Because your ordinary laptop is just too boring. This is one of the few reasons Lenovo created the ThinkBook Plus. However, it is far from being the major one. When you think of the most things business people do on their notebooks, some actions are found more often than others – reading/writing emails, reviewing PDF documents, and sketching a thing or two on the go.
Well, in order to do so, you either need a 2-in-1 computer, or you have to be very nimble with your fingers. What if we told you that there is another way. You know, there are the kindles out there, specifically designed to work with ebooks and documents. Additionally, there is the E-Ink tablet that tried to blow the Internet away but didn’t really manage to do so.
Now, the ThinkPad Plus comes with an additional display, placed on the other side of the lid, and it combines the goods from both the e-reader and the e-tablet world.
Say hello to one of the first laptops that embody a full E-Ink experience, without taking away the regular clamshell design and versatility of its users. In addition to that, you will get the laptop with Comet Lake processors, a 1080p IPS panel with supposedly 100% sRGB coverage, and a build quality that deserves talking about.
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-thinkbook-plus/
Lenovo ThinkBook Plus - Specs
All Lenovo ThinkBook Plus configurationsSee all Lenovo ThinkBook Plus review – far away from ordinary configurations
What’s in the box?
Inside the package, we found a 65W power brick with USB Type-C connection, some paper manuals, and a dedicated Pen.
Design and construction
Obviously, this is an extraordinary piece of equipment. Yes, when it’s opened it looks just like your regular device, with thin bezels around the display, aluminum base and lid, and well-built chassis. However, when you close it, you are going to see the secondary screen, which has a diagonal of 10.8 inches and is covered by Gorilla Glass. As the popular guy on the Web said – glass is glass and glass breaks. So there is an immediate issue concerning this notebook. How durable is it? Well, only time will show, but the inclusion of the Gorilla Glass cover on top of the E-Ink unit will certainly make breaking it harder. Despite the increased weight of adding a second display and protecting it with a glass cover, the laptop weighs only 1.40 kg and has a profile of 17.4mm.
So, how about the usability of the headline feature. Well, as you can expect from an E-Ink unit, it won’t provide the snappiest experiences of them all. Due to the technology it uses, all pixels refresh only when needed. On the head side of the coin, there is low to practically no battery usage on some occasions, but on the other hand, you would have to give up speed. Thankfully, Lenovo provides a dedicated stylus to work with this display and quite honestly, don’t expect miracles from it. Sadly, it doesn’t deliver the same performance as your drawing tablet, but honestly, no one expects it to. However, you can take quick notes or draw a sketch effortlessly, and we didn’t experience any issues with the speed it detects your input – pretty remarkable.
Another usage scenario of this device is just using it as a regular e-reader reader. This will have a lot less strain on your eyes, because of the lack of a backlight and the natural-looking color of the “pages”. Additionally, you can set up a calendar and mail to show on the front page, but it currently only works with Microsoft products.
Now, despite all the fuss about the hinges on Lenovo’s Web page, stating they are made out of zinc alloy and have indium and tin (stannum) coatings – something very exotic in the laptop world, you won’t be able to open the lid with a single hand. This means there is no immediate return on all of the aforementioned, but what Lenovo promises is that it lasts 25 000 open-and-close cycles. So, if you open and close your laptop once a day, the hinges would last around 68 years – roughly the same amount of time as the life expectancy in Turkmenistan.
After that, let’s move to the base. And you are right to wonder where is the Power button. Well, it is placed on the right side of the notebook and houses a fingerprint reader. As of the rest of the keys, they have slightly shallower travel than the average, but the feedback is clicky and the overall experience is comfortable. Additionally, there is a backlight with two levels of brightness.
And while its touchpad has a good gliding with its Mylar surface, we feel that the tracking could have been slightly more precise, given the price tag.
Lastly, on the bottom plate, you’ll find the speaker cutouts and the ventilation grill. while the hot air escapes from a wide but thin vent on the back.
On the left side, there is an HDMI 1.4b connector, a USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen. 2) port, used for charging and DisplayPort output, and an audio jack. Respectively on the right, there are two USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1) ports and the Power On/Off button, which houses the fingerprint reader.
Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance
This device’s bottom panel is held in place by 9 Torx-head screws. After you undo them, you have to pry the panel away with a plastic tool. The easiest way to start is from around the hinges.
