With ThinkBook laptops, Lenovo hopes to catch eye of millennial workforce

The kid siblings of buttoned-down ThinkPads, the new notebooks emphasize style to attract younger workers in small- and medium-sized business.
Written by Sean Portnoy, Contributor

Lenovo ThinkBook

A foldable PC and AR/VR headset grabbed the headlines at Lenovo's Accelerate press event, but a new laptop family also announced today will probably do more for the company's bottom line in the short term. Combining the corporate bonafides of ThinkPads with the design flair of a certain other computer maker's popular laptops, the ThinkBook lineup is explicitly designed for younger workers who need business essentials but crave them in an aesthetically pleasing package that doesn't scream "cubicle occupant."

Just how explicit is that pitch? Lenovo's press release summarizes the latest entrants into the workforce thusly: "Comprised of Millennials and Gen Z, these two generations of workers crave meaningful employment and expect company devices that blur the lines of work, life, passion and purpose." The first ThinkBooks -- the 13s and 14s -- are being positioned to hit that sweet spot between creation and recreation, though businesses with any generation of workers can look past the pandering to the younger generation and see the appeal of the new units.

For a starting price of a little over $700, the ThinkBooks tip the scales around 3 pounds (a little more for the 14-inch model) and are crafted from aluminum and magnesium. Their 1080p full HD displays sport a a mere 5mm bezel and can lay flat thanks to a 180-degree hinge. A fingerprint reader is integrated into the power button, while Windows Modern Standby mode on the 13s keeps playing your music and loading emails in the background while the lid is closed. (Available, however, only if you choose a configuration with Intel's integrated graphics.)

The ThinkBooks offer eighth-generation Intel Core processors, 8GB or 16GB of memory, and AMD Radeon 540X dedicated graphics (standard on the 14s, optional on the 13s). Solid-state storage options include a 256GB SATA drive, or a 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB PCIe drive. The 13s with Intel integrated graphics also has rapid charging capabilities, restoring 80 percent of battery life with just an hour's charge. Lenovo claims 11 hours of battery life for the 13s, while the 14s has a claimed battery life of 10 hours. Other corporate-friendly features include discrete TPM 2.0 security, Skype dedicated hot keys, and spill-resistant keyboards.

Both ThinkBooks are expected to become available later this month, with the 13s starting price set at $729 and the 14s base configuration starting at $749. 

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