Best Lenovo Laptops Windows Central 2020
Lenovo's myriad laptop lineups have seen some exciting improvements over the last few years, and there's a device for you whether you need something for general use, for gaming, for heavy design and development work, or the corporate world. For most people who just need a stellar Ultrabook that can handle a new life of working from home due to coronavirus (COVID-19), the Yoga C940 is likely the best bet. It's all thanks to your choice of a 14- or 15-inch frame, beautiful 4K display options, robust soundbar hinge, and stable performance. However, if you need something a bit different, we've rounded up Lenovo's best right here.
- Best Overall: Lenovo Yoga C940 14
- Best Overall: Lenovo Yoga C940 15
- Also Great: Lenovo IdeaPad S940
- Best Mobility: Lenovo Yoga C630
- Best Gaming: Lenovo Legion Y740 15
- Best Value: Lenovo Flex 14
- Best Workstation: Lenovo ThinkPad P53
- Best Business: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (Gen 2)
- Best Business Mobility: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 7)
- Best Business Convertible: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 4)
Best Overall: Lenovo Yoga C940
Lenovo has overhauled its premium convertible Yoga C lineup with both 14- and 15-inch sizes for the C940. Both models still have a unique soundbar hinge for robust audio, now set as one piece instead of split into two. It's a more seamless look, and sound is as good as ever. The bezel is thin around the FHD or 4K touch display, complete with inking support and a pen that's built right into the chassis.
The 15-inch version can be had with up to a 9th Gen Intel Core i9-9880H vPro processor (CPU), 16GB of DDR4 RAM, 2TB M.2 PCIe NCMe solid-state drive (SSD), and dedicated NVIDIA GTX 1650 graphics card (GPU) with 4GB of VRAM. If you need the best performance, you'll want to stick with the larger model. However, the 14-inch Yoga C940 boasts up to a 10th Gen Core i7-1065G7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 2TB PCIe SSD. Just no dedicated GPU here.
With both models, you get two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a single USB-A 3.1, and a 3.5mm audio jack, and both come with a fingerprint reader and webcam shutter for better security. The keyboards are comfortable on both models, but if you prefer a full number pad, you'll have to go with the 15-inch model. If you don't mind a convertible that can work as a tablet and a notebook, the Yoga C940 is one impressive machine.
- Premium convertible design in 14- or 15-inch options
- 4K touch display with HDR
- Soundbar hinge with impressive audio
- Dedicated GPU in 15-inch option
- 10th Gen Intel Core CPUs in 14-inch option
- Prices climb quickly
- Might not need a convertible
Impressive display and audio
The combination of convertible design, 4K display, and soundbar convertible hinge make the Yoga C940 14 a winner.
A more powerful Yoga C940
Need more power from 9th Gen Intel Core CPUs and a dedicated NVIDIA GPU? Check out the 15-inch Yoga C940.
Also Great: Lenovo IdeaPad S940
The IdeaPad S940 is bordering on a work of PC art thanks to an all-metal chassis, precision-cut angles, and a knockout 13.9-inch display that comes in either 4K with HDR400 or standard FHD if you'd like to save a bit of money. In the case of the 4K option, brightness hits more than 500 nits, and color accuracy hits 100 percent sRGB and 86 percent AdobeRGB, both excellent results. Lenovo's new Contour Display technology is shown off here, meaning the display curves on its edges like a smartphone, resulting in an ultra-thin bezel.
The chassis is one of the lightest and slimmest options available on the market, and Lenovo has made good use of available space. The Precision touchpad is about as big as possible, and the keyboard is comfortable for all-day typing. Above-average speakers run along the edges of the laptop for unmuffled audio powered by Dolby Atmos.
Size only allows for four total ports on this laptop — two Thunderbolt 3, one USB-C, and a 3.5mm audio jack — so you probably want to check out a docking station to go along with it. With the 4K model, you'll get between six and seven hours of battery life from a charge (boosted if you go with the FHD version). Still, performance is strong from up to 10th Gen Intel Core CPU options, and most people should have no issues tackling a standard day's work or entertainment with this laptop.
