The 10 Best Lenovo Laptops

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This wiki has been updated 28 times since it was first published in February of 2018. Lenovo produces laptops in various form factors, from sleek convertible tablets to traditional clamshells. Their offerings also span a range of performance levels, including some perfect for business productivity as well as a few that play movies and 3D games with stunning image quality. You should be able to find a model suitable for almost any need and budget from this popular manufacturer. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. IdeaPad Flex 5

2. Yoga C940

3. ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Editor's Notes

July 13, 2020:

One of the most notable parts of recent laptops is the newest round of ultra-low-voltage CPUs from both Intel and AMD. While the Blue Team has been on top in terms of performance for years now, the Red Team has been closing the gap until recently, when the 4000-series Ryzen CPUs hit the market and surged ahead of even Intel's 10th generation. Nowhere is this more evident than the Ryzen 5 4500U used in the IdeaPad Flex 5, which is an excellent multi-core CPU with a surprisingly powerful GPU.

Despite all that AMD praise, Intel has actually done a fine job with their latest release, and the Yoga C940 sports a 10th-generation Core i7 that features a revisited version of the company's Iris GPU from years back. This one can't quite compete with the Vega 6 and 7 found in Ryzen 5 and 7, respectively, but it does still allow for a little bit of gaming, albeit at low resolutions and at low quality settings.

Both of those win out in terms of price-to-performance ratio, but for high-end performance, look to the Legion Y740 for gaming and the ThinkPad X1 Carbon for business purposes. Speaking of entertainment, the Legion Y540 is a great mid-range choice for gamers and the IdeaPad L340 an entry-level option, while the ThinkPad X1 Extreme is a costly yet impressive piece of equipment that's one of the very few current laptops with an OLED display.

Finally, if you don't need much performance but are looking for affordability and versatility, the Chromebook Flex 5 and 100E 2nd Generation are good Chrome OS-based choices, while the Yoga C740 is a reasonably priced Windows model. One form factor that we do miss is the detachable 2-in-1, but the company's Miix line suffered from a number of unfortunate defects and drawbacks and as such has been discontinued in favor of these more traditional designs.

June 06, 2019:

Lenovo has made great laptops for a long, long time, and they won't be stopping anytime soon. Their Yoga line consists of 360-degree-convertible clamshells, so they're great for both and pleasure. The X1 is the extreme high-end, as reflected by its price, while the 930 and the 730 are slightly less powerful, but still very nice computers. They can both be found with HD or 4K displays, but the 730 UHD model is the most cost-effective to move beyond 1080p.

The Flex 5 is also a hinged 2-in-1, and it's surprisingly low-priced considering the high-quality hardware it contains. If you're looking for something a little sleeker, the Miix 520 is made in the same detachable style as the ultra-popular Surface Pro, and compared to that flagship, it's remarkably affordable. At the very bottom end of the price spectrum, of course, lies the Chromebook; if you're looking for long battery life and everyday functionality, that one is worth a look.

If you've got a specific purpose for your new laptop, though, there are some specialized models that are also worthy of consideration. The P71 is one of their most powerful workstations, as its Quadro GPU is geared toward commercial productivity. It's not optimized for gaming, but it does receive constant in-depth driver updates that ensure it works perfectly with the most cutting-edge graphic design programs. The Legion Y545 hits the sweet spot for gaming, with a ray-tracing GPU that can easily fill its 144-hertz screen with high-definition images. And the X1 Carbon is made for the discerning user who values speed and advanced technology above all else; it's made with some really nice touches that will be very much appreciated by people who use their computer all day long for important work.

One final note, in case you aren't aware: don't believe manufacturer's battery life claims, with this or any other supplier. They get those numbers from video playback at the lowest brightness settings with no other programs open and all wireless turned off. Something as simple as typing a document or browsing the web tends to use up power much more quickly than their marketing numbers show.

Special Honors

ThinkPad X1 Fold Debuted at CES 2020, this is the first laptop we're aware of with a folding screen. It will certainly cost a pretty penny, and it doesn't even have an integrated keyboard, but if you insist on being on the cutting edge of technology, keep an eye on this groundbreaking computer.

4. Legion Y740

5. Chromebook Flex 5

6. IdeaPad L340

7. ThinkPad X1 Extreme

8. Legion Y540

9. Yoga C740

10. 100E 2nd Generation

The Advent Of The Laptop

Much like modern laptops, the Osborne 1 featured somewhat of a clam shell design in which the keyboard protected the screen when it was folded up.

Computers have come a long way since their inception. The first electric programmable computer was built in 1936 and took up about as much space, if not more, than the average household bedroom. The first fully functional digital computer was even larger, taking up roughly 1,800 square feet of space. Considering how ludicrously large the early computers were, its not hard to understand why manufacturers have struggled for years to downsize them.

