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Lenovo ThinkBook 13s review: almost a business laptop

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ThinkPad series is synonymousbusiness notebooks, ready for anything, elegant but expensive, designed for people from the business. The new Lenovo ThinkBook 13s is much cheaper than ThinkPad laptops, but it offers many interesting solutions.

ThinkBook 13s is in a very strange place inLenovo portfolio. On the one hand, it is cheaper and worse equipped than the top ThinkPad T or X devices, but more expensive and better than comparable models of the budget L-series, and sometimes even E.

The laptop is somewhere in the middle of the lineconsumer goods, higher than the inexpensive IdeaPad tablets, but lower than the top-end Yoga series. The device stands with one foot in the world of business, the other in the world of ordinary users. Could such a compromise be pretty good? Let's get a look.

  • Specifications
  • Design and build quality
  • Components and Features
  • Screen and multimedia
  • Keyboard and trackpad
  • Should I buy?
  • Characteristics Lenovo ThinkBook 13s

    CPU

    Intel i5 and i7 (8 generations)

    operating system

    Windows 10 Pro

    Display

    13.3-inch, FHD (1920 × 1080), IPS, anti-glare with Dolby Vision HDR (300 nits, 72% CG)

    Ram

    Up to 16 GB

    Battery

    Up to 10 hours, 45 Wh

    ROM

    512 GB M.2 PCIe SSD
    256 GB SATA SSD

    Graphics

    Built-in: Intel Graphics UHD 620 Unified Memory Architecture (UMA)
    Optional: AMD Radeon 540X with 2 GB GDDR5

    Security

    Fast Online Identification (FIDO)
    TPM Encryption
    Touch fingerprint scanner with power button
    Webcam shutter ThinkShutter

    Sound

    Dolby Audio, 2 x 2 W Harman speakers

    Two noise canceling microphones adapted for voice recognition

    Camera

    1MP HD camera

    Colour

    Mineral gray

    Connection

    WLAN: 11ac 2 × 2, Bluetooth 5.2

    Connections

    2nd generation USB-C
    2 × USB 3.1 1st generation (one is always active)
    Headphone and microphone jack
    HDMI 1.4b

    Keyboard

    Moisture-proof with white LED backlighting, quick keys for Skype calls, one-piece precision touch panel

    Dimensions

    307.6 × 216.4 × 15.9 mm

    Weight

    1.4 kg

    Design and build quality

    ThinkPad series is famous not only for itsthe devices are made of extremely durable materials, but also moisture-resistant keyboards. In the event of a malfunction, the devices can be easily disassembled and replaced with new components. The workmanship of the ThinkBook 13s is close to the most expensive IdeaPad. Instead of plastic covers, we have a classic aluminum case with a plastic frame around the screen.

    However, here we can easily get tocomponents hidden under the bottom cover of the laptop. Replacing RAM, SSD-drive or Wi-Fi card by yourself. The board is not covered with epoxy resin, so if necessary, service specialists will not have to throw the entire motherboard into the trash bin to replace, for example, a faulty module (this applies to you, Apple!).

    Another design element that is 13s closer tothe business world than consumer electronics, this is a ThinkShutter front-facing camera with a shutter. You can close the camera with a plastic plug instead of sticking it with adhesive tape. A very useful solution if you value privacy.

    Lenovo ThinkBook 13s is also located somewherein the middle with regards to mobility. Weighing 1.33 kg, this is not the lightest design on the market, but not the heaviest. In general, a very solid impression is created, nothing creaks, does not crack, we understand that we are buying a product of really good quality. But, in general, it is still closer to consumer than to ThinkPad business laptops.

    Components and Features

    The ThinkBook 13s option I tested wasin the basic version with an Intel Core i5-8265U processor, 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB solid state drive. It costs about 70 thousand rubles. Paying another 5 thousand rubles, we can buy a version with 16 GB of RAM. We still have options with an Intel Core i7 processor, costing from 75 thousand rubles. (8 GB of RAM) and 80 thousand rubles. (16 GB RAM).

    We can also replace the mentioned operationalmemory on its own, there is only one caveat - this is one board, and RAM works in single-channel mode, which greatly affects computer performance in complex calculations or even when working in a web browser.

