Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 Evaluation: Will get the Job Accomplished


  • 1 – Doesn’t work
  • 2 – Barely purposeful
  • 3 – Severely missing in most areas
  • 4 – Features, however has quite a few points
  • 5 – Nice but leaves quite a bit to be desired
  • 6 – Ok to purchase on sale
  • 7 – Nice and price buying
  • 8 – Unbelievable, approaching best-in-class
  • 9 – Finest-in-class
  • 10 – Borderline perfection

Worth: $915.85

Marcus Mears III / How-To Geek

The E class of Lenovo’s ThinkPad collection is designed for enterprise, and that’s precisely what the ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 means: enterprise. Premium {hardware}, user-friendly options, and a hefty price ticket blended with just a few disappointing design selections make for a succesful work machine greatest purchased on sale.

When you’re a author, tech assist agent, scholar, or maintain one other occupation that will depend on an environment friendly pc for much less hardware-intensive on-line work, hold this laptop computer in consideration and search for a reduction. However when you’re planning on video modifying or working machine studying algorithms with any form of pace, you’re going to want an improve.

Here is What We Like

  • Satisfyingly sturdy keyboard
  • Crisp digicam and microphone
  • Highly effective {hardware}
  • Speedy charging
  • Glossy, resilient exterior

And What We Do not

  • Darkish display
  • Meager trackpad
  • Fingerprint Reader Energy button

How-To Geek’s professional reviewers go hands-on with every product we evaluation. We put each piece of {hardware} via hours of testing in the true world and run them via benchmarks in our lab. We by no means settle for cost to endorse or evaluation a product and by no means mixture different individuals’s critiques. Learn extra >>

Efficiency: Glorious, With Room for Prime-Tier Enhancements

ThinkPad Intel Core sticker
Marcus Mears III / How-To Geek
  • eleventh Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7, 2.40 GHz, 4-Core, 8 Threads
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM, 3200 MHz, Single Channel
  • Intel(R) Iris(R) Xe Graphics
  • Home windows 11 Professional
  • 256GB SSD

In the case of enterprise laptops, it’s all eyes on the CPU (Central Processing Unit) and RAM (Random Entry Reminiscence).

Be aware: This evaluation unit contained Intel internals, however you even have the choice to pick out ThinkPads with AMD Ryzen built-in graphics and CPUs. Equally, the evaluation unit showcases Home windows 11 Professional, however you may select Home windows 10 variants as nicely.

The CPU and SSD (Strong State Drive) combo deal with issues with pace and precision. Opening File Explorer to test your Paperwork or Downloads is swift, and sifting via knowledge with the search operate takes subsequent to no time in any respect—one thing you undoubtedly gained’t see with an HDD (Onerous Disk Drive). An admirable level of the ThinkPad collection is its {hardware} customization choices; if you’d like one thing stronger than an Intel Core i5 and 256GB of storage, get it. However be warned, worth follows efficiency.

RELATED: Find out how to Improve Your Present Onerous Drive in Beneath an Hour

Whereas 8GB of RAM is enough for gentle work, I’d go for 16GB or extra for the most effective efficiency. The RAM utilization hovered round 66 to 75% with simply 4 to five Chrome tabs and Job Supervisor open—not precisely an in depth workload.

And it most likely goes with out saying, however with built-in graphics, you’re not going to be doing an excessive amount of high-profile gaming on this machine. 4K Elden Ring is out of the image, however if you wish to play one thing simpler to run like Rocket League or FTL: Quicker Than Mild at 60+ FPS on the work pc on occasion, the ThinkPad can deal with it (albeit on low to medium video settings).

Design and Show: Ups and Downs

Lenovo ThinkPad laptop on desk
Marcus Mears III / How-To Geek
  • 14-inch FHD Show, 1920×1080
  • 250 Nits Max Brightness
  • 3.5 lbs, 17.99mm Skinny
  • Anodized Aluminum Covers

When your eyes take within the ThinkPad E14 Gen 2, they suppose “gentle,” however when your palms carry it up, they suppose “oh, form of heavy.” Weighing in at 3.5 kilos, it’s light-weight however not the only most transportable laptop computer available on the market. Examine it to the MacBook Air’s 2.8 kilos, and it’s clear which you’d quite carry round in a bag all day.

That stated, the anodized aluminum covers that are available Black or Mineral Metallic contribute to a good portion of that weight, and I wouldn’t commerce them for a pound. They offer off a sturdy, smooth really feel that runs the size of the laptop computer. They do, nonetheless, appeal to fingerprints and smudges like moths to a flame.

The very first thing that struck me concerning the show once I powered on the Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 was how dim the display was. I believed it was set to the bottom brightness out of the field, however to my dismay, it was up over the midway mark. For this worth vary, I count on to see a wider vary of brightness choices. At 250 nits max brightness, this laptop computer has a show 4 occasions darker than that of an iPhone 13 Professional.

