RS Recommends: The Best Laptops to Take Your Office On the Go
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Not that long ago, a laptop meant you’d be getting all the benefits of portability, but have to sacrifice the perks of a desktop, like greater memory, larger storage capacity, and better processing speed. But laptops — and tablets — have come a long way since then. The best laptops these days offer a whole different experience, with the ability to work and play portably, without worrying about a dead battery or slow startup speeds.
While laptops can be beneficial in every line of work, finding the right device depends on a few different factors.
What Are the Best Laptops For Work?
The best laptops for work should be able to run a number of applications at once, with enough battery life to last you through a full work day. We also found models that are lightweight and portable enough to carry around with you, whether you’re working from home — or the coffee shop.
What You Need to Know Before Buying a Laptop
Processor: This is what drives everything. The processor is the central chip in your machine that receives commands from applications and tells all the other components inside what to do. The more gigahertz (GHz) in your processor, the faster it can process. Speed without slowdowns is key for anyone looking to multitask and run as many apps as they want. Whether working, or watching movies (or both at the same time), a decent processor will keep up the speed with little to no lag. Anywhere from 3-5GHz should suffice for the average user.
Screen: There’s been a resolution revolution in the past few years, and laptop screens can now be as beautifully detailed as your home flatscreen, often in 1080p with sharp, rich color. Some laptops even offer a touchscreen too. And size matters – screens can be compact or go all the way up to 17+ inches. If you’ll be working on-the-go, some screens offer an anti-glare coating, which can be extremely helpful when working outside or on a flight. Contrast and brightness makes a big difference too, and can really bring out the crisp details in every pixel.
RAM: Not to be confused with storage capacity, RAM is where everything goes before it’s processed. Any time you load an application, file, or even your operating system, your device opens up that data in RAM, meaning the more gigabytes you’ve got, the more programs it can run at once. For the average person using their laptop for things like work and movie streaming, 8-12GB should be just fine. Serious gamers and those running lots of heavy programs all at once can go up to 32GB and even 64GB.
Storage: Just like RAM, the more gigabytes you’ve got, the more your machine can handle. Think about it like this: RAM is your computer’s short-term memory, and storage is its long-term. Everything it’s doing or thinking in the current moment is processed by RAM, whereas all the data you want to save for later goes into storage. Some files, like movies and image editing software, take up much more space than a word-processing document, but anywhere from 250 to 500GB should be enough depending on your needs.
Keys: It may seem like an afterthought, but comfortable keys definitely count. Go for something that’s evenly-spaced and doesn’t require hard pressing, with just enough spring and bounce-back to let your fingers fly when you’re taking notes or get a sudden idea or inspiration. Some are also backlit for night-typing, perfect for when the cabin lights go off during your next overnight flight.
Trackpad: Another overlooked aspect is the trackpad. If you’re connecting an external mouse, this won’t matter as much. But consider what you’ll primarily be using your laptop for: artists using a stylus pen need more room to comfortably move around rather than someone who’ll be mostly typing.
Frame/Body: The material your laptop is made from matters. It’s not just about aesthetics – this is what’s protecting everything inside. Make sure it’s made from something durable, such as steel or carbon, and can withstand everyday elements like dust, heat, cold, and UV radiation. For a space-saving option, some laptops even transform into a tablet with just a quick flip.
Weight: While laptops have definitely gotten lighter, they can still be a drag to someone who’s constantly having to schlep it around. There are plenty of light options available now that’ll barely add any weight to your backpack or briefcase.
Ports: Thunderbolt seems to be rapidly replacing USB, so it’s important to have at least one of those built-in (along with USB A and C ports if possible, and Ethernet). HDMI is also a crucial one, both for hooking up presentations on the big screen at work, or connecting to your TV at home to watch movies or set up a workstation. Along with USB, 3.5mm headphone jacks are vanishing on some devices, so be sure to check if your choice has one. A microSD card slot can be a lifesaver too when a little extra storage space is needed.
Battery: Remember when batteries gave you a whopping 15 minutes? Batteries now can last up to 15 hours, providing the full HD experience while you’re away from a power source. Being based at home or the office, this may not matter as much, but if you’ll be running around, a long-lasting battery wipes away the constant worry of your device dying when you need it most.
1. Microsoft Surface Pro 8 Fueled by the 11th generation Intel Core Processor, the Surface is not only blazing fast, but also super slim and lightweight at only 1.96 pounds. The user interface is speedy, clean and boots up in seconds, while the display is bright, vibrant and crisp, bringing out full colors and making precision photo-editing easy. Switch from laptop to tablet in one flip, and bounce between open apps without any lag. With an extremely long-lasting battery life of 16 hours, this device is ideal for everyone, whether you’re a student, creative, or CEO. Or if you prefer hands-free, the built-in Cortana AI assistant makes things even smoother, digging through facts and getting things done quickly with just a simple voice command. Buy Microsoft Surface Pro 8 $1,451.95
2. HP 15 Laptop This absolute beast of a machine features a 15.6-inch Full HD screen, full-size keyboard with number island, and up to 2TB of storage (and can still be upgraded if you want more). It’s all packed into just under four pounds, which is heavier than other models on our list but still compact and easy to carry. The 11th Gen Intel Core i7 Processor is extremely fast and ranges from 2.8 GHz to 4.7 GHz. The built-in speakers are powerfully loud, and ports are plentiful – with USB Type-A and Type-C, HDMI, Ethernet, headphones and an SD card slot. Battery life is decent too, and this comes with Windows 11 all set up and ready to go. Buy HP 15 Laptop $949.00
3. Dell Latitude 3520 For over 36 years, Dell has been a major player in the PC world, providing reliable machines that get the job done. The Latitude’s Intel 11th Generation Core i5 Processor cranks up to 4.2 GHz, working with 16GB of RAM and 256GB SSD encrypted hard drive, so speed is rarely an issue for everyday tasks (you can configure your options for more storage and RAM if you need, although this is the configuration we suggest). The internal battery is built for long stretches, and the exterior body is crafted with a sturdy shell to survive minor dings and dents. For working outside or under bright lights, the 15.6-inch FHD IPS display is a huge help, while the full-size keyboard makes it easy to type away for long hours. Buy Dell Latitude 3520 $817.98
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 vs HP Dragonfly G4: Which business laptop is for you?
HP and Lenovo's latest business laptops pack some useful upgrades and new specs, but which one is right for you? Let's take a look.
As tends to be the case every year, both Lenovo and HP refreshed their top-of-the-line business laptops for 2023, introducing the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 and the HP Dragonfly G4 (a slight rebranding of the HP Elite Dragonfly). These are both fantastic laptops that build on a legacy of high-quality devices, and at the same time, both are relatively minor upgrades from the previous generation.
If you're looking for a new laptop for work, you might find yourself trying to decide between these two, and they do have a lot in common, so it's fair to say either one will serve you well. The most notable difference is probably in terms of looks, where you can choose between the classic ThinkPad look or the more modern-feeling silver chassis of the HP Dragonfly. However, some interesting features in the HP Dragonfly might make it more appealing for remote work. Let's take a closer look.
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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 vs HP Dragonfly G4: Pricing and availability
If you're looking to buy either of these laptops, you'll have to wait a bit longer. Lenovo has said that the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 will be available in April, though these dates can sometimes slip, especially with how difficult it's been to procure parts over the last couple of years. HP is a bit more conservative with its estimates, and the Dragonfly G4 is expected to launch sometime in the spring. There's a good chance they'll be available around the same time.
