Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Review

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Lenovo ThinkPad 13 ReviewBecause of its light-weight, sturdy chassis, lengthy battery life and a number of configuration options, Lenovo‘s ThinkPad 13 is constructed for small businesses, students or anybody who wants a reasonably priced productivity laptop. When the laptop was introduced in 2016, it blew us away by providing premium features akin to a 1080p screen, SSD storage, and Type-C USB port charging for under $650.

New for 2017, the 2nd Generation ThinkPad 13 retains the identical design, however, upgrades to Intel seventh Gen Core Series processors and provides some new options such as a touch screen and backlit keyboard. The latest ThinkPad 13 ($699 to begin, $733 as examined) prices quite a bit more than its predecessor, however, remains to be among the finest business laptop values available on the market.

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Lenovo Thinkpad 13 Laptop Black: 13.3" Full-HD IPS Display, Fingerprint Reader, Intel i5 Processor, 8GB DDR4 Memory, 256GB SSD, Bluetooth,...

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Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Laptop Core i5 (6200U) 2.8GHz 4GB 256GB SSD Webcam Windows 10 Pro 64-bit (HD Graphics 520)

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Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Review – Design

The 2nd Generation ThinkPad 13 has the identical professional, however unexciting, design as its predecessor. Out there in silver or black, the rectangular laptop has a practical form with a few flares of color in the red status light on the lid and deck and the red TrackPoint. The silver model carries its color scheme right through to the deck, sides, and backside with the shade even appearing under the keyboard. Whereas the body is produced from ABS plastic in each color, the silver ThinkPad 13 has an aluminum lid, whereas the black unit doesn’t.

The ThinkPad 13 has room for the ports most productivity users want. On the left aspect sits a proprietary power port, a USB 3.0 connector, and a OneLink+ dock port for connecting docking stations. The right aspect houses two more USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader, HDMI-out, a USB Type-C port, and a Kensington lock slot.

In both shades, the ThinkPad 13 weighs an affordable 3.17 pounds, which makes it more than light enough to carry wherever and quite a bit more portable than 14-inch competitors just like the Lenovo ThinkPad T470 (3.5 pounds), Dell’s Latitude 5480 and the Asus’s Pro B9440. The 13-inch, consumer-oriented Asus’s ZenBook UX330UA is both thinner and lighter than the Lenovo ThinkPad 13.

Measuring just 12.7 x 8.8 x 0.75 or 0.78 inches for the silver and black versions, respectively, the Lenovo ThinkPad 13 can match in any bag, however, is unquestionably thicker than some rivals just like the ZenBook UX330UA (0.5 inches thick) and the AsusPro B9440 (0.6 inches thick).

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Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Review – Keyboard and TouchPad

With a deep 2 millimeters of the key journey and 63 grams of actuation force, the Lenovo ThinkPad 13’s non-backlit keyboard has one of the snappiest, most tactile responses I’ve tested. Like most ThinkPads, the ThinkPad 13 has both a touchpad and a TrackPoint pointing stick. Though not everyone loves pointing sticks, I discover that Lenovo’s little red nub gives the most correct and convenient type of navigation. Utilizing the TrackPoint, I was able to move around the desktop, click on icons and highlight text, without lifting my hands off the home row.

The 2.1 x 3.5-inch, the buttonless touchpad was also extraordinarily correct. Using Microsoft’s Precision Touchpad driver, the touchpad handled Windows 10 gestures akin to pinch-to-zoom, three-finger swipe and four-finger tap flawlessly.

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Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Review – Display

On our tests, the ThinkPad 13’s optionally available 1920 x 1080 touch screen delivered sharp pictures with colors that were accurate, however not overly rich. However, the ThinkPad 13 provides excellent color accuracy. Based on our colorimeter, the screen has a Delta-E score of simply 0.11 (closer to 0 is best), which compares very favorably to the category average (2.39) and all of its direct opponents.

Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Review

Based on our light meter, the ThinkPad 13’s screen emits a maximum of 243 nits of brightness, well below the 301-nit category average, however about on par with the Lenovo ThinkPad T470 (234 nits) and much brighter than Dell’s Latitude 5480. The Asus’s ZenBook UX330UA and Asus’s Pro B9440 are both about 50 nits brighter than the Thinkpad 13.

Although most touch screens have glossy panels that reflect a lot of light, the ThinkPad 13’s panel is entirely matte. The Lenovo ThinkPad 13’s display can reproduce a modest 72 % of the sRGB color gamut, which is sort of identical to the Lenovo ThinkPad T470 and the Dell Latitude 5480. However, it is far below than the ultraportable category average (95) and the Asus’s Pro B9440 and the Asus ZenBook UX330UA, both of which scored over 100.

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Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Review – Graphics and Audio

With its built-in Intel HD 620 graphics, the ThinkPad 13 has enough graphics oomph for watching movies, doing some light picture editing and enjoying casual video games. On 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited test, the ThinkPad 13 scored a subpar 48,005, which was quite a bit under the 54,057 category average. The ThinkPad T470, the Asus’s Pro B9440, the Asus ZenBook UX330UA and the Dell  Latitude 5480 all carried out considerably better.

