Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 review: a multitasking dream

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3

MSRP $2,309.00

“The Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 has a genuinely helpful widescreen show and second panel, however its inventive efficiency suffers from built-in graphics.”

Professionals

  • Revolutionary and helpful twin shows
  • Nice keyboard and touchpad
  • Stable construct
  • Wonderful productiveness efficiency
  • Comparatively skinny and lightweight

Cons

  • Creativity efficiency is missing
  • Show colours lack accuracy
  • Costly

Lenovo’s ThinkBook Plus line has been house to a few of its most fascinating improvements. In its second technology, for instance, the ThinkBook Plus Gen 2 integrated a 12-inch e-ink show into the lid of a 13-inch ultraportable. However the ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 goes in a very completely different path.

Particularly, it incorporates an 8-inch IPS show on the palm relaxation, to the appropriate of a keyboard and touchpad that may match properly on the Gen 2 machine. The first show, in the meantime, is an especially broad 17.3-inch show operating at 3072 x 1440 decision and 120 hertz. It’s an interesting design that works nicely for multitasking, even when it falls in need of being the creativity workstation that it seems like at first look.

Specs

  Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3
Dimensions 16.18 inches x 9.06 inches x 0.71 inches
Weight 4.41 kilos
Processor Intel Core i5-12500H
Intel Core i7-12700H
Graphics Intel Iris Xe
RAM 16GB LPDDR5
32GB LPDDR5
Show Predominant show: 17.3-inch 21:10 3K (3072 x 1440) IPS, 120 Hz
Secondary show: 8-inch HD (800 x 1280) IPS contact
Storage 512GB PCIe Gen4 SSD
1TB PCIe Gen4 SSD
Contact Secondary show
Ports 1 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4
1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
1 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
1 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2
1 x HDMI
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
Wi-fi Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2
Webcam 1080p with Home windows Hiya IR webcam
Working system Home windows 11 Professional
Battery 69 watt-hour
Value $2,309

Value and configurations

Experimentation isn’t low cost. The ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 stars at $2,309 for a Core i5-12500H, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD, which was my review configuration. You may spend $2,789 for a Core i7-12700H, 32GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. There’s little question that the ThinkBook is a singular laptop, and as we’ll see it’s fairly usable, however that’s nonetheless a really premium worth.

Bizarre however helpful

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 front angled view showing displays and keyboard deck.Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

The very first thing I seen after I began utilizing the ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 was that the keyboard and touchpad had been as comfy as with every different laptop. That’s in contrast to some dual-screen laptops the place the keyboard is cramped or at a foul angle and the touchpad is about off to the appropriate.

The Asus ZenBook Professional Duo 15 is a chief instance, and I discovered that laptop’s format awkward and uncomfortable. With the ThinkBook, it appeared extra like Lenovo began with an ordinary 13-inch laptop and stretched it to the appropriate, growing the first show’s width and tacking on the second show.

The result’s a laptop that, though unusual at first, is extra helpful than a big laptop that was disfigured to suit all the pieces in.

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 top down view showing keyboard and touchpad.Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

Talking of the keyboard, there’s loads of key spacing and usually sized keycaps, and the switches are gentle and snappy with a bottoming motion that’s only a bit free. It’s not one of the best Home windows keyboard I’ve used, like these on Dell’s XPS and HP’s Spectre machines, but it surely’s nonetheless excellent. The touchpad is giant and has a snug floor, with button clicks which might be barely sharp.

General, it’s a bizarre design, but it surely works. The largest drawback customers will run into is discovering enough horizontal house, which is okay on a typical desktop however definitely gained’t work on an airline or some other confined house. Nonetheless, the show’s width makes the ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 a wonderful multitasking laptop, permitting two or three helpful home windows to be stacked aspect by aspect. All of the issues that make widescreen screens so good to work with apply right here.

The standout characteristic, although, is the secondary 8-inch IPS show that takes up the appropriate fifth of the palm relaxation. It’s touch-enabled, in contrast to the first show, and it helps a sliver of an energetic pen that docks and costs in a slot behind the chassis.

