CES 2021: Lenovo’s ThinkBook upgrades bring improved E-ink displays, AI powered noise cancellation and more

Kareem Anderson

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Lenovo is shaking up its ThinkPad lineup this year and adding some novel creative features to what’s arguably the company’s flagship offering.

ThinkBook Plus Gen 2

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Starting at $1,549

At CES 2021, Lenovo unveiled the follow up to its CES 2020 ThinkBook Plus with Gen 2 which is part Intel Evo Ultrabook showcase and partly dedicated 12-inch E-Ink reader. Sporting a 12-inch WQXGA with (2560 x 1600 resolution) display on the cover of the laptop and a 13.3 WQXGA touchscreen on the inside of the lid that can push out 400 nits of brightness and Dolby Vision.

In 2021, the ThinkBook Plus Gen 2 will be made out of anodized aluminum with magnesium on the bottom as well as matte finish on the E-ink portion of the laptop, perhaps, for better traction with pen or finger use. Because of its design, the ThinkBook Plus Gen 2’s lid can only flex up to 180-degrees versus other convertibles with 360-degree hinges. However, what may be lost with folding the screen all the way back is made by the functionality and versatility of a 16:10 E-ink display with a 68% screen to body ratio for more productivity or consumption. According to Lenovo, if you only use ThinkBook Plus Gen 2 as an oversized E-Ink reader you can expect up to 24 hours of continuous use as the LCD sips battery.

As with most Ultrabook’s these days, the Plus Gen 2 comes with the standard array of features and ports that include the latest 11th Gen Intel i7 Core processor, 16GB of memory, up to 1TB of storage, HD webcam, Dolby Atmos support, Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. As for ports, it’ll have a Thunderbolt 4 slot, USB-C, Hybrid USB-C connectors, and a combo mic/audio jack as well as housed rechargeable pen in the chassis.

Lenovo earmarked the Plus Gen 2’s availability as sometime in Q1 of 2021 so stay tuned.

ThinkBook 13x, 14p, 16p

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Starting at $1,199, $849, and $1,299 respectively

In more standard fare, Lenovo updated its ThinkBook lineup to align with Intel’s new Evo platform push with the 13-inch ThinkBook 13x coming in at only 12.9mm and weighing less than 1.2kg or 2.6lbs. The 53-watt hour battery should get most people through an 8-hour workday fine and the Intel 11th Gen processor paired with Wi-Fi support speeds should be a snappy wireless combo experience.

The ThinkBook 14p bumps up the screen size and resolution from its 13-inch brother, up to 2.8K with an OLED display with support for VESA Display HDR True Black standard. The ThinkBook 16p understandably raises the stakes for screen real estate at 16-inches on a 2560×1600 resolution panel which should pair well with NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX GPUs in conjunction with AMD Ryzen processors for a pretty impressive visual experience, on paper. The 16p also offers a bit of display flexibility by allowing users to order their device displays pre-calibrated with X-Rite Pantone certification.

  • ThinkBook 13x i will be available from Q1 2021
  • ThinkBook 14p will be available from Q1 2021
  • ThinkBook 16p will be available from Q1 2021