If we were, to sum up Lenovo’s inception in a few words, those would be “In 1984, 11 Chinese scientists decided to start a computer company. The rest is legend”. Started at the same time as Dell, one of its major competitors, Lenovo faced plenty of problems in the beginning, mostly due to the academic mentality of its founders (as opposed to the marketing-oriented brain necessary). However, in just 30 years, it surpassed HP and became world’s largest PC manufacturer, also succeeding in purchasing the PC line of IBM, which is THE computer company. It also acquired Motorola, which allowed it to enter the smartphone market properly. Currently, Lenovo has operations in 60 countries and sales in 160 countries, being one of the most expensive companies of its kind, and it is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
To help you with the quest of finding the best Lenovo laptop, we’ve compiled a nice list of our favorite products, which comprises laptops belonging to all categories. You can either pick one of these laptops or, if none of these models is what floats your goat, you’ll at least get a clue as to where to start searching. Let us thus see what we’re up to.
1. Lenovo IdeaPad Y700 80NV00Q7US
This little beast is what Lenovo offers as the top gaming machine. While, as said, it’s not exactly as powerful as the most powerful Asus or Alienware machines, the price difference makes the IdeaPads not only viable alternatives but also preferable in many cases. What’s more, don’t think that the performance difference is all that great.
This model is built around an Intel i7-6700HQ, quad-core, 2.6GHz and up to 3.5GHz Turbo Boost, and a nVidia GTX 960M, 4GB GDDR5 VRAM, a pretty high-end discrete graphics card which allows for high-end games at native resolution on the 15.6”FHD IPS display. It also features 16GB DDR4, as well as a 1TB HDD and a 512GB SSD – pretty neat considering most laptops only have one of the two types of storage. This is the most powerful computer here and great price per quality, as compared to other major companies.
2. Lenovo IdeaPad 700 80RU00FEUS
While the Y700 are the “premium” gaming laptops, there are some more “budget” gaming laptops which are not so far from them regarding performance, but they’re a lot better-priced. In fact, if you’re not all that keen on playing every single new release on Ultra settings, this model might just be exactly what you’re looking for. After all, gaming doesn’t have to drain your pocket as it does your energy.
The IdeaPad 700 has a 6th generation Intel i5-6700HQ, quad-core, 2.3GHz and up to 3.1GHz with Turbo Boost. Its FHD IPS screen is powered by a nVidia GTX 950M, 4GB GDDR5, just a teeny bit slower than the 960M. The 256GB SSD is enough storage for all practical purposes unless you’re a game hoarder, and the 12GB RAM will allow as many Chrome tabs open as you’ll ever need. In short, we can declare this computer, without reserves, the best Lenovo budget gaming laptop and one of the best values for money.
3. Lenovo IdeaPad 15 i7
While the ThinkPad was thought of by IBM, the IdeaPad is Lenovo’s idea (hehe, bad puns). This is one of the most representative classic laptops for Lenovo, while the Yoga models are the most representative modern devices. This model is definitely what you’re looking for if you’re a businessman, casual graphic designer, movie fan, music listener, writer, student, and pretty much everything else. Due to the lack of a discrete graphics card, it’s not particularly suited for games, but you can still casually play some of the older releases no problem.
This IdeaPad features a high-end i7-6500U, quad-core, 2.5GHz and up to 3.1GHz Turbo, with an integrated video chip Intel HD Graphics 520. It has 8GB DDR4 RAM, as well as a 256GB SSD – the most appreciated modern form of storage. With this laptop, you’ll be able to do whatever you want apart from hardcore gaming, for a pretty great price tag.
4. Lenovo ThinkPad T560
Now, THIS is what we call “classic laptop”. In fact, bad mouthers would say that it brings back memories of the 2000’s. Don’t listen to them. This laptop is a classic IBM design which hasn’t changed much over the years, as Lenovo decided to keep it simple and practical instead of going all fancy-schmancy on it. You can call it “vintage”, in fact.
