Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga review: Affordable all-metal business convertible packing 10+ hours battery life

The ThinkBook 14s is an affordable, versatile PC that can get down to business. Is it worth your money?

Lenovo Thinkbook 14s Yoga
(Image: © Windows Central)

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.

Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga: Price, availability, specs

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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.

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OSWindows 10 Pro
Processor11th Gen IntelCore i7-1165G74 cores, 8 threadsUp to 4.7GHz
RAM16GB DDR4-3200MHzDual-channel8GB soldered
GraphicsIntel Iris XeIntegrated
Storage512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSDTwo M.2 slots
Display14 inches1920x1080 (FHD)Touch, IPS16:9 aspect ratioGlossy, 300 nitsDolby Vision
PenIntegrated Smart PenRechargeable
PortsUSB-C 3.2 (Gen 2)Thunderbolt 4HDMI 1.4bTwo USB-A 3.2 (Gen 1)3.5mm audiomicroSD card reader
AudioDual 2W Harman speakersDolby Audio
ConnectivityIntel Wi-Fi 6 AX201Bluetooth 5.1
CameraFront-facing 720pThinkShutter
TouchpadPrecisionMylar surface
SecuritydTPM 2.0Fingerprint readerKensington Nano lock slotWebcam shutter
Battery60Wh65W USB-C AC adapter
Dimensions12.60 x 8.62 x 0.67 inches(320mm x 216mm x 16.9mm)
Weight3.3 pounds (1.5kg)
ColorAbyss Blue

Solid all-metal build

Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga: Design and features

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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 ThinkBook 14s Yoga has a premium all-metal chassis, but the Abyss Blue color picks up a lot of fingerprints.

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.

Lots of ports make it easy to connect all your accessories to the ThinkBook 14s Yoga.

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.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

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.

Easy Inking

Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga: Display and inking

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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 integrated active pen is a thoughtful addition that adds a lot of versatility to this convertible.

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.

Slightly underwhelming

Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga: Performance and battery

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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 definite bonus. And instead of capping RAM at whatever comes soldered to the board, the extra SODIMM slot will help keep the laptop up-to-date in the future.

Battery life is better than I expected due to the touch display. PCMark 10's Modern Office rundown hit 10 hours and 51 minutes with the screen set at 75% brightness (required in a well-lit room) and Windows 10's Better performance power plan.

The laptop includes a discrete TPM 2.0 chip for added security and protection, often required when the device is being used at an enterprise level. However, there are no vPro CPU options for remote management.

Lots of Lenovo

Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga: Competition

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Lenovo has a number of 14-inch laptops to choose from, including convertibles and standard notebooks. The Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 is a truly premium option that's much better cut out for media thanks to a soundbar hinge and 4K display option. This convertible laptop also has an integrated active pen for inking. The Yoga 9i 14 starts at about $1,000. There's also the Yoga 7i 14 that starts at about $700 but lacks the soundbar hinge and integrated pen. This is a better pick if you don't want to pay for extra business or media features.

For a non-convertible laptop that is absolutely stuffed with premium features — including top-firing audio, human presence detection, IR camera, and dedicated NVIDIA GPU — check out the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 14. It's still using 10th Gen Intel Core CPUs, but it starts at about $830. For a convertible with powerful AMD hardware, check out the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14. It starts at about $670.

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And if you want to go in for a ThinkPad, the X1 Yoga (Gen 6) is a strong convertible contender. 11th Gen Intel Core CPUs, gorgeous 14-inch FHD and 4K display options with 16:10 aspect ratio, integrated pen, and slim premium build are all selling features. Prices start at about $1,595.

Looking at other manufacturers, the HP Spectre x360 14 might be what you're looking for. It's one of the best Windows laptop options available today thanks to a 3:2 OLED display with 3000x2000 resolution, included pen, awesome audio, excellent keyboard, and touchpad, and 11th Gen Intel Core CPUs. It even includes an IR camera, fingerprint reader, and TPM chip. Prices start at about $1,270.

Strong ThinkPad Alternative

Should you buy the Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga?

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Who it's for

  • Those who want a 14-inch convertible Ultrabook with a built-in pen
  • Those who need plenty of ports (including Thunderbolt 4)
  • Those who don't want to pay ThinkPad prices
  • Those who want 10+ hours of battery life

Who it isn't for

  • Those who want more than one display option
  • Those who want to go as thin and light as possible
  • Those who want the ThinkPad keyboard and TrackPoint system

The ThinkBook 14s Yoga suffers from a few drawbacks, but overall it's a well-rounded PC for those shopping near the $1,000 price point. This is a convertible laptop meant for small- and medium-sized businesses, so it does include extra features. MIL-STD 810H certification ensures durability, there's a clear camera with a privacy shutter for video conferencing, a fingerprint reader helps keep you safe, and there's a dTPM 2.0 chip embedded inside. There are also many ports (including Thunderbolt 4) and an integrated active pen for convenient inking.

Battery life should last you through a full workday and beyond, and 11th Gen Intel Core CPUs offer snappy performance. And the ability to upgrade RAM and storage down the line adds a lot of value in a market where many Ultrabooks are keeping everything closed up tight. If you can get past the single display option and poor audio, this laptop could be exactly what you need. Check out our picks for best Lenovo laptop for more options.

Cale Hunt

Cale Hunt brings to Windows Central more than eight years of experience writing about laptops, PCs, accessories, games, and beyond. If it runs Windows or in some way complements the hardware, there’s a good chance he knows about it, has written about it, or is already busy testing it.