At 2.8 pounds, the new ThinkPad T14s is one of the lightweight variants, splitting the difference between the 3.2-pound ThinkPad T14 and 2.4-pound ThinkPad X1 Carbon ultraportable. It lacks the cachet of the Carbon, but the eight-core AMD Ryzen 7 Pro processor of the T14s seen here might make it the best price and performance pick on Lenovo’s 14-inch business menu.
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Unlike last year, when they were designated with different T490s and T495s model numbers, the current Intel and AMD slim lines are both called T14s. The Intel version starts $246 higher and has a Thunderbolt 3 port, whereas today’s T14s tester has only USB-C ports. Intel fans can also opt for a 4K (3,840-by-2,160-pixel) screen, but AMD buyers have a choice of just four full HD (1,920-by-1,080-pixel) panels. These are 250-nit, 400-nit low power, 300-nit touch, and 500-nit touch panels. The last is equipped with Lenovo’s Privacy Guard to frustrate nosy airline seatmates.
The base price of the AMD-powered ThinkPad T14s ($917 ) buys a six-core Ryzen 5 Pro CPU, 8GB of memory, and an inadequate 128GB solid-state drive. My review unit, $1,695.99 from CDW, steps up to the 1.7GHz (4.1GHz turbo) Ryzen 7 Pro 4750U with AMD Radeon integrated graphics, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB NVMe SSD, Windows 10 Pro, and the 300-nit touch screen. The memory and storage ceilings are 32GB and 1TB, respectively.
Lenovo ThinkPad T14s
PROS Potent eight-core Ryzen Pro processor. Exemplary keyboard. Usual sterling ThinkPad build quality.
CONS No 4K screen option. No Thunderbolt 3 port. So-so webcam quality.
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.
Dressed in familiar ThinkPad matte-black, the laptop measures 0.66 by 12.9 by 8.9 inches, compared to 0.7 by 12.7 by 8.2 inches for the Dell Latitude 7410. Like the Latitude, it has passed MIL-STD 810G torture tests for shock, vibration, and environmental extremes, but it is a third of a pound lighter. The screen bezels are medium-thick, defying the skinny-edge current fashion but making room above the screen for a face-recognition webcam with a sliding ThinkShutter. The camera and the fingerprint reader in the palm rest give you two ways to skip passwords with Windows Hello.
Two USB 3.2 Type-C ports, either suitable for the AC adapter, are on the ThinkPad’s left edge, along with a USB 3.2 Type-A port, an HDMI video output, a headphone/microphone jack, and a proprietary connector for a $35 Ethernet dongle. An always-on USB Type-A port joins a SmartCard reader and a Kensington cable-lockdown slot on the right side. The MicroSD card slot is at the rear and intended for semi-permanent residency instead of frequent swapping—it shares a tray with an optional mobile broadband SIM card and requires a bent paper clip to open.
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