HP hasn't provided any information on pricing for the Dragonfly G4 and says it will share more details closer to the release date. Lenovo, for its part, says the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 will start at $1,729 when it launches. In both cases, it's not uncommon for these laptops to go on sale and there are a lot of price fluctuations, plus you can configure a lot of the specs, so the starting price is more of a guideline than a set value you can expect to pay.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 vs HP Dragonfly G4: Specs
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 HP Dragonfly G4 Operating system Windows 11 Windows 11 CPU 13th-generation Intel Core processors 13th-generation Intel Core processors Graphics Intel Iris Xe graphics Intel Iris Xe Graphics Display 14-inch, 16:10 aspect ratio, up to 2.8K (2880 x1800) OLED, HDR500 True Black 13.5-inch IPS, 3:2 aspect ratio, Full HD+ (1920 x 1280), 400 nits, optional touch, optional anti-glare
13.5-inch IPS, 3:2 aspect ratio, Full HD+ (1920 x 1280), 1000 nits, HP Sure View Reflect, touch optional, optional anti-glare
13.5-inch OLED, 3:2 aspect ratio, 3K2K (3000 x 2000), 400 nits, touch Storage Up to 2TB PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD Up to 2TB PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD RAM Up to 64GB LPDDR5 Up to 32GB LPDDR5 Battery 57Wh battery Unknown capacity Ports 2 x Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C)
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
1 x HDMI 2.0b
3.5mm headphone jack
Optional: Nano SIM slot 2 x Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C)
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
1 x HDMI 2.0
3.5mm headphone jack
Optional: Nano SIM slot Audio Dolby Atmos speaker system
Quad-array 360-degree microphones Discrete audio amplifiers
Dual top-edge microphones Camera Up to 1080p Full HD MIPI RGB + IR webcam with Computer Vision and physical shutter 5MP MIPI camera with 88-degree FOV + IR camera Windows Hello IR webcam
Fingerprint sensor IR webcam
Fingerprint sensor Connectivity Wi-Fi 6E 2x2
Cellular options: 5G sub-6 Cat20 4G LTE Cat16 4G LTE Cat4 (China only)
Wi-Fi 6E 2x2
Cellular options: 5G sub-6 Cat20 4G LTE Cat16
Color Black Natural Silver
Slate Blue Size (WxDxH) 12.42 x 8.76 x 0.60 inches (315.6 x 222.5 x 15.36mm) 11.71 x 8.68 x 0.65 inches (297.4 x 220.4 x 16.4mm) Weight 2.48 pounds (1.2kg) 2.22 pounds (0.99kg) Starting price $1,729 TBA
Display and webcam: They're different, but both are great
One of the first and more significant differences between the HP Dragonfly G4 and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 is the display. Like the previous iteration, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 comes with a 14-inch display and a 16:10 aspect ratio, which has become increasingly common in premium laptops and business laptops in general. Lenovo hasn't shared a full list of configurations, but we know there are options up to a 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED panel, and that's similar to what we got last year, which was very good already.
ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 10)
The base model will likely include a Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) panel, which is also more than good enough for a laptop of this size. There will be options for touch support, a ThinkPad Privacy Guard to prevent prying eyes from snooping on your work, and there could be an Ultra HD+ (3840 x 2400) IPS panel option based on the previous model.
The HP Dragonfly G4 has a slightly smaller 13.5-inch display, but it has a taller 3:2 aspect ratio, which is far less common but preferred by many for productivity. This tall screen makes it even easier to get work done with less scrolling required, while the smaller size makes it slightly more portable. The base configuration will also be a Full HD+ panel but with a slightly higher pixel count at 1920 x 1280 to accommodate the taller aspect ratio.
You'll also have the option for HP Sure View Reflect, the company's version of a privacy screen and arguably the best one on the market. Then, there's the top-tier configuration, the 3K2K (3000 x 2000) OLED panel, giving you all the benefits of OLED in an even sharper resolution than the ThinkPad X1 Carbon's OLED panel.
The HP Dragonfly has some exclusive webcam features, like keystone correction for showing off documents and whiteboards
The specs are pretty similar for the most part, though, so the choice really comes down to whether you prefer the slightly larger and wider display of the ThinkPad or the smaller but taller HP Dragonfly panel.
Meanwhile, both laptops have webcams capable of 1080p video, but the HP Dragonfly G4 actually has some advantages when it comes to the webcam. First, it has a 5MP sensor, which means it can crop into the sensor without losing quality and makes features like auto framing that much better. The HP Dragonfly also has some exclusive webcam features, like keystone correction for showing off documents and whiteboards, and multi-camera support, so you can seamlessly switch between two connected cameras or even use them at the same time.
Design: An old-school icon or a more modern take
While the display is the biggest functional difference between these two laptops, the design is really what everybody's going to notice. These laptops look radically different, and it might very well be what makes your decision. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 is just like every ThinkPad since way back in the day, with a black chassis, red accents, a red TrackPoint, and duplicate mouse buttons above the touchpad. The latter is a feature that works very well for a lot of people, and it's the whole reason many still buy ThinkPads. For others — myself included — it feels outdated and looks ugly.
ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 10)
If you feel the same way, the HP Dragonfly G4 may be much more up your alley. This is a modern and premium-looking laptop that features a magnesium chassis and comes in either Natural Silver or Slate Blue, both subdued colors that look great in a work environment.
