Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 3 review

Lenovo is paving the way to a more sustainable and powerful business experience. The center of attention is the ThinkPad T-series, with the ThinkPad T14 Gen 3 being the star of today’s review.

According to the manufacturer, this laptop does not only offer more than enough performance for the daily work of all kinds of enterprise employees. It also uses post-consumer content, like plastic and other natural materials for some components. This includes the speaker enclosure, the battery shell, and the power adapter.

In addition to that, the packaging material is also being recycled. All of that makes the product quite sustainable, as it not only decreases the use of new plastic but also takes some of the “garbage” out of the environment.

Since we mentioned performance, we have to say what kind of hardware you should expect. If you opt for the Intel version (because there is an AMD one too), you can choose between Alder Lake U and Alder Lake P CPUs. If you need more performance, it would be a good idea to pick the 28W options (P-series), while the 15W ones (U-series) should provide a better battery life.

There is more interesting stuff to follow, but we would also like to mention that Lenovo finally did it. There is no TN panel option on the display list, which is fantastic!

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-thinkpad-t14-gen-3-intel/

Contents


Specs Sheet

Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 3 (Intel) - Specs

  • AUO B140UAN02.1
  • Color accuracy  5.7  1.4
  • HDD/SSD
  • up to 2000GB SSD
  • M.2 Slot
  • 1x 2280 PCIe NVMe 4.0 x4  See photo
  • RAM
  • up to 64GB
  • OS
  • Windows 11 Pro, Windows 10 Pro, Windows 11 Home
  • Battery
  • 52.5Wh, 4-cell, 52.5Wh, 3-cell, 52.5Wh, 39.3Wh
  • Body material
  • Plastic / Polycarbonate, Aluminum, Glass Fiber
  • Dimensions
  • 317.7 x 227.36 x 17.9 mm (12.51" x 8.95" x 0.70")
  • Weight
  • 1.21 kg (2.7 lbs)
  • Ports and connectivity
  • 1x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
  • 1x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps), Sleep and Charge
  • 2x USB Type-C
  • 4.0, Thunderbolt 4, Power Delivery (PD), DisplayPort
  • HDMI
  • 2.0b
  • Card reader
  • Ethernet LAN
  • 10, 100, 1000 Mbit/s
  • Wi-Fi
  • 802.11ax
  • Bluetooth
  • 5.2
  • Audio jack
  • 3.5mm Combo Jack
  • Features
  • Fingerprint reader
  • optional
  • Web camera
  • HD / FHD / IR
  • Backlit keyboard
  • optional
  • Microphone
  • Dual Array Microphone, far-field, Dolby Voice
  • Speakers
  • 2x 2W Stereo Speakers, Dolby Audio
  • Optical drive
  • Security Lock slot
  • Kensington Nano Lock

All Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 3 (Intel) configurations

#CommissionsEarned

What’s in the box?

This laptop’s packaging contains only the standard stuff – paperwork, a 65W USB Type-C charger, and the laptop itself.


Design and construction

When it comes to the design, the ThinkPad T14 Gen 4 is offered in two colors – Grey and Black. However, it is never as simple as that with ThinkPads. Both devices are 17.9mm thick. However, the Grey one, weighs 1.36 kg, while the Black is 1.32 kg.

This, on the other hand, is when you have them with the 52.5Wh battery pack. If your machine comes with the smaller 39.3Wh unit, the weights drop to 1.33 kg for the Grey and 1.21 kg for the Black. All of this sounds confusing but why is there a difference? Well, because the Black model’s lid is made out of plastic, while the Grey machine features an aluminum lid cover.

In this case, the plastic is a combination of one reinforced with 50% glass fiber and one with 20% of carbon fiber in its structure. Speaking of which, the Black body, which we have with us, is a bit twisty. In fact, the lid is sturdier than the base. This, perhaps, is because the material surrounding the keyboard and the touchpad is made out of PPS, which is significantly weaker than the one reinforced with glass fiber and carbon fiber.

Unfortunately, the lid can’t be opened with a single hand. On the bright side, it has thin bezels, due to the 16:10 aspect ratio of the panel. Above it, you will find the camera. It is offered with a 720p or a 1080p sensor, a privacy shutter, and an optional IR face recognition scanner.

Let’s take a look at the base. It features two speaker cutouts, showing the location of the two 2W runners. Besides them, there is the power button, which doubles as a fingerprint reader.

Next, we have the keyboard. It is a comfortable unit with decent key travel, somewhat of a clicky feedback, and spill resistance. You can also see the key characters well in the dark, thanks to the backlight. Furthermore, you will find a TrackPoint in the middle of the “G”, “H”, and “B” keys cluster.