- Beautiful 4K HDR display with contour
- Compact, light 14-inch build
- Plenty of configuration options
- Stellar Dolby Atmos quad speakers
- Strong performance
- Below-average battery life
- No USB-A ports
Excellent screen, great speakers, super-thin
The IdeaPad S940 brings contoured glass, 4K HDR display, and brilliant Dolby Atmos sound to one of the smallest 14-inch Ultrabooks on the market.
Best Mobility: Lenovo Yoga C630
Those who like the idea of a convertible laptop that can handle being away from the office or home for extended periods should seriously consider the Yoga C630. It's powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 CPU that, together with a 61Wh battery, brings about 15 hours of usage from a charge. You'll get multi-core performance that's about equal to a 6th Gen Intel Core i5 CPU when working with Windows 10 native apps, meaning it's best for productivity purposes when you're on the go.
Promoting mobility is a Qualcomm X20 modem inside for 4G LTE connectivity purposes, allowing you to stay connected no matter where you go without having to worry about a Wi-Fi hotspot. This laptop weighs in at only about 2.65 pounds (1.2kg) and is just 0.49 inches (12.5mm) thin, so you shouldn't have any issues carrying it around with you in a backpack or case.
The keyboard is comfortable, the Precision touchpad is relatively large, and there's even a fingerprint reader built into the right palm rest for some extra security. The FHD display won't wow you like the IdeaPad S940's 4K HDR display, but it gets the job done and helps boost battery life. If you'd like a sleek convertible that has no qualms about working wherever you go, check out the Yoga C630.
There's likewise a refreshed Yoga C640 available, though its configurations are currently limited.
- 4G LTE connectivity
- More than 15 hours of battery life
- Slick convertible design
- Comfortable keyboard
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 CPU
- Display is average
- Not as powerful as other options
Convertible laptop with 4G LTE connectivity
Lenovo's Yoga C630 is a convertible laptop with modest looks, but it packs multi-day battery life, 8GB of RAM, and 4G LTE to keep you working on the go.
Best Gaming: Lenovo Legion Y740 15
Lenovo's Legion lineup of gaming laptops wowed us in 2019, but the 15-inch Y740 was especially impressive. The display, available only in FHD, has a thin bezel, G-Sync compatibility for smoother visuals, and a 144Hz refresh rate, as well as near-perfect sRGB color reproduction for a great viewing experience. You can easily connect an external display thanks to plenty of ports, including HDMI 2.0, Thunderbolt 3, and Mini DisplayPort 1.4, but gaming on the go shouldn't be an issue.
For hardware, choose up to a 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, a 1TB M.2 PCIe solid-state drive (SSD) for superb read and write speeds, and up to an NVIDIA RTX 2070 graphics card (GPU) for absolutely sizzling performance. The best part? The laptop remains almost unbelievably quiet even under heavy load, experiencing no thermal issues or throttling while handling modern games. The 57Wh battery isn't going to last more than two hours while gaming, but that's a tradeoff you'll have to live with for this level of performance.
All this is contained in a sleek, modern chassis that keeps the majority of ports along the back edge for easy cable management. The RGB keyboard has a column of macro keys along the left side so you can set up custom shortcuts, but there are more than enough USB-A ports to connect an external mouse and keyboard when you're at your desk. Altogether, this is an outstanding gaming laptop for anyone who wants to go fast and stay cool.
- Superb performance
- Mature aluminum design
- 144Hz display with accurate color
- RGB keyboard with macro keys
- Runs cool and quiet
- Small 57Wh battery
- Under-display webcam
You're going to have a great time
An RTX 2070 GPU and Intel Core i7-9750H CPU doesn't keep this gaming laptop from running cool.
Best Value: Lenovo Flex 14
Lenovo's Flex 14 is a great convertible laptop for anyone who wants to spend less and still get their hands on a great PC. The 14-inch touch display has an FHD resolution and is compatible with an included active pen for use with Windows Ink, meaning you can flip the laptop around to tablet mode and sketch, draw, or take notes with ease.
