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Lenovo ThinkVision M14t review: An ultra-light portable display now with a pen

Take last year's popular ThinkVision M14, add a touchscreen and pen, and you get the super handy ThinkVision M14t.

Lenovo Thinkvision M14t Hero
(Image: © Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

In late-2019, I reviewed the Lenovo M14, a 14-inch portable full HD matte display. I gave it a five out of five after ticking all the right boxes, including being extremely light, excellent color accuracy, having a riser for height adjust, and a neat carrying bag.

That display is still available for around $250 (opens in new tab), making it an excellent option for those who need more screen real estate. But what if you wanted the same display but with a glossy screen, touch, and even support for inking?

The new Lenovo M14t is that device, and it even includes a pen in the box, letting you ink in Windows or Android. Here is what you need to know about it.

What you'll love about the ThinkVision M14t

Lenovo Thinkvision M14t Surface Duo

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Lenovo did not mess with a winning formula, so the M14t is remarkably similar to last year's M14. The difference is in the finish, which is now glossy, and the display, which has a 10-point digitizer that supports 4,096 pressure levels for inking.

Lenovo uses a unique design where there is a broader base that the ThinkVision sits on, which also acts as a variable angle hinge. This design differs from magnetic covers that you fold to act as a stand. While that cover is helpful, you usually only have two or three angles you can use, and the weight from the magnets is substantial.

It is no surprise that the touch screen adds some weight, but the ThinkVision M14t is just 127 grams (4.5 ounces) heavier coming in at a still very light 698 grams (1.54lbs). That weight is what makes the ThinkVision so compelling – it adds extraordinarily little bulk to your bag. The slightly larger ASUS ZenScreen Touch MB16AMT (opens in new tab) is a half-pound heavier.

The ThinkVision M14t offers two Type-C ports (3.1 Gen1) and one Type-C cable to connect to your laptop or Android phone. That second port can be used as a power pass-through, letting you recharge the connected PC (or powering the display for Android, as phones don't output enough power alone).

The other secret with the ThinkVision is the flip-up riser on the bottom. This gizmo lets you raise the M14t by a few millimeters to better align with your laptop's display. It's not necessary, but nice to have and makes for a distinctive feature.

CategoryThinkVision M14
Display14-inch 1920 x 1080 WLED
Glossy
10-point Touch
Brightness300 nits
Contrast ratio700:1
Color16.7M
8bit
PenActive Touch Pen with 4096 Pressure Levels
Response time6ms with OD
Ports2x USB-C (3.1 Gen1)
CableUSB-C to C (1M)
L-shaped dongle
Weight698g / 1.54lbs
SecurityKensington lock slot
Eye-care techLow blue light

But really, the star of the show here is the 14-inch, full HD (1920 x 1080) WLED display (instead of IPS). It is still color accurate with 99 percent sRGB, 74 percent AdobeRGB, and 77 percent DCI-P3 from my tests. Brightness comes under the rated 300 nits at about 250, which is good enough for the office and home, but will struggle outside (plus the glossy finish won't help).

Inking is also particularly good thanks to the included Lenovo smart pen (it's not N-trig based like Surface Pens). Users can choose between Android and Windows for inking and touch, which is a neat feature to have available. Inking, especially in Windows, is exceptionally smooth and accurate. By flipping the display upside down (it supports auto-rotate), you can make the ThinkVision M14t resemble an easel for sketching.

Lenovo also now includes an L-shaped dongle and some clips for better cable management. That L-shaped dongle helps you use the M14t in a vertical position as the cable will not shoot into the air.

Since you should not just toss this screen into a bag, Lenovo gives you a fabric carrying case with a pen loop. It is a fancy sleeve that protects the display from scratches but won't offer protection from severe bangs or drops.

Lenovo Thinkvision M14t Pen

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

There are also no drivers needed to operate this display. Connecting it to Surface Pro X with Windows 10 on ARM, the M14t ran just beautifully.

What you'll dislike about the ThinkVision M14t

Lenovo Thinkvision M14t Inking

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

If you hate glossy displays, you are not going to like this one. The M14t is highly reflective, making sense due to the inking and customer who would want this accessory. Lenovo already has a matte ThinkVision M14, so it is not a big deal (that version, however, does not support touch or inking).

Pen support with Android was tricky. While the ThinkVision M14t runs Samsung DeX from the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra OK, I would sometimes get some display flashing when inking (but the inking was smooth at least). On Surface Duo, I could only get touch and inking to work by switching to Windows (ironically), but the pen target would be off from where I placed the tip, making it ineffective.