Lenovo ThinkPad laptop on desk
Marcus Mears III / How-To Geek

I used the utmost brightness setting almost 100% of the time. It’s vibrant sufficient to move on the highest setting, however the battery definitely doesn’t recognize it. You gained’t need to make this your fundamental movie-watching system; it simply isn’t sharp or vibrant sufficient. That’s okay, although; it’s not designed for media enjoyment. It’s designed for enterprise, and it’s vibrant sufficient for enterprise. However a 250 nits bump would go a great distance.

This ThinkPad mannequin additionally retains the signature 180-degree display tilt potential, which is…neat. The explanations for these excessive angles of tilt are far and few between, with the one actual profit being safety from bending your display again till it breaks.

The underside of the ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 options cooling grates that permit warmth to flee and rubber ft that forestall your laptop computer from working across the desk when you sort on it.

Lenovo’s ThinkPads all have extraordinarily related type components, and for good motive; it discovered a recipe that works and retains baking high quality computer systems with it. There are completely a bunch of options to understand, however just a few weak factors maintain me again from going full Staff Lenovo.

Peripherals: Keyboard, Trackpad, and Trackpoint

ThinkPad keyboard
Marcus Mears III / How-To Geek

The keys have a spring of their step; that’s to say, they’ll pop again up as shortly as you push them down. This produces snappy haptic suggestions that, when mixed with the close to non-existent deck flex because of anodized aluminum covers, creates a laptop computer keyboard value engaged on.

The laptop computer options a normal QWERTY keyboard structure, although you’re lacking some media keys like Play/Pause and Skip Ahead/Backward (however you continue to have quantity management, brightness, and name dealing with keys). I additionally recognize the addition of a screenshot key that, whereas not mandatory since screenshots are only a shortcut away, is sweet to have on deck every so often.

The backlighting controls are slightly odd; at first, I believed there might not really be any backlighting on this keyboard, as a result of it isn’t managed with the operate keys. After a minute or two, I noticed you even have to make use of the operate key (Fn) and the Area Bar to toggle via the three lighting variations: Low, Excessive, and Off. The Low setting is sweet for navigating the keyboard at nighttime while you’re making an attempt to not blind your important different as you’re employed away, and the Excessive setting is just a bit bit brighter. Much like the display, I’d prefer to see a brightness bump right here.

Briefly, this ThinkPad’s keyboard is a house run with exceedingly little to gripe about.

Proper subsequent to the keyboard is the fingerprint ID energy button—I’m not a fan. It feels squishy and downright flimsy in comparison with the keyboard. And whereas the fingerprint reader is a neat novelty to have when paired with one-touch energy on, I might quite see the cash and focus invested in different ache factors of this funds mannequin to make it really excel in its weight class.

Now, onto the trackpad that I feel falls a bit quick. Coming from a 15-inch MacBook Professional each day driver, the ThinkPad E14 Gen 2’s small monitoring space doesn’t provide you with a lot room to work with. You’re additionally barred from highlighting textual content and scrolling on the similar time by design—one thing simply mounted with an affordable wi-fi mouse, however I don’t usually have house for a mouse in areas the place I work on my laptop computer (like on a sofa).

There undoubtedly appears to be sufficient house to increase the trackpad horizontally, and even an inch or so vertically—one thing I feel the person expertise of this laptop computer would profit drastically from.

ThinkPad trackpad
Marcus Mears III / How-To Geek

One notable plus is the vary of clicking choices you have got. I’m a fan of tapping the trackpad, however it’s also possible to use the buttons above or under it at any time. The tapping methodology is responsive, and every set of buttons has a uniquely comfy really feel to them with the loud and proud high set producing a satisfyingly audible “click on” and the hid backside set providing a low profile expertise on the decibel scale.

The trackpoint is there, too. I couldn’t discover a explicit use for it as you’ll nonetheless should click on the trackpad or buttons in any case to pick out one thing, nevertheless it’s responsive sufficient and definitely isn’t a mark in opposition to the laptop computer because it has no influence on the keyboard structure or really feel.

Briefly, the peripherals are wonderful except the missing trackpad. Not too shabby for a piece pc.

Webcam, Microphone, and Audio system

  • 720p HD Webcam, 30 FPS
  • Twin 2W Stereo Audio system

With the skilled surroundings quickly trending in direction of distant work, the digicam and microphone on this enterprise laptop computer higher be good. And the decision: they’re!

The 720p HD digicam does have the same old noise and muddled colours you’ve come to count on from laptop computer webcams, nevertheless it works fairly nicely in low-light areas and has such clean monitoring that I believed it might be recording in 60 FPS—a fast webcam FPS take a look at revealed it’s locked to a continuing 30 FPS, although.