It's not like silver laptops are all that unique, and for someone who prefers a design that stands out, this can actually be kind of boring. But it does look premium and more modern, and if you want something a bit more distinct, the Slate Blue color option is a great alternative. With the ThinkPad, you can't really change the color, though you can get a carbon fiber weave pattern on the lid if you want a more distinct look.
As far as portability goes, the HP Dragonfly G4 is the lighter laptop, starting at just 2.2 pounds compared to the 2.48 pounds of the ThinkPad. HP's laptop mostly uses magnesium for its chassis, while the ThinkPad X1 Carbon uses a mix of carbon fiber and aluminum. HP's laptop is slightly thicker measuring 16.4mm compared to the 15.36mm of the ThinkPad, but it is smaller overall.
Ports: Plenty of connectivity for both
Business laptops tend to have solid connectivity options, and that's the case for both of these models. Lenovo's laptop actually comes out ahead here, featuring two Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI, a headphone jack, and an optional nano-SIM slot for models with cellular connectivity. HP's laptop is nearly identical, but it's down one USB Type-A port.
Things are almost the same in terms of wireless connectivity, too. Both laptops obviously support Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2, but both also have options for cellular connectivity. You can choose between 5G support for 4G LTE (Cat 16) on both laptops, though neither spec sheet says what modems are being used for cellular support just yet.
Performance: The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is faster
While both of these laptops come with 13th-generation Intel Core processors, they're not exactly the same. Just like in 2022, Lenovo is using 28W P-series processors for its laptop, while HP is sticking with U15 models with a 15W TDP.
ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 10)
As you might be able to guess, 28W processors are significantly faster, but they also use more power and generate more heat, making laptops harder to cool and less portable. Still, that extra performance may be useful, so it's up to you whether you prefer power or battery life.
Just like in 2022, Lenovo is using 28W P-series processors for its laptop, while HP is sticking with U15 models with a 15W TDP.
It's worth mentioning that HP does have a couple of interesting new features for power management, though, most notably Intelligent Hibernate, which helps your laptop save power by hibernating when you're not planning to use it. Typical Windows modern standby can kill the battery on your laptop even when it's sleeping, so this could be a very useful feature for some users.
Aside from all this, we should mention that the ThinkPad X1 Carbon can be configured with up to 64GB of RAM, double what the HP Dragonfly G4 offers, so it may be more suitable for memory-intensive tasks. Both laptops have up to a 2TB SSD, so you'll have plenty of fast storage.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 vs HP Dragonfly G4: Which should you buy?
Whether you buy the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 or the HP Dragonfly G4 depends a lot on personal taste. Do you prefer the tall screen of the HP Dragonfly or the slightly more common aspect ratio of the ThinkPad? Is HP's more modern design something you prefer, or are you more of a fan of the iconic ThinkPad look and features? Those questions will greatly influence your final decision.
Of course, there's also performance, which can end up being very different depending on the processors each company uses. Do you want the faster 28W processors at the expense of battery life, or would you rather have a machine that can last you much longer away from a charger? The ThinkPad will probably be faster, but the HP Dragonfly is better if you're away from the office more frequently.
You still have time to make these considerations since neither laptop will be available until at least spring. If you want to buy a new laptop right now, you might want to check out the best ThinkPads and the best HP laptops that are available today. The PCs on those lists are still great and definitely worth your time.
The Best Lenovo Laptops for 2023
Rather, year after year, Lenovo continues to innovate with radical designs. Take the rotating-screen Yoga family, which influenced other major PC manufacturers like Dell, HP, and Acer to adopt its basic mechanism in their own 2-in-1 convertible laptop designs. Lenovo's high-concept devices also include the first foldable-screen PC , a ThinkPad.
The company formerly known as Legend Computers of Beijing, China, still produces the well-regarded laptop line, with its beloved AccuType keyboard. And indeed, a big part of the ThinkPad's longevity has to do with those rugged, inimitable keyboards. But Lenovo machines nowadays range well beyond the classic black ThinkPad slabs. (For one thing, you can get some of them in silver.)
It's been more than 15 years since IBM stopped making ThinkPad laptops , yet you're still likely to see them in the halls of industry, virtual or actual. That's thanks to Lenovo.
