If you want it to be a sleek and lightweight laptop, Dell's XPS 13 will appeal to many. Others appreciate the very good keyboards and the build quality of Thinkpads. "Why not put both in a notebook?" Surely, that was the idea behind Lenovo's new Thinkbook – a new brand that is not yet well known. The naming is reminiscent of a mixture of two divisions of the manufacturer, the cheaper yogabooks and the higher quality Thinkpads.

Even at the price, the Chinese find a middle ground: From about 800 euros there is the Thinkbook S13 with Intel Core i5-8265U, 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB SSD. Golem.de has tested a version with a slightly higher clocking Core i7-8565U, 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB SSD for currently 1,020 euros. The price varies with this configuration, but it's surprising how much hardware we get for the money.

The steel-gray housing made of magnesium-coated aluminum pleases: It does not look as simple as the rubber-coated chassis of a ThinkPad, but is just as well made. Lenovo also manages to build a relatively compact chassis, as the display bezels are comparatively narrow for this manufacturer. Striking is the relatively thick bottom edge – here would certainly have a space for typing and Web browsing practical 3: 2 display space. The 13.3-inch panel fits into the housing with dimensions of 307 x 216 x 16 mm. With a weight of 1,331 grams, it is slightly larger and heavier than a current Dell XPS 13 (9380), but this is traditionally ahead.

Little luminosity, many connections

Even with Lenovo, it is now no longer standard to install a 180-degree adjustable panel. However, with the Thinkbook we can lay the lid flat on the floor. The display itself is an anti-glare IPS screen with solid viewing angles and 1080p resolution. We measure brightness values ​​of up to 256 cd / m², an average of 248 cd / m². With these values, we prefer to use the business notebook indoors instead of under the sunshade on hot summer days. That's a pity, because the uniformity of the illumination is impressive, which stands out positively in dark scenes when watching Netflix series.

Lenovo Thinkbook 13s (Image: Heiko Raschke / Golem.de)

Job market

  1. Research Center Jülich GmbH, Jülich
  2. BWI GmbH, Hilden

The Thinkbook does not lack connectors: two USB A 3.2 Gen 1 sockets and USB Type C with USB 3.2 Gen2 speed are no longer common users today – even an XPS 13 replaces these connectors with fewer Thunderbolt connectors. 3 sockets. The Thinkbook even has room for a full-size HDMI 1.4b port, which does not necessarily support the 4K 60Hz TV, but many projectors in conference rooms. Only an SD card reader, we would have wished.

The good inherited from the mother

A look at the keyboard of the Thinkbook shows us: The product comes from a long line of good keyboards for which Thinkpads are loved. The keys have the typical size and shape, including the one convex side. The key layout is also well thought out: all function keys are in the right places and even the Ctrl and Fn keys on the left side are not interchanged here as on some Thinkpads. Typing feels a bit different – like a combination of the flat chiclet keyboard of an ideapad and the more tactile higher buttons on a thinkpad. We like the somewhat shorter but noticeable pressure point of the white illuminated keyboard.

The touchpad is also solid and responsive, but without the additional keys of a conventional Thinkpad. Also a trackpoint is missing. Striking is the large illuminated power switch, which also integrates a fingerprint sensor – practical.

Lenovo Thinkbook 13s (Image: Heiko Raschke / Golem.de)

We wonder where Lenovo has saved money to offer the Thinkbook for a low price. The CPU is definitely not – the battery already rather.

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