The show has a number of modes, the best of which is performing as a second “exterior” monitor that apps could be dragged to for much more multitasking prowess. There’s additionally a fairly huge numeric keypad that’s nice for any who enters plenty of information. Pair it with a Motorola smartphone and the display screen can mimic the cellphone’s show.

In case you preserve a paper pocket book subsequent to you for jotting down notes, the show can take over that perform with the flexibility to add to the Microsoft OneNote utility. Lastly, Adobe Photoshop, Premiere, and After Results can show management panels on the show, making for a extra handy approach to handle their advanced interfaces.

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 top down view showing pen slot.Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

The underside line is that though you pay a worth in chassis width, it’s price it in case your workspace is accommodating. Heavy multitaskers ought to take observe, and a few consolation, in the truth that the ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 can be surprisingly skinny at 0.71 inches and lightweight at 4.41 kilos. That’s thinner than the slimmer Dell XPS 15 and about as heavy.

A near-creative visible expertise

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 front view showing primary and secondary display Premiere Pro.Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

If the ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 goes to work for creators, then that widescreen show wants to supply broad and correct colours and wonderful distinction. Out of the field, it seems nice, with simply sufficient sharpness, loads of brightness, dynamic colours, and true blacks (for an IPS panel).

In response to my colorimeter, the first show was undoubtedly vivid, and it produced wonderful distinction. Its colours had been only a contact low for inventive professionals, who prefer to see the Adobe RGB gamut run nicely into the 90% vary, whereas accuracy wasn’t nice at 2.2 (1.0 or much less is superb for inventive work). The secondary show wasn’t almost as colourful, but it surely was vivid at 400 nits and loved 1260:1 distinction. It really works nicely for its goal.

Creators might get by with this show, but it surely wouldn’t be one of the best expertise. Productiveness employees, although, will adore it.

Brightness
(nits)
Distinction sRGB gamut AdobeRGB gamut Accuracy DeltaE
(decrease is healthier)
Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3
(IPS)
429 1,560:1 100 88 2.2
Asus Vivobook 17X
(IPS)
278 660:1 65% 48% 3.39
Asus Vivobook S 14 Flip
(IPS)
321 1,230:1 64% 48% 3.14
Acer Swift 3 2022
(IPS)
368 1,330:1 98% 75% 1.51
HP Envy 16
(OLED)
348 24,3010:1 100% 97% 0.74

The media expertise is rounded out by poor audio. The twin downward-firing audio system didn’t get very loud, and there was appreciable distortion. Bass was nonexistent and highs had been overly accented, drowning out the mids. It’s a disgrace, too, as a result of there’s somewhat extra stereo separation merely by advantage of the audio system being positioned extra broadly aside. You’ll need headphones or exterior audio system for certain.

It must be quicker

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 rear view showing lid and logos.Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

As we’ve seen, the ThinkBook Plus Gen 3’s design is well-made for creators, though its show isn’t fairly appropriate for professionals. Sadly, it’s additionally underpowered for a inventive workstation. Purposes like Adobe’s Inventive Suite make the most of a discrete GPU to hurry up varied processes, which has an amazing affect on a laptop’s total efficiency.

We take a look at this utilizing the Pugetbench Premiere Professional benchmark that runs in a dwell model of Adobe’s Premiere video modifying utility. Usually talking, the quickest laptops on this benchmark are these with essentially the most highly effective GPUs. The exception is Apple’s MacBook Professional with M1 Professional and Max CPUs, which have particular optimizations constructed into their GPU cores that make them extraordinarily quick at churning by way of inventive duties.

Sadly, the ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 is proscribed to Intel’s built-in Iris Xe graphics. That is advantageous for productiveness work, however the GPU performs poorly in Pugetbench and so isn’t your best option for creators. And that’s a disgrace as a result of Lenovo used 45-watt Intel Twelfth-gen CPUs that may have mated properly with even an entry-level GPU just like the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti. The HP Envy 16 is a cheaper laptop that packs in an RTX 3060 GPU and so is far quicker in GPU-intensive functions. It scored 932 in Pugetbench in comparison with the ThinkBook’s 353.

The ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 supplied stable productiveness efficiency with the 12-core, 16-thread Core i5-12500H, together with sturdy scores in our CPU-intensive benchmarks like our Handbrake take a look at that encodes a 420MB video as H.265. However its suitability for GPU-intensive apps is proscribed, and naturally, gaming is out of the query.

Geekbench
(single/multi)
Handbrake
(seconds)
Cinebench R23
(single/multi)
PCMark 10
Full
Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3
(Core i5-12500H)
Bal: 1,647 / 9,397
Perf: 1,644 / 9,306
Bal: 98
Perf: 96
Bal: 1,708 / 10,592
Perf: 1,717 / 11,181
5,353
Asus Vivobook 17X
(Core i7-12700H)
Bal: 1,698 / 8,339
Perf: 1,714 / 8,558
Bal: 93
Perf: 87
Bal: 1,681 / 11,083
Perf: 1,717 / 12,552
5,665
HP Envy 16
(Core i9-12900H)
Bal: 1,839 / 11,187
Perf: 1,811 / 11,387
Bal: 83
Perf: 84
Bal: 1,919 / 12,538
Perf: 1922 / 12,525
6,872
Lenovo ThinkPad Z16
(Ryzen 7 Professional 6850H)
Bal: 1,360 / 8,648
Perf: 1,365 / 8,679
Bal: 88
Perf: 87
Bal: 1,376 / 10,938
Perf: 1,374 / 11,553
6,260
Dell XPS 15 9520
(Core i7-12700H)
Bal: 1,470 / 9,952
Perf: 1,714 / 11,053
Bal: 100
Perf: 77
Bal: 1,509 / 11,578
Perf: 1,806 / 13,313
5,559
Asus ZenBook Professional 14 Duo
(Core i7-12700H)
Bal: 1,829 / 10,819
Perf: N/A
Bal: 94
Perf: 82
Bal: 1,793 / 12,046
Perf: N/A
6,242

Odds and ends

We’ve coated crucial features of the ThinkBook Plus Gen 3. There are a couple of different issues to cowl earlier than wrapping up.

First, battery life is disappointing however not surprising given the comparatively small 69-watt-hour battery and the massive 17.3-inch show. The ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 managed simply 4.5 hours in our net looking take a look at, seven hours in our native video looping take a look at, and 5.75 hours within the PCMark 10 Purposes battery take a look at which supplies an concept of productiveness battery life. These scores are nicely underneath common and don’t sustain with a number of different large-format laptops. Merely put, the ThinkBook is okay as a laptop you’ll use in a single location, but it surely’s not one you’ll wish to tackle the street with out its energy provide.

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 front view showing webcam.Mark Coppoc/Digital Traits

Subsequent, the webcam is 1080p, which makes the ThinkBook an ideal laptop for videoconferencing. There’s additionally an infrared camera for Home windows 11 Hiya passwordless login assist, together with a fingerprint reader embedded within the energy button. The ThinkShutter privateness display screen slides over to dam the webcam.

Lastly, connectivity is stable, with a mixture of trendy and legacy connections, though a couple of Thunderbolt 4 port could be appreciated. A few of the ports are distributed alongside the rear of the chassis, which is uncommon however helpful.

Intense multitaskers will probably be completely satisfied, creators not as a lot

Experimental designs like this one aren’t all the time extra helpful. Generally, the designs convey extra compromises than advantages. That’s not the case with the ThinkBook Plus Gen 3, which is well-designed for a particular person: the extraordinary multitasker. In case you’re susceptible to operating a number of apps directly and must preserve a number of home windows within the forefront, then the broad show and secondary panel are completely suited.

The use case that I want labored nicely with the ThinkBook is the creator, given how the second show can improve workflows with Adobe functions. Sadly, the laptop’s GPU and show colours aren’t as much as snuff. It’s not which you can’t use the ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 for inventive work; it’s simply that you simply gained’t be utterly proud of the expertise.

Must you purchase the ThinkBook Plus Gen 3? Sure, should you multitask like a demon and have house for a really broad laptop. In any other case, you may get a big format laptop, just like the HP Envy 16, that’s quicker and has a greater show for much less cash.

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