LENOVO ThinkPad T14 (Gen 2) Review

You are currently viewing LENOVO ThinkPad T14 (Gen 2) Review

In this article, I give you my Lenovo ThinkPad T14 (Gen 2) review with specs included. The ThinkPad T-line 14-inch is also available as a 15-inch ultrabook for business users, at least that’s who they target.

It’s a bit of a confusing line too. There is also the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, that you might be familiar with, which is a bit more premium, it starts at $150 more. This one starts at $1307 MSRP for a Core i5 with eight GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD.

Lenovo ThinkPad T14 (Gen 2) is also a little bit heavier of course than the carbon which is super light. This is 3.23 pounds, which is around one and a half kilograms so it’s still a pretty easy carry.

But, there’s also, in addition to the Intel version that I have, an AMD version that they released. That one costs more, it starts around $2200 in part because it comes with more ram and more SSD. So a little bit higher-end configuration. and that’s with the Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 Pro, the 5000 series CPUs.

But, there’s still more. There’s that Thinkpad T14s which has not been updated to Gen 2 and that one’s just a little bit thinner and lighter. So, this is the confusing spot in Lenovo’s lines is what I’m trying to say.

But, if you’re looking for a 14-inch business ultra-portable for working at home or well, working at work then this might be the right choice.

Lenovo ThinkPad T14 (Gen 2) laptop is available in the usual ThinkPad matte black and there’s also a Storm Gray option. That sounds a little bit like something of a romance novel but it looks pretty chill so it’s up to you for those who don’t like that matte black look.

Because this ultrabook has Intel 11th generation U-series CPUs onboard we have Thunderbolt 4. In fact, we have two Thunderbolt 4 ports. One of them you’re going to use with the included 65-watt fast charger.

And, we have a lot of other ports onboard. This is where you make some compromises. With the Carbon model, you get even more ports, here you have two USB-A 3.2 and you’ve got those Thunderbolt 4 ports. Also, you have HDMI and you can have an Ethernet port, something you hardly see on a thin-and-lite ultrabook these days.

There is an optional smart card reader well because it is for business. Headphone jack of course, and besides the fact that we have Wi-Fi 6E on board (that’s an intel AX210 card) you have optional 4G LTE. It’s Cat 12 so not the fastest 4G we’ve ever seen but well at least it’s there. So if you opt for that you’ll also have a nano sim card slot.

Lenovo ThinkPad T14 (Gen 2) has Intel Iris Xe graphics which is pretty good for integrated graphics. Now, there is an option for the Nvidia MX450 dedicated graphics card which I don’t have.

That’s an interesting card because it’s using the same chip as you would see on a GTX 1650 but with a smaller memory bus, downclocked, all that sort of thing.

So, this is not a gaming machine though. It’s funny that on Lenovo’s website they actually mention gaming. But, if you’re playing older games or something like CSGO or something like that it’ll give it an extra kick so you can do at least your 30 frames per second on high settings.

For display options well let’s first mention the bezels. I know that big bezel is supposed to be a thing of the past but this is a bit like 2005 is coming back with its big bezels. Not only that, it’s a kind of a plasticky bezel.

Otherwise, it’s really a nicely built machine that seems to catch lint and pet hairs and everything on the edges. The Carbon version is going to look a lot classier when it comes to that sort of thing.

But the displays themselves. There’s several different options. The base one there is full hd and it they’re all ips. And it’s a matte non-touch display and there’s also a touch screen option. Now i can’t tell you if that one’s glossy or not lenovo uses the same language so it might have the same anti-glare coating on.

Then there’s the 400 so-called low-power display that we’ve seen being used for a couple of years. That’s the one that we have. Also full hd resolution also ips. And there’s a 500 privacy screen option still full hd. And then there is a 4k uhd ips display option.

For those who want to live a little larger have a higher quality display. Not an absolute must on something that’s only 14 inches but it’s there if you want it. Our nominal 400 nit ips full hd display. The metrics are pretty decent. I didn’t quite hit 400 nits and color gamut’s reasonably good on this for what it should be.

Uh the the gamma and the white point are a little bit odd on this but hey it looks okay. The the blue is over amplified for color accuracy purposes. Would really care and you could use a colorimeter. But this is not a laptop that really is targeted at graphics professionals. So probably you’ll be okay with this the idea.

The keyboard of course is your usual comfy thinkpad keyboard. Very tactile very nice typing experience. And again that gives it a little bit of a plus versus the carbon because it gets to be a little bit thicker at 17.9 millimeters for the whole laptop.

And so you got a 1.8 millimeter travel for your keyboard nice. And the usual fn plus space bar to activate the backlighting. Trackpad is your typical thinkpad trackpad it works just fine. And you have the eraser stick pointer on board for those who like the nav stick style navigation instead of using the trackpad.

