Lenovo ThinkBook 13s analysis


“The Lenovo ThinkPad 13s is enterprise laptop computer laptop wannabe that doesn’t present ample to beat out the rivals.”

Sturdy productiveness effectivity

Attractively priced on the low end

Good keyboard and touchpad

Sturdy assemble top quality

No contact present

No Thunderbolt Three

Restricted enterprise choices

The ThinkPad line — one of many essential iconic strains of enterprise laptops ever devised — wasn’t ample for Lenovo. They wanted to invent yet one more, the ThinkBook, that’s aimed towards small firms fairly than enterprises that buy laptops in bulk. The ThinkBook 13s is the first inside the line, and it’s aimed towards further than merely businesspeople – Lenovo clearly hopes that the standard explicit individual may very well be too.

We had been despatched an entry-level configuration of the ThinkBook 13s, with an Eighth-gen quad-core Core i5-8265U CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD), and a 13.Three-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,zero80) present. Lenovo lists the selling worth at a extremely engaging $773. Enhance to a Core i7-8565U, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD, and in addition you’ll nonetheless solely spend $1,070.

Lenovo wishes to grab people who need a laptop computer laptop for a small or medium-sized enterprise nevertheless don’t must spring for a ThinkPad. Does the ThinkBook 13s give it to them?

Additional IdeaPad than ThinkPad

The ThinkBook 13s takes further of its design and assemble cues from the IdeaPad line (the IdeaPad 730S, notably) than it does the ThinkPad. Maybe that’s an outstanding issue — the ThinkPad’s black-with-red-trim aesthetic is kind of distinct and won’t enchantment to everyone. Accordingly, the ThinkBook 13s seems to be like far more like completely different fashionable, all-metal (aluminum and magnesium, on this case) clamshell laptops. Study the ThinkBook 13s side-by-side with the Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 and the Lenovo IdeaPad S940, as an example, and in addition you’ll see comparable forward-sweeping angles (albeit the ThinkBook is a darker “Mineral Gray”). It’s an outstanding look, nevertheless nothing explicit.

Equally, Lenovo gave the ThinkBook 13s some nevertheless not all of the ThinkPad’s vaunted assemble top quality. The ThinkBook has anti-spill security and is examined for publicity to extreme temperatures and vibrations — nevertheless there’s no MIL-STD-810G testing as with the ThinkPad line. The hinge is very fastidiously engineered, constructed of a zinc alloy with powdered-metal know-how to endure 25,000 open and shut cycles, and it’s coated with indium and stannum (an archaic title for tin, apparently) for greater corrosion resistance and Wi-Fi reception.

lenovo thinkbook 13s review 3Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

Even with all of that focus, our ThinkPad 13s analysis unit had some minor flexing inside the lid and the keyboard deck, which laptops like Lenovo’s Yoga C930 and the Asus ZenBook S13 (with its MIL-STD-810G testing) don’t. And the hinge was fairly stiff and required every fingers to open. Altogether, the ThinkBook 13s is one factor of a tweener by the use of its perceivable assemble top quality – and it seems to think about that patrons don’t care pretty as lots as enterprise clients about rigidity.

One issue Lenovo launched down from the ThinkPad line is the bodily webcam cowl. Slide the swap over, and your private life will hold hidden – visually, on the very least – from prying eyes. HP has its digital swap on the Spectre x360 13 and the Envy 13 that we select because of it totally turns off the webcam and removes an assault vector, nevertheless Lenovo’s reply is nonetheless environment friendly.

Moreover notable: Lenovo is right there with HP within the case of the tiny-bezel movement. That’s, neither agency has completely embraced the notion of packing as huge a present as potential into the smallest potential chassis. The ThinkBook 13s has inexpensive facet bezels, nevertheless its prime bezel in all fairness huge, and its chin is downright chunky. We dinged the HP Envy 13 for the same, and albeit, the ThinkBook 13s is worse – and easily barely larger. It’s obtainable in at about an 80 % screen-to-body ratio, which pales as compared with the 97 % liked by the Asus ZenBook S13 – which packs in a much bigger 13.9-inch present proper right into a smaller chassis.

Hoping for the ThinkPad’s deep, snappy, and actual keyboard? You’ll be disillusioned.

To spherical out our dialogue of measurement, the ThinkBook is zero.63 inches thick, as compared with the HP Envy 13 at zero.59 inches and the Asus ZenBook S13 at zero.50 inches. And the ThinkBook is heavier as properly, at 2.9 kilos versus 2.82 kilos and a pair of.42 kilos, respectively. Merely put, Lenovo didn’t work very exhausting to make the smallest laptop computer laptop spherical, and it reveals.

