Lenovo's ThinkBook series of laptops offers consumers an affordable alternative to the mighty ThinkPad lineup. The ThinkBook 14s Yoga has some business features — like added security measures and durability certification — yet it doesn't necessarily cost as much as or look like a business laptop. It's relatively slim, it's available in a couple of colors, and it has the ability to convert into a tablet for use with the included active pen. I've been using the ThinkBook 14s Yoga for a week to see whether or not it's worth a buy.
Bottom line: The ThinkBook 14s Yoga is a cost-effective convertible PC that should appeal to those who need a business PC on a budget. It runs quiet and cool, the battery lasts more than 10 hours, and it's built into a quality aluminum chassis. There are a few downsides, but at this price, they're easier to ignore.
- Lots of ports and a garaged pen
- 11th Gen Intel CPU runs cool and quiet
- Upgradeable RAM and dual SSD slots
- High-quality aluminum build
- Value price point
- Shows fingerprints and smudges
- Speakers could be better
- Glossy display needs more brightness
Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga: Price, availability, specs
The ThinkBook 14s Yoga is available from Lenovo starting at about $968 after the frequent discounts offered on the official website. Baseline models include an 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor (CPU), 8GB of soldered DDR4-3200MHz RAM, 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe solid-state drive (SSD), and 14-inch FHD touch display. These are some impressive specs for the price you're getting, and they only climb from there. Models top out at about $1,260 with an Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU, 24GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD.
All models have 8GB of RAM soldered to the board, and there's an extra SODIMM slot that can be upgraded with up to 32GB RAM for a total of 40GB. Two M.2 slots are accessible, one coming filled from the factory with up to a 1TB M.2 2242 drive. This primary slot can fit an M.2 2280 drive. The other slot also fits either size M.2 drive if you need extra storage after purchase.
Models with Core i7 CPU, 24GB of RAM, and 1TB SSD can be found at Amazon for about $1,390. Newegg also has models with Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD for about $900.
Following are the exact specs found in the review unit offered by Lenovo.
|OS||Windows 10 Pro|
|Processor||11th Gen Intel|
4 cores, 8 threads
Up to 4.7GHz
|Graphics||Intel Iris Xe|
|Storage||512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD|
Two M.2 slots
16:9 aspect ratio
Glossy, 300 nits
|Pen||Integrated Smart Pen|
|Ports||USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2)|
Two USB-A 3.2 (Gen 1)
microSD card reader
|Audio||Dual 2W Harman speakers|
|Connectivity||Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201|
Kensington Nano lock slot
65W USB-C AC adapter
|Dimensions||12.60 x 8.62 x 0.67 inches|
(320mm x 216mm x 16.9mm)
|Weight||3.3 pounds (1.5kg)|
Solid all-metal build
Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga: Design and features
The ThinkBook 14s Yoga is an all-metal laptop available in Abyss Blue or Mineral Grey colors. The lid has a two-tone strip with the ThinkBook logo inside; otherwise, it's rather understated. Altogether the laptop looks sharp, but unfortunately, the finish picks up a ton of fingerprints. The Mineral Grey finish I saw on the smaller Lenovo ThinkBook 13s (Gen 2) did a much better job of hiding smudges, so I'd suggest going that route if you hate wiping down your device after use.
The laptop has undergone MIL-STD 810H testing. This is the next evolution of 810G certification and includes assurances against shock, dust, temperature, and more. ThinkPads all undergo similar testing, and it's a nice addition to a laptop that could see a life of travel or fieldwork. The laptop's base and lid are both fairly rigid, especially important for the convertible nature. Dual hinges are tight with a smooth action when rotating the display around 360 degrees.
There's a significant wedge toward the front of the laptop, with speakers set into the angle. They remain unmuffled even when using the PC in tablet mode. Audio is just OK, lacking bass but remaining clear at high volume. The laptop isn't the thinnest convertible at 0.67 inches (16.9mm), but it's still within the proper thickness and weight to be used easily as a tablet. Everything is machined accurately and fits together well.