You're getting some impressive performance here from an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U CPU, 12GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 256GB SSD, and it's all contained in a sleek chassis that manages to hold onto a relatively generous selection of ports.
Ports include two USB-A 3.1, USB-C, HDMI, 3.5mm audio, and an SD card reader. For a bit of extra security, there's a shutter that slides over the front-facing webcam, as well as a fingerprint reader. Altogether, the hardware you're getting at this price is almost unbelievable.
- Affordable price
- 1080p (FHD) touch display with pen support
- Slim convertible chassis
- Webcam shutter
- Display won't match higher-end laptops
Impressive hardware for the price
If you're on a tight budget, The Flex 14 with AMD Ryzen 5 3500U CPU and FHD touch display is an outstanding option.
Best Workstation: Lenovo ThinkPad P53
Those working with specialized design and development software need a laptop with hardware up to the task, which is precisely what the ThinkPad P53 has to offer. It's available with up to an Intel Xeon E-2276M vPro six-core CPU, 128GB of DDR4-2400MHz ECC RAM, an NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 GPU with 16GB of VRAM, and up to 6TB of storage space. It also comes with a ton of Independent Software Vendor (ISV) certifications, meaning it's guaranteed to work with some of the most popular design and dev software available.
The 15.6-inch IPS display is great for multitasking, and you can opt for the 4K OLED touch version with HDR500 to see every fine detail. It hits 100 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut, making it ideal for design work. The keyboard brings classic ThinkPad comfort and includes a full number pad. The Precision touchpad is accompanied by a TrackPoint system, complete with a red pointing nub and physical buttons.
Performance is, as expected, way above your average laptop, but that comes with a pull on the battery that sees it last only about five hours (with the FHD model) when going about regular tasks. Ports include two Thunderbolt 3, two USB-A 3.1, USB-C 3.1, HDMI 2.0, an SD card reader, 3.5mm audio, and RJ45 Ethernet. Wi-Fi 6 compatibility and optional LTE connectivity rounds things out.
- Outstanding 4K OLED display
- Stellar keyboard
- Wi-Fi 6 and optional LTE
- Ridiculous performance
- User upgradeable
- Very expensive
- Short battery life
The ThinkPad P53 brings the high-performance hardware options to handle demanding design and development work.
Best Business: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme
The ThinkPad X1 Extreme is now in its second generation, and it has been updated with 9th Gen Intel Core CPU options up to an i9-9880H vPro. This chip puts out some serious performance, and it only gets better with a NVIDIA GTX 1650 dedicated GPU with 4GB of VRAM. With up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD, this is a laptop cut out for power users. Like all ThinkPads, it's been put through the wringer to ensure it will withstand a harsh life on the road.
The 15.6-inch display is available in standard FHD, FHD with Dolby Vision HDR400, 4K LCD with Dolby Vision HDR400, or stunning 4K OLED with HDR500. If you have the budget, OLED is likely going to be your first choice. Above the display is a webcam with privacy shutter, as well as an optional IR camera for Windows Hello. Other security features include a Kensington lock slot, fingerprint reader, and FIDO authentication.
The chassis is just 0.7 inches (18.4mm) thin, and it weighs in at about 3.76 pounds (1.7kg), keeping it portable. Ports include two USB-A 3.1, two Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0, an SD card reader, Ethernet expansion port, and a 3.5mm audio jack. A Wi-Fi 6 adapter is included for fast wireless speeds, and the 80Wh battery delivers solid battery life for non-UHD models. This laptop is expensive, but be sure to check Lenovo's website for almost-constant deep-discount deals.
- Ridiculous performance
- Awesome 4K OLED display
- High build quality
- Excellent port selection
- Wi-Fi 6 connectivity
Business laptop with dedicated GPU
The ThinkPad X1 Extreme is an ideal choice for anyone who wants the extra security of a business laptop and above-average performance.