As you can see, the cooling comprises two fans, a thick heat pipe, and a rather long heat sink.
Quite frankly we weren’t expecting to see upgradable memory, but thankfully, Lenovo has provided a single RAM SODIMM slot, which supports up to 16GB of DDR4 memory, ticking at 2666 MHz. Storage-wise, there is a single M.2 PCIe x4 slot.
In terms of battery, this laptop is equipped with a 45Wh unit.
Lenovo ThinkBook Plus is equipped with a Full HD touchscreen IPS panel, LG LP133WF7-SPB1 (LEN8194). Its diagonal is 13.3-inch (33.78 cm), and the resolution – 1920 х 1080p. Additionally, the screen ratio is 16:9, the pixel density – 166 ppi, their pitch – 0.15 х 0.15 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 50 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).
Viewing angles are comfortable. We offer images at different angles to evaluate the quality.
The maximum measured brightness is 329 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and also 310 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of just 14%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 6540K – basically matching the 6500K temperature for sRGB.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from uniformity perspective. The illustration below shows how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 42% Brightness (White level = 140 cd/m2, Black level = 0.09 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 excellent – 1700:1 (1610:1 after profiling).
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 in HDTV and on the web. As for the 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 ThinkBook Plus’s color gamut coverage.
Its display covers 91% 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 ThinkBook Plus 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 = 27 ms.
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 ThinkBook Plus’s display backlight doesn’t flicker at any brightness level, making it comfortable for extended work sessions in this aspect.
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.
Lenovo ThinkBook Plus’s display has an IPS panel with a Full HD resolution, comfortable viewing angles, and a good contrast ratio. Moreover, it can be used for long hours without harming your eyes, because it doesn’t flicker. In terms of color accuracy, the display is not great. We are talking about an average dE of 7.0. However, our Gaming and Web design profile greatly improves it, bringing the Average dE down to just 1.2. This makes it great for content creation or color-sensitive work.
Buy our profiles
Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Lenovo ThinkBook Plus configurations with 13.3″ LG LP133WF7-SPB1 (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS panel.
*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 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.
THealth-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.
Lenovo ThinkBook Plus’s speakers are tuned by Harman and produce a rather loud sound with good quality. Its low, mid, and high tones are clear of deviations.
All of the drivers and utilities for this notebook can be found here: https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/en/products/laptops-and-netbooks/thinkbook-series/thinkbook-plus/downloads/driver-list
Now, we conduct the battery tests with 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. We got 8 hours and 32 minutes of Web browsing and 8 hours and 43 minutes of video playback.
In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.
For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.
You can snatch this notebook with one of the following processors – Core i5-10210U, Core i7-10510U, and the flagship of the series – Core i7-10710U. Here, you can see the results of this laptop in Performance mode. However, by default, it comes with Intelligent Cooling turned on. It basically reduces the performance and the fan noise, which results in significantly lower benchmark scores – 499 in Cinebench 15 and 10.50s in Photoshop.
Results are from the Cinebench 15 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)
In contrast to the multiple-choice for the CPU, there is only one for the GPU. Or… actually, you have no choice, whatsoever – you can only get the integrated Intel UHD Graphics.
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Superposition benchmark (higher the score, the better)
|CS:GO||HD 1080p, Low (Check settings)||HD 1080p, Medium (Check settings)||HD 1080p, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||33 fps||21 fps||– fps|
|DOTA 2||HD 1080p, Low (Check settings)||HD 1080p, Normal (Check settings)||HD 1080p, High (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||59 fps||30 fps||– 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 core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.
|Intel Core i5-10210U (15W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|Lenovo ThinkBook Plus||1.90 GHz (B+19%) @ 61°C||1.92 GHz (B+20%) @ 67°C||1.50 GHz @ 64°C|
|Lenovo ThinkBook Plus (Performance Mode)||3.04 GHz (B+90%) @ 96°C||2.72 GHz (B+70%) @ 98°C||2.12 GHz (B+33%) @ 80°C|
|HP ProBook 430 G7||2.59 GHz (B+62%) @ 71°C||2.46 GHz (B+54%) @ 78°C||2.07 GHz (B+29%) @ 74°C|
|HP Probook 440 G7||2.68 GHz (B+68%) @ 59°C||2.68 GHz (B+68%) @ 67°C||2.20 GHz (B+38%) @ 72°C|
|Lenovo ThinkBook 15-IML||3.08 GHz (B+93%) @ 73°C||3.00 GHz (B+88%) @ 82°C||2.55 GHz (B+59%) @ 80°C|
|Lenovo ThinkPad L13||3.04 GHz (B+90%) @ 97°C||2.10 GHz (B+31%) @ 97°C||2.12 GHz (B+33%) @ 79°C|
|ASUS ZenBook Duo UX481||3.26 GHz (B+104%) @ 94°C||2.77 GHz (B+73%) @ 98°C||2.06 GHz (B+29%) @ 71°C|
Here, you can clearly see the effects of the Performance mode, and the differences to the so-called Intelligent cooling. All-in-all, this laptop doesn’t shine with its cooling powers. Either you get a loud and warm experience, or your laptop will be cool, quiet, but yet rather slow when it comes to processor-intensive tasks.
