With the barrage of new laptops that got released around the time of CES 2021, with most of them being gaming-oriented devices, we kind of lost track of the other great additions to the laptop market.
The budget category is becoming more interesting with every passing year, with hardware becoming more powerful, there are great options that can punch above their weight. One such device is the Lenovo ThinkPad E15 Gen 2, which comes with the latest Tiger Lake chips from Intel, which bring with them the best iGPUs that you can find right now.
Without further ado, here are LaptopMedia’s top 5 picks about the Lenovo ThinkPad E15 Gen 2.
3 reasons to BUY the Lenovo ThinkPad E15 Gen 2
1. The Design and build quality
While the base is made out of plastic, we didn’t notice flexing that is outside the boundaries. The lid, however, is 100% aluminum, and it has the cool to the touch feeling, that is unanimous with aluminum. Dimensions-wise, the laptop retains the 18.9 mm profile, but somehow it has managed to shave off 200 grams off of the weight, bringing it down to 1.70 kg. Also, the laptop has passed the MIL-STD-810H strength tests from the US military.
2. The Upgradeability
What happens with most budget laptops is that to make the production costs low, the manufacturers utilize soldered memory, leaving the option to expand it down the line in the dust. The ThinkPad E15 Gen 2, has one SODIMM slot for future RAM expansion, that supports up to 32GB of DDR4 memory, working at 3200MHz, and two M.2 PCIe x4 slots, one for 42mm, and one for 80mm drives.
In case you’re afraid to open up your laptop or are just inexperienced, we will have our detailed teardown video, which shows a step-by-step way of safely getting access to both the SODIMM RAM and SSD storage slots.
3. The I/O and features
The I/O is great, considering the price point. You get a Thunderbolt 4 connector, but there is a caveat, the same port doubles as the charging port, and as you’ll see in the battery life section of the article, you’ll need the port a lot. Other than that, you get two more USB Type-A ports, a 3.5 mm audio jack, and an HDMI connector.
One great feature of the ThinkPad E15 Gen 2 is the spill-resistant keyboard, which is great for the clumsier of us. The keyboard, even without the spill-resistant aspect, is one of the best keyboards ever. It has a long key travel, making for a great typing experience. The feedback from it is clicky and quiet. It has a dedicated NumPad, as well as a backlight and the infamous Red Nipple.
2 reasons NOT to buy the Lenovo ThinkPad E15 Gen 2
1. The Battery life
The battery life here isn’t great, even with the already very power-efficient Tiger Lake processors. The laptop’s relatively small 45Wh unit managed to last through 6 hours and 57 minutes of web browsing and 6 hours and 54 minutes of video playback. The way we do our battery tests is 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.
2. The Display
The Lenovo ThinkPad E15 Gen 2 comes with a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS panel that has comfortable viewing angles, a good contrast ratio, and a decent pixel response time. Additionally, the screen doesn’t use PWM to adjust its brightness, making it safe for prolonged periods of time. Unfortunately, its budget nature showed itself quite prominently, when we tested the color coverage and color accuracy. It covers only 51% of the sRGB color gamut.
Below you can see the results from our color coverage test, which uses the 24 most commonly used colors. The results are both with the factory settings (left) and with our “Gaming and web design” profile applied (right).
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Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Lenovo ThinkPad E15 Gen 2 configurations with 15.6″ LG LP156WFC-SPD1 (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS.
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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 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.