With the coronavirus pandemic heading into its second year, many of us have been forced to upgrade our home computing setups to account for working from home. While there are a variety of laptops you can choose from, the Lenovo ThinkPad series remains a mainstay for business and IT users.
The ThinkPad T Series, as Lenovo’s flagship, offers the best features of its class. “What features are these, and how do they help me?”, you may ask. Here’s what you need to know.
The Lenovo ThinkPad T Series: A Straightforward Review
Behind the Series Names
Lenovo has gone through a few adjustments to its naming conventions over the past year. While their core series remains the same, the old model numbers have been simplified. This simplification serves to make the models’ screen sizes, features, and processors easier to find, without requiring a spec sheet on-hand.
What’s the difference between the various series of laptops? It boils down simply to the following:
- The E Series is the entry-level series of laptops, meant for light users
- The L Series serves as the mid-range series, offering greater processing power
- The T Series improves the security features of the L series and a slimmer profile
- The X Series is Lenovo’s high-end series, offering its most premium features and finishes
Now, let’s take a closer look at the offerings of Lenovo’s best series for business, the T series.
Understanding the ThinkPad T Series Lineup
The ThinkPad T Series has four machines in its current lineup. To better understand the differences between them, let’s dive deep into the specs and performance of each model in turn.
Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 2
The Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 2 is the latest model of the T14 series. With the ability to have an 11th generation Intel Core i7 and up to sixteen gigabytes of RAM, this laptop will take every ounce of multitasking your job can throw at it. Since it’s not optimized for gaming or visual arts, it may struggle if you stream or render media for a living, but for standard business usage, it should offer blazing fast speeds.
These laptops come equipped with a 512GB Solid State Drive, which means boot and load times will be a non-issue. This model also offers a backlit keyboard and 720p webcam. So, if you have late-night meetings for your work, you won’t have to worry about not being able to see to type or being betrayed by a low-quality webcam.
As the model name would suggest, the screen is 14″. It starts with a Full HD (1920×1080 pixel) display with anti-glare properties and a 300 nit brightness.
This model series starts at around $1500 and comes in both Black and Storm Grey.
Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Intel
While the T14 is not the latest generation model, it still offers a wealth of features for all business users at a lower price point than its second-generation siblings. This model caps out at a 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor like its upgraded version. However, it can house up to forty-eight gigabytes of RAM. Like its newer version, it offers up to a 512GB SSD.
While it does not come installed with Windows 10 Pro by default like its following model, you can purchase a version with the said operating system. However, the main difference between the two machines lies in their battery life. The T14 with an MM14 battery can survive on sixteen and a half hours of battery charge. This vastly outstrips its younger sibling, which offers only ten and a half hours of battery life.
Another thing to note is that while this series of T14 laptops have less high specs by default than newer versions, it’s far more configurable. In this model, you can upgrade your screen up to an Ultra High-Definition glossy IPS display with Dolby Vision compatibility.
If you’re confused about what all of that means, let’s break it down. Ultra High Definition, or UHD, doubles the number of pixels present in a Full High Definition screen. This makes for a crisper, clearer picture. The Dolby Vision compatibility offers more color depth, which makes such an upgrade perfect for visual artists, gamers, and other media-heavy users.
The T14 series starts at around $1240 for the base version, making it a more affordable alternative if you decide not to load it out with features.
Lenovo ThinkPad T14s
This lightweight, business-budget powerhouse offers many of the same features as its other fourteen-inch brethren, with the added benefit of enhanced security features by default. This laptop offers privacy guard configurations for the screen and up to thirty-two gigabytes of RAM.
However, the real benefit lies in this laptop’s epic battery life. It can run up to twenty-one hours on a full charge with an MM14 battery, or fourteen hours with an MM18. At 2.8 pounds, it’s one of the lightest options which remaining heavy on processing power and features. The base option of this model starts at a mind-boggling $850, making it an affordable option for the homebound professional.
Lenovo ThinkPad T15 Gen 2
The Lenovo ThinkPad T15 Gen 2 is the latest and greatest in the T series’ fifteen-inch offerings. It’s an excellent laptop for business and pleasure both due to its larger screen and the ability to upgrade to an NVIDIA graphics card. NVIDIA, for those not in the know, is among the top names in gaming graphics processing units. This means that if your work involves a spot of gaming (or if you’re bored during the umpteenth Zoom meeting that could have been an email), your laptop won’t overheat itself trying to run a game.
The T15 Gen 2 comes with Windows 10 Pro installed by default and includes a fingerprint sensor and infrared 720p HD camera. This means that you can trust that your data will be secure and your webcam footage visible. It offers up to a 15.6″ FHD anti-glare touchscreen, which will make it easier to manipulate items on your screen.
With up to sixteen gigabytes of RAM and 512GB of solid-state storage, it can handle pretty much any business task you throw at it. While the NVIDIA GPU might allow it some gaming ability, the 16GB of RAM might drag if you try to run anything too high-end. This model, like its 14-inch sibling, starts at around $1500 and comes in both Black and Storm Grey.
Lenovo ThinkPad T15 Intel
As with its T14 model, the Lenovo ThinkPad T15 Intel is an older, but more configurable version of the second generation model. It also offers up to forty-eight gigabytes of RAM and a 512GB SSD. The base models run the tenth generation Intel Core i5 processor, but it can accept up to a tenth generation Intel Core i7. While it, too, doesn’t come with Windows 10 Pro by default, you can purchase a model with it installed.
The biggest difference between this model and its T14 brother is the option to have a touchscreen and its larger screen size, which also allows the backlit keyboard to have a separate number pad. If your job involves a lot of number-crunching, you’ll understand the utility of such an expansion.
Another benefit to note: You have the option to build the T15 to run off of LINUX, rather than Windows. If you prefer the open-source operating system to Microsoft’s dominant programming machine, you can build your laptop to run it instead.
Lenovo ThinkPad T15p
The Lenovo ThinkPad T15p offers an Ultra Performance Mode and the H series of tenth-generation Intel Core i7 processors. Combine this with its up to sixty-four gigabytes of RAM and a one terabyte solid-state drive, and this machine can handle even the heaviest of power usage. This makes it one of Lenovo’s best offerings for creative professionals.
Where this device struggles, alas, is its weight and battery life. The T15p only boasts a maximum of twelve hours of battery on a full charge. In addition, at a hefty four and a half pounds, it’s not the most portable of machines. You can still cart it around with you, but expect to feel that weight after hefting it around all day once you’re able to travel again.
It, like its T14 sibling, has a base model starting at around $850. However, the more features you back into the device, the higher you can expect that price to rise.
Reviewing What We Know About the T Series
In summary, the ThinkPad T Series of laptops offers features tailored to both creative and standard business users. With their focus on security, processing power, and ease of use, it’s the perfect stepping stone before their top-of-the-line X Series.
If you’re looking for more information on the best laptops for your work-at-home business, but aren’t sure where to start, worry no further. Check out the Tech section of our blog for the latest and greatest options on the market!