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Lenovo Yoga 7i 14 Gen 7 (2022) Best Mainstream Lenovo Yoga Laptop 4.0 Excellent Bottom Line: Lenovo's 14-inch Yoga 7i Gen 7 is the most polished in a long line of successful 2-in-1 laptops, with a stellar design and superb battery life. PROS Superb, sturdy design with elegant features
Superb, sturdy design with elegant features Bright, colorful 2.2K touch screen
Bright, colorful 2.2K touch screen Comfortable keyboard and touchpad
Comfortable keyboard and touchpad Robust port selection
Robust port selection Solid performance and battery life CONS Integrated graphics limit gaming and media creation potential
Integrated graphics limit gaming and media creation potential Active pen is supported but not included Sold By List Price Price Amazon $1,449.00 $1,449.00 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Lenovo Yoga 7i 14 Gen 7 (2022) Review
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 Best Premium Lenovo Yoga Laptop 4.0 Excellent Bottom Line: A rotating soundbar, a cinematic OLED display, and Intel 12th Generation silicon make Lenovo's Yoga 9i Gen 7 a multimedia marvel among 14-inch 2-in-1 convertible laptops. PROS Spectacular OLED screen
Spectacular OLED screen Strong audio with rotating soundbar hinge
Strong audio with rotating soundbar hinge Comes with carrying sleeve and stylus
Comes with carrying sleeve and stylus Long battery life
Long battery life Wi-Fi 6E CONS Expensive
Expensive No HDMI port, SD card slot, or 5G option
No HDMI port, SD card slot, or 5G option Merely adequate keyboard
Merely adequate keyboard A bit of bloatware Sold By List Price Price Lenovo $1,346.39 $1,346.39 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 Review
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 (2022) Best Lenovo Laptop for Traveling Executives 5.0 Exemplary Bottom Line: A 12th Gen Intel CPU, a sharper webcam, and more display options cement the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon's place as the finest laptop for business—and likely the finest laptop, period. PROS Sleek, sturdy, and ultralight
Sleek, sturdy, and ultralight USB-A and HDMI as well as Thunderbolt 4 ports
USB-A and HDMI as well as Thunderbolt 4 ports Unbeatable keyboard
Unbeatable keyboard Top-quality screen choices including OLED and 4K
Top-quality screen choices including OLED and 4K Solid productivity performance and battery life CONS Business-class price
Business-class price No SD or microSD card slot
No SD or microSD card slot 5G option not yet available Sold By List Price Price Lenovo $1,280.95 $1,280.95 See It (Opens in a new window) Amazon $1,439.50 $1,439.50 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 (2022) Review
Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Best Lenovo Business Laptop for Enterprise Fleet Deployments 4.0 Excellent Bottom Line: Lenovo's Ryzen-based ThinkPad T14s is by and large a spectacular success. Our one caveat: The AMD model of this 14-inch business thin-and-light tops out at a 1080p screen. PROS Potent eight-core Ryzen Pro processor
Potent eight-core Ryzen Pro processor Exemplary keyboard
Exemplary keyboard Usual sterling ThinkPad build quality CONS No 4K screen option
No 4K screen option No Thunderbolt 3 port
No Thunderbolt 3 port So-so webcam quality Sold By List Price Price Amazon $1,499.99 $1,499.99 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Review
Lenovo IdeaPad 1 14 Best Lenovo Laptop for the Very Tightest Budgets 4.0 Excellent Bottom Line: Lenovo's IdeaPad 1 14 proves that you can have a decent, and even enjoyable, Windows 10 experience on an under-$300 laptop, as long as you don't need USB-C ports and can make do with a basic processor. PROS Crisp 1080p display
Crisp 1080p display Comfortable keyboard
Comfortable keyboard HDMI port
HDMI port Multiple color options
Multiple color options Lightweight
Lightweight Long battery life and snappy storage CONS No USB-C ports
No USB-C ports Dim 220-nit screen backlight
Dim 220-nit screen backlight Uses relatively slow AMD Athlon Silver processor Sold By List Price Price Amazon $237.00 $153.00 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Lenovo IdeaPad 1 14 Review
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i 14 (2021) Best Lenovo 2-in-1 for Everyday Work 4.0 Excellent Bottom Line: As capable as it is affordable, the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i 14 is a midsized convertible that gets the basics right. PROS Practical, sturdy design
Practical, sturdy design Comfortable keyboard
