Lenovo is one of the biggest names in the consumer tech industry, with an expansive portfolio encompassing laptops, desktops, tablets, and even smartphones. The best Lenovo laptops are among the most popular on the market, because whether you are a student, professional, home user, or gamer, there’s an option for you.
Lenovo machines are all about increasing productivity. They are engineered to have intuitive designs, reliable components, and long battery life, making them highly efficient for the modern world. Their laptop catalog can be broken down into several main categories.
IdeaPads are everyday-use, mainstream computers that offer exceptional value for the money. Many of these machines are geared toward specific tasks rather than all-in-one performance, with models for multimedia, education, and just about everything in between. Legion laptops are also tightly focused, tailored for gamers on the go. ThinkPads, by contrast, are high-end machines with robust and well-rounded feature sets, with more impressive performance figures than their high-value counterparts.
Are you interested in learning more about Lenovo products and features? Continue with our comprehensive buying guide to find out more, including the names of our top picks.
Laptops can weigh as little as 2 pounds, but others can tip the scales at 15 pounds or more. If you’re a student or businessperson who travels with their machine all day, consider its heft alongside its screen size and processing power. Trust us, your back will thank you.
The majority of Lenovo products run off Windows (some support Linux), so this means you don’t have to worry so much about choosing an operating system. With that in mind, here are the other main considerations to think about when shopping.
The size and resolution of your screen should always be at the top of your priority list. Note that this is different from screen style (standard, touchscreen, convertible), which is determined by the main categories listed in the intro.
Lenovo laptop screens generally fall between 11 and 15.6 inches when measured diagonally. However, you may be able to find outliers on either end of the spectrum. Larger screens are, of course, better suited for visibility, but they can impact portability if you are someone who is constantly on the go.
Resolution is how sharp the display itself is. A resolution of 1366 x 768 HD is standard on business laptops, but 1920 x 1080 Full HD is available as well. At the top of the range, you will find select models with 2560 x 1700 Wide Quad High Definition resolution, which puts it between Full HD and true 4K clarity. Other factors influencing screen quality are anti-glare coatings and LED backlights.
No matter what you call your processor — the CPU, main processor, or simply the brain of the operation — the important thing to remember is that your CPU determines how quickly your computer can run programs and execute commands. The speed of a processor is measured in GHz, so the more GHz, the more processes it can execute at the same time.
Lenovo laptops use either Intel or AMD processors. Both of these brands bring something different to the table. Intel processors boast impressive speed, power, and graphics performance, but they can be more expensive than their AMD counterparts. AMDs are generally better for budget-concerned buyers as well as those who value flexibility options such as processor overclocking, which is the ability to run faster than originally certified. In terms of pure power, though, it’s hard to beat an Intel.
Memory, or RAM (random access memory), is almost as important to a computer’s speed as the processor itself. In layman’s terms, RAM is “working memory” for active programs, and the available amount determines how much data the machine can load at once. Multitasking with several programs requires more RAM, whereas word processing and light web browsing necessitates far less of it.
You can get RAM in an array of quantities, from 2GB to 16GB or more. We recommend models with at least 4GB of RAM for light multitasking. That said, more is always better if you can afford it.
Laptops are meant to offer the perk of portability, so it is in their nature to have less internal storage than desktops. That said, they still have plenty of space for you to store photos, music, games, and other files. Lenovo laptops use either hard disk drives (HDDs), solid state drives (SSDs), or a mix of the two called a hybrid drive. Solid state drives feature flash storage with no moving parts — making them a bit faster than a traditional hard disk drive — but they also tend to cost more.
Depending on your typical workload, you may not need 1TB of internal storage, and buying a unit with less can save you money. Either way, remember you can always add more storage later with an external hard drive.
If your Lenovo has a backlit keyboard, you can turn that feature on or off as you desire. To determine whether you have a backlit keyboard, check the space bar for a light icon.
With the high-level considerations noted, here are a few common features that further distinguish Lenovo laptops from each other as well as from the competition.
As stated above, Lenovo laptops come in a variety of flavors. Some models look like classic notebooks, but others — like Miix, Flex, and Yoga products — exist inside the IdeaPad and ThinkPad lines to present a mix of laptop and tablet technology. Miix laptops, for example, feature a touchscreen tablet with a detachable keyboard. Lenovo Yoga models offer 2-in-1 designs as well, but they have a trick hinge that allows you to spin the screen all the way around. These touchscreens provide ultra-quick and intuitive navigation around the computer’s system, support handwriting and drawing apps, offer pinch-to-zoom technology, and are great for business presentations.
Lenovo computers are very popular among business professionals, and one reason is the brand’s commitment to security. In addition to standard security options such as firewalls and protected user IDs, Lenovo offers other features such as fingerprint readers for improved peace of mind. Select ThinkPad models include Privacy Guard, which utilizes infrared cameras to display an alert if someone walks behind you to take a peek at your screen. Taking it another step further is the Basic Input Output System (BIOS). New versions of BIOS support a Secure Wipe feature that securely erases your SSD when prompted. It also lets the user revert to a protected Time Machine-style backup in case of cyberattacks.
