You may have considered one of the two main Lenovo laptop series as your preferred choice for gaming but are unsure which is the best for you. In this analysis, the 25PC crew breaks down the difference between the Lenovo ThinkPad vs. IdeaPad and which is best for different types of users. Also, check out our research on the best laptops for gaming.
What's Great About the Lenovo ThinkPad
The ThinkPad is the Iron Man of laptops. Thinkpads were originally from IBM but later fell under Lenovo after Lenovo acquired the former. Lenovo tests ThinkPads against 12 military-grade requirements and 200 quality checks to ensure they can function in any condition. Clearly, you probably do not need a computer that can weather the elements when it comes to gaming. This is why the ThinkPads better serve as laptops for businesses with many people, where computers may be passed down to new employees.
Speaking of military-grade tenacity, ThinkPad models are made from magnesium, carbon fiber fortified plastic or titanium. As such, the ThinkPad laptops will last over the years with an estimate of over a decade with proper care. Here is a detailed Lenovo ThinkPad overview to further know why it's preferred for business uses.
Top 4 Rated Lenovo ThinkPads
ThinkPad series laptops are good for most business uses due to their reliable performance. These laptops come with an incredible battery life that will last you long hours to help you get your work done. Additionally, their performance is enabled by combining high-quality internal components like RAM and Intel CPU. In most cases, ThinkPad laptops have a RAM of 8GB, with an allowance to upgrade it.
As we focus on the performance of the Lenovo ThinkPad, it's also important to highlight its processing power. Different ThinkPad models use different processors depending on their affordability. The more affordable ThinkPad laptops come with AMD processors, such as the AMD Ryzen 7 Pro 4750U. On the higher price spectrum, ThinkPad laptops use Intel processors such as the 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor or the core i7 11th-generation Intel processor.
Even more, there are models that hold up to Core i9 Intel processors, making them suitable for more complex and heavy-duty tasks. Therefore, the more processing power you want for your ThinkPad, the more you'll have to pay for a higher processor. In terms of customization, most models come with room to improve the internal components for improved performance. Generally, ThinkPads pack enormous processing power for the most intense business applications.
Any ThinkPad laptop is engineered to provide optimal efficiency to a user. Subsequently, such models don't have unnecessary features, including looking pretty. Not to worry, a Lenovo ThinkPad is presentable for most work environments with a major highlight on professional use.
The display is another quality of the Lenovo ThinkPad series that makes it popular and likable. Any Lenovo user will tell you that this ThinkPad line of laