After all these years of making ThinkPads, and staying true to the tradition, Lenovo started diverging into a slightly different path. Yes, not everyone was happy enough with the industrial look of the ThinkPads, and the natural thing to do was to change that. But still, you can’t kill a brand that is older than the marque, itself. So, they created the ThinkBooks.

Last year, there were some options, differing in quality and price. But this year, the ThinkBook 14 Gen 2 is aiming to take the business market by storm.

Not only it provides a ton of performance thanks to the Tiger Lake chips onboard, but there are also a lot of features, like Wi-Fi 6 support, Thunderbolt 4 connectivity, and an optional GeForce MX450 dedicated GPU.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-thinkbook-14-gen-2-intel/

Contents


Specs Sheet

Lenovo ThinkBook 14 Gen 2 (Intel) – Specs

HDD/SSD

up to 1000GB SSD + up to 2000GB HDD

OS

Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Home

Dimensions

323 x 218 x 17.9 mm (12.72″ x 8.58″ x 0.70″)

Ports and connectivity

  • 2x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
  • 1x USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps), Power Delivery (PD), DisplayPort
  • 1x USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps), Thunderbolt 4, Power Delivery (PD), DisplayPort
  • HDMI 1.4b
  • Card reader MMC, SD, SDHC, SDXC
  • Ethernet LAN 10, 100, 1000 Mbit/s
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ac/ax
  • Bluetooth 5.0/5.1
  • Audio jack 3.5mm Combo Jack

Features

  • Fingerprint reader
  • Web camera HD
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Microphone Dual Array Digital Microphone
  • Speakers 2x 2W, Dolby Audio
  • Optical drive
  • Security Lock slotKensington Lock Slot

What’s in the box?

Inside the package of our unit, we found a 65W USB Type-C power adapter, some paper manuals, and the laptop, itself.

Design and construction

What do you get in terms of construction? Aluminum. All around the place – both for the lid, and the base. This results in a laptop with very good structural integrity, that weighs 1.40 kilos, and has a profile of 17.9mm. Of course, this is far from the best on the market, in terms of thickness and weight, but it falls within a comfortable standard, nonetheless.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to open the lid with a single hand. However, the lid, itself, isn’t too bendy, and the matte display it covers has pretty thin bezels around it. Thankfully, Lenovo was kind enough to include a 720p camera, which sports a ThinkShutter.

Next, we have the keyboard, which is honestly one of the best units out there. Indeed, it is comparable to the boards that come with the ThinkPads, which is a big compliment. This is because it is spill-resistant, has a backlight, a long key travel, and clicky feedback. Pretty much everything you might need from a keyboard. Also, there is very little observable deck flex when you press upon it. Additionally, the power button doubles as a fingerprint reader.

As for the touchpad, it has Lenovo’s signature Mylar surface, which imitates glass, and provides smooth gliding, as well as accurate tracking.

Here, the speakers are placed on the bottom, where you will also find the ventilation grill. Hot air, respectively, is exhausted from in between the base and the lid.

Ports

On the left side, you get a USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen. 2) port meant for charging, as well as a Thunderbolt 4 connector, which also can be used for charging. Interestingly, both the Type-C ports support Power Delivery 3.0, and DisplayPort 1.4. Next on the left, there is an HDMI 1.4b connector, a USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) port, and an audio jack. Switch sides, and you will see the wedge-shaped security lock, an RJ-45 connector, another USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) port, and an SD card slot. One of the best I/O setups on a 14-inch notebook out there.

Disassembly, upgrade options, and maintenance

To access this laptop’s internals, you need to undo 10 Phillips-head screws. Six of them are captive and will remain attached to the bottom panel. Then, pry the panel with a plastic tool, and lift it away from the chassis.

The battery inside is not one of the biggest out there, with a capacity of 45Wh.