Subsequent is connectivity, which points an vital deal to the enterprise and maybe – in step with Lenovo – relatively much less to small enterprise householders. There are two USB-A Three.1 Gen 1 ports, one USB-C Three.1 Gen 2 port (which gained’t power the laptop computer laptop and, regrettably, lacks Thunderbolt Three help), and a full-size HDMI 1.4b port. You’ll desire a dongle for an SD card, though. Wi-fi connectivity is just improbable, with gigabit 2X2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi (nevertheless no Wi-Fi 6 however) and Bluetooth 5.zero.

Nevertheless proper right here’s the place we’re going to ding Lenovo the hardest: The ThinkBook makes use of their very old-school USB-lookalike proprietary power adapter. We already said the laptop computer laptop gained’t value by the use of USB-C, so it’s advisable to hold this funky adapter spherical with you and try to bear in mind which rectangular port to plug it into. Why, Lenovo, why? We’d prefer to know.

You’ll miss the ThinkPad keyboard

For those who occur to had been hoping that Lenovo would carry over it’s deep, snappy, and actual keyboard from the ThinkPad line, you’ll be barely disillusioned. We’re saying “barely,” because of the ThinkBook 13s keyboard is nonetheless utterly serviceable. The reality is, must you’ve used an IdeaPad or Yoga shopper laptop computer laptop, then you definitely definately’ll be very conscious of this keyboard (other than the devoted Skype carry out keys). It’s not as deep as a result of the ThinkPad’s, nonetheless it has huge keys that are comfortable and provide their very personal snappy actually really feel. We select the keyboard on the HP Spectre x360 13, nevertheless we don’t dislike this one by any means.

The ThinkBook 13s touchpad fills the on the market home on the keyboard deck (which is a bit larger than one other laptops due to the huge bezels), and its plastic ground is comfortable for swiping spherical. It’s a Microsoft Precision touchpad, and so multi-touch gestures work utterly. We’ve received no complaints, as we don’t with almost every Microsoft Precision touchpad we examine. The good touchpad is very obligatory proper right here since there’s no contact present to fall once more on.

lenovo thinkbook 13s review 2Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

In one more departure from the ThinkPad line, you gained’t uncover the little crimson nubbin, the TrackPoint, buried contained in the keyboard on the ThinkBook 13s, nor the extra set of buttons. For those who occur to rely on that particular enter mechanism, then you definitely definately’ll should skip the ThinkBook line.

Lastly, the ThinkBook 13s helps Residence home windows 10 howdy password-less login by the use of a fingerprint reader that’s embedded inside the power button on the upper-right of the keyboard deck. It’s right and fast, and it has an attractive inexperienced pulse that lets you understand it’s prepared to be able to give it a contact.

Surprisingly, the present’s distinction and coloration fall in want of widespread

Lately, we uncover our descriptions of premium laptop computer laptop exhibits to be a bit repetitive. Besides a laptop computer laptop makes use of distinctive panels like the latest OLED know-how or they’re constructed spherical superior IPS screens with giant and proper colors, there’s a imply present that we’d have rated as wonderful only some years prior to now. So, the place does the ThinkBook 13s’s 13.Three-inch present rank?

In accordance with our colorimeter, the ThinkBook 13s’s present ranks barely decrease than widespread. That surprises us, because of this laptop computer laptop is meant to bridge a spot between the funds/shopper IdeaPad line and the high-end ThinkPad. As an example, brightness is appropriate at 275 nits (we want to see a minimal of 300 nits), nonetheless it’s positively nothing explicit. One optimistic: It’s a matte present, and so that helps with shiny overhead lighting, nevertheless in truth it makes video and pictures a lot much less dynamic.

Distinction is accessible in at 710:1, which is on the low end of our comparability group. We see more and more extra laptops, even along with funds laptops identical to the Asus ZenBook 13 UX333, have the benefit of distinction ratios of 1,000:1 or greater, which is great. Colors are moreover unimpressive, with AdobeRGB safety at 70 % and sRGB at 93 %. Looking at our chart, that’s as soon as extra on the low end.

lenovo thinkbook 13s review 5Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

Color accuracy, though, is a optimistic at 1.4 (1.zero or a lot much less is taken under consideration wonderful), and so that’s a notch inside the ThinkBook’s favor. Whereas editors who must see in all probability essentially the most colors gained’t be happy with the slim coloration gamut, on the very least these colors may be right – one factor which will enchantment to everyone

Don’t misunderstand us. You gained’t be terribly disillusioned with this present in your regularly productiveness work. You’ll uncover Netflix and completely different video to be a bit too darkish due to a gamma of two.4 (2.2 is right), and in addition you gained’t profit from the deepest blacks.

