Lenovo ThinkBook Plus review: Regular laptop with useful e-ink cover screen

Topics Laptops | notebook | Lenovo

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus

The Lenovo ThinkBook Plus is a one-of-its-kind notebook with dual displays – a 13.3-inch primary screen complemented by a secondary 10.8-inch e-Ink screen. It may not be the only notebook with a dual-screen design, but it is indeed the only that lets you use the secondary screen without lifting the display lid. That is because the e-Ink display is available on the cover, and it is always active – unless the notebook runs out of battery. Therefore, you neither have to open the lid nor wake the laptop to use the secondary screen. Moreover, the e-Ink display is touch-enabled and supports Lenovo’s digital pen tool (an in-box accessory).

The e-Ink display is supplementary, and so is its usage. Besides showing notifications, the e-Ink display can be used as an e-reader (through the Windows Kindle app) and PDF viewer with annotate and review functionality. Moreover, you can use it to sketch and take notes. Thankfully, Lenovo has integrated Microsoft OneNote – not something of its own – with the e-Ink display. This makes it easy to sync your work (sketches and notes) across devices linked through your Microsoft account. Though supplementary, the e-Ink display on the Lenovo ThinkBook Plus is useful. But being an e-Ink display, it is not responsive and takes time to refresh. This is standard e-Ink display property and one must not see it as a downside.

Aside from the e-Ink display and usage, the Lenovo ThinkBook Plus is a rather regular notebook, good for everyday work. It sports a 13.3-inch primary screen of fullHD+ resolution and 100 per cent sRGB colour gamut. The screen is bright and vivid and works fine for regular operations. It is not a colour-accurate display, so content producers will find it lacking. Moreover, the screen has thick bezels on the top and sides, and a fairly large one at the bottom. That said, the notebook is not the most compact 13-inch notebook. But it is a lightweight one (1.4 kg), with a sturdy metallic built.

Moving ahead from displays, the ThinkBook Plus features Harman Kardon tuned speakers. These speakers are loud and clear. Though optimal for delivering good audio experience on a mobile device, one might still need headphones or external speaker in loud ambient environments. Complementing the speakers are long-range microphones, which work effortlessly to recognise voice and elevate video-conferencing experience.

Rounding up the package is the performance, which is good for daily operations, especially if your work depends on the Microsoft Office productivity suite. Powered by 10th-Gen Intel Core i7 processor, paired with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD, the Lenovo ThinkBook Plus is not an extraordinary notebook, but a regular one that ticks all the right boxes. The notebook supports instant boot and quick login through Windows Hello. However, the built-in camera is not compatible for face recognition, so the notebook relies solely on the fingerprint scanner (included inside the power button). The available I/O ports are also limited – 2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, headphone and microphone combo jack, and 1 x HDMI.

The Lenovo ThinkBook Plus, however, is marred by abysmal on-battery time, especially if it is set to give preference to performance in battery setting – the fully charged battery runs out within three hours. On-battery time improves if the battery is set to be given preference over performance, but that leads to occasional performance lags. Thankfully, the notebook comes with a 65W USB-C charger, which is quick in charging the battery.

Verdict

At Rs 1,68,000, the Lenovo ThinkBook Plus is an expensive workbook with somewhat useful e-Ink display. In the ultra-notebook segment, the Asus ExpertBook B9 450F (review) offers a lot more at a smaller price, albeit without the secondary screen. The Dell XPS 13 is another capable notebook with excellent design and sleek performance. One might also consider the Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition (review), which costs almost a third but delivers a comprehensive package for its price.



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