100 MB/s in conjunction with the tester's external USB 3.0 hard drive. The review sample is one of the few laptops that can sometimes outbid this rate.
We use our Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II reference SD card for testing the card reader's performance. The maximum transfer rate was 86 MB/s when copying large data blocks, while approximately 65 MB/s can be expected with standard JPG image files of roughly 5 MB each.
The installed Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 (2x2 = max. 867 MBit/s gross in ac) Wi-Fi module is state-of-the-art. As the name suggests, it supports the latest ac standard as well as the usual g and n standards. The ac standard transmits exclusively in the less frequented and thus not as interference-prone 5 GHz band. Bluetooth version 4.2 is also integrated. The reception qualities proved to be above-average in the tester's individual setup. For an additional charge UMTS/LTE can be selected when configuring the laptop. This was not installed in our review sample.
In terms of security, the review sample is equipped well, though not perfect. First, we should mention the compulsory Kensington lock that allows fastening the laptop with a cable. Unlike the latest ThinkPad T460p that features a new sensor where the finger only has to be placed on it and serves as secure authentication, the review sample has a SmartCard reader and a conventional fingerprint scanner. A TPM module version 1.2 and password protected BIOS/UEFI is also a must. The BitLocker feature integrated in Windows 10 Pro is available for encrypting the hard drive. Users who rely on vPro support can optionally order the laptop with Intel's I219-LM Ethernet module.
In addition to the compulsory 45-watt power supply, only the equally mandatory quick start guide is found in the box. The recovery partition should not be tampered with since recovery media is not included. Optional accessories by Lenovo, such as the docking station, can be found here.
Only the external battery is easy to remove from the outside. The internal battery and other components can only be accessed after dismantling the device. Seven screws have to be released before levering off the base's upper side. Since we were provided with a shop device, we dispensed with this to prevent potential damage. A word about the upgrade options: One of the two RAM banks is empty; the maximum total upgrade is 32 GB. An empty M.2 slot, for example for an LTE modem or (another) SSD, is also present. The SATA SSD with a height of 7 millimeters (~0.27 in) can be replaced with another storage device with the same height. By default, the removable battery has three cells, but can be exchanged for a (protruding) 6-cell battery of either 48 or 72 Wh for an additional cost.