Classic Design Meets Innovation
It's been more than a decade since IBM stopped making ThinkPad laptops, yet you're still likely to see them in the halls of industry, thanks to Lenovo. The company formerly known as Legend Computers of Beijing, China, still produces the well-regarded laptop line, with its beloved AccuType keyboard, but it's not content to rest on its laurels. Rather, it continues to innovate with radical designs like the Yoga line, which has influenced other PC manufacturers (like Dell, HP, and Toshiba) to adopt its basic mechanism in their 2-in-1 convertible laptop designs.
Making the Right Choice
Most of Lenovo's laptops are centered on two main model lines: ThinkPads and IdeaPads. ThinkPads are the classically styled, business-oriented laptops, with a range of features (such as touch screens) but usually colored in classic, basic black. IdeaPads, on the other hand, are aimed mainly at consumers, though design-forward business people may gravitate toward using an IdeaPad as a primary PC. You'll find some preloaded apps on many IdeaPad systems, particularly those bought from big box stores. Look for Microsoft Store– or Microsoft Signature–prepped systems to avoid preinstalled bloatware.
Chromebooks are popular choices for buyers on a budget. Google's Chrome OS is simple to manage and use, since it centers on the Chrome Web browser and related apps. Lenovo has a few chromebook choices, including inexpensive consumer models, and more rugged ThinkPad chromebooks for businesses and schools.
Then there are those hybrid systems, which can function as both laptops and tablets. The company's Flex and Yoga laptops pioneered the 2-in-1 convertible laptop movement. Yoga laptops have the ability to flip into four positions: conventional Laptop mode, video-viewing Stand mode, game-playing Tent mode, and reading-oriented Tablet mode. If you think you're more likely to want to use a tablet, check out one of the company's Miix models. But don't worry: The keyboards that come with these are often almost as good as the tried-and-true AccuType.
Early in 2017, Lenovo launched the Legion line to differentiate its gaming systems from the main IdeaPad line, in which they had previously lived. The midrange Legion Y520 was the first out of the gate. Its pricing for its specs and feature set are attractive, setting a good tone for Lenovo's new gaming initiative. Without sticking to the IdeaPad brand, Legion machines can more practically offer a wider range of models and prices, more unique designs, and features specifically aimed at a gaming audience.
Bottom Line: The Lenovo ThinkPad T470 exemplifies the mainstream business laptop, with a no-nonsense body, manageable weight, excellent keyboard, dual pointing devices, and long battery life.
Bottom Line: With a top-notch design and build, the Lenovo Yoga 920 is an excellent convertible laptop that delivers long battery life and speedy performance thanks to its 8th-generation Core i7 CPU.
Bottom Line: The second generation of the Lenovo ThinkPad 13 is stylish, durable, and lasts more than 12 hours on a full charge. It's the laptop to get for your small business or home office.
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Bottom Line: The latest Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a very thin, light, and powerful laptop that lasts nearly 16 hours on battery power.
Bottom Line: The Lenovo Yoga 720 holds its own among fierce competition in the midrange convertible laptop market, offering excellent build quality and a solid blend of features and affordability.
Bottom Line: The Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook is a well-equipped and semi-rugged convertible-hybrid laptop that offers just enough features to make it a strong bargain over other budget laptops.
Bottom Line: The Lenovo Legion Y520 is a budget gaming laptop that requires you to make no compromises in build quality or performance. It delivers smooth 1080p gaming at high settings alongside a full f…
Bottom Line: Lenovo's ThinkPad 25 Anniversary Edition laptop is a collector's item that whimsically combines the past and the present with a retro design and modern hardware.
Bottom Line: The addition of a higher-resolution OLED display makes the business-minded convertible-hybrid Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga attractive to creatives.
Bottom Line: The X270 is a compact, though chunky, take on the ThinkPad with a deceptive amount of power. Add to that a full port loadout and a swappable battery, and this Lenovo laptop will work through…
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