Ports are generous and should offer the right combination for most people. It charges through the USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2) port, plus there's a powerful Thunderbolt 4 port. If you want to expand connectivity further, you can always add one of the best Thunderbolt 4 hubs and dockings stations. HDMI 1.4b, 3.5mm audio, and USB-A 3.2 are also on the left side. Even if you don't opt for a docking station, there is plenty of connectivity.
The right side of the laptop has a microSD card reader, USB-A 3.2 port, and a Kensington Nano lock slot for some extra security. The garaged pen also lives here, and there's a recessed power button (fewer accidental presses in tablet mode) with a built-in fingerprint reader. It's accurate and reads quickly for prompt logins through Windows Hello. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 keep wireless connectivity modern and reliable.
The laptop's lid has a narrow lip at the top for easier opening and to house the front-facing webcam. It tops out at 720p, but it records a clear picture. The camera deals well with exposure and doesn't go grainy when not under ideal lighting conditions. An unobtrusive webcam shutter is built-in for some added privacy.
One of the issues I had with the ThinkBook 13s was the keyboard's shallow travel and layout. At least the former has been solved with the ThinkBook 14s Yoga. Keys feel deeper and just a bit softer, allowing for a more comfortable typing experience. For those who are at a keyboard all day, this should be a fine way to go.
The key layout might frustrate some, especially if you often use Home, End, Insert, and the Page keys. They've been doubled up with other keys, accessible with the Fn shortcut. Dedicated communication keys (answer and hang up) are nice, but the dedicated service hotkey just doesn't seem that necessary.
The Precision touchpad has a nice silver accent ringing the cutout, making it stand out against the blue finish. The mylar surface is smooth and tracks well, and the touchpad is large enough to not look undersized. The click is satisfying and without rattle.
Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga: Display and inking
A built-in active pen, in combination with the convertible nature of the PC, makes for a versatile device. It's so handy to pull the pen out of the side of the laptop, ready to go with a full battery. The pen has 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, two customizable buttons on the side, and doesn't need to be purchased separately. Inking is smooth on the glossy screen, and I had no problems writing notes and sketching graphs.
The actual display hardware is a bit of a letdown, especially moving directly from the ThinkBook 13s with 16:10 aspect ratio and 2560x1600 resolution. The ThinkBook 14s Yoga has just one display option. It sticks with a 16:9 aspect ratio with ample space below to remove the chin for a taller screen. It's edge-to-edge glass with a slim bezel around the sides and top. Resolution is set at 1920x1080, and it has TÜV Rheinland low blue light certification.
Accurate color reproduction makes the display pop, but the low brightness and glossy finish cause glare issues when working in a well-lit space. With a SpyderX Pro colorimeter I measured 100% sRGB, 76% AdobeRGB, 79% DCI-P3, and 329 nits brightness. A bump in brightness or an anti-reflective finish would go a long way here.
For a business-oriented laptop in this price range, the display is acceptable. I had no problems other than attempting to work in sunlight due to the low brightness. If you're taking care of productivity tasks, this display will be fine. And thanks to Dolby Vision, you can enjoy a version of HDR when viewing compatible media. This is a great addition to a laptop that can sit in tent and stand modes for TV and movies.
Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga: Performance and battery
The ThinkBook 14s Yoga has a single large fan inside with dual heat pipes running from the CPU heatsink. There's a small exhaust along the edge between the display and main body, as well as double rows of intake venting on the bottom panel. This seems to be more than enough, considering the laptop runs cool and quiet even under load. For the most part, the fan ran unnoticed, only kicking up to an audible level when pushing performance. Lenovo did a great job on the thermal front here.
An 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 with integrated Iris Xe graphics is a solid performer and will absolutely crush productivity and even some editing work. It's also capable of handling a bit of lightweight gaming. Note that the laptop isn't Intel Evo certified, but it does have many of the same features.
In this specific case, the CPU is a bit underpowered. Compared to the Core i5-1135G7 in the ThinkBook 13s, it scored lower in a number of synthetic benchmarks. It did, however, perform admirably in the PCMark 10 test, which measures how well a system's components work together to complete productivity work.
The Kingston SSD performs very well, and the ability to add extra storage or swap out the factory drive is a d