Barcelona is pretty far away for us to get a look at what’s going on at the Mobile World Congress, but thankfully a few vendors are giving us more of a domestic taste, including Lenovo’s mini-MWC up in New York.
Which is much easier to get to. We got some updates on what’s coming up in their IdeaPad, ThinkPad, and ThinkBook lines, with another special surprise which we are pretty excited to try out.
On the Windows side we saw the IdeaPad Flex 5i and Flex 5 (Intel i7 U-series vs AMD Ryzen 7) convertibles, available in 14″ and 16″ models with an optional Lenovo E-color pen for notetaking. The IdeaPad Duet 5i rounds out team Windows as a 12″ detachable with the Active Pen 3. All super thin and light, the big upgrades here are OLED 16:10 screen option with USB-C 3.2 and Thunderbolt 4 capabilities for device connections. With hybrid work and school in mind, the screens are equipped with Lenovo Eye Care software and noise cancelling microphones for those Zoom and Teams calls.
On the Chromebook side we saw the IdeaPad Flex 5i and 3i Chromebooks at 14″ and 11″ respectively. Running 12th-gen Intel processors, these stick to the 16:10 screen theme at up to 400 nits of brightness. These are definitely made for video calls and media consumption, with front-facing MaxxAudio speakers and battery life up to 10 hours.
Like the Windows models, there’s a detachable option with the 11″ Duet 3 Chromebook, a follow up to the original 10″ Chromebook Duet. This is a super thin option at 7.9mm thick, with a built-in kickstand for media consumption. We have a 2K screen that is low blue light certified, and improved speakers over the last generation. And running a Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 Compute platform, that media consumption is advertised to the tune of 12 hours on a single charge.
In all of the convertibles listed above, Lenovo has added a drop hinge to each model, which slightly lifts and angles the keyboard in laptop mode to make typing a bit easier instead of having to type flat.
Last in this line was the 3rd generation Tab M10 Plus, running Android 12 (with 13 to be provided and 3 years of support). Running and octa-core processor (both Snapdragon and MediaTek depending on retailer), it’s available with up to 6GB of memory and 128GB storage. The new version has quick charging and HD support for your streaming services, and when not reading or streaming allows for notetaking with the optional Precision Pen 2. The screen is TÜV low blue light certified, but beyond that it has a reading mode to turn it into a monochrome screen, making your e-books easier to read.
• The 14-inch IdeaPad Flex 5i convertible with Intel Core processor will start at $619.99 and is expected to be available starting in May 2022, and the 14-inch IdeaPad Flex 5 convertible with AMD processor will start at $689.99 and is expected to be available starting in May 2022.
• The 16-inch IdeaPad Flex 5i convertible with Intel Core processor will start at $899.99 and is expected to be available starting in May 2022, and the 16-inch IdeaPad Flex 5 convertible with AMD processor will start at $749.99 and is expected to be available starting in May 2022.
• The IdeaPad Duet 5i detachable with bundled keyboard folio with optional backlighting will start at $749.99 and is expected to be available starting in July 2022. Optional Lenovo pen sold separately in most markets.
• The IdeaPad Flex 5i Chromebook (14”, 7) will start at $499.99 and is expected to be available starting June 2022.
• The IdeaPad Flex 3i Chromebook (15”, 7) will start at $399.99 and is expected to be available starting May 2022.
• The IdeaPad Duet 3 Chromebook (11”, 7) with Qualcomm will start at $399.99 and is expected to be available starting May 2022
• The Lenovo Tab M10 Plus (3rd Gen) will start at $189.99 and is expected to be available starting June 2022. Optional pen sold separately in most markets
In the past IdeaPad gaming laptops were Legion’s kid cousins, and were meant to be more entry level gaming gear. And it showed. This year, while keeping the same entry-level gaming / budget student gamer profile, they’re definitely borrowing some features from Legion, both in design and specs.
