Lenovo ThinkBook Plus 20TG evaluate: A secondary e-ink laptop computer show is attention-grabbing, but it surely isn’t but practical- Technology News, Firstpost


At Rs 1,40,000, this ThinkBook Plus is a premium laptop computer. Given that it’s powered by a 14nm 10th Gen Comet Lake CPU when the world has moved on to 11th Gen Intel components and seven nm fifth Gen AMD Ryzens, nonetheless, it’s not likely packing premium {hardware}.
You get a good show, an important keyboard, weak audio system and tolerable battery life. There’s a fingerprint reader on the facet, and the lid is about as thick because the physique. It’s too heavy to be an Ultrabook however not highly effective sufficient to be something greater than a every day driver for workplace work.

So why does it value a lot?

Well, take a better have a look at the lid and also you’ll discover that it’s not only a lid, it’s a secondary show. And not simply any show, that is an e-ink show – sure, the identical tech you’ll discover in a Kindle’s display.

Given its worth, you’re actually not shopping for this laptop computer for show high quality, aesthetics, or efficiency. You’re shopping for it for that e-ink show, and also you’re keen to place up with the added weight, bulk, and slower CPU for the pleasure of utilizing that show.

This begs the query: Is it value it?

Before I reply that, let me simply get the common laptop computer stuff out of the best way.

While it’s powered by a low-power Intel Core i7 CPU, Lenovo seems to have both dialed the CPU right down to a fair decrease energy setting, or determined that silent cooling is extra necessary than satisfactory cooling. In both case, the laptop computer scores poorly in CPU benchmarks, and doesn’t even handle to hit its 1.1 GHz base clock below load.

When utilizing Word or Excel, efficiency appears satisfactory and the silence is appreciated. However, shopping the online is a special matter. You can really feel the system decelerate when too many tabs are open, and actually, browser benchmarks point out that this is without doubt one of the slowest laptops we’ve examined because the begin of the pandemic (mask-up, folks, and keep protected). The solely machine that’s slower is the Microsoft Surface Go 2, and that machine makes use of a fair decrease energy Core M3 CPU.

Otherwise, the laptop computer is nice. The show covers 91 % of the sRGB spectrum and at 1520:1, boasts of the very best distinction ratio I’ve seen on an LCD show. Text is sharp and clear and pleasing to the attention. As anticipated from Lenovo, the keyboard can also be nice. The keys are simple to index, and whereas just a little stiff, really feel good to sort on. The audio system are insufficient, although. I may barely hear them over my ceiling fan and I even struggled to observe conversations in a few conferences.

The one unassailable function of the ThinkBook Plus is its keyboard. Image: Anirudh Regidi

Battery life was satisfactory, however not sufficient for a full day. At 120 nits – or about half-brightness – the laptop computer solely managed to final just a little below 6 hrs. Laptops on this worth class – except they’re gaming laptops – have a tendency to supply one thing within the 10-12 hr vary.

Let’s speak E-ink already!

E-ink shows are nice for consuming textual content on, which is why high quality e-readers just like the Kindle use them. They’re the closest factor to digital paper and since they’re not backlit, there’s no eyestrain. On the opposite hand, e-ink shows are sluggish to reply, function at a refresh price of lower than a number of Hz – vs the 60 Hz of an everyday show – and might’t be seen at the hours of darkness.

Lenovo’s positioned an e-ink show on the lid of the ThinkBook. When the laptop computer is shut, you’re an e-ink display. The thought, in keeping with a Lenovo spokesperson, is that the e-ink display will minimize down our dependency on different screens. Read this because the devices we now have on us on a regular basis, together with our smartwatches and smartphones. Since the e-ink display will render all mandatory data at a look, you received’t be so depending on different units.

I like the idea of an e-ink display... on a Kindle. I’m not sure what purpose it serves on the lid of a laptop. Image: Anirudh Regidi

I like the thought of an e-ink show… on a Kindle. I’m undecided what objective it serves on the lid of a laptop computer. Image: Anirudh Regidi

What data? Battery life, the climate, the time, your Outlook calendar, and your Outlook e mail. That’s it. Nothing extra. Additionally, the display is touch-sensitive, and you may entry your laptop computer’s SSD to learn and annotate paperwork, together with PDF information. You can even take notes, which sync immediately with OneNote.

This sounds… attention-grabbing. But is that each one it will possibly do?

Sadly, sure.

You can learn mails, however you’ll be able to’t reply to them. You can annotate PDFs, however you’ll be able to’t immediately mail edited copies. You can learn PDFs, however you’ll be able to’t browse the online. You can get notifications, however would you actually be staring on the lid of a closed laptop computer or the cellphone that’s buzzing in your pocket or in your desk?

Since you’ll be able to’t do something important with that e-ink display, you’ll must open your laptop computer anyway. Since it doesn’t actively notify you, you’re going to be caught in your cellphone or watch. Did you ever sit again at your desk and assume, “Hmmm… rather than spend half a second opening the lid, I’d rather spend a dozen reading my mail on that e-ink display and then open the lid anyway to respond?”


“This PDF needs annotating. I will download the file to a folder on my PC, shut the lid, rummage about the laptop case for my stylus, spend a few seconds tapping at the lethargic e-ink display and navigate to the file, open the PDF, spend minutes fiddling with sluggish controls, annotate the file, save it, then open my laptop, attach it to the mail thread, and hit send.”

If I needed to learn, I’d get a Kindle; it even comes with an online browser. If I needed to annotate information or scribble on digital notepaper, I’d get an iPad or perhaps a do-it-all laptop computer/pill hybrid like Lenovo’s incredible YogaBooks. For notifications, I have already got my cellphone, and I can do extra on my cellphone than simply learn mails and verify the climate.
The e-ink show doesn’t simplify something.

This chart shows the relative performance difference between the ThinkBook Plus and a similarly priced Ultrabook. As you can see, the ThinkBook is utterly outclassed. Image: Anirudh Regidi

This chart reveals the relative efficiency distinction between the ThinkBook Plus and a equally priced Ultrabook. As you’ll be able to see, the ThinkBook is totally outclassed. Image: Anirudh Regidi

Innovation for the sake of it?

I used to be among the many fortunate few to get my arms on a first-gen iPhone quickly after its launch, and whereas I used to be excited by what it represented, I used to be additionally fast to dismiss it as a complicated prototype. I’d appear like a idiot in hindsight, however the truth stays that the first-gen iPhone simply wasn’t superb. You couldn’t copy-paste textual content, there have been no apps, and the contact keyboard SUCKED in comparison with the beloved BlackBerrys and T9s of the period. Hell, you couldn’t even file video or click on selfies. It’s the iPhone 3G and the arrival of the App Store that really put the iPhone on the map.

With different first-gen tech just like the iPad, Google’s Chrome browser, and each PC gamer’s now beloved Steam platform, it’s an identical story.

I don’t consider that to be the case with this ThinkBook. Sure, the e-ink show is severely restricted in operate now, and Lenovo is engaged on up to date variations with added performance. But in contrast to the primary iPhone or the primary iPad or Chrome V1.0, I’m afraid I don’t see potential right here.

Hey, perhaps I’m simply horrible at studying tea leaves and Lenovo’s engineers have a grand imaginative and prescient for secondary e-ink screens. All I do know is that I’ve spent weeks with this laptop computer and I simply can’t determine what I’d need with a secondary e-ink show. If you’ll be able to see a cause to spend Rs 1.four lakh on this laptop computer, go proper forward, however let me know why you probably did. Perhaps you see one thing I don’t, and I’d wish to know what that’s.

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