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Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga G3 First Impressions

Posted May 4, 2023 | Hardware | Lenovo ThinkBook | Mobile | ThinkBook 14s Yoga | Windows | Windows 11

I am a fan of Lenovo’s ThinkBook line, which targets small businesses with smaller budgets that still need solid office productivity performance. And while I’ve reviewed several different ThinkBook designs over the years, the ThinkBook 14s Yoga G3 is my first experience with a ThinkBook 2-in-1.

And after the weird, alternate reality of the dual-screen ThinkBook Plus Gen 3, the ThinkBook 14s Yoga offers a more familiar and traditional take on productivity on the go, with a 14-inch display, multitouch and smartpen versatility, and a sleek and thin Abyss Blue aluminum design that is unlike any ThinkBook I’ve ever evaluated. Of course, these features are hinted at in the name: the “s” stands for slim, while “Yoga” alerts you to the PC’s notebook, stand, tent, and tablet modes.

The review unit that Lenovo sent is powered by a 13th Gen Intel Core i5-1335U processor with two performance cores and 8 efficiency cores, Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics, 16 GB of DDR4-3200 RAM (8 GB is soldered while 8 is on a SO-DIMM card), and 512 GB of M.2 2242 PCIe 4.0×4 NVMe SSD storage, and the company tells me that the PC can be configured with up to 24 GB of RAM and up to two SSD cards, each up to 1 TB.

The IPS display is a bit of a letdown, it’s a 16:9 aspect ratio panel with a Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution and it emits just 300 nits of brightness, but it should prove adequate for those who work inside and use its notebook mode exclusively: a 16:10 or 3:2 display would be a much better choice for tablet usage. It handles 100 percent of the sRGB color spectrum and has an anti-glare coating and software-based blue light protections. The bezels are quite thin on the sides, reasonable on the top (given the webcam), and larger on the bottom.

Connectivity is modern-adjacent, with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. But there’s no cellular data option.

The expansion options are an interesting mix of new and old: on the left, you will find two USB-C ports, but one is USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (20 Gbps, with data transfer, Power Delivery 3.0, and DisplayPort 1.4 support) and the other is Thunderbolt 4/ USB4 (40 Gbps, with data transfer, Power Delivery 3.0, and DisplayPort 1.4 support), plus HDMI video-out, one full-sized USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps, always-on) port, and a combo microphone and headphone jack.

On the right, Lenovo provides a lock slot, one full-sized USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps) port, a microSD card reader slot, a power button with an integrated fingerprint reader, and a garage for the bundled ThinkBook Yoga Integrated Smart Pen (which is, of course, a stylus and not a full-sized pen).

Sound is driven through two 2-watt stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos capabilities, a huge plus in my book. And there’s a 720p webcam with a manual privacy shutter, another disappointment, and dual array microphones for remote meetings.

The 60-watt-hour battery is rated for 11.7 hours of uptime or 15.8 hours for local video playback, and it’s powered by an unusual but small 65-watt USB-C wall-mount slim charger. The ThinkBook 14s Yoga weighs 3.3 pounds, which is about average for a 14-inch 2-in-1 design.

The keyboard and touchpad both seem to be of high quality in early testing. The keys are scalloped but lack the squared-off bottoms we see on modern ThinkPads, and thanks to the case’s unusual color, the gray keys stand out more than is usually the case. (Few will understand this reference, I bet, but it kind of reminds me of the Commodore Plus/4.) The touchpad is smallish for these days, but I prefer that.

The ThinkBook 14s Yoga comes with Windows 11 Pro and small selection of Lenovo utilities plus McAfee LiveSafe and some hardware-related apps. This is very clean software setup overall.

I’m not sure what the pricing is because this new generation ThinkBook 14s Yoga is not yet available for sale, but the G2 starts at about $1100 on sale for a similar configuration, and that seems about right.

More soon.

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