It is meant to work together with three buttons, placed above the touchpad. Ultimately, using the touchpad felt weird. Sometimes, its tracking would be extremely fast, while others, it was a bit sluggish. On the other hand, it features smooth gliding, and not in the last place – a satisfying clicking mechanism.

If you turn the laptop upside down, you will find the ventilation grills. They are quite big in this case. Respectively, the hot air gets exhausted through a vent on the right side of the machine.

Ports

On the left side, there is a LAN port, two Thunderbolt 4 connectors, an HDMI port, a USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) port, and an Audio jack. Then, on the right, there is a Kensington Nano security lock slot, another USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) port, and a Smart Card reader. Also, you get a SIM card tray on the back.


Disassembly, upgrade options, and maintenance

To open this device, undo all 7 captive Phillips-head screws, holding the bottom panel in place. Then, pry it with a plastic tool, and remove it from the chassis.

Inside, we see a 52.5Wh battery pack. It lasts for 8 hours and 30 minutes of Web browsing, or 6 hours of video playback. To take it out, you need to undo 6 Phillips-head screws.

Here, you get either 8 or 16GB of DDR4 memory, soldered to the motherboard. You can add up to 32GB more via the single SODIMM slot. Storage-wise, there is one M.2 PCIe x4 slot, which supports Gen 4 SSDs.’

In terms of cooling, you get one heat pipe, a decently-sized heat sink and fan, as well as a heat spreader for the VRMs.


Display quality

Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 3 uses a WUXGA IPS touchscreen panel, model number AUO B140UAN02.1 (LEN403A). Its diagonal is 14″ (35.6 cm), and the resolution – 1920 x 1200. Additionally, the screen ratio is 16:10, the pixel density – 162 ppi, and their pitch – 0.16 x 0.16 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 53 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).

Viewing angles are comfortable. We have provided images at 45 degrees to evaluate quality.

Also, a video with locked focus and exposure.

The maximum measured brightness is 396 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and 385 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 12%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 6050K (average) – slightly warmer than the 6500K optimum for sRGB.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. The illustration below shows how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 66% Brightness (White level = 140 cd/m2, Black level = 0.08 cd/m2).
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio is very good – 1830:1.

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.

Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people on HDTV and on the web. As for Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.

Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.

The yellow dotted line shows Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 3’s color gamut coverage.

Its display covers 96% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.

Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.

We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.

Below you can compare the scores of Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 3 with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).

The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.

The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale, and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.

Response time (Gaming capabilities)

We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.

We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 36 ms.

After that, we test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “Gray-to-Gray” method from 50% White to 80% White and vice versa between 10% and 90% of the amplitude.


Health impact – PWM / Blue Light

PWM (Screen flickering)

Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.

Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 3’s backlight doesn’t use PWM for brightness adjustment. This makes it comfortable for long periods of use.

Blue light emissions

Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.

Gloss level measurement

Glossy-coated displays are sometimes inconvenient in high ambient light conditions. We show the level of reflection on the screen for the respective laptop when the display is turned off and the measurement angle is 60° (in this case, the result is 64.7 GU).


Buy our profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 3 configurations with 14.0″ AUO B140UAN02.1 (LEN403A) (WUXGA, 1920 × 1200) IPS.

*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]

Read more about the profiles HERE.

In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.

Office Work

Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.

Design and Gaming

This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.

Health-Guard

Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.

Get all 3 profiles with 33% discount


Sound

Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 3’s Dobly Audio speakers produce a sound of decent quality. Its low, mid, and high tones are clear of deviations.


Drivers

All drivers and utilities for this notebook can be found here: https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/en/products/laptops-and-netbooks/thinkpad-t-series-laptops/thinkpad-t14-gen-3-type-21ah-21aj/downloads/driver-list

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with the Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. This machine’s 52.5Wh battery pack lasts for 8 hours and 37 minutes of Web browsing, or 6 hours and 11 minutes of video playback on a single charge.


CPU options

This laptop is offered in an AMD and an Intel variant. Our configuration is part of the latter group, which features one of the following processors: Core i5-1235U, Core i5-1245U, Core i7-1255U, Core i7-1265U, Core i5-1240P, Core i5-1250P, Core i7-1260P, Core i7-1270P, or Core i7-1280P. This is a rather wide mixture of Alder Lake-U and Alder Lake-P CPUs.


GPU options

On the graphics side, things are a bit less complicated. You either get the integrated graphics card, or you can go for the dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX550 with 2GB of GDDR6 VRAM.

Of course, there is a disclaimer regarding the iGPU. In order for the Iris Xe Graphics to function as such, you need to configure the machine with dual-channel RAM. Otherwise, it will work as an Intel UHD Graphics, which is significantly less powerful.


Gaming tests

cs-go-benchmarks

CS:GO HD 1080p, Low (Check settings) HD 1080p, Medium (Check settings) HD 1080p, MAX (Check settings)
Average FPS 91 fps 78 fps 42 fps

DOTA 2 HD 1080p, Low (Check settings) HD 1080p, Normal (Check settings) HD 1080p, High (Check settings)
Average FPS 102 fps 68 fps 36 fps

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average P-core frequency; Average E-core frequency; CPU temp.; Package Power

Intel Core i7-1260P (28W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 3 2.86 GHz @ 2.38 GHz @ 80°C @ 47W 2.49 GHz @ 2.16 GHz @ 84°C @ 37W 1.70 GHz @ 1.36 GHz @ 70°C @ 21W
Acer Swift 5 (SF514-56T) 3.23 GHz @ 2.58 GHz @ 82°C @ 61W 2.35 GHz @ 1.90 GHz @ 86°C @ 42W 2.27 GHz @ 1.73 GHz @ 72°C @ 30W
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 2.88 GHz @ 2.39 GHz @ 78°C @ 47W 2.76 GHz @ 2.33 GHz @ 94°C @ 44W 2.08 GHz @ 1.67 GHz @ 82°C @ 28W
Dell Vostro 16 5620 2.55 GHz @ 2.14 GHz @ 73°C @ 41W 2.54 GHz @ 2.12 GHz @ 82°C @ 40W 1.97 GHz @ 1.61 GHz @ 74°C @ 28W
Lenovo ThinkPad T16 Gen 1 2.66 GHz @ 2.29 GHz @ 72°C @ 47W 1.21 GHz @ 1.53 GHz @ 63°C @ 20W 1.26 GHz @ 1.54 GHz @ 64°C @ 20W

Considering the scores of the ThinkPad T16 Gen 1, we can’t say that the ThinkPad T14 Gen 3 has failed. Quite the opposite in fact. The machine managed quite high clock speeds for the short, and medium-speed loads, which is probably 99% of the use case for this notebook. Long loads, don’t show as high clocks as we’d like but that’s because of the thermal profile of the machine.

Comfort during full load

Lenovo went for a cool and quiet approach, instead of an all-out one. Relying on the horsepower of the Alder Lake P-series processors to do the heavy lifting. We have to say that the situation with the U-series should be pretty much the same, which will ultimately result in even lower temperatures. Our configuration was running with a hotspot of 40°C, which is definitely not too warm, considering the huge load.


Verdict

As always, there is confusion around the build material of your Lenovo laptop. And it’s not because of lack of information, but rather due to the abundance of information. Nevertheless, the build quality is pretty good, although we found the base to be a bit too flexy.

What we are happier with, however, is the port situation. Both inside and out. We are talking about a couple of Thunderbolt 4 connectors, two USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) ports, a LAN port, a SIM card slot, and more.

And on the inside, you get a SODIMM slot for memory expansion, as well as one M.2 PCIe x4 slot, which fits both Gen 3 and Gen 4 SSDs. As a matter of fact, there are either 8 or 16GB of DDR4 RAM soldered to the motherboard.

Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 3’s IPS panel has a WUXGA resolution, comfortable viewing angles, and a very good contrast ratio. It covers 96% of the sRGB color gamut and its colors are accurate enough for the screen to be used for professional work. In addition, the backlight doesn’t use PWM for brightness adjustment, which is great.

The battery life with the Alder Lake P-series is not very impressive. Yes, you could do very light Web browsing for about 8 hours and a half on a single charge, but watching videos will drain it for 6 hours. Keep in mind that this is the larger 52.5W package.

So just be sure that you don’t forget your charger. On the bright side, the machine is stacked with features. Some of them include an optional Full HD Web camera with a privacy shutter, and an IR face recognition scanner. An embedded fingerprint reader is also available.

Usually, this would set it apart from the less expensive ThinkPad E14 model. However, the Gen 4 was a fantastic unit, that brings a remarkable quantity of features for a very good price.

This is why we would pick the more affordable laptop in this case. Well, that’s if you don’t need the great display of the T14 Gen 3, or the optional 4K IPS unit.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-thinkpad-t14-gen-3-intel/

Pros

  • Its keyboard is backlit and spill-resistant
  • Optional fingerprint reader and IR face recognition
  • SIM card slot with LTE support
  • 1x SODIMM + 1x M.2 PCIe x4 Gen 4
  • Covers 96% of sRGB + accurate colors with our profiles (AUO B140UAN02.1 (LEN403A))
  • No PWM (AUO B140UAN02.1 (LEN403A))
  • Charges via Thunderbolt 4
  • Quiet and reasonable performance


Cons

  • Average battery life
  • Less powerful in long loads

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