Since this is a basic bread and butter kind of business laptop you have lots of dock compatibility. Not just the latest thunderbolt gen 2 dock that lenovo makes but they’re pro and their ultra docks. And also even the old mechanical sliding dock are all compatible.

The idea with this laptop is businesses tend to buy these and they want to be able to retrofit existing accessories. So it does indeed do that. In terms of performance it’s pretty much where we expect it to be. I would just say pretty much because it could do a little better and you can help it to do a little bit better.

Until 11th gen core i5 and i7 cpus again on board here v pro is optional. So ram some of it is soldered on board. You can get with either 8 or 16 gigs of ddr4 3200 megahertz ram solder on board. And there’s one ram slot. So they have configured it with single channel basically.

That single soldered module on the board. So you get a little bit of a performance hit because dual channel is faster. Which just means matching ram. So if you get it with eight gigs buy an eight gig dim if you give it 16 gigs get a 16 gig down you got 32 gigs for total there and you’ll get even a bit better performance.

That said in benchmarks it actually did pretty well. Again we have them with integrated iris xe graphics not the nvidia. So that’s all we can test for you. Uh one thing i will say the thermals on this are a little bit hot for a 14 inch ultrabook.

Especially when that’s not uber skinny you know. In both touching the surfaces when it’s working hard. Say doing benchmarks or two concurrent challenging tasks at once or just look at the cpu temperatures. They tend to run high on benchmarks.

Usually we don’t see ultrabooks spend as much time at near 99 centigrade for cpu cores which is close to the allowable max. It’s a pretty good sized fan inside. So what the deal is i don’t know. If this will be ameliorated with future bios updates but it does run a little hotter.

And that means you’ll hear the fan a little bit more than usual too. That said when it comes to heat and noise for the tasks that this is really designed for. Which is your typical business ultrabook user who spends most of their day in office or in slack and messaging and zoom calls and all that sort of thing maybe some photoshop a little excitement with powerpoint you know.

It’s not going to get that hot or that loud doing those things. But if you do push it if you do decide to play bioshock infinite for example or i try to use adobe premiere that’s when you’re going to say well this thing is getting rather toasty. In terms of battery life we have to have a 50 watt hour battery inside.

A little bit smaller than the x1 carbon which has a 57 watt hour battery. Still that’s a pretty good capacity. But battery life this is just not a power frugal machine. Again maybe a bios update’s going to change it. Along with the thermals being on the high side.

It seems like it’s using a little more watts than the average 14 inch ultrabook with an intel 11th gen u series cpu inside. So lenovo claims 10.7 hours. And you know manufacturer claims are optimistic and that seems relatively low for a claim. And in fact i was averaging about seven hours.

And that’s what the full hd display. The 4k display would no doubt be lower in battery life. And the one with the nvidia dgp would probably be a little bit shorter than that too. All right bottom cover lots of ventilation. Even though this is a kind of toasty customer for an ultrabook it’s not because there’s a lack of vent holes.

To get the bottom cover off of all the visible phillips head screws just unscrew them and then work your way around the guitar clip. The clips are a little bit surly on this they really hang on. And it is a kind of wrap around design. So you’re going to have to you know pry up here when you take it off.

And there’s the bottom cover. And here are the internals. 50 watt-hour battery taking up most of the space. This is the slot where the optional smart card reader would go over here. The speakers are up firing pretty good sounding actually. Good amount of volume some bass even uh.

So you can’t see them from the underside since they are up firing. Again ram some of the ram is soldered on either eight or 16 gigs depending on how you buy it. And you can add some more ram here there’s a single slot. Ddr4 3200 megahertz the usual 1.2 volt sodem module that you put in there.

Fans are pretty good size on this. And we have our m.2 standard 2280 full height ssd slot right here. If you did go with that 4g option this is the slot for it right here. And lastly the intel wi-fi card is soldered on right here. Now if you do want that 4g be sure to order it with it because you won’t get the antennas and stuff.

And speaking of the little touches that lenovo does well. See these rubber blocks here these these are actually wire guides to keep everything tidy and so nothing gets fried or damaged by touching the wrong place on the motherboard.

And though we can’t see the up firing speaker is my assumption that this shock mounted little module here are the stereo speakers that does fire up this is the bottom side. So that’s the lenovo thinkpad t14 gen 2. So it’s an iterative update here no redesign or anything like that.

And the pluses for this are deep key travel. A really comfy keyboard. It’s relatively speaking pretty thin and light even if it’s not verging on carbon territory. And a lot of ports here. I mean ethernet on an ultrabook you just don’t see that anymore. Some of the caveats are it runs a little hotter and louder than average for a 14 inch ultrabook which maybe lenovo can improve upon. And display options are pretty decent for this class of machine too.

Partforpc.com is an affiliate. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Lenovo ThinkPad T14 (Gen 2)
  • 95%
    Performance - 95%
  • 93%
    Price - 93%
  • 94%
    Value - 94%