Comfortable keyboard Generous memory and storage amounts
Generous memory and storage amounts Two USB Type-A and HDMI ports
Two USB Type-A and HDMI ports Webcam privacy shutter and fingerprint reader CONS Relatively heavy for a 14-inch ultraportable
Relatively heavy for a 14-inch ultraportable Dim 250-nit display Sold By List Price Price Amazon $749.00 $650.00 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i 14 (2021) Review
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Best Lenovo Business Laptop for Extreme Weight Savings 4.0 Excellent Bottom Line: You'll forget you're carrying Lenovo's featherweight ThinkPad X1 Nano, but you'll enjoy every minute of using this extreme ultralight. PROS Incredibly light
Incredibly light Immaculate design and engineering
Immaculate design and engineering Fine keyboard and 16:10 aspect ratio display
Fine keyboard and 16:10 aspect ratio display Impressive battery life CONS Expensive
Expensive Short on ports
Short on ports No microSD card slot or security lock slot Sold By List Price Price Amazon $2,199.00 $1,338.77 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Review
Lenovo Legion 7 Gen 6 (AMD) Best Lenovo Laptop for Mainstream PC Gaming 4.0 Excellent Bottom Line: The Intel version of Lenovo's deluxe 16-inch gaming laptop is richer in features, but this AMD Ryzen-based Legion is an excellent performer that gets much better battery life. PROS Top-notch gaming performance
Top-notch gaming performance Vivid 165Hz display
Vivid 165Hz display Comfortable keyboard and touchpad
Comfortable keyboard and touchpad Configurable RGB lighting
Configurable RGB lighting Reasonable battery life CONS Lacks the Thunderbolt 4 and Nvidia G-Sync of the Intel version
Lacks the Thunderbolt 4 and Nvidia G-Sync of the Intel version Can't quite match the latter's frame rates
Can't quite match the latter's frame rates PCI Express Gen 3, not Gen 4, SSD Sold By List Price Price Amazon $1,959.90 $1,959.90 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Lenovo Legion 7 Gen 6 (AMD) Review
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 Best Lenovo Workstation for Professional Power Users 4.0 Excellent Bottom Line: Its display only covers 90% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, but otherwise it's hard to gripe about the svelte, speedy Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 workstation. PROS Trim, light design
Trim, light design Ample CPU and GPU power
Ample CPU and GPU power Extra-bright, high-res touch screen
Extra-bright, high-res touch screen Snappy keyboard
Snappy keyboard Full complement of ports CONS Expensive
Expensive No OLED screen option Sold By List Price Price Amazon $2,569.00 $2,099.99 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 Review
Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook Best Lenovo Chromebook for Everyday Use 4.0 Excellent Bottom Line: Cool with Chrome OS in tablet form? A 13.3-inch OLED touch screen makes Lenovo's second, bigger version of its Chromebook Duet a surprisingly nice 2-in-1 detachable for the money. PROS Superb OLED display in an under-$500 detachable
Superb OLED display in an under-$500 detachable High-quality front and rear cameras
High-quality front and rear cameras Comes with keyboard cover and kickstand CONS Ho-hum compute performance
Ho-hum compute performance No audio jack, or 4G or 5G LTE option
No audio jack, or 4G or 5G LTE option Stylus supported, but costs extra Sold By List Price Price Lenovo $404.99 $404.99 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook Review
Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook Best Lenovo Chromebook for Business 4.0 Excellent Bottom Line: It's priced above consumer Chromebooks, but the Lenovo C13 Yoga is every inch a ThinkPad and a terrific 2-in-1 for businesses choosing Google Workspace. PROS Attractive, solid design
Attractive, solid design Perky AMD Ryzen 5 processor paired with ample RAM and storage
Perky AMD Ryzen 5 processor paired with ample RAM and storage Four USB ports, an HDMI port, and a microSD card slot
Four USB ports, an HDMI port, and a microSD card slot Above-average screen and keyboard
Above-average screen and keyboard Onboard stylus CONS Somewhat expensive
Somewhat expensive Subpar sound
Subpar sound Pen lags behind rapid movements
Pen lags behind rapid movements Poorly equipped base model Sold By List Price Price Amazon $369.00 $330.00 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook Review
