Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Review

Lenovo has introduced a lightweight laptop for small businesses, students or anyone else who is willing to have an affordable productivity laptop.

These laptops were initially introduced back in 2016 with a lot of excellent features including durable chassis, long battery life, 1080p screen, SSD and USB Type-C.

It includes a lot of configuration options along with a large number of excellent features for under $650.

In 2017, the company has introduced the second generation of Lenovo Thinkpad 13 with the same design.

SEE ALSO: Toshiba Chromebook 2

The second generation Lenovo Thinkpad 13 is having an Intel 7th Gen Core Series processor along with new features including a touch screen and backlit keyboard.

The starting price of this laptops is $699, yes, it is bit expensive than its older version but still, it is a very good business laptop.

Specs

CPU Intel Core i3-7100U
Operating System Windows 10
RAM 4GB
RAM Upgradable to 16GB
Hard Drive Size 128GB
Hard Drive Type M.2 SSD
Display Size 13.3
Highest Available Resolution 1920 x 1080
Native Resolution 1920x1080
Graphics Card Intel HD Graphics 620
Video Memory 128MB
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac
Wi-Fi Model Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 8265
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.1
Ports (excluding USB) USB 3.0
Ports (excluding USB) USB Type-C
USB Ports 4
Card Slots 4-1 card reader
Warranty/Support one year limited depot warranty
Size12.69 x 8.77 x 0.75 - 0.78 inches
Weight 3.17 pounds

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Strong battery lifeMore expensive than prior model
Snappy keyboardDisplay a bit dim
Good audioBacklit keyboard not standard
USB Type-C charging

Design

The 2nd generation Lenovo Thinkpad 13 constitutes the same design just as its previous version which was released in 2016.

These laptops come in two colors black or silver. This rectangular laptop is having a functional shape.

It features few flares of color in the blinking red status on the deck and lid along with a red pointing stick.

The silver color version has its own color schemes in the deck, sides, and bottom with shades.

You can see these shades clearly under the keyboard. However, its body is having ABS plastic, the silver version constitutes an aluminum lid whereas there is no aluminum lid in black color.

Lenovo ThinkPad 13 design

The wight of Lenovo Thinkpad 13 is almost 3.17 pounds and it is reasonably a good weight. This weight of Lenovo Thinkpad 13 is lightweight enough to carry with you anywhere anytime.

It is lighter than Lenovo ThinkPad T470 with a weight of 3.5 pounds, the Dell Latitude 5480 and the AsusPro B9440. The 13-inch Asus Zenbook UX330UA is thinner and lighter than the Lenovo ThinkPad 13.

The dimension of Lenovo ThinkPad 13 is  12.7 x 8.8 x 0.75 or 0.78 inches for both black and silver version of the laptop.

It has an ability to fit in any kind of bad and it is much thicker than its competitors including ZenBook UX330UA and the AsusPro B9440 which are 0.5 and 0.6 thick respectively.

Tougher Than Your Average Ultraportable

These laptops are specially designed for both corporate IT departments and clumsy consumers.

The Lenovo ThinkPad 13 has managed to pass almost 12 different MIL-SPEC durability tests.

The tests include extreme temperatures, shocks, vibrations, Sand blasts and all other similar tests. These laptops have managed to last up to 9 hours and 8 minutes in the battery test.

You can configure Lenovo ThinkPad 13 with an Intel vPro for having remote manageability. It also features dTPM 2.0 encryption for the protection of your data.

Display

The display of Lenovo ThinkPad 13 is good, as these laptops are having a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 with a touchscreen.

Which helps these laptops in delivering sharp images with accurate colors but colors are not overly rich. If you look a movie trailer for 1080p resolution, you will be able to see a clear distinction between different colors.

But at some stages, you may witness some bad display include dim things at some stage like in low-end laptops.

Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Display

According to a test on the light meter, the screen Lenovo ThinkPad 13 has the ability to emit a maximum brightness of 243 nits.

Yes, it is below than the average laptops having a max brightness of 301 nits. It is much brighter than the Dell Latitude 5480 but it is on par with Lenovo ThinkPad T470 with 234 nits.

Even, the Asus Zenbook UX 330UA and AsusPro B9440 are aalmost50 nits brighter than these laptops.

Well, if you are not willing to watch a pitch black scene, the display is much brighter and colors don’t sink out.

Even if you look from the left and right side of the screen at 90 degrees. However, most of the screens are having brilliant panels that are capable of reflecting a good amount of light, although its panel is bit dim.