The ThinkVision M14t is also very fragile. I no longer have the matte ThinkVision M14 because I put it in my suitcase to switch hotel rooms. Five minutes later and the screen was completely cracked. That's what happens when you have a 14-inch, ultra-thin display with no laptop as a support structure, so be careful.

Lenovo Thinkvision M14t Plug

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

At $440, Lenovo is also charging a premium for this accessory — that is nearly $200 more than the non-touch model. The ThinkVision M14t is also $100 more than the larger ASUS Zenscreen Touch MB16AMT.

Should you buy the Lenovo ThinkVision M14t?

Lenovo Thinkvision M14t

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

If you are a Windows 10 user with a powerful laptop that does not support inking (or touch), the ThinkVision M14t is fantastic. It makes the Dell XPS 17 that much more enjoyable to use. It's portable, light, and color accurate, and you can not only use it as a second screen but also an easel for inking, drawing, or notetaking. If you are in that camp, grab it now.

If you are on Android and want to use this as an external touch display, you should mostly be OK, so long as you don't want to ink often. I think Lenovo (or maybe Google) needs to tighten up Android's pen support, which is hit and miss.

For those on a tighter budget (or who don't need a pen), Lenovo's slightly lighter and more affordable M14 is a better choice.

Overall, Lenovo did a great job with the M14t. It is a standout from the rest of the portable displays with it being so light, a very pragmatic design, and now the option for inking. There is nothing to change about it, making it easy to suggest if you want a secondary, portable screen.

Lenovo ThinkVision M14t (opens in new tab)

Lenovo ups its game with the new ThinkVision M14t, which supports touch and inking across Windows 10 and Android devices. This portable and extremely light screen is ideal for those who need more display or just want one for drawing.

Lenovo ThinkVision M14 (opens in new tab)

Don't need touch or a pen? Lenovo's more affordable ThinkVision M14 packs a fully-adjustable hinge, riser, matte-finish, and two Type-C ports, and it's half the weight of the competition. It's damn near perfect.

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

11 Comments
  • Thank you for reviewing this! Is the ThinkVision M14t a good alternative to a Wacom Cintiq 16. I'd love to be able to ink with my desktop (mostly taking notes, annotating PDFs, etc, but I would like to draw a little bit too.
  • Yup, your usage scenario is perfect for this type of device. Due to its design, it's very flexible in where it can be used - it's a lot of fun.
  • Interesting product. We have the non-touch Asus and it's been a lifesaver since we had to turn our apartment into a two-office affair. (We alternate between the two-monitor station with a dock and the kitchen table with this second, portable monitor.) I find myself reaching for the screen to scroll pages! And pen input would be kind of great. But for a $200 premium? Hard to say. Anyway good review.
  • The 200$ premium is easier on the wallet for people that have a Lenovo 2-1 laptop that supports the included pen, otherwise it is kind of pricey yeah if someone does not really need the pen functionality.
  • The touch version of the asus screen is about 100 cheaper, you can get touch and a battery for cheaper than this.
  • Thanks for the review, interesting device for sure. I think I would personally add some grayish padding to the bag/cover for extra protection.
  • It's quite well padded, actually. It's really nice. The issue is it needs rigid structural integrity akin to a laptop chassis to protect - it's a very thin 14-inch display. But if you do that, you bump the entire weight. It's like wrapping a cracker in a padded case - it helps, but you can still snap it easily.
  • That makes sense. Hmm maybe placed next to the laptop in a (tight) bag/pocket would be best than.
  • I have the older M14, the felt sleeve is only good for scratch protection. I would get a padded 14" notebook sleeve to protect against bumps. The screen isn't Gorilla Glass so it should rest against clothes or a padded surface during transport.
  • OMG Dan has the folding Bluetooth keyboard! Perfect companion for the Duo and Surface Go. I haven't seen anyone else use that little beauty before.
  • Daniel, thanks for the review, two items for clarification. 1. Pictured above: One usb-c port with cable and power to the monitor and one usb-c port on the monitor with a cable to the Surface Duo. Is the Surface Duo receiving pass thru power and a full charge as opposed to a trickle charge or no charge? 2. You mentioned the pen, Surface Duo and switching to windows. Could you give more detail about windows on the Surface Duo? My "picture" needs more detail. :-) Thanks...