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon Best OLED Lenovo Laptop 4.0 Excellent Bottom Line: Its keyboard is a little shy of ThinkPad standards, but Lenovo's IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon is a 14-inch ultraportable with a dazzling OLED display for hundreds less than competitors. PROS Gorgeous OLED touch screen with 2.8K resolution
Gorgeous OLED touch screen with 2.8K resolution Lively eight-core AMD Ryzen 7 processor
Lively eight-core AMD Ryzen 7 processor Sleek and lightweight CONS Lackluster keyboard
Lackluster keyboard HDMI and USB Type-A dongle instead of onboard ports
HDMI and USB Type-A dongle instead of onboard ports No SD or microSD card slot Sold By List Price Price Amazon $988.33 $988.33 See It (Opens in a new window) Lenovo $1,259.99 $1,259.99 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon Review
Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable Best Lenovo Windows Tablet 4.0 Excellent Bottom Line: Lenovo's ThinkPad X12 Detachable is an obvious choice for corporate jet-setters who need a Windows tablet with a detachable keyboard, plenty of security and manageability features, and traditional black styling. PROS Sturdy construction
Sturdy construction Optional Intel vPro
Optional Intel vPro Integrated kickstand
Integrated kickstand Keyboard cover is reasonably comfortable for typing
Keyboard cover is reasonably comfortable for typing Good value
Good value Impressive computing performance CONS No 4K display option
No 4K display option Short standard one-year warranty Sold By List Price Price Lenovo $1,008.00 $1,008.00 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable Review
Buying Guide: The Best Lenovo Laptops for 2023
Lenovo's conventional Windows laptops include ThinkPads, ThinkBooks, and IdeaPads. (Gaming machines and 2-in-1 hybrids are another matter; more on them in a bit.)
The Classics: The ThinkPads (and Now the ThinkBooks)
ThinkPads are Lenovo's classically styled, business-oriented laptops, with a wide range of configurable features: touch screens, cellular connectivity, biometric login hardware, docking options. Their primary commonality? They almost always come colored in Lenovo's classic matte black.
These machines tend to offer more in the way of IT-friendly features for monitoring, management, and business-oriented wired and wireless connectivity. To help position certain models within the larger laptop market, Lenovo divides its ThinkPads into a host of sub-classes indicated by a letter. These include the ultraportable ThinkPad X and top-of-the-line X1 lines, the entry-level ThinkPad L family, and the ThinkPad P mobile workstations. The 14-inch X1 Carbon is the company's executive flagship, joined by the 13-inch X1 Nano, the lightest ThinkPad at 1.99 pounds.
(Credit: Molly Flores)
The bread-and-butter ThinkPads, though, are the T series, widely deployed business laptops that deliver a good balance of cost, durability, and feature set, along with the famous ThinkPad keyboard. Current T-series models include 14- and 15.6-inch notebooks, some with an "s" suffix after their model numbers to indicate a slimmer and lighter system. You may also see models with a small "g" at the end (indicating a discrete Nvidia graphics chip) or a "p" for "professional," an upper-echelon model with better specs.
Beyond L, P, T, and X, Lenovo has also pushed two other, newer lines: E and Z. The E series is more of a hodgepodge than most, resolutely budget-minded, with CPUs from both Intel and AMD and models in both 14- and 15.6-inch screen sizes. The newest ThinkPad expansion, the Z line, emphasizes aesthetics and sustainability, and employs AMD Ryzen processors.
You'll need a quick decoder to ThinkPad model numbers, whose logic changes every few years according to the moods of Lenovo's marketing braintrust. Current models carry a letter such as E, T, or X plus two digits marking the screen size. So a ThinkPad E15 is a budget-minded model with a 15.6-inch screen, while the ThinkPad T14 is the classic business fleet machine with a 14-inch panel. The premium ThinkPad X1 models don't indicate a screen size in their model names.
Meanwhile, Lenovo ThinkBooks are a distinct line from ThinkPads. They serve small and medium business (SMB) customers and also lean toward the value end of the spectrum. (See our picks for the best business laptops overall.) The ThinkBook line has grown, now coming in 13-, 14-, and 15-inch versions in slim and normal-thickness variants. ThinkBooks simply use two digits in the name, for the screen size, with an "s" at the end if it's a slim variety.
