Lenovo ThinkBook 13s Gen 2: A Small Enterprise Laptop computer pc

Lenovo ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 review: Sturdy performer at a sound worth

“The Lenovo ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 is a powerful performer at a sound worth.”

Execs

  • Speedy productiveness effectivity
  • Good battery life
  • Sturdy assemble top quality
  • Just some welcome security extras
  • Engaging aesthetic

Cons

  • Shallow keyboard
  • Touchpad might very effectively be larger
  • Poor graphics effectivity

Lenovo’s first strive at developing a laptop significantly for small corporations — the ThinkBook 13s — fell considerably flat. It was a serviceable 13-inch machine nevertheless didn’t provide many tangible benefits for its purpose market. Now it’s spherical two, with the company pushing out the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 that objectives to ship this good laptop as a lot as updated necessities.

I reviewed a mid-range configuration of the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 priced at a horny $819, with an Eleventh-gen Intel Core i5-1135G7, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD), and a 13.3-inch 16:10 IPS present working at WQXGA (2560 x 1600) determination.

Lenovo has managed to iron out among the many apparent flaws with the distinctive, making the ThinkBook 13s a powerful risk for shoppers looking for a laptop beneath $1,000.

Design

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The distinctive ThinkBook 13s was a very conservatively designed laptop that lacked any standout aesthetic choices — and it seems far more like Lenovo’s shopper line than its business-oriented ThinkPads. The Gen 2 model has a similar look, nevertheless Lenovo made a couple of important changes. First, the bezels are rather a lot thinner, giving a additional modern look with the lid open. Second, the lid now has an anodized aluminum portion that creates a light-weight two-tone influence on the best. It seems good and spices up what’s in every other case a common-looking silver laptop. It’s not as sharp as non-business laptops similar to the Dell XPS 13 or HP Spectre x360 14, but it surely absolutely has its private laid-back enchantment.

These thinner bezels make for a laptop that manages to be smaller in all dimensions than its predecessor no matter its taller present, which tends to make a laptop deeper. It’s not as small as a result of the XPS 13, which has even smaller bezels, but it surely absolutely’s correctly sized for a 13-inch class laptop. It’s moreover thinner this time spherical at 0.59 inches compared with 0.63 inches and lighter at 2.78 kilos compared with 2.9 kilos. That’s practically an similar to the XPS 13’s 0.58 inches and a pair of.8 kilos. The ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 does actually really feel larger in hand than the XPS 13, but it surely absolutely’s nonetheless a reasonably small and light-weight laptop for the class.

One different enchancment over the sooner model is the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2’s feeling of durability. Every handed via Mil-spec 810G testing, nevertheless the newer model has a lot much less bending throughout the lid and flexing throughout the keyboard deck. It’s moreover all aluminum this time spherical, whereas the distinctive used aluminum throughout the lid and an aluminum-magnesium alloy throughout the base. I uncover the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 to essentially really feel merely as sturdy as a result of the XPS 13, which is extreme reward supplied that the latter has been an unusual for well-built laptops.

lenovo thinkbook 13s gen 2 review gen2 3

lenovo thinkbook 13s gen 2 review gen2

Lastly, connectivity is a power, with one caveat. There’s only one USB-C port with Thunderbolt 4 assist, and whereas that’s good to have, it’s moreover used to power the laptop and so can’t be used to attach a peripheral with out a dock of some kind. You’ll, though, be part of an exterior present due to the full-size HDMI 2.0b port, moreover alongside the left-hand side, and subsequent to that could possibly be a 3.5mm audio jack. On the right-hand side are a Kensington lock port and two USB-A 3.2 ports.

Whole, that’s an enchancment over the XPS 13’s two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 assist. Conspicuously missing is an SD card reader, which is a shock given such a surplus of connectivity. Wi-fi connectivity is up-to-date with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1.

Effectivity

The ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 equips an Eleventh-gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 quad-core CPU with eight threads. It’s been a powerful performer the few cases we’ve examined it, and the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 retains up that customized.

Starting with GeekBench 5, the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 falls correct the place you will rely on, barely beneath laptops with the faster Core i7-1165G7 and properly beneath every the Ryzen 7 5800U and the Apple M1. Bear in mind that each one the outcomes listed below are with any effectivity tuning utilities set at “common” mode. Not one of many laptops throughout the comparability group benefitted rather a lot from their “effectivity” modes the place such a utility was accessible (apart from the XPS 13 in a single test), a typical trait that, in a number of circumstances, makes me shock why such utilities exist the least bit.

our Handbrake test that encodes a 420MB video to H.265, the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 scored very properly for a Core i5, beating out the Core i7-equipped Dell XPS 13 (which matched the ThinkBook’s ranking in effectivity mode). The Asus ZenBook 13 UM325UA was the chief on this test due to its Ryzen 7 5800U, which is extraordinarily fast at processes that take advantage of various cores. In Cinebench R23, a test that pushes the CPU for an prolonged stretch, the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 as soon as extra punched above its class, outperforming the XPS 13 and the Porsche Design Acer Base RS that was one different speedy Core i5 machine.