The display of Lenovo ThinkPad is capable of delivering and reproducing 72% of the sRGB color range.

The color range of these laptops is much similar to the color range of Lenovo ThinkPad T470 and the Dell Latitude 5480.

It is very less as compared to a color range of an average category laptop having 95% of sRGB color range.

Both, Asus Pro B9440 and the ZenBook UX330UA are capable of producing over 100% of a sRGB color scheme.

Moreover, the ThinkPad 13 is capable of providing a great color accuracy. According to tests on colorimeter, the Delta-e score of ThinkPad 13’s screen is 0.11 and the recommended score is 0.

It is very good if we compare it to average category laptops with a score of 2.39 including its competitors.

Audio

The Lenovo ThinkPad 13 is featuring dual and front mounted speakers, which are capable of delivering a good audio output.It is loud enough to fill any kind of medium-size room.

Well, listen to any of your favorite music on this laptops, you will see a crystal clear distinction between sounds of different instruments. There is also a clear difference between the sounds of vocals and instruments as well.

Overall, these laptops are having a good pair of speakers with an excellent output that provides a great stereo effect along with synthesizers appearing from one side of the laptop to the other.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The Lenovo ThinkPad 13 is having a good keyboard. The ThinkPad 13’s keyboard is having a deep 2 mm of travel.

There is no backlight has been added to its keyboard. These keyboards are having a good response rate and you will experience a great feel while typing on it.

Overall, these keyboards are very good for those who have daily work of making documentation and all other tasks related to typing.

Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Keyboard and Touchpad

But, you may notice that the E key is a bit noisy as compared to all other keys on the laptop and it sucks a little bit as well.

According to the company, this defect has been found in some devices and it is not a permanent defect.

Just like all other ThinkPads, the ThinkPad 13 is featuring both the touchpad as well as the TrackPoint pointing stick.

Even though, maximum of the users may not like pointing sticks.These laptops are featuring a small red nub, which provides the most accurate and easy way of navigated between different tabs and windows as well.

Moreover, using pointer stock you can be able to move around your desktop, you can click icons and highlight texts without lifting up your hand.

These laptops are featuring a buttonless touchpad with dimensions 2.1 x 3.5-inch and it is very accurate. Using Microsoft’s Precision Touchpad driver, the pad was able to handle the Windows 10 gestures including pinch-to-zoom, three finger swipe, and four fingers tap continuously.

Ports And Connections

The Lenovo ThinkPad is having a lot of space for the ports and it includes all the productivity that user needs.

On the left side of the laptop, there is a proprietary power out port, a USB 3.0 connector, and a OneLink+ dock port as well.

The dock port is usually used for the connection with proprietary docking stations of Lenovo.

And on the other side, there are two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI-out, an SD card reader, a Kensington lock slot along with a USB Type-C port. You can use the Type-C port for charging and data.

Lenovo ThinkPad 13 ports and connections

Nowadays, the Type-C pory is becoming more popular and almost all laptops manufacturers have been using it in their system.

As this port enables users to connect to a huge ecosystem of universal docking stations around the world.

This will allow you to have a power while outputting to various monitors and attaching to different peripherals over a single cable at same time.

However, the port section would have been better if the company has used Thunderbolt 3, which is having much more speed as compared to Type-c port.

The ThinkPad T470 and X1 carbon are using this port as well. The ports of Lenovo are having  “anti-fry” technology, which blocks the rogue charger from giving too much power and damaging the device.

Performance

The review model is featuring a Core i3-7100U, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB SSD. This configuration setup is just good enough for the basic multitasking and all other productivity tasks.

Well, these laptops are good even if you are going to open dozens of tabs in chrome at the same time then you will not be able to see any lag.

But, if you want to do more heavy work, then I will suggest you buy a version featuring Core i5 CPU and 8GB of RAM.

Lenovo ThinkPad 13 performance

Maximum of the company’s laptops are lightweight and are capable of scoring a mediocre 5,488 on Geekbench. Geekbench is a synthetic benchmark which is used to measure the overall performance of a laptop.

The category average laptops have scored an average of 6,929 points, Asus Zenbook UX330UA and ThinkPad T470 have managed to score 7,182 and 6,739 points respectively.

These both devices are having Core i5-7200U CPUs. The models of Asus will cost you almost $999 and $699 respectively.

The Lenovo ThinkPad is featuring a 128GB of solid state drive, which is not much faster than the mechanical hard drive.