The ThinkBook 13s is a powerful performer, and better however, it stayed fairly quiet.

Like most premium laptops proper this second, the ThinkBook 13s can stream extreme dynamic fluctuate (HDR) video. Not like most, though, it formally helps the Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR customary and thus ensures a better complete experience. The present seems to be like good and enhances a number of of Netflix’s darker content material materials (“Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” we’re you), nonetheless it’s not pretty just about nearly as good as present OLED laptops that help HDR’s full 10-bit coloration home.

Sometimes, you’ll get your work accomplished on this present, and in addition you gained’t hate the experience. You merely gained’t adore it, each, notably must you’re a creative form who craves giant colors.

Audio is equipped by the use of twin 2-watt Harman audio system, and they also get tons loud. The one downside is, they’re moreover a bit of thin at full amount, maybe even a little bit of distorted. It’s worst on the extreme end, whereas mids are acceptable. Bass is non-existent. You’ll want headphones or an outstanding Bluetooth speaker to have the benefit of your Netflix binging or tunes.

A speedy performer for getting your work accomplished

Lenovo despatched us the entry-level ThinkBook 13s, which equips a quad-core Whiskey Lake Intel Core i5-8265U CPU. That’s a 15-watt processor that ensures every good productiveness effectivity and respectable effectivity. A Core i7-8565U is an alternative.

We ran our regular benchmarks, and the ThinkBook 13s gave a sturdy displaying. It was widespread in opposition to our comparability group inside the Geekbench 4 synthetic benchmark, the place it scored a 4,368 inside the single-core examine and a 13,184 inside the multi-core examine. The 2019 Acer Swift 5 was a bit sooner with the equivalent CPU, whereas the Asus ZenBook 13 UX333 was blended. In any case, laptops with the Core i7-8565U had been lots sooner on this benchmark due to the higher clock speeds.

In our further real-world Handbrake examine the place we encode a 420MB video to H.265, the ThinkBook 13s was further spectacular. It achieved the examine in 247 seconds, which is fast for a Core i5 and beat out the HP Spectre x360 13 with its Core i7 (although the HP was working in a mode meant to keep up heat and fan noise to a minimal). The Acer Swift 5 took a for for much longer 313 seconds to complete the strategy.

The ThinkBook 13s used a Western Digital SN520 512GB PCIs SSD that we see in extra laptops nowadays. It’s an outstanding nevertheless not good performer, and it was slower than regular inside the Lenovo – it hit 1,zero93 megabytes per second (MB/s) inside the CrystalDiskMark 5 study examine and 406 MB/s inside the write examine. The study score is in line with our comparability group, nevertheless the write score is decrease than half. We’re in a position to’t account for the excellence, nevertheless we didn’t uncover any slowdowns all through our testing.

The ThinkBook 13s is a powerful productiveness performer, and better however, it stayed fairly quiet all through our testing and it in no way purchased so scorching as to be uncomfortable. The warmest we seen all through our stress testing was 114 ranges F on the underside of the chassis, which is barely a bit toasty, and the keyboard deck hit 102 ranges whereas we had been testing Fortnite. All through all of our typical productiveness work, the laptop computer laptop stayed good and quiet – be at liberty to take it to the library.

Gaming? Nope

The ThinkBook 13s is proscribed to Intel’s built-in UHD 620 graphics, and it’s clocked in step with the Core i5 settings. This isn’t designed to be a gaming laptop computer laptop by any means.

And, in step with our benchmarks, Lenovo didn’t put lots work into making this even a fast occasion of a non-gaming laptop computer laptop. Throughout the synthetic 3DMark Fire Strike examine, the ThinkBook 13s scored 992, which is on the low end of our comparability group. Look to at least one factor identical to the HP Envy 13 with on the very least an entry-level discrete GPU identical to the Nvidia GeForce MX250 in case you want to run a lightweight sport like Fornite.

And speaking of Fortnite, the ThinkBook 13s was moreover a gradual performer. It solely mustered 9 frames per second (FPS) in 1080p and extreme graphics settings and 5 FPS at epic graphics settings. That’s lower than all nevertheless the Dell XPS 13 that was working a Core i3 CPU.

Lenovo continues to position battery life on the once more burner

One issue we’ve noticed with Lenovo’s laptops nowadays is that battery life doesn’t seem like at a variety of a premium. The ThinkPad X390, as an example, would have garnered the subsequent score if it weren’t for middling battery life. And inside the ThinkBook 13s, Lenovo restricted battery functionality to solely 45 watt-hours, which isn’t spectacular in opposition to opponents identical to the HP Spectre x360 13 with its 61 watt-hours or the Dell XPS 13 with its 52 watt-hours.

