September 4, 2021

Best Lenovo Laptops for Work and Play

Best Lenovo Laptops

Best Lenovo Laptops – Known for making affordable, quality machines, Lenovo’s line of ThinkPad, IdeaPad, Yoga, and ThinkBook laptops has something for everyone. Its flagship ThinkPad models have long been marketed as business workhorses, but these days come in a variety of configurations suitable for everyday use. Meanwhile, its IdeaPad and ThinkBook lines offer budget-conscious options for everyday and business uses, respectively. And for those wanting a laptop-hybrid, Lenovo’s Yoga 2-in-1 machines combine flexibility and power. But with so many configurations, it can get quite confusing when trying to choose one that’s right for you. To help, we’ve sorted through Lenovo’s vast product offerings to pick the best machines for a variety of uses.

What to Consider

A design professional that likes to do some gaming in their downtime will have much different needs than a student using their laptop for homework and streaming TV shows. Such considerations will help you determine what specs to look for on your new machine, and once that’s decided, it will simply be a matter of balancing budget, specs, and portability.

Processing Power, Memory, and Graphics

As opposed to a desktop PC where you are able to swap out monitors and keyboards, upgrade your RAM, and replace other components, you’re more than likely not going to be able to make any improvements to your laptop once you’ve purchased it, so you need to make sure that its specs meet your requirements. For those involved with labor-intensive tasks like, say, video editing, we’d recommend looking for a processor with at least six corse and a hard drive with at least 512GB. Gamers will not only want a beefy processor and plenty of RAM (at least 16GB), but also a good refresh rate (120Hz or more).

Weight and Battery Life

Of course, a laptop’s biggest selling point is that it is portable, so weight and battery life are important considerations. If you are a student taking your machine to class, you’ll want something light enough that it won’t weigh down your backpack and a battery that will last the entire day. Meanwhile, gamers will most likely sacrifice these qualities for performance. Finding the balance within your budget will be the key.

How We Selected

Using the criteria above, we scoured Lenovo’s catalog to find the machines that struck the right mix of power, portability, and versatility for a variety of applications, and cross-checked them against a range of reputable sources and user reviews on Amazon and


1. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 14-Inch Laptop

The X1 Carbon edition isn’t the cheapest ThinkPad, but neither is it close to being the most expensive, and its versatility makes it perfect for a mix of work and home use. 

Sporting a 10th-generation Intel i5 quad-core processor along with 8GB RAM and 256GB of storage, the X1 Carbon is powerful enough to tackle any task with ease. Not only does it work hard, it plays hard as well, with a full-HD 14-inch IPS display paired with Dolby Atmos sound to bring your favorite movies and shows to life. And if you are working from home, it also comes loaded with Windows Pro 64. 

Even better, it’s highly portable for taking wherever you go; it weighs only 2.4 pounds and boasts an amazing 19.5 hours of battery life.


  • Lightweight
  • Long battery life
  • Equipped with Wi-Fi 6 


  • Somewhat small screen size
2. ThinkPad X1 Extreme 15-Inch Laptop
For those with the budget, Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Extreme is worth the splurge.

With a 15.6-inch 4K OLED display and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q graphics, it is visually stunning and a great choice for creatives, especially those working with video content. It has plenty of power to go with the looks as well, with an Intel i9 octa-core processor, 64GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD, as well as an HDMI port, two USB ports, and two Thunderbolt 3 ports for plenty of connectivity.

At 15 hours, its battery life is decent but not the best we’ve seen. Still, its rapid-charging technology will get you to 80% in just an hour, so it shouldn’t be an issue.


  • Stunning display
  • Plenty of connectivity
  • Large SSD


  • Battery life could be longer at this price
Best Lenovo Laptops
3. Lenovo IdeaPad S540 13-Inch Laptop

While there are Lenovo laptops that cost less than this one, at just over $600, the IdeaPad S540 gives a lot of bang for the buck, while you shouldn’t have to take out a student loan to pay for it. It comes with a stunning QHD (2560 x 1600 ppi) display for all your video requirements. And its 10th generation i5 processor will handle all your classwork. Plus, with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, it should last for all four years of school and beyond.


  • Weighs less than 3 pounds
  • Backlit keyboard for late-night studying
  • 18-hour battery life


  • Mushy keyboard
4. Lenovo Legion 5 15-Inch Laptop with RTX 2060

While some of Lenovo’s IdeaPad and Yoga laptops are suitable gaming options, serious gamers will want to brandish a Legion machine. The Legion line’s minimalist aesthetic belies the power under the hood. The Legion 5 pairs a 10th generation Intel i7 hexa-core processor with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics, and comes with 16GB RAM as well as a 1TB HDD and 256 SSD. All this is kept cool with Lenovo’s Coldfront 2.0 system, which lets you choose between Quiet, Balance, and Performance thermal modes. 