Memory-wise, there are 4 or 8GB of soldered RAM, with one SODIMM slot allowing for 32GB more to be installed. It is located beneath the metal bracket next to the CPU die. Interestingly, Lenovo offers two M.2 PCIe x4 slots for storage. One of them supports PCIe 4.0 drives, while the other is “limited” to 3.0 speeds.

Similarly to the 15-inch model, the cooling solution comprises two heat pipes, a decently sized heat spreader, and a large fan.

Display quality

Lenovo ThinkBook 14 Gen 2 has a Full HD display, model number AUO B140HAN04.0 (AUO403D). Its diagonal is 14″ (35.56 cm), and the resolution – 1920 х 1080. Additionally, the screen ratio is 16:9, the pixel density – 157 ppi, their pitch – 0.161 x 0.161 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 56 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).

Its viewing angles are great. We have provided images at 45 degrees to evaluate quality.

The maximum measured brightness is 271 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and 253 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 9%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 6400K (average) – almost matching the 6500K optimum for sRGB.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective.
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio is good – 1230:1.

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.

Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people on HDTV and the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is an essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.

Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.

The yellow dotted line shows Lenovo ThinkBook 14 Gen 2’s color gamut coverage.

Its display covers 51% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.

Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.

We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.

Below you can compare the scores of Lenovo ThinkBook 14 Gen 2 with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).

The next figure shows how well the display can reproduce dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.

The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale, and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.

Response time (Gaming capabilities)

We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.

We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 28 ms

Health impact – PWM / Blue Light

PWM (Screen flickering)

Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.

Lenovo ThinkBook 14 Gen 2’s display doesn’t use PWM at any brightness level. This ensures comfortable work even during long periods of time.

Blue light emissions

Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.

Conclusions

Lenovo ThinkBook 14 Gen 2’s IPS panel has a Full HD resolution, comfortable viewing angles, good contrast ratio, and a backlight that doesn’t utilize PWM for brightness adjustment. Unfortunately, it covers only half of the colors found on the Web.

Buy our profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Lenovo ThinkBook 14 Gen 2 configurations with 14.0″ AUO B140HAN04.0 (AUO403D) (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS panel.

*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]

Read more about the profiles HERE.

In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia’s products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.

Office Work - screen profile

Office Work

Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.

Design and Gaming - screen profile

Design and Gaming

This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.

Health-Guard - screen profile

Health-Guard

Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.

All

Sound

Lenovo ThinkBook 14 Gen 2’s 2W speakers produce a sound with decent quality. However, the low, mid, and high tones, all have deviations from clarity. Our unit has a 45Wh battery that lasts for 7 hours and 26 minutes of Web browsing and 6 hours and 23 minutes of video playback.

Drivers

All of the drivers and utilities for this notebook can be downloaded from here: https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/en/products/laptops-and-netbooks/thinkbook-series/thinkbook-14-g2-itl/downloads/driver-list

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with.

CPU options

Since we are talking about the Intel version of this laptop, there are 4 CPUs you can choose from – the Core i3-1115G4, Core i5-1135G7, Core i5-1145G7, and the Core i7-1165G7.


GPU options

As for the graphics, there are three integrated options – Intel UHD Graphics, Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 (80EU), and the Iris Xe Graphics G7 (96EU). Additionally, you can get the notebook with the NVIDIA GeForce MX450, which comes equipped with 2GB of GDDR6 memory.