The race to make a truly portable model that a student or a working professional could take with them on the go started in earnest in the 1970s, though the technology of the time didn't make them feasible. That, however, didn't stop individuals from trying. One such person was Alan Kay, who, while working at Xerox in 1972, proposed the concept for the Dynabook, a personal and portable computer that children could use for educational purposes. In the late 1970s, drawing heavily from Kay's research on the Dynabook, another team working at Xerox developed a concept for a portable PC. Their invention was named the NoteTaker, but unlike Kay's design, theirs was achievable with the technology of the day. Despite 10 working prototypes being built, the NoteTaker never entered mass production.

The first portable computer to be mass-produced and sold to consumers was the Osborne 1 in 1981. It was about the size of a modern sewing machine, had a five-inch screen, and weighed a touch over 24 pounds. While that may sound like a ginormous monstrosity to us today, at the time it was a marvel invention. Much like modern laptops, the Osborne 1 featured somewhat of a clam shell design in which the keyboard protected the screen when it was folded up.

Since the advent of the Osborne 1, laptop technology has continuously improved at a breathtaking pace. Every year, new developments come about that make them faster, smaller, and more capable. What may have been considered cutting edge just two years ago could easily be thought of as outdated today. Looking forward, there are no signs that this rapid pace of development will stop anytime soon, either.

The History Of Lenovo

Lenovo was founded by Liu Chuanzhi and a group of 10 engineers in Beijing in 1984. They started the company with a 200,000-yuan investment, and had a run of both failures and successes that ultimately lead to their current position as a market leader in personal computer, tablet, smartphone, server, electronic storage device, IT management software, and smart television sales. Their first endeavor was importing televisions into China, which, unfortunately, was not profitable and soon had to be abandoned. They were able to save the company from going under by performing quality control checks on new computers for consumers. Their first major success was a circuit board developed for IBM-compatible computers that could process Chinese characters.

Next, they tried to market a digital watch, which turned out to be another massive failure.

Next, they tried to market a digital watch, which turned out to be another massive failure. Unlike many business failures, this wasn't caused by a poor or faulty product, but rather because of the team's lack of business acumen. Being made up of mostly engineers, they didn't quite understand how to successfully brand and market products.

It wasn't until 1990 that Lenovo began manufacturing and selling computers under their own brand name. Business chugged along at a reasonable pace, with slow and steady growth, until their acquisition of IBM's personal computer business, including the popular ThinkPad line of laptops in 2005, which turned out to a game changer for them. It greatly accelerated their access to foreign markets, as well as their branding and computer component technology. It also instantly made them the third largest computer manufacturer in the world. Lenovo was now a player on the global stage. Since the first decade of the 2000s, Lenovo has continually expanded their offerings and market share, at one point controlling more than 40 percent of the market for mid-range Windows-based computers in the U.S.

What To Consider When Choosing A Laptop

First, you should determine what size suits you best. If you want one that is lightweight and easy to slip into a backpack or messenger bag, then a 13- or 14-inch model is ideal. This size is sort of like the Goldilocks of laptops, big enough that it doesn't hinder productivity, but small enough to be easily transported. If you don't plan on lugging your laptop with you to school or work everyday, and like to watch movies or do a little gaming on it, then a 15-inch model might better suit you. Those who do a lot of computer drafting, designing, or photo and video editing might be better off with a 17-inch model, but the trade-off is portability.

Final considerations should be whether you want a touchscreen or not and battery life.

Next, it's time to think about the type and size of storage you need. You can choose between SSD and HDD. SSD is the fastest, smallest, and most durable type of computer memory, making it ideal for laptops. Unfortunately SSD-based laptops are quite expensive, meaning you'll often have to settle for less storage space than you may want. An HDD is slower and less durable due to its mechanical nature, but considerably cheaper. There are also some hybrid models that make use of both an SSD and an HDD, which can be a nice compromise as they will give you a lot of storage and fast access to your most commonly used data.

To ensure your laptop will be usable for a long time, it is best to get one with a lot of RAM. Four gigabytes should be the minimum amount to even consider. Ideally you should choose one with 8GB or more, so that it can multitask without lagging. Try to choose a model with at least one USB 3.0 or Type-C port. They both allow for much faster data transfer than the 2.0 standard. Final considerations should be whether you want a touchscreen or not and battery life. It is worth mentioning that a touchscreen uses a lot of battery power, so if you often work for long hours without access to an outlet, you may want to opt for a model without a touchscreen.

Christopher Thomas
Last updated by Christopher Thomas

Building PCs, remodeling, and cooking since he was young, quasi-renowned trumpeter Christopher Thomas traveled the USA performing at and organizing shows from an early age. His work experiences led him to open a catering company, eventually becoming a sous chef in several fine LA restaurants. He enjoys all sorts of barely necessary gadgets, specialty computing, cutting-edge video games, and modern social policy. He has given talks on debunking pseudoscience, the Dunning-Kruger effect, culinary technique, and traveling. After two decades of product and market research, Chris has a keen sense of what people want to know and how to explain it clearly. He delights in parsing complex subjects for anyone who will listen -- because teaching is the best way to ensure that you understand things yourself.

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