You will also enjoy a 240Hz refresh rate and 1ms response times on the Legion 5’s full-HD IPS display and great sound with the 2W Harmon Kardon system. As you might expect, all this tech is a bit of a drain on power; with just a five-hour battery life, you’ll want to keep your power cord handy.


  • Minimalist design
  • Advanced cooling
  • Great sound


  • Five-hour battery life
  • Heavy at 5.5 pounds
Best Lenovo Laptops

5. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15-Inch Laptop

One of Lenovo’s strong points has always been that it makes quality machines for every budget. Priced under $400, this IdeaPad has a lot going for it. 

The combination of an AMD Ryzen 3 processor with Radeon Vega 3 graphics is more than capable of handling most everyday tasks. The inclusion of Wi-Fi 5 ensures speedy internet connections, while the HD display and Dolby sound deliver a rich multimedia experience. Plus, you get all kinds of connectivity with three USB ports and an HDMI port. 

Weighing almost 5 pounds and having only six hours of battery life means it’s not the best laptop for taking on the go, but otherwise this IdeaPad really lets you stretch your hard-earned dollar.


  • Wi-Fi 5
  • Inexpensive
  • Narrow bezels


  • Poor battery life
  • Somewhat heavy
Best Lenovo Laptops
6. Lenovo Yoga 9i Laptop

The versatility of a 2-in-1 like the Yoga 9i will let your creativity flow. The 360-degree hinge allows you to use it as a tablet, making it ideal for sketching out ideas with the included Lenovo Pen, which is equipped with an Elastometer nib that replicates the feel of drawing on paper. 

“Tactile” is this machine’s middle name, as the Yoga 9i’s back cover is blanketed in handcrafted black leather and it features a Glass Sense touchpad, which has 50% larger active surface area and haptic feedback. 

Working with Intel, who co-engineered the Yoga 9i, Lenovo has matched form with function, with Iris graphics, a rotating soundbar, and a 1080p display that covers 90% of the surface area adding to the sensory experience.


  • Intel Evo platform
  • Aerospace-grade metal chassis
  • 15-hour battery life
7. Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 11-Inch Laptop

A Chromebook is a great inexpensive option if you primarily use your computer for Cloud-based computing, like, say, Google’s Workspace suite. The Chrome OS works seamlessly with Workspace’s tools as well as Android apps. It’s also a great option for your children, who may already be using the platform for online schooling. Lenovo has a great selection of Chromebook options, and we like this Flex 3 because it has the added flexibility of being a 2-in-1, perfect when you’re using it for entertainment. 

Plus, its 11-inch size and thin profile make it super portable. And as you will almost exclusively be using this machine when connected to the internet, having Wi-Fi 5 is another thing it has going for it.


  • Wi-Fi 5
  • Low price
  • 10-hour battery life


  • Requires internet connection for full capabilities
Best Lenovo Laptops
8. Lenovo ThinkPad X13 AMD Laptop

The only thing better than an ultra-light laptop, is one that’s also powerful. That’s what you get with the ThinkPad X13 AMD laptop. It weighs less than three pounds and is only 0.75 inches thick, but Lenovo has packed it with an AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 2.1GHz hexa-core processor paired with integrated AMD Radeon graphics. 

That makes for a highly efficient machine as well, lowering battery consumption by 40% from previous models; you’ll get almost 13 hours of battery life. It also comes with Wi-Fi 6 for achieving top internet speeds, has 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and cool features like Wake On Voice, for waking it with voice command, and a fingerprint reader for securing it from others.


  • 500 nits 1080p Display With PrivacyGuard
  • Military-tested build
  • Wi-Fi 6
9. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold

Lest you think Lenovo only capable of their tried and true laptop lines, they’ve proved that they still have a few tricks up their collective sleeve with the ThinkPad X1 Fold, the world’s first foldable PC. This machine blurs the line between laptop and tablet by being able to be folded into a variety of configurations. Lay it flat and it’s a 13-inch OLED 2K touchscreen that you can use like a tablet. 

Fold it like a book, and you get two side-by-side displays. Turn it so it’s folded top-to-bottom, and it becomes a laptop with a virtual keyboard. (It has the power of a laptop too, with an i5 penta-core processor.) When you’re done using it, it folds nicely shut. Lenovo is still ironing out some of its new invention’s wrinkles, but if you can afford it, the Fold is a real head-turner.


  • It’s foldable
  • Beautiful display


  • Super expensive
  • Keyboard and Lenovo Mod Pen have to be purchased separately
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