    The components of the basic version, of course, are enoughfor the vast majority of basic tasks, but not for more difficult ones. However, I must praise Lenovo for its excellent work culture. It uses a cooling system of two fans, which not only constantly maintain the correct temperature, but also do not create excessive noise even under load. Even if you don’t overload the computer, you don’t hear how coolers work.

    On the technical side, the Lenovo ThinkBook 13s hasWe basically have two things: TPM encryption and a fingerprint scanner integrated with Windows Hello. The fingerprint reader is obviously not a novelty in the notebook world, although I must praise Lenovo because the module used in the ThinkBook works just fine. The advantage for business users will undoubtedly be a good set of connectors - there are two USB A ports, one USB-C, a headphone jack and full-size HDMI.

    I will also mention the battery right away. Its 2964 mAh capacity does not look impressive, but this is enough for 8-9 hours of operation; which is great. The wait time, unfortunately, is shorter than that of business laptops. Perhaps this is the problem of a specific copy, because if I forgot to connect the laptop for the night, after a few hours in sleep mode, it ate at least 20-30 percent of the energy. Once during the tests, I left the device for two days without connecting to the charger, it was completely discharged, although it remained in sleep mode all the time.

    In the box we have a tool that partially decidesthis problem is a 65W fast charger. It is a pity that Lenovo still insists on its proprietary connector instead of switching to USB-C with a more compact, one-piece charger.

    The screen is hardly an advantage

    The Lenovo ThinkBook 13s display is definitelythe weakest element of the device. You will immediately see that Lenovo proceeded from the same assumption as in the cheaper ThinkPad models. After all, Aunt Klava from accounting does not need a screen that is precisely covered by any color space, with the HDR function or other useful features. The only plus of this panel in Lenovo notebook is the hinge taken from ThinkPad, which allows us to rotate the laptop at an angle of 180 degrees.

    Here we get a 13.3-inch matte IPSAn LCD with Full HD resolution and a classic aspect ratio of 16: 9. It is surrounded by a thick frame, and an even thicker chin is visible at the bottom, despite the fact that the panel itself looks very average. Viewing angles are not the best, the colors are slightly blurry, black is closer to gray, and the brightness is not enough to even think about using the ThinkBook 13s in bright sunshine.

    I would be ready to forgive Lenovo these flaws,more than that, for business applications, we really do not need anything else, but the MateBook 13, which costs the same amount, has a more beautiful display with a resolution of 2160 × 1440 pixels. Its panel is surrounded by thin frames and is more suitable for working with an aspect ratio of 3: 2.

    Unfortunately, the Matebook 13 is also better than the ThinkBook.13s when it comes to speakers that, together with the screen, provide the laptop with a better multimedia experience. The guys from Harman took up the sound tuning here. But all I can say about the speakers. They play average, overload at higher levels and can not be compared with a laptop Huawei.

    Keyboard and trackpad Lenovo ThinkBook 13s

    Lenovo ThinkBook 13s keyboard is not so goodlike the ThinkPad series. It does not have a red joystick, which is known to all fans of Lenovo business laptops. But, it is much better than in IdeaPad or Yoga laptops.

    There is a backlight (it’s a pity that only two degrees), andThe keys are extremely convenient if you need a laptop, which is an exceptional portable typewriter. Only Huawei's Matebook 13 has the best keyboard and trackpad.

    Speaking of the trackpad, the one that stands at LenovoThe ThinkBook 13s is pretty good - it's nice to use, the Windows Precision gestures work flawlessly, and against the background of the touchpad in the aforementioned Matebook 13, it only needs a slightly larger size.

    Total

    Lenovo ThinkBook 13s is a laptop for work. Entertainment lovers will not like it, nor will it meet the expectations of creative professionals. Nevertheless, the equipment will be an excellent solution for a small business where the quality of the display or speakers is secondary, and more important is the quality of the keyboard and the reliability resulting from the purchase of a branded device.

    Should I buy?

    Yes. The ThinkBook 13s is a great option for pupils and students - autonomy, a matte screen and an excellent keyboard make it the perfect companion for homework or recording notes. In the context of business meetings with presentations, an HDMI connector will be useful for you, which allows you to connect equipment to the projector without any additional adapters.

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