Comfort during full load
When Intelligent cooling is used (the image on the left), the laptop is both cool and quiet under heavy load, contrary to when you apply the Performance profile from the Lenovo Vantage menu (the image on the right).
Despite the rather poor performance from the Intelligent mode, we reckon that this will be the most often used scenario. After all, this is a business laptop, and if you want a lot of CPU headroom, you should reconsider the ULV processors, whatsoever.
Nevertheless, you’re probably not here because you are interested in the performance of this laptop. Yet, you should be more interested in the E-Ink display, and how big of a difference it makes to a regular device. Well, the short answer is that this feature is useful, but not groundbreaking. Indeed, it offers you the opportunity to draw, sketch, read, and highlight any forms of documents. Additionally, it has a dedicated stylus with 4096 pressure points and a magnet on the side, where you can secure it, so you don’t lose it around your desk.
However, the entire purpose of the E-Ink niche is simplicity. It is used in e-readers because it lacks a backlight and doesn’t produce a strain on your eyes. Yet, it has good contrast and it refreshes only when needed, making it less of a pain to the battery. However, in the laptop world, you need everything fast. Click on that, see what you need in a matter of moments, and then continue to do your work. Well, the case here is that all pages need some time to load. And it is not the laptop hardware that is slowing things down – it is the technology of the E-Ink display. With every refresh, it needs to recalculate what every pixel should show, but it does it once in a while. Meaning – latency. Thankfully, though, you won’t experience this issue when sketching a thing with the “drawing” function.
As of Lenovo ThinkBook Plus’s main display – it has an IPS panel (LG LP133WF7-SPB1) with a Full HD resolution, comfortable viewing angles, and a good contrast ratio. Moreover, it can be used for long hours without harming your eyes, because it doesn’t flicker. In terms of color accuracy, the display is not great. We are talking about an average dE of 7.0. However, our Gaming and Web design profile greatly improves it, bringing the Average dE down to just 1.2. This makes it great for content creation or color-sensitive work.
Well, the 45Wh battery doesn’t deliver the promised 10 hours. In our tests, we got 8 hours and 32 minutes of Web browsing and roughly 10 minutes more of video playback. It’s still decent, though, and combined with the upgradable memory (through a single RAM SODIMM slot), and storage (M.2 PCIe x4 slot), this is a very respectable machine.
One thing we didn’t really like is that it only has one USB Type-C port. Overall, the entire port selection is a bit modest (not as modest as the MacBooks, though), as it lacks an RJ-45 connector and an SD card reader, but what frustrates us the most is that the single USB Type-C port is used for charging. So, if you are charging your laptop, or ultimately want to get the maximum performance out of it, you can’t connect an external monitor or an eGPU.
Nevertheless, ThinkBook Plus is an exotic laptop that comes at a price. Should you be willing to pay the $1300+ for the base model and you are not afraid of breaking the glass on the lid, go for it. Other than that, the ThinkBook 13s is a pretty similar laptop, that provides most of what the ThinkBook Plus has to offer.
- Useful E-Ink display with a stylus inside the box
- Decent upgradability
- The display doesn’t flicker at any brightness level (LG LP133WF7-SPB1)
- Has a good contrast ratio and comfortable viewing angles (LG LP133WF7-SPB1)
- Covers 92% of sRGB and color accuracy is greatly improved with our Gaming and Web design profile (LG LP133WF7-SPB1)
- Very good build quality
- Lacks an SD card reader and has only one USB Type-C port, also used for charging
- Not the best cooling solution out there
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-thinkbook-plus/