Subsequent, I ran the PCMark 10 Full benchmark, the place the ThinkPad 13s Gen achieved full ranking. The XPS 13 wouldn’t full this test, and the ThinkBook fell behind the Acer Swift 3X with its Core i7-1156G7 — however, the Acer Swift 3X moreover equipped Intel’s Iris Xe Max graphics that gave it a leg up on machines with the standard Intel Iris Xe graphics (along with the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2). As with many Tiger Lake laptops, the ThinkBook did considerably higher on the Requirements and Productiveness components of the PCMark 10 suite than it did on the Content material materials Creation portion. The ZenBook 13 UM325UA with its Ryzen chip was the champ proper right here.

Geekbench
(single/multi)
Handbrake
(seconds)
Cinebench R23
(single/multi)
PCMark 10 3DMark Time Spy
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s Gen 2
(Core i5-1135G7)
1406/5379 178 1357/5502 4668 1511
Dell XPS 13 (Core i7-1165G7) 1540/5432 201 1449/4267 N/A 1589
Lenovo Yoga 7i (Core i5-1135G7) 1357/4246 207 N/A 4565 913
Asus ZenBook 13 UM325UA
(Ryzen 7 5800U)
1423/6758 124 1171/7824 6034 1342
Porsche Design Acer Base RS
(Core i5-1135G7)
1415/5364 181 1380/4973 4682 1504
Acer Swift 3X (Core i7-1165G7) 1551/5847 158 1485/5944 5117 1889
Apple MacBook Air M1 (Apple M1) 1727/7585 N/A 1479/6880 N/A N/A

Whole, the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 is a fast productiveness workhorse that must maintain with all nevertheless demanding creative workflows. Lenovo meets the effectivity desires of small enterprise householders after which some.

By the use of gaming, the ThinkBook scored properly on the 3DMark Time Spy benchmark. Nonetheless, that didn’t translate to my real-world test using Fortnite. Working at 1920 x 1200 (I couldn’t get 1920 x 1080 as an risk), the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 managed merely 18 frames per second (fps) in extreme graphics and 14 fps in epic graphics. Most Tiger Lake laptops hit a minimal of 30 fps and 23 fps, respectively. I ran the test various cases to confirm my outcomes, and I do not know why the ThinkBook carried out so poorly on this recreation.

Present

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The distinctive ThinkPad 13s used a 13.3-inch 16:9 Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS present that was beneath frequent in brightness, colors, and distinction. For the second technology, Lenovo upped its recreation with a taller 13.3-inch 16:10 IPS present at a WQXGA (2560 x 1600) determination that’s additional purposeful for productiveness and pretty a bit sharper, and it improves on the distinctive in various completely different key areas.

Brightness wasn’t good at 274 nits — we select 300 nits or additional to ensure good viewability in any indoor environment. The Dell XPS 13 4K present is on the market in at 420 nits, for example. The ThinkPad 13s Gen 2 liked wider colors than the distinctive, at 77% of AdobeRGB (about 5 proportion elements above frequent) and 100% of sRGB. The distinctive acquired right here in at 70% of AdobeRGB and 93% of sRGB, whereas the XPS 13 4K was considerably increased at 79% of AdobeRGB and 100% of sRGB. The ThinkBook 13s Gen 2’s coloration accuracy was good at a DeltaE of 1.65 (decrease than 1.0 is nice), compared with the distinctive at 1.4 and the XPS 13 4K at 1.21.

The model new model moreover liked a greater distinction ratio at 920:1, close to our most popular 1000:1. That beats out the distinctive’s 710:1, which was disappointing and properly beneath frequent, nevertheless the Gen 2 fashions nonetheless couldn’t match the XPS 13 4K’s 1360:1. Gamma acquired right here in at 2.1, only a bit bit brighter than the correct 2.2.

All in all, this was a pleasant present. It’s taller and better for prolonged web pages and Phrase paperwork, and its colors had been gratifying with out being oversaturated. The excellence was extreme adequate that black textual content material on a white background popped, and watching the great Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR assist vastly improved Netflix’s extreme dynamic differ (HDR) content material materials. This isn’t a present for creative execs who need broad and proper colors, but it surely absolutely’s good for everyone else.

The audio was surprisingly loud, with the dual downward-firing audio system pumping out some essential amount. Sadly, at 100% there was some distortion that detracted from the experience. Flip points down a bit, and you may nonetheless get satisfactory amount for watching Netflix with out the distortion, and in addition you’ll take pleasure in sturdy mids and highs nevertheless zero bass. A pair of headphones or Bluetooth audio system are actually useful.

Keyboard and touchpad

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One different area the place the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 gained’t be mistaken for a ThinkPad is in its keyboard. You’ll uncover a mannequin proper right here that’s rather a lot nearer to Lenovo’s consumer-class machines similar to the Yoga line, in that it has far a lot much less journey and a bottoming movement that’s considerably jarring. Its key switches are very delicate, so in case you select to not exert rather a lot pressure to depress a key, you’ll choose it, but it surely absolutely’s practically too delicate a contact for me. I didn’t uncover it nearly as precise as a result of the considerably higher keyboards on the Dell XPS 13 and HP’s Spectre line of 2-in-1s. The keyboard has a couple of explicit keys, along with buttons to begin out and stop video calls and a loyal button to call up assist decisions. You possibly can too hit a button to point out off the microphone, a plus for privateness.

