Which Lenovo Laptop is Right for You?
As the largest PC vendor in the world — and our top-rated laptop brand — Lenovo offers a deep product lineup. From its productivity-focused ThinkPad notebooks to its sleek Yoga 2-in-1s and affordable Ideapads, the company has something for everyone. But which Lenovo model meets your needs?
ThinkPad: Best for Business, Productivity
Known for their superior build quality, best-in-the-industry keyboards, accurate TrackPoint nubs and long battery life, Lenovo's ThinkPads are built to meet the needs of demanding corporate clients. However, you don't need to be a Fortune 500 CTO or even gainfully employed to benefit from the productivity prowess of one of these laptops.
Lenovo divides ThinkPads into a few different series:
- T Series: These laptops offer strong, mainstream performance and excellent battery life. Our favorite Lenovo laptop overall is the 14-inch ThinkPad T470, which lasts more than 17 hours on a charge with its extended battery and has a wide array of ports, including Thunderbolt 3.
- X Series: The thinnest and lightest of the ThinkPads, the X Series are easiest on your back. The 14-inch X1 Carbon is a real standout with its 2.5-pound, 0.6-inch body; colorful display; and 12 hours of endurance.
- ThinkPad Yoga: These 2-in-1 ThinkPads bend back, and have active pen support and all the classic Lenovo trimmings, including excellent keyboards and durable designs.
- ThinkPad 13: There are two members of this series: the affordable and long-lasting ThinkPad 13, and its Chromebook twin.
- P Series: If you do 3D modeling or engineering work, consider one of these high-end workstations, which have powerful quad-core processors and Nvidia Quadro graphics.
- L and E Series: Designed for budget shoppers and small-business users, these models don't really stand out.
Yoga: Premium 2-in-1s That Bend Over Backward for You
Divided between the high-end Yoga 900 series and the more affordable Yoga 700 series, this line is filled with attractive, high-quality convertibles. Starting at $999, the Yoga 910 is one of our favorite 2-in-1s of any brand, thanks to its nearly bezel-free design, optional 4K display and attractive watchband hinge. The $699 13-inch Yoga 720 is a more affordable alternative with a less-premium design (no watchband hinge, for example).
Flex: Affordable 2-in-1s
Lenovo’s Flex laptops aren’t quite as thin, light or sexy as its Yoga machines, but they offer a ton of 2-in-1 value for the money. Available in either 14 or 15 inches, the Flex 5 has premium specs, such as a 4K display and Nvidia graphics, for ridiculously competitive prices. For example, the 15-inch Flex 5 with a 4K display, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB PCIe solid-state drive i currently costs only $1,099. An 11-inch Chromebook starts at just $279.
Legion: Good for Gaming
Lenovo's nascent gaming series comprises just two budget-oriented mobile gaming rigs. The Legion Y720 has midrange Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics, while the Y520 tops out at GTX 1050 Ti. Both have attractive red-and-black designs and solid keyboards. Neither is an industry leader, though.
Ideapad: Affordable Consumer Laptops
Solid but usually nothing to type home about, Lenovo's consumer-focused Ideapads run the gamut from the supercheap Ideapad 110 to the more premium but still value-focused 710S Plus. The line is divided into four main series:
- 100 Series: Most of the members of this extremely budget-oriented series have low-end Intel Pentium or AMD A8 chips but start at less than $400.
- 300 Series: A slight step up, these 15-inch laptops start at $349 and are available in touch and nontouch varieties.
- 500 Series: Starting at $629 and available with optional Radeon discrete graphics, these 14- and 15-inch laptops have Intel 7th Gen Core Series CPUs and up to a 1080p resolution.
- 700 Series: Starting at $599, the highest-end Ideapad comes in a highly portable 13.3-inch size with more premium components, such as a PCIe SSD and a 1080p display panel.
Chromebooks: For Business, Pleasure or School
If you want a notebook with Google's dead-simple, browser-centric Chrome OS, consider one of the several options that Lenovo offers under its different product lines. Schools should consider the Lenovo N23 or the N23 Yoga, which are built to withstand the rigors of the classroom. The ThinkPad 11e is a more expensive product for the same market, but it has the ThinkPad line's legendary build quality. The Flex 11 is for mainstream consumers, whereas the ThinkPad 13 Chromebook is for business users.
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