The microphone is surprisingly clear and freed from the “you’re in a fishbowl” ambiance that’s all too widespread with inner laptop computer mics. With higher background noise blocking than your common Apple headphones, you may very well need to use the inner microphone over different obtainable choices. Lenovo wanted to ace this portion for the laptop computer to deal with different enterprise notebooks, and it completely did.

The audio system really get fairly loud, however they’ve a considerably muted high quality to them. Wealthy crescendos and heavy bass drops gained’t billow out from the ThinkPad the way in which they’d from a JBL Cost 5, however the audio system are passable for the work surroundings.

Battery Life: Lengthy Lasting, Excessive-Velocity Charging

  • 45Wh Battery
  • 65W AC Speedy Charging

The ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 has a battery life that, whereas greater than enough for gentle work on the go, might have a charger close by if burning the midnight oil is in your agenda. Mild work and a few Chrome searching noticed about eight and a half hours of battery life, whereas extra intense work and lightweight gaming fetched nearer to seven.

Fortunately, the 65W AC Thunderbolt 4 charging is quick—stand up to seize a cup of espresso and the battery life has jumped 20% quick. It took one hour and 41 minutes to cost from zero to one hundred pc utilizing the included charger (with very gentle utilization in the course of the cost time).

It is a big plus when touring because you’ll typically have quarter-hour ready right here and one other half-hour there earlier than getting the place it’s essential go. These little chunks of time imply you may work away and be sure that you simply’ll nonetheless have a charged battery if you’ll find an outlet (higher but, carry your individual moveable charger with you).

Connectivity and Compatibility: Every thing You Want

  • Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • 2 USB Ports, 1 HDMI 1.4 Port, 1 Thunderbolt 4 Port
  • RJ45 Ethernet Port

In the case of Wi-Fi and ethernet connectivity, you’re lined. Essential ports? You’re lined. What about Bluetooth for taking necessary hands-free calls? You guessed it: lined.

The ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 scored extremely in Wi-Fi pace exams, and extra importantly, it did so persistently. Whereas my iPhone XR routinely racked up about 250 Mbps in obtain pace, the ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 scored larger than 450 Mbps each time.

Lenovo checks all of the bins within the compatibility division, apart from a DisplayPort (DP). If it’s crucial you join a DP cable to your laptop computer, you may choose up an HDMI to DP adapter (and when you’re at it, chances are you’ll need to look into an HDMI splitter).

The Bluetooth connection labored like a allure, promptly pairing with my JBL Pulse speaker and filling my condominium with the groovy sounds of the Bee Gees’ “Night time Fever.” No connection drops or bother with setup, only a easy “join and play” expertise.

Lining the left facet of this Lenovo laptop computer, you’ll discover a 3.5mm audio jack for a headphone and microphone combo (or simply headphones), a single HDMI 1.4 port, USB Sort-A 3.2 port, a Novo button (for straightforward BIOS and restoration entry), and the ultra-fast Thunderbolt 4 charging port.

Flipping to the appropriate facet, there’s a USB Sort-A 2.0 port, an RJ45 ethernet port for high-speed earn a living from home connections, and a Kensington lock slot for an additional layer of safety.

Most of your connection wants must be taken care of with this choice, however when you discover one thing is lacking, you can probably discover an adapter for it these days.

Upkeep and Growth: RAM and Storage Upgrades

With the removing of seven Philips head screws and a pop of the underside cowl, you’re beneath the hood of the ThinkPad E14 Gen 2. Right here, you’ll discover a single SODIMM RAM slot rated for as much as 32GB of reminiscence and two M.2 SSD slots for storage growth. When you haven’t skilled the near-instantaneous Home windows startup occasions with an M.2 SSD, you’re critically lacking out.

You don’t have essentially the most luxurious improve alternatives, however with a enterprise laptop computer like this, you most likely shouldn’t count on to—with RAM and storage lined, you have got nearly all the things you want.

The ThinkPad’s robust exterior, proficient cooling, and premium components imply you gained’t have to fret a lot about upkeep; give the internals a superb dusting each now and again to verify mud and particles don’t gum up the works and you have to be good to go.

Ought to You Buy the ThinkPad E14 Gen 2?

The ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 from Lenovo is a funds enterprise laptop computer greatest fitted to individuals who need a no-frills machine that does what they want it to with effectivity. When you’re aiming for a laptop computer with a top-of-the-line show, you’d do greatest to search out one other mannequin.

However if you’d like high-end {hardware} for work, contemplate the ThinkPad at full worth and watch intently for any offers which will come your method.

Score: 7/10

Worth: $915.85

Right here’s What We Like

  • Satisfyingly sturdy keyboard
  • Crisp digicam and microphone
  • Highly effective {hardware}
  • Speedy charging
  • Glossy, resilient exterior

And What We Do not

  • Darkish display
  • Meager trackpad
  • Fingerprint Reader Energy button

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