This SSD has been able to copy 4.95GB of files in 1 minute and 9 seconds with a speed of just 73.75 MBps.

It is very less than the category average laptops having an average speed of almost 185.6 MBps and its competitors are having same rates as well.

The Lenovo ThinkPad featuring a 256GB PCIe SSD is almost 4 times faster than these laptops having an average speed of almost 267.8 MBps

These laptops almost took 5 minutes and 18 seconds for completing Spreadsheet Macro test. This test involves matching of more than 20,000 names along with their addresses.

Yes, it is better than the category average laptop having a completion time of 5 minutes and 58 seconds.

The Lenovo ThinkPad is much slower than the ThinkPad T470, the AsusPro B9440, and the ZenBook UX330UA, all of them have completed the test in less than 4 minutes. The Dell Latitude 5480 has taken just 3 minutes and 12 seconds.

The Lenovo ThinkPad 13 is featuring an Integrated Intel HD 620 graphics and these graphics are enough for watching videos.

You can also perform some light photo editing and play casual games. On 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited, these laptops have scored an average of 48,005 points, which is much below than the category average of 54,047 points.

The ZenBook UX330UA, ThinkPad T470, and AsusPro B9440 along with Latitude 5480 have performed well as compared to ThinkPad 13.

These laptops are capable of having a playable rate of 40 frames per second in Dirt 3, which is a racing game.

These numbers are actually greater than the category average laptops with an average of 33 fps.

The ZenBook UX330UA with 33fps, AsusPro B9440 with 27fps, Latitude 5480 with 32 fps all less than the ThinkPad 13 and the Lenovo ThinkPad T470 with a rate of 48fps.

Battery Life

In a battery test, most of the laptops are used continuously and during the test, continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi has been taken place until the battery is drained.

The Lenovo ThinkPad 13 last for almost 9 hours and 8 minutes if we do continuous web surfing over the internet.

This battery life is much higher than the ultraportable category average having a battery life of 8 hours and 14 minutes.

It is even higher than the AsusPro B9440 having a battery life of 8 hours and 26 minutes.

The Asus ZenBook UX330UA has a battery life of 10 hours and 17 minutes and the Dell Latitude 5480 has a battery life of 10 hours and 17 minutes.

Whereas, the ThinkPad T470 can last up to 16 hours and 50 minutes including its extended battery of 8 hours and 39 minutes.

Software and Warranty

These laptops come with useful first-party utilities and few other applications have been predefined in its Windows 10 operating system.

Lenovo Settings will allow you to have a full control over webcam, Wi-Fi card, battery and other key components of the device.

The company provides Lenovo Companion that helps you to check your system health and allows you to download Lenovo drivers.

Lenovo ThinkPad 13 software

All other software includes Candy Crush Soda Saga and Paradise Bay, this pair of games are in the category of free to play games.

Sling TV, which is a paid streaming service is also predefined in the system and has 7 days of trial.

The Start Menu is constituting the tiles for downloading Minecraft, Asphalt 8 and Age of Empires: Castle Siege.

The company has been giving one-year limited depot warranty, where the company takes responsibility for shipping if you want to send the laptop for service.

Webcam

The Lenovo ThinkPad is featuring a webcam of 720p resolution for the purpose of web conferencing.

The company is also providing an external laptop for podcasting or needed to have really sharp impressions.

You may notice a slight difference in the colors that will appear on the images after you capture them through a webcam.

Configuration Options

The company is offering these laptops for just only $699 if you buy it from the company’s shop.

The base model will be having a very low-end specs including an Intel Celeron 3865U CPU, a 1366 x 768 touchscreen, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD.

However, the users can be able to configure the laptop up to a Core i5 CPU, a full HD touchscreen, 16 GB  of RAM and a 256GB SSD.

Of course, it will cost you more as compared to the base model, as you are jumping from Celeron to Core i5. You can also have a choice of a backlit keyboard for just only $40.

Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Configuration

When you will buy these laptops from a third party dealer, you may be able to get some discount on it.

But, I will suggest you buy a version featuring a Core i5-7200U CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and the 1080p touchscreen, this configuration will cost you around $1000.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Chassis
82 %
Pointing Device
87 %
Weight
100 %
Display
86 %
Application Performance
97 %
Noise
98 %
Camera
56 %
Keyboard
91 %
Connectivity
72 %
Battery
86 %
Games Performance
79 %
Temperature
82 %
Audio
59 %
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