No matter its taller present and relatively small bezels, the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 doesn’t have pretty as rather a lot space on the keyboard deck as a result of the XPS 13. That’s because of Lenovo took additional area above the keyboard for the hinge and the ability button. Even so, the touchpad is an effective measurement, in regards to the similar as a result of the XPS 13, and it’s a Microsoft Precision touchpad providing reliable and precise Residence home windows 10 multitouch gesture assist. It’s touchpad that matches up with the perfect you’ll uncover in premium laptops — which is a plus as a result of the ThinkPad 13s Gen 2 is priced considerably a lot much less. In addition to, my review unit had a responsive contact present that was welcome.

Residence home windows 10 Whats up assistance is equipped by a fingerprint reader constructed into the ability button, and it labored properly. That’s a considerably higher reply than standalone fingerprint readers — on the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2, you can merely press the ability button to stand up the machine and log in. You’ll moreover uncover Lenovo’s ThinkShutter privateness panel for the webcam for some added privateness.

Battery life

The ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 has a 56-watt-hour battery, significantly larger than the 45-watt-hour battery throughout the earlier model that demonstrated merely frequent battery life. Our benchmarks have modified since we reviewed the distinctive, nevertheless we’re in a position to make a couple of comparisons.

First, in our web benchmark that loops via a group of modern internet sites, the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 managed merely over 9 hours compared with the distinctive’s eight hours. The newer model’s ranking is above frequent and trounced the Dell XPS 13 4K’s 6.3 hours. The Asus ZenBook 13 with the Ryzen 7 5800U managed practically sixteen hours, and that’s with an OLED present. In our video test that repeats a Full HD Avengers trailer until the battery runs out, the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 hit practically 13.5 hours, which is barely above frequent and a pair of.5 hours longer than the distinctive. The XPS 13 4K lasted for 10.5 hours whereas the Asus ZenBook 13 made it to fifteen.5 hours.

I’d worth the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2’s battery life as very good.

I moreover examined using the PCMark 10 Battery test, which stresses the CPU and GPU (we did not use PCMark 10 with the distinctive model). The ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 barely made it earlier two hours, which is beneath various completely different Tiger Lake laptops along with the XPS 13 4K that virtually made it to three hours. We didn’t run the Asus ZenBook 13 via this test. Lastly, I ran the PCMark 10 Features test, which is the perfect indicator of productiveness longevity, and the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 lasted for 11.5 hours, the fourth-highest ranking we’ve seen. The XPS 13 4K managed about 8.5 hours, and as soon as extra we didn’t test the Asus ZenBook 13.

I’d worth the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2’s battery life as very good. It will closing a full enterprise day of productiveness work in case you don’t stress the CPU and GPU, and in addition you may want some time left over for some work throughout the evening. That’s a marked enchancment over the distinctive ThinkBook 13s and makes the newer model considerably higher suited to small enterprise householders who might should work remotely.

Our take

The ThinkBook 13s offers lots of the similar security and assist because the distinctive model, which can be explicit plusses for its small enterprise purpose market. In addition to, though, it’s moreover faster, offers increased battery life, and feels increased constructed, making it a additional compelling enterprise risk.

It’s not skinny and light-weight adequate to beat out rivals similar to the Dell XPS 13, but it surely absolutely’s moreover significantly cheap — one different boon for cash-crunched small enterprise householders. In actuality, it’s a compelling risk at this worth stage for any laptop purchaser, along with prospects who might revenue from a sturdy, fast, and long-lasting machine.

Are there any alternate choices?

The Dell XPS 13 is the obvious completely different, offering the similar 16:10 present in a smaller package deal deal. Effectivity is analogous between the two, and in addition you’ll get increased battery life out of the ThinkBook due to its lower-resolution present — nevertheless Dell does provide a Full HD risk that’s additional aggressive proper right here. Nevertheless the XPS 13 can be a number of of {{dollars}} dearer.

Should you want to ponder a 2-in-1, then the HP Spectre x360 14 is an outstanding various. It’s faster, better-looking, merely as well-built, and it offers a spectacular OLED present with extraordinarily deep blacks, extreme distinction, and broad and proper colors. It, too, is significantly dearer than the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2.

How prolonged will it closing?

The ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 is masses sturdy to current confidence of years of productive service. It helps that the components are all current as properly. You get a 1-year assure out of the sphere, nevertheless Lenovo offers enhanced suppliers for the small enterprise proprietor who desires longer safety and additional handholding.

Should you buy it?

Positive. The ThinBook 13s Gen 2 isn’t basically stocked with additional business-oriented choices than the distinctive model, but it surely absolutely makes enhancements in vital areas that small enterprise householders will acknowledge.

Editors’ Ideas




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