The new IdeaPad Gaming 3i and Gaming 3 come in 15″ and 16″ varieties, running either Intel i7 H-series or AMD Ryzen 6000 processors. Like the Legions, the ports are now on the back with some better venting for a 20% increase in airflow, which translates to a roughly 15% performance boost over the previous generation. As far as video, the IdeaPad 3 gaming maxes out at an NVIDIA RTX 3060, which is a step down from the Legion line, but that tracks since this is meant to be more of a budget gamer. There are better thermals internally than the last generation, but unlike the Legions don’t feature vapor chamber thermal management.
The screens are available in up to a 16-inch WQHD+ (2560 x 1600) IPS 16:10 display with 100 percent sRGB color gamut and 500 nits brightness. Also available is the more compact 15.6-inch WQHD (2560 x 1440) 16:9 display option. And for those needing a high refresh rate, the IdeaPad gaming 3 does offer a 165Hz option.
Also new is the Glacier White color option, which really does make this machine look super sleek and clean, especially with the soft blue backlight.
• The 16-inch IdeaPad Gaming 3i laptop with Intel Core processor will start at $1489.99 and is expected to be available starting in June 2022, and the 16-inch IdeaPad Gaming 3 laptop with AMD
processor will start at $1139.99 and is expected to be available starting in June 2022
• The 15-inch IdeaPad Gaming 3i laptop with Intel Core processor will start at $989.99 and is expected to be available starting in April 2022, and the 15-inch IdeaPad Gaming 3 laptop with AMD processor will start at $ 929.00 and is expected to be available starting in May 2022
For ThinkBooks we had the 14s Yoga Gen 2 and the 13s Gen 4i, aimed at small and midsize business users. Both models have two-tone color with an aluminum exterior built for durability, and as business machines feature tech meant for productivity and security like Thunderbolt 4, Wi-Fi 6E, and dTPM 2.0. On both models a fingerprint reader is built in to the on-deck power button for additional security as well.
As its name implies, the 14s Yoga Gen 2 is a 14″ 2-in-1 convertible that can operate in laptop, tablet, and tent mode with the option of using the Smart Pen to work in multiple ways. The mil-spec tested aluminum design is available in both grey and blue, running 12th-gen Intel processors and Iris Xe integrated graphics and packing up to 2 1TB PCIe Gen 4 SSD’s and 40GB DDR4 for performance.
The Intel Evo platform designed 13s ThinkBook Gen 4i is the slimmest in ThinkBook history at 14.9mm thick, with a 90% screen-to-body ratio, with screens available up to a 13.3″ 2.5K, 400 nit touch panel. All screen options feature TÜV Rheinland low blue light technology and ambient light sensors for automatic brightness control. Inside is up to 1TB PCIe SSD storage and 32GB LPDDR5 dual channel memory.
It really felt like we weren’t holding anything at all.
Alongside the ThinkBooks was the ThinkVision M14d mobile USB-C monitor. At less than 1.3lbs, the M14d is a portable 16:10 2.2K display (2240×1440) with low blue light technology. it connects through a single-cable USB-C connection to provide a second screen to your laptop or desktop system. In addition to pass-through power, the monitor has 2 USB ports for connecting storage or other mobile devices, acting as a hub. Great for extending your laptop screen while you’re on the go, the M14d also comes with a carry case to slip into your go bag.
• ThinkBook 14s Yoga Gen 2 will be available from April 2022, starting at $849.
• ThinkBook 13s Gen 4 i will be available from April 2022, starting at $849.
• ThinkVision M14d Mobile Monitor will be available from July 2022 for $299
Outside of their Legions, the ThinkPad lines are where the power is if you’re looking for a heavy duty workstation.