In accordance with our battery benchmarks, the ThinkBook 13s suffers for not packing in extra juice. Its battery life isn’t harmful, ideas you, nonetheless it’s merely not very spectacular as compared with the rivals. Attempting first at our most demanding examine, working the Basemark web benchmark until the battery ran out, the ThinkBook 13s lasted for barely under three and a half hours. Amongst our comparability group, solely the Acer Swift Three with its Core i7-8550U gave up sooner.

When considering our web looking examine that runs by the use of a sequence of widespread net pages, the ThinkBook 13s did greater, coming in second amongst our comparability group at merely over eight hours. Nevertheless that’s behind the Acer Swift Three 14-inch with a Core i7-8565U and a much bigger present, that lasted three quarters of an hour longer. After which the HP Spectre x360 13, which isn’t in our chart, lasted for a whopping 12.7 hours due to further battery and a low-power present.

In our video looping examine that runs a neighborhood Avengers 1080p trailer until the battery dies, the ThinkBook 13s fell within the midst of the pack at merely over 11 hours. The Asus ZenBook S13 managed 12.75 hours, and the Spectre x360 13 lasted for 17.6 hours. So, that makes the ThinkBook 13s better than a little bit of disappointing.

lenovo thinkbook 13s review 1Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

Will the ThinkBook 13s remaining you a full working day without having to carry spherical that archaic proprietary charger? We’re not sure – it solely relies upon upon what you’re doing. For those who occur to push the CPU, then you definitely definately’ll possibly fall fast, nevertheless must you’re looking the net and triaging electronic message, then you definitely definately could make it a full eight hours.

Nevertheless the bottom line is that there’s in all probability room in that chassis for greater battery functionality. Lenovo must have in mind squeezing in a bit of additional, because of battery life points – notably to the small enterprise clients that Lenovo is concentrating on with the model new line. And it doesn’t help that you simply simply’re tied to that proprietary connector and should’t borrow a buddy’s USB-C adapter for a quick pick-me-up.

Our take

The ThinkBook 13s is a weird fowl. It performs properly, has premium (nevertheless not pretty top-notch) assemble top quality, and it’s attractively priced. Nevertheless we don’t exactly understand why it exists. It presents a few business-class choices, nevertheless not ample to compete with devoted enterprise laptops, along with Lenovo’s best selections. Critically, spend a bit of additional and get a ThinkPad in case you want to make a sound enterprise funding.

On the equivalent time, as we’ll see in our alternate choices beneath, there’s not a variety of a price premium over Lenovo’s pure shopper offering, the IdeaPad – on the very least on the low end. In the end, the ThinkBook 13s merely doesn’t make the scale back.

Is there a better varied?

The Lenovo IdeaPad 730s in Iron Grey costs $730. That worth is for a Core i5-8265U, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 13.Three-inch Full HD present. Sound acquainted? It must, because of it’s almost the equivalent worth as a result of the similarly-equipped ThinkBook 13s. The excellence comes on the extreme end, the place the IdeaPad 730s costs $900 for a Core i7-8565U, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD whereas the ThinkBook 13s costs $1,070. And the IdeaPad 730s presents Thunderbolt Three help.

Subsequent, you would possibly have in mind the HP Envy 13, which costs $750 for a sooner Core i7-8565U, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 13.Three-inch Full HD. It’s almost as solidly constructed, and it lacks solely the ThinkBook 13s’s spill-proof keyboard and additional testing in opposition to bumps and bruises. You can also spend some more cash – a whole of $1,180 — and get an MX250 discrete GPU, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, and a 4K present. That makes the Envy 13 further customizable and eventually further extremely efficient.

Lastly, the Asus ZenBook 13 UX333 is a improbable laptop computer laptop as properly, coming in at $850 for the same configuration and offering a further sturdy assemble and the equivalent MIL-STD-810g testing that’s afforded Lenovo’s ThinkPad line. You’ll get equal effectivity, greater battery life, and albeit, we predict the ZenBook is a better-looking laptop computer laptop.

How prolonged will it remaining?

The ThinkBook 13s couldn’t reside as a lot as one of the best necessities of rigidity, nonetheless it’ll remaining you as long as you need. You’ll miss out on Thunderbolt Three for connecting to in all probability essentially the most superior peripherals, nevertheless in another case, that’s an up-to-date laptop computer laptop. The standard 1-year assure isn’t any greater or worse than completely different laptops on this class.

Do you must buy it?

No, besides you need the few business-oriented choices that the laptop computer laptop offers. In another case, comply with a client laptop computer laptop you may configure with further extremely efficient components – and likely for a lot much less money.

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