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With a 14-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel IPS display, Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga laptop is the total package. It's truly a do-everything machine, thanks to its 2-in-1 convertible design, 11 hours of battery life and lightweight (2.8 pounds), durable build. The full-sized, backlit keyboard is spill resistant and it retracts into the body of the machine when not in use during the 2-in-1 mode. Additionally, the X1 undergoes extreme condition testing to meet military specifications for durability, which offers users peace of mind that the X1 Yoga can handle a little wear and tear on-the-go.
Chromebooks occupy an interesting space in the computer market. On the one hand, they really aren’t that flashy or powerful, but on the other hand, they're exceptionally affordable, so you can overlook some performance quirks. This is mind, the Lenovo Flex 11 is a great option.
The 11.6-inch display offers an HD IPS touch panel with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, which suits the 2-in-1 machine well as it sits on a 360-degree hinge. The Lenovo Flex 11 runs a 2.1 GHz processor with 4GB of DDR2 RAM which isn’t lightning fast, but because Chrome OS is a light system, you shouldn’t really notice. What’s impressive about this laptop is the build and battery life. The exterior is non-slip so it’s harder to drop, but if you do manage to dump it, it’s drop resistant from as high as a couple of feet. The machine is also water and dust resistant and equipped with enough battery power to withstand up to 10 hours of use on a single charge.
There’s no shortage of budget-friendly gaming laptops, but few are as capable as the Legion Y540 from Lenovo. The old black and red colorway is gone in favor of a more refined aesthetic. The sleek hardware looks (and feels) more expensive than it’s priced, and the unique hinge is slightly offset from the back of the laptop to allow for a slimmer profile. The body is about as heavy as expected for a gaming laptop, and the five hours of battery life are pretty standard, too.
Powering the Y540 is a highly customizable list of specs, starting with a 9th generation Intel processor alongside a range of GPUs from Nvidia, from a GTX 1650 up to a 1660 Ti (an RTX 2060 is also available, if ray tracing is a priority). A 720p HD camera with integrated microphone makes it easy to play online and stream yourself while gaming, which is aided by an 802.11AC with 2x2 MIMO technology.
Lenovo’s latest addition to the Y-series gaming laptops is a true study in what makes a great, balanced laptop for gaming. At its center is an 8th-gen six-core i7 processor with standard speeds of 2.2GHz, but can overclock up to 4.1 GHz. You can opt for up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM while the updated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 with its 8GB of dedicated RAM mean you’ll have great graphics performance.
Top-notch visuals are important, because this laptop puts the 15.6-inch FHD screen front and center, outlining it with really thin bezels and stepping things up with 300 nits of brightness and HDR support. Being a proper gaming laptop, there’s also RGB lighting on-board to customize your look, both under the keys and shining out the side vents that, on most gaming laptops, are normally just black. The key switches are interesting too, as they’re updated Corsair switches with what Lenovo promises is 100% anti-ghosting. So, not only does this gaming laptop look the part, but it should also play and handle decently well. You aren’t going to get full-on mechanical gaming keyboard performance out of it, but considering the slim profile of the keys, it’s still pretty impressive overall.
Lenovo knows how to do business laptops right. The company purchased IBM’s PC business in 2005 and following that, Lenovo focused most of its laptops on serving the needs of the business community. The Ideapad 510, a new addition to the Lenovo family, is a great successor to the ThinkPads of previous years.
The Ideapad 510 runs Windows 10 and has a 15.6-inch IPS display with 1920 x 1080 resolution. This configuration has 8GB of DDR4 RAM, a 1TB hard drive, a 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics card. This will ensure that all your business programs and more run smoothly. It’s admittedly a little heavy at 4.8 pounds, but this matches many business laptops.
As for ports, this unit has two USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, audio jack, VGA, HDMI, LAN and a 4-in-1 card reader. This also reads CDs and supports Blu-ray playback, if you want to take break from all your business work to watch a movie.
The fifth generation of Lenovo’s ThinkPad 11e line is arguably designed for on-the-go use. For starters, the thing is built like a tank — almost literally. The machine has withstood 12 military-grade material tests as well as 200 total durability trials. It’s water resistant and can withstand drops up to three feet (conveniently the height of an average student desk). Add that to the fact that it weighs under 3 pounds, and it’s the perfect laptop for students and frequent business travelers.