The IdeaPad Line: The Consumer Clamshells
Lenovo IdeaPads, on the other hand, are aimed mainly at consumers, though design-forward business users and entrepreneurs may gravitate toward using an IdeaPad as a primary PC. You'll find some preloaded apps on many IdeaPad systems, particularly those bought from big-box stores. Look for IdeaPad models prepped by the Microsoft Store ("Microsoft Signature" versions) if you're dead-set on avoiding preinstalled bloatware.
(Credit: Molly Flores)
Current IdeaPad models range from the budget IdeaPad 1 series to the high-end IdeaPad 9 series, with IdeaPad 3 and IdeaPad 5 in the middle. The higher the number, the more premium the laptop. An "i" in the model name denotes an Intel processor, while some models have "Gaming," "Slim," or "Pro added to their names to denote their intended uses. Screen size isn't specified; for example, you can find IdeaPad 5 models with both 14- and 15.6-inch displays.
Lenovo also offers a host of IdeaPad Chromebooks, which are popular choices for buyers on a budget. Google's Chrome OS is simple to manage and use, since it centers on the Chrome Web browser and related apps. Lenovo's Chromebook lineup includes inexpensive IdeaPad consumer models, as well as more rugged ThinkPad-branded Chromebooks for businesses and schools. (See our picks for our best overall Chromebooks.)
Yoga and Flex: Lenovo's Hybrids
Under the larger ThinkPad and IdeaPad umbrellas fall most of Lenovo's wide range of touch-screen hybrids, which can function as both laptops and tablets: the Yoga and Flex laptops. Introduced in 2012, the first Yoga pioneered the 2-in-1 convertible laptop concept. Yoga laptops' 360-degree screen hinges let you flip and fold the system into four positions: a conventional laptop mode, an easel-like stand mode for presentations, an A-frame or tent mode for viewing videos or using touch apps on an airline tray table, and a tablet mode for reading or for scribbling and sketching with a stylus.
In addition to high-end consumer systems called simply Lenovo Yogas, you'll find ThinkPad Yogas and ThinkBook Yogas that target a business audience. They follow the naming and numbering schemes for the lines they fit into, such as the ThinkPad X1 series.
(Credit: Molly Flores)
The Flex models, meanwhile, are broadly similar but tend to be cheaper than Yogas. At various times, the Flexes have been their own brand, though at this writing they're marketed under the IdeaPad banner. The latest Yogas and Flexes generally follow the single-digit naming scheme of the IdeaPads, though there are occasional exceptions, like the Yoga 6.
(Credit: Zlata Ivleva)
With these machines, the screen stays attached to the keyboard, meaning they're 2-in-1 convertibles as opposed to detachables—Windows tablets with removable keyboards akin to Microsoft's Surface Pro slates. Lenovo also offers a ThinkPad X12 Detachable tablet, a business device with one of the best detachable keyboards on the market. The other prominent detachable 2-in-1s we've seen of late from Lenovo are the company's consumer-oriented Chromebook Duet tablets.
Legion: Meet the Gaming Brigade
Finally, to keep up with the growing popularity of PC gaming, Lenovo launched an all-new laptop line, the Legion family, in 2017. It did this to differentiate its gaming systems from the main IdeaPad line, where the gaming rigs were until then known as "IdeaPad Y"-family models. The Legion brand includes both gaming laptops and desktops. Some IdeaPad Gaming models continue to be offered for players on tight budgets.
(Credit: Molly Flores)
Current models bear single digits, either a "5" or a "7" for mainstream and flagship gamers respectively. Legions with an "i" suffix use Intel Core processors, while others rely on AMD Ryzen power. The Legion family's pricing, given the models' specs and feature sets, has been attractive. You'll see Legion laptops in not only the familiar 15.6- and 17.3-inch screen sizes, but also 16 inches, and in a mix of distinctive designs, with more features specifically aimed at a gaming audience than the IdeaPad Gaming models offer.
So, What Is the Best Lenovo Laptop to Buy?
For more of our favorite machines (that is, ones outside the Lenovo-sphere), check out our favorite laptops overall, as well as our guides to the best cheap laptops and business laptops. But for our current, ever-evolving list of Lenovo favorites, scroll on down for a detailed spec breakout of our picks up top.
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