While the outside is as vintage as it gets, the inside could not be more modern. The processor is a modern i5-6200U, quad-core, 2.3-2.8GHz, with Intel HD Graphics 520 video chip. It also features 4GB DDR3L SDRAM and a 500GB HDD. What’s so great about it is the battery life – the battery options provided by Lenovo allow it to resist, ideally, for a whole day. Are you going on international flights often? With this, you’ll never need to find an airport power outlet again. Hats down, best battery life around.
5. Business & multimedia 2-in-1: Lenovo Yoga 710 15
If you’re planning to make an impression on your workmates, this is what we advise you to buy. It’s the best type of laptop to carry around and use in conferences, as it’s light, slim, flip-screen, and high-performance. For the same reason, we advise you to purchase it if you’re planning to do some graphic design, watch high-quality movies, or do whatever else you want.
This laptop/tablet has an FHD IPS 10-point multitouch screen, and it’s powered by an i5-6200U with the same great Intel HD 520. It also has 8GB DDR4 RAM, as well as a 256GB SSD. All in all, it’s everything you need even for more demanding software like AutoCAD, and the flip-screen makes it great for showing your ideas to everyone.
6. Chromebook: Lenovo 14″ IdeaPad N42-20 Chromebook
At 14”, this is the tiniest laptop on our list. It’s also a Chromebook, which means that it’s been built with Chrome OS in mind instead of the usual Windows, OSX or even ordinary Linux. What does that imply? Simply put, lightning boot and processing speed for day-to-day tasks like reading, writing, taking notes, watching movies, browsing the Internet, and so on. A cheap, simple and highly resistant machine for students and travelers.
This Lenovo Chromebook features the usual Intel Celeron N3060, 1.6-2.48GHz, with Intel HD Graphics, 4GB DDR3 SDRAM, and 16GB of flash storage. It’s tiny and light, at just a bit over 1kg, and it’s one of the best choices around if your budget is rather tight.
What’s so great about Lenovo laptops? Innovation, ladies and gentlemen. Among all computer brands we’ve reviewed, Lenovo seems to take the cake in terms of new products and new features. The area where they’re most active is the convertible laptop market, where the Yoga products cover the entire palette of budgets and purposes. In short, there’s a Yoga tablet for everyone. Of course, not all of these fresh and innovative products are also high-quality, as proven by some of their budget laptop models: they’re cheap indeed, but also cheap-looking and have some annoying flaws such as an unresponsive keyboard and/or poor battery life. At any rate, Lenovo produces good-quality laptops for every section of the market, and that’s great.
There are a couple of more general bad points as well. For instance, tech support is not particularly amazing, although the online tutorials are a pretty nice addition. Phone support is among the worst around, with an average call time of 30min or so and an annoying number of mistakes on behalf of Lenovo representatives. There’s also the warranty. While the high-end products do have a good warranty and return shipping fee covered by the company, most of the mid-range and low-end laptops don’t. It’s been reported that Lenovo encourages DIY repairs by sending the necessary parts, in some cases. At least there’s a good part of the warranty too: it doesn’t become void if you upgrade the storage or the RAM. As far as the software is concerned, there’s good news here: Lenovo laptops come with little to no bloatware, and the company’s proprietary DOit software (including SHAREit and REACHit, for instance) appears to be very helpful, according to reviews.
If you want to purchase a Lenovo laptop, we can tell you that you’re lucky: no matter what you need it for and what your budget is, you will find something for you. To begin with, Lenovo produces some of the best budget gaming laptops around. While they don’t exactly have the insane specs of Alienware or high-end Asus or MSI products, they’re not very far either. By contrast, the price is pretty low considering the design and components. The IdeaPad Y700 line of gaming laptops will certainly satisfy your hunger for power. If it’s about work, the ThinkPad X1, P40, and T460 series come with high-performance components made for processing hardcore 3D graphic design, 4K video rendering, and all that kind of stuff. They’re very slim and classy machines too, so you definitely won’t be ashamed to bring one at a business meeting.
If all you need is something to watch movies and play light games like Candy Crush, take notes, write essays, or listen to music, Lenovo has got you covered in these areas too. There are many ThinkPad and IdeaPad series of products that may appeal to you, including convertibles and ultrabooks, as well as Lenovo’s Chromebook line. To sum up, all you have to do is think of what you need the laptop for, calculate your budget, and start shopping on Amazon or Lenovo’s website.