Laptops are designed to be 100-percent capable without any peripherals, which is why the keyboard, trackpad, display, and speakers are built in. External mice, monitors, and audio equipment greatly expand a laptop’s capabilities, however, and even though certain brands have pivoted toward dongles, an array of integrated ports is still the best way to connect peripherals.
HDMI, USB, Ethernet, DC in, and Thunderbolt ports are a must if you want to flesh out your portable computing setup, so study product descriptions and choose wisely.
DID YOU KNOW?
Lenovo’s batteries perform well, but the number of hours of battery life offered can vary greatly from one machine to the next. Some Lenovo laptops offer four to six hours of power per charge, while others flaunt 9 to 12 hours. Check product ratings if you’re an on-the-go-user who values a long battery life.
Laptop cooling pad: Targus Lightweight Chill Mat
Great laptops can give off a lot of heat. Designed with portability in mind, this cooling mat has dual fans to help prevent your Lenovo from overheating. It stays in place on a desk courtesy of four grippy rubber pads, and the neutral gray color makes it a great choice for the office when working on your business laptop.
External hard drive: Samsung X5 Portable SSD
This Thunderbolt 3 external SSD has a whopping 1TB of storage. If you prefer, you could pay a little more for 2TB of storage or a little less for 500GB of storage. Whichever you choose, we think it is a good idea to have this extra storage on hand so you don’t find yourself having to delete or pick or choose what to keep in the future.
Computer desk: Prepac Floating Desk with Storage
We couldn’t resist adding this to our list of favorites. This floating computer desk takes up very little space; simply mount it to the wall with the included hanging rail system, and pull up a chair when you are ready to work. If you’re into portability or space-saving design, which many laptop owners are, we think you may appreciate this cool desk.
Lenovo laptop price ranges are generally determined by the product lineup. However, there is some deviation within each category.
Inexpensive: You will find the most affordable Lenovo computers in the classic laptop and IdeaPad lineups, which start at about $200 and go up to about $500. Classic laptops and IdeaPads are conventional 11- to 15.6-inch laptops.
Mid-range: From $500 to $1,000, you will find upper-end IdeaPads as well as entry-level ThinkPad and Legion gaming units, which feature Nvidia GTX graphic cards and screens up to 17 inches. For example, the IdeaPad Gaming 3i falls nicely within this price range, and it has a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti along with Bluetooth 5, Windows 10, and an Intel Core i5 processor.
Expensive: Some of the best Lenovo laptops can be found for $1,000 and above, like the flagship ThinkPad and Legion models. These computers boast high-performance processors, graphics cards, and security systems, along with the largest screens.
Do you want superior sound quality from your new laptop? Before buying your next Lenovo, look for the word “Dolby” in the specs. Dolby Audio is designed to provide the best sound experience possible based on construction and speaker configuration.
- Gaming laptops are fairly capable right out of the box. That said, we recommend buying a new mouse for enhanced coordination, studio headphones for improved awareness, and an external monitor for the best visuals.
- Backing up your files is vital no matter what computer you have and what security features it offers. You can do this wirelessly via the cloud, but having a physical backup on an external hard drive is never a bad idea.
- Heat is a laptop’s worst enemy. Many computers have integrated cooling fans, but for more efficient thermal regulation, consider investing in a cooling pad. Also, make sure your laptop vents aren’t blocked by pillows, blankets, or other objects.
With Lenovo laptops, parents can create supervised, restricted user accounts for their children to use. Not only do these accounts block explicit content, parents can use them to track online activity.
Q. Are Lenovos safe from viruses?
A. No computer is completely secure, but you can protect your machine and data by installing web browsers that warn you of risky sites and utilizing virus-scanning software. And, if you invest in a Chromebook like the Lenovo Chromebook Duet, you are less likely to encounter problems because the computer runs on the Chrome OS rather than its own software.
Q. Are Lenovo laptops suitable for gaming?
A. Not every laptop is powerful enough for gaming, but Lenovo offers several machines that are more than up to the task. Lenovo Legion laptops are purpose-built for gamers, but you can find some suitable options in the Lenovo IdeaPad and ThinkPad lines as well.
That said, not all models will be great for all games. For example, the ThinkPad x1 Extreme is not considered a gaming laptop because it cannot run games like Fortnite and Minecraft. The Lenovo ThinkPad x1 Carbon is another stunning product that would make an excellent business laptop but would not be a suitable gamer’s laptop.
Q. How do I decide between a conventional laptop, a tablet, or a combination?
A. Laptops, generally speaking, have more powerful processors, more RAM, more storage, and more features than tablets and combination models. Portability and flexibility may be less, though, and they cost more on average.
Lenovo’s 2-in-1 combinations split the difference and offer a unique compromise, and depending on your workload and computing goals, they might be exactly what you need. Check out the line of Lenovo Yoga laptops, like the Lenovo Yoga 9i with its 11th gen Intel Core i7 and 14-inch screen. We also recommend looking into the Lenovo Flex 5, which has an AMD Ryzen 5 processor, Windows 10 Home, and more.
Q. Which is better for me: a Lenovo laptop with SSD or HDD?
A. It depends on your needs. If you want a fast computer and an OS that starts right up without delay, consider a laptop with an SSD. A 1TB SSD or greater is ideal. However, note that SSD, while faster, is also pricier. HDD costs less, and you can get a lot of storage space for your money with a HDD.