First and foremost is the 16″ ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5, packing high power for a both work and play. In addition to supporting up to 12th-gen Intel H-series processors up to an i9 (optional vPro), 64GB memory, 2 4TB M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSD’s, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080Ti. That kind of power is going to create some serious heat, so Lenovo implemented integrated liquid metal thermal paste and vapor chamber cooling for better thermal efficiency and performance. It also comes with a number of 16:10 display options – 2560 x 1600 at 165Hz, with touch and pen input options available. Add Wifi 6E, optional 5G WWAN, and an SD Express card reader, the X1 Extreme is specc’ed out to be a dream for artists, engineers, multimedia professionals, or just users that want some serious firepower starting at 4lbs.
The ThinkPad T series are their most popular business laptop, and covers a lot of the “middle ground” business users need. Updated models are the T16, T14s Gen 3, and T14 Gen 3. All can be configured with 12th-gen Intel processors with optional vPro (or AMD Ryzen PRO 6000) running Windows 10/11 Pro. The T series also follows the new 16:10 standard, with a number of display options for up to 500 nit 4K screens that support DolbyVision HDR. Since these workhorses aren’t for engineers and artists, just good old fashioned consistency, they run mostly on integrated Iris Xe or Radeon 600M graphics, with optional discrete GPU’s going up to an RTX 2050. In addition to WiFi 6E, the T series is available with optional Cat16 4G WWAN.
Then there’s the P Series – light and mobile workstations where ISV certifications count. This year Lenovo has the P14s Gen 3 and the new P16 Gen 1. Both feature 16:10 screens with 100% sRGB, and are thin and light for a workstation on the go. NVIDIA’s T550 discrete GPU is what provides the power for those CAD apps – but it’s not going to be on the power level of an RTX 3080 or Quadro A5000.
• ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 will be available from June 2022, starting at $2049.
• ThinkPad P16s Gen 1i will be available from April 2022, starting at $1419.
• ThinkPad P14s Gen 3 will be available from April 2022, starting at $1419.
• ThinkPad T16 i will be available from April 2022, starting at $1419.
• ThinkPad T14 i will be available from April 2022, starting at $1399.
• ThinkPad T14s i will be available from June 2022, starting at $1529.
• ThinkPad T16 AMD will be available from June 2022, starting at $1299.
• ThinkPad T14 AMD will be available from June 2022, starting at $1299.
• ThinkPad T14s AMD will be available from May 2022, starting at $1399.
Our favorite item from the entire set was the ThinkPad X13s, and it’s for the following description given to us – “The ‘s’ used to stand for ‘slim’ but now it stands for ‘Snapdragon.'” It’s Windows 11 on Snapdragon. The X13s runs the Snapdraon 8cx Gen 3 compute platform, which boasts an 85% CPU and 60% GPU boost over the previous generation. The result? Ultra slim, whisper quiet, fanless design that allows for multi-day battery life (28 hours video) and no issue running Microsoft apps. An ultralight (2.35 lbs) on Snapdragon running Windows is poised to be the ultimate mobile computing solution. For communications it has WiFi 6E and is the first ThinkPad to support mmWave 5G, which is a high-frequency band that supports >1GBps (in theory) transfer speeds in small areas and short distances.
Lenovo did a lot of work with Qualcomm and Microsoft as well as ISV’s to make sure that there’s no compatibility issues running any apps on this platform. It’s still running Lenovo ThinkShield security and still runs a ThinkPad BIOS so can also easily be integrated by the company’s IT boss while deploying them to your road warriors. The 2 USB-C ports on the side work with the Think-branded docking stations, as well as the M14d mentioned a little bit above.
Personally I see myself using this one traveling to conventions (such as PAX East coming up this April) to easily carry around and post live with always-on wireless. And the price? Costs less than my Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G was.
• ThinkPad X13s will be available starting May 2022, starting from $1099.00
• In the U.S., the ThinkPad X13s will be available on AT&T, and on Verizon later in 2022. More specific availability and pricing will be shared later.
So there you have it, Lenovo’s laptop and peripheral offerings for this year’s MWC. We will get are hands on all of them as they get closer to release – so make sure you stay tuned here for everything here and what was introduced at CES earlier this year.