The Lenovo ThinkPad 11e even features a battery that they claim can last up to 12 hours, so you won’t be tethered to outlets at every turn. This particular model gives you a quad-core, 1.1 GHz processor and 4GB of the latest DDR4 RAM to keep up with your daily tasks. There’s a 128 GB solid state hard drive yielding adequate storage and the 11.6-inch anti-glare screen gives you a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. There’s even an onboard UHD Integrated Intel Graphics card for gaming and crisp video playback. Overall, it’s a great little laptop to toss into your backpack or travel bag.
The Miix line of tablet PCs serves as Lenovo’s response to Microsoft’s massively (and somewhat surprisingly) popular Surface line. The computer itself is really just a supercharged tablet, but there’s a keyboard that attaches via a super-sturdy, 256-piece watchband hinge that serves as a case to fold it shut like a laptop. The 12-inch detachable display, with a resolution of 1920x1200 pixels, pairs nicely with the decently loud Dolby-enabled speaker system, making it great for long trips where you need to fire up some entertainment. The model also runs an Intel quad-core processor and 256GB of SSD PCIe storage for all your standard laptop needs. One of the coolest features that brings this 2-in-1 firmly into the tablet realm is that it offers a 2MP front-facing camera and a 5MP rear-facing camera, so it’ll behave like a mobile device when you want and a laptop when you need. There’s even a Lenovo Active Pen that lets you access interesting workflow and gestures, much like Samsung’s S Pen or the Apple Pencil.
This Lenovo Yoga 920 is far and away the most substantial PC on this list, and with a price tag to match. First off, it’s an Ultrabook so naturally, you’ll get the latest (8th gen) Intel i7 processor offering 1.8 GHz of quad-core performance. Pair that with 16GB of RAM and you have a pro machine capable of standard computing all the way up to video editing. There’s also a seriously massive 1TB solid state drive that, because of its solid state nature, will further increase your processing speeds. Now the display: this 13.9-inch beauty gives you 4K, 3840 x 2160-pixel resolution, putting it toe-to-toe with the best laptop displays on the market. The dedicated 620 Graphics card will also bolster visual performance. It comes in sleek platinum silver and weighs just over 3 lbs so the construction is premium, too. Ultimately, it’s a world-class machine with a world-class Ultrabook processor.
With a battery that can get up to 18 hours of use under the best of conditions, the Lenovo ThinkPad T460 is worth more than a quick look. Powered by an Intel Core i5 2.3GHz processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive paired with a 14-inch, 1366 x 768-pixel display, the T460 is ready for action. The utilitarian design is right in line with the rest of Lenovo’s ThinkPad lineup in that it’s not a computer you purchase for looks. Beyond aesthetics, the 3.8-pound machine is notably heavier than today’s Ultrabooks and jumps to 4.2 pounds with a high-capacity battery. For business users, the addition of the security fingerprint reader makes it suitable for both the office and on the road. Additionally, the spill-resistant keyboard follows suit with Lenovo’s excellent typing experience paired with an equally excellent responsive touchpad.
TrackPoint - This is the little red nub in the middle of the keyboard that IBM (and now Lenovo) laptops are famous for. It serves the same basic function as a trackpad or mouse, but you can use it without moving your hand off the keyboard. If you’re a fan of the TrackPoint, you’ll want to look for a Lenovo IdeaPad.
Model and design - Lenovo makes many different types of laptops, including traditional models, touchscreen options, and 2-in-1 hybrids. If you’re interested in a touchscreen laptop with a rotating screen, look for a Yoga or a Flex. If you want a 2-in-1 hybrid that can be used like a laptop or a tablet, in the same vein as the Microsoft Surface, look for a Miix.
Gaming performance - Gaming can be tough on laptops because most have weak onboard graphics. Some ThinkPads and IdeaPads come equipped with decent enough graphics cards, but they aren’t really designed with gaming in mind. If you want to play any recently released games at higher graphics settings, look for a Lenovo Legend.