The ThinkPad 13 achieved a playable rate of 40 fps in Dirt 3, a racing game. That number is a bit higher than the category average (33 fps), the Dell Latitude 5480 (32 fps), the Asus’s Pro B9440 (27 fps) and the Asus ZenBook UX330UA (33 fps). The Lenovo ThinkPad T470 (48 fps) did even better.

The ThinkPad 13’s dual, front-mounted audio system ship surprisingly good sound output that’s loud enough to fill a medium-size conference room. When I listened to the guitar-laden “Smoke on the Water,” all the instruments were clear, and there was a clear division of sound between the impact on the right side and the vocals and guitar on the left. Knife’s bass-heavy “Silent Shout” had an even deeper stereo effect, with synthesizers seeming to travel from one side to the other.

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Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Review – Hardware and Performance

With its Intel’s Core i3-7100U CPU, 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD, our review configuration of the Lenovo ThinkPad 13 provided just enough performance for basic multitasking and productivity tasks. When I had over a dozen tabs open in Chrome and was typing this review in Google Docs, I didn’t discover any lag at all. However, for more intense work on any laptop, we suggest that you buy a model with no less than an Intel Core i5 CPU and 8GB RAM.

Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Review

The ThinkPad 13 scored a 5,488 on Geekbench 4 overall performance test. The category average (6,929) was much higher, along with the scores turned in by the Asus’s Pro B9440 (7,238), ZenBook UX330UA (7,182) and the Lenovo ThinkPad T470 (6,739), all of which have Core i5-7200U CPUs. The Dell Latitude 5480 (8,999) has an Intel’s Core i7-7600U processor.

The Lenovo ThinkPad 13’s 128GB solid-state drive isn’t considerably faster than a mechanical HDD storage. The SSD took a relatively slow 1 minute and 9 seconds to copy the 4.97GB value of files for a rate of just 73.75 MBps, which is way less than the category average (185.6 MBps) or the transfer rates of its opponents. Powered by a 256GB PCIe SSD, the Lenovo ThinkPad T470 was almost 4 times as quick, registering a transfer rate of 267.8 MBps.

Lenovo’s laptop took a leisurely 5 minutes and 18 seconds to finish our Spreadsheet Macro test, which includes matching 20,000 names with their addresses. While that point is better than the category average (5:58), it’s over 20 % slower than the Lenovo ThinkPad T470, the Asus’s Pro B9440, and the Asus ZenBook UX330UA, all of which accomplished the task in a just over 4 minutes. The Dell’s Latitude 5480 took just 3 minutes and 12 seconds to complete the task.

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Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Review – Battery Life

The ThinkPad 13 lasted a robust 9 hours and 8 minutes on our Battery Test, which includes steady browsing over Wi-Fi. That time is very well above our ultraportable category average of 8:14 and the Asus’s Pro B9440’s mark of 8:26. The Dell’s Latitude 5480 (11:37) and the Asus’s ZenBook UX330UA (10:17) both lasted a bit longer, whereas the Lenovo ThinkPad T470 endured for 16 hours and 50 minutes with its prolonged battery (8:39 with its regular battery).

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Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Review – Configuration Options

Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Review

Out there for $699 from Lenovo.com, the base model ThinkPad 13 comes with very low-end specs, together with an Intel Celeron 3865U CPU, a 1366 x 768 non-touch screen, 4GB RAM and a 128GB SSD. On Lenovo.com, you may configure the laptop with as much as a Core i5 CPU, a full-HD 1080p touch display, 16GB RAM and a 256GB SSD. However, it will cost you relatively a bit, as jumping from the Celeron CPU to Core i5 alone adds $300 to the price.

It’s disappointing to mention that the Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Gen 2 costs between $120 and $200 more than its predecessor did at launch, relying on your configuration. Last fall, a first-gen ThinkPad 13 with our beneficial config (Intel Core i5/ 1080p display/ 256GB SSD/ 8GB RAM) cost $818, which is $238 less than the current model. However, the new model remains to be around $230 cheaper than the regular ThinkPad T470, which goes for $1,298.

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Conclusion

Because of its sturdy, light-weight design, snappy keyboard and plethora of ports, Lenovo’s ThinkPad 13 is excellent for businesses, college students or anybody who needs a productivity machine that prices around $1,000 or less.

For those who don’t want a business laptop and aren’t as concerned about your keyboard, consider the $699 Asus ZenBook UX330UA, which provides you an Intel Core i5 CPU, 1080p Full-HD display, and 256GB SSD storage, all in a 2.7-pound package, plus a backlit keyboard. If you would like an even better ThinkPad, don’t mind a little-added weight and can spend around $400 more, the Lenovo ThinkPad T470 has a real stronger keyboard and nearly 17 hours of battery life.

Overall, the ThinkPad 13 provides a great mixture of portability, consolation, and endurance. Just make sure you buy it with the high-res screen and Core i5 CPU.

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Review Score

Compsmag