Lenovo ThinkBook 13s :: A first assessment

by Volker Weber

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The new ThinkBook is a no-frills solid performer. And it fits a particular segment, which it was actually designed for. I think this is a device that companies will buy for their young joiners. People that need a Windows notebook for their job, but have primarily used MacBook Airs so far. You cannot give those people a black, plasticky laptop, thick as a brick, because they don't want to look like they work for the man, even if they do.

Let me tell you why.

Lenovo makes a ton of machines that are equally good, but serve different audiences. ThinkPads, tough and proven, have a huge following. Those people always had a Trackpoint, the red nipple inside the keyboard, and they want it. Lenovo has different lines of ThinkPads from the most expensive X1 line, to more affordable and even rather cheap ones. They share the same image, none of them has a weak core, but they have different frills.

Then there is the innovative Yoga line, where new things are tried first. It's hip, not as tough as ThinkPad, but generally nicer. Then there are the cheaper IdeaPads and many more.

The ThinkBook sits right in the middle between an affordable and tough ThinkPad, but catering to people who never had a Trackpoint and would rather use a Mac if they could. It's configured like the typical workhorse. Non-glossy, matte FullHD display, USB for charging the phone and connecting peripherals. USB-C DisplayPort and HDMI for presentations. Perfect keyboard and very decent trackpad.

It does not come with shiny 4K display options. Its graphics performance is nothing to write home about. But doing Office work, browsing the web, even compiling code, this thing screams. If this machine sells, it is going to sell to companies in large numbers. And that is often a good choice if you are looking for a workhorse yourself.

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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