Gaming tests

cs-go-benchmarks

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

Intel Core i5-1135G7 (15W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
Lenovo ThinkBook 14 Gen 2 3.79 GHz (B+58%) @ 90°C @ 47W 3.47 GHz (B+45%) @ 90°C @ 39W 3.05 GHz (B+27%) @ 79°C @ 28W
Dell XPS 13 9310 3.15 GHz (B+31%) @ 100°C @ 40W 2.73 GHz (B+14%) @ 100°C @ 30W 1.65 GHz @ 73°C @ 15W
Dell Vostro 14 5402 3.02 GHz (B+26%) @ 99°C @ 29W 2.61 GHz (B+9%) @ 99°C @ 25W 2.00 GHz @ 76°C @ 15W
MSI Modern 15 (A11X) 3.59 GHz (B+50%) @ 94°C @ 44W 3.45 GHz (B+44%) @ 95°C @ 40W 3.18 GHz (B+33%) @ 91°C @ 34W
Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga 3.52 GHz (B+47%) @ 94°C 3.24 GHz (B+35%) @ 94°C 2.63 GHz (B+10%) @ 75°C
Lenovo Yoga 7 (14) 3.34 GHz (B+39%) @ 94°C 2.97 GHz (B+24%) @ 94°C 2.39 GHz @ 75°C
Acer Aspire 5 (A514-54) 3.54 GHz (B+48%) @ 87°C 2.01 GHz @ 66°C 2.03 GHz @ 67°C

Using Lenovo’s high-performance profile (you can toggle between the profiles via the Fn+Q key combination), we managed to get exceptional frequencies, as the laptop was able to maintain a clock speed of above 3.00 GHz throughout the entire test.

Comfort during full load

Indeed, with this preset, the laptop seemed a bit loud, and the temperature of the keyboard wasn’t what one would call cool, but it is still impressive enough.

Verdict

Well, there you have it, the ThinkBook 14 Gen 2 is a viable product that happens to be one of the best 14-inch business laptops for its price. But before you rush to buy it, you have to learn a thing or two. First, there are two battery options – a smaller 45Wh unit (which we happen to have), and a beefier – 60Wh one. Since we got only 7 hours and 26 minutes of Web browsing and an hour less video playback, we would strongly recommend going for the larger one if your retailer provides it.

There are positives of having the smaller battery because while Lenovo offers rapid charging for both of them, the smaller can charge up to 50% in only half an hour, while the bigger can go to 80% for one hour flat. Nevertheless, you have the option to upgrade your memory via the single SODIMM slot for up to 40GB of RAM in total, depending on the configuration you choose (either 4GB or 8GB of soldered memory).

Also, you get two M.2 PCIe x4 slots, one of which runs at 4.0 speeds, which is awesome. Another technology, enabled by Intel’s Tiger Lake CPUs is the Thunderbolt 4 connectivity. By the way, this laptop has another USB Type-C slot, meant for charging, and the I/O in general packs everything you may need, without the need of a dongle or an adapter.

Lenovo ThinkBook 14 Gen 2’s IPS panel has a Full HD resolution, comfortable viewing angles, good contrast ratio, and a backlight that doesn’t utilize PWM for brightness adjustment. Unfortunately, it covers only half of the colors found on the Web.

Now, let’s talk performance. This machine offers a great amount of computational power, as its cooling is able to maintain high frequencies for a long period of time. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean you will get a great graphics performance from the iGPU. So, if you need something on the graphics side, it would be better to go for a configuration that employs the GeForce MX450.

Lastly, there is the comfortability of use. And this laptop is amazing, thanks to its great keyboard, and decent touchpad. You get spill resistance, long key travel, and clicky feedback. And if you are a fan of the somewhat modern look, we wouldn’t be able to stop you from picking this machine, instead of a ThinkPad.

Pros

  • MIL-STD-M810H-compliant body
  • Very good computational performance
  • Wide I/O, which includes an SD card reader
  • Two M.2 storage slots, one of which runs at 4.0 speeds
  • Fingerprint reader embedded in the power button
  • Wi-Fi 6, PCIe x4, Thunderbolt 4
  • Doesn’t use PWM for brightness adjustment (AUO B140HAN04.0)
  • Comfortable keyboard with a backlight and spill-resistance

Cons

  • Covers only 51% of sRGB (AUO B140HAN04.0)
  • The 45Wh battery option doesn’t provide a great battery life

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-thinkbook-14-gen-2-intel/





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