Best Business Mobility: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
The seventh-gen ThinkPad X1 Carbon continues the trend we've seen through the earlier generations, with black carbon finish on the durable chassis that's been put through a bunch of durability tests. This is a great laptop if you're working in the field, mainly thanks to LTE connectivity. Unfortunately, there's no Wi-Fi 6 compatibility.
The 14-inch display comes in a few flavors, ranging from low-power FHD to 4K with Dolby Vision HDR400. For something in the middle, there's a QHD option. All displays have excellent color, and the slim bezel around the screen adds to the premium look. PrivacyGuard can be added, which effectively makes the display hard to see unless you're looking straight at it, perfect for working in public. Other security features include fingerprint reader, camera shutter, and optional IR camera for Windows Hello.
Performance is stellar thanks to 10th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU options, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD. Ports include two Thunderbolt 3, two USB-A 3.1 (Gen 1), HDMI 1.4, Ethernet extension, and 3.5mm audio.
- 10th Gen Intel Core CPU options
- FHD, QHD, or 4K displays available
- Varied port selection
- Comfortable keyboard and touchpad
- Durable ThinkPad build
- No Wi-Fi 6
- Relatively pricey
Best Business Mobility
Keep up with work wherever you are
With 4G LTE modem, powerful performance, and a brilliant display, get a premium business laptop ideal for staying connected.
Best Business Convertible: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga
The fourth-gen ThinkPad X1 Yoga has been around for a while, but that doesn't make it any less impressive if you're looking for a convertible business laptop. Compared to third-gen models, it has slimmer display bezel, smaller footprint, lighter and thinner aluminum chassis, 10th Gen Intel Core CPUs, and Dolby Atmos quad-speaker setup.
The 14-inch display comes in multiple options, from FHD all the way up to UHD with Dolby Vision HDR400. All options are touch-enabled to go along with the build that can be converted into tent, stand, and tablet modes, and there's an active pen included. A webcam with privacy shutter is located above the display, and you can add an IR camera for facial recognition to go along with a built-in fingerprint reader.
Add up to a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10710U CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD for solid performance and enjoy optional LTE connectivity to keep in touch even when you're out of Wi-Fi range. If you like a durable business laptop that can be used as a tablet, this is a strong option.
- 10th Gen Intel hardware
- Optional LTE connectivity
- 4K touch display with HDR400
- Plenty of security features
- Beautiful convertible design
- No dedicated GPU
- No Wi-Fi 6
Best Business Convertible
Durable business laptop that doubles as a tablet
Lenovo's fourth-gen ThinkPad X1 Yoga has seen some significant changes, but it's still a versatile business Ultrabook.
Lenovo makes some fine hardware, but its standard pricing can be intimidating. However, there are almost constant discounts going on when shopping at Lenovo's website, with discounts reaching above $1,000. Always have a look at the website to see any current deals when shopping for a new laptop. So which one should you choose?
Lenovo's Yoga C940 goes above and beyond a standard convertible Ultrabook, bringing two sizes to better suit your needs. Both models are built to a high standard and include either an FHD or 4K touch display compatible with inking. The pen is built right into the laptop and offers a satisfying inking experience.
The best feature is likely the soundbar hinge, which makes watching media on the Yoga C940 a breeze. It's loud, it's clear, and it also looks great in all tablet and notebook modes. Powerful hardware is available in both models, though if you're looking for a boost from a dedicated GPU, you'll want to check out the 15-inch Yoga C940 model.
For most people, it is the best laptop available from Lenovo. However, there are plenty of other options available if you need something for work, heavy design, gaming, or to stay connected no matter where you go.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Cale Hunt Cale Hunt is a staff writer at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on PC, laptop, and accessory coverage, as well as the emerging world of VR. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.
Daniel Rubino is the executive editor of Windows Central. He has been covering Microsoft since 2009 back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Surface, HoloLens, Xbox, and future computing visions. Follow him on Twitter: @daniel_rubino.
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