Lenovo have really ramped up on the amount of laptops and 2-in-1s they offer over the last few years. In 2020, there are plenty of options to suit your needs, from ThinkPads to Yogas to the company’s Legion gaming sub-brand. There’s something for everyone and it’s hard to know where to begin when looking for your next laptop.
Here’s everything you need to know before you buy your next Lenovo laptop or notebook PC.
How many kinds of laptops does Lenovo currently offer?
Lenovo offer a broad range of laptops and notebook PCs that vary from traditional clamshell designs to more-modern and flexible 2-in-1 alternatives. Independent of form-factor, Lenovo’s laptop range is broken out into six sub-brands:
- Lenovo ThinkBook
What’s the difference between the Yoga, ThinkPad, IdeaPad, Legion and Lenovo ThinkBook ranges?
Lenovo’s mainstream consumer lineup is divided into five sub-brands.
First off, the ThinkPad lineup consists of modern workstations that deliver top-notch durability and performance. They’re envisioned as solid machines that you can rely on at home, in the office or anywhere in-between.
There's also the ThinkBook range, which are aimed at small and medium businesses.
Then, the IdeaPad range represents Lenovo’s most entry-level laptops. They’re essentially ThinkPads with a few compromises and a more-modest starting price. Though the form-factors and spec-configurations vary, Lenovo’s IdeaPad devices are a good place to start if you’re looking to pick up an inexpensive “first laptop”.
As for Lenovo’s Yoga range, it’s envisioned as flexible 2-in-1 devices first and foremost. They’re pitched at those working in creative industries, pairing up slim and portable form-factors with hefty specs, and those who want their next laptop to offer a solid entertainment consumption experience in addition to productivity.
Finally, the Legion lineup represents Lenovo’s foray into the gaming laptop world. Available exclusively in clamshell-designs, the current roster of Legion device services a variety of performance needs and price-points.
If you’re sizing up one of Lenovo’s Yoga laptops, there are a few things you should expect. Most Yoga laptops feature 360-degree hinges that allow them to be used as either a tablet or a laptop. Some Yoga laptops also come with styluses and powerful 10th and 11th-Gen Intel processors, making them a good option for creative professionals. Others have more unique features like an e-ink keyboard or a glass build.
The Yoga lineup breaks down into the following, with several spec-variants on offer for each:
- Yoga 2-in-1
- Yoga 9i (14-inch)
- Yoga 9i (15-inch)
- Yoga 7i (14-inches)
- Yoga Duet 7i
- Yoga 740
- Yoga C640
- Yoga Slim
- Yoga Slim 7i
- Yoga Slim 7i Carbon
While the Yoga lineup also features processors that go all the way to Intel’s 11th-Gen i7 processors, the range’s capabilities are more limited when it comes to graphics. Most Yoga Books rely on integrated graphics. For that reason, the Yoga range isn’t recommended for gaming.
Since Lenovo acquired ThinkPad from IBM back in 2005, they’ve wasted no time in cranking out powerful, enterprise-focused notebook PCs that continue to push the legacy of the brand forward into the modern era.
There are six series of ThinkPads on offer. The X-series is the option for those who want a flagship ThinkPad experience with premium performance and design.
The T-series is more everyday in form and function. Available in a variety of designs and spec configurations, this series is all about finding the ThinkPad that suits your specific needs and budget.
The P-Series offers up a more portable rendition of the usual ThinkPad experience, emphasizing mobility at the expense of performance.
Then, the E-Series is positioned as an entry-level option for those who want a ThinkPad on a budget.
This pitch is built on by the L-Series, which brings in ThinkPad-specific features like spill-resistant keyboards and improved web conferencing but pushes the asking price a little higher.
To recap, there are six series here of ThinkPad to choose from:
ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 4)
- ThinkPad X13
Set up as the more-affordable, mainstream sibling to the ThinkPad range, Lenovo’s IdeaPad laptops are a little-less enterprise in their aesthetics and affordable in price.
Like the branding might suggest, the Slim series is all about portability. Performance-wise, expect the essentials and little else.
Meanwhile, the Flex-series abandons a traditional clamshell form-factor in favor for a 2-in-1 approach.
If the above two options leave you wanting when it comes to graphical grunt, then it might be worth checking out the IdeaPad L-Series.
Finally, the C-Series offers entry-level 2-in-1 experiences built around a detachable keyboard.
Once again, the IdeaPad lineup is broken out into
Lenovo launched their Legion gaming sub-brand several years back and while the brand currently consists of only a single series of products, there are a few options on offer when it comes to specs and features.
Legion Y Series
Compared to more dedicated gaming brands like MSI and Alienware, Lenovo’s Legion sub-brand is often a little light on gaming-specific features but heavy on performance-per-dollar.
If you’re looking for a decent laptop that’ll run live service games like Overwatch, League of Legends or Fortnite, there’s a strong value-based argument to be made in their favor.
Lenovo’s ThinkBook Series of laptops are all about finding the right balance of design, performance, battery life and form-factor for small and medium-sized business users.
In our review of the ThinkBook 13S, we wrote that "Something of a cross between a Macbook and a ThinkPad, the new Lenovo ThinkBook 13s isn’t the kind of laptop you’ll want to show off to your friends but it is one that’s remarkably consistent when it comes to the performance and overall experience it delivers."
The Lenovo ThinkBook lineup is broken out as follows:
Which Lenovo Laptop Should I Buy?
It might sound like a bit of a cop-out but the easy and obvious answer here is that it’s usually best to go for the laptop that actually meets your needs.
If you’re a power user looking for that classic ThinkPad experience, don’t stop at the IdeaPad lineup. If you’re a gamer looking for decent performance and the price to match it, the Legion lineup has you covered. If you’re after a laptop that’s as good for watching content as it is creating it, then the Yoga lineup is the way to go. If you're looking for a workhorse of a machine that doesn't break the bank, the ThinkBook range might be the best fit.
Just make sure you do your research first.
For more laptop buying guides, check out:
This article was originally published on the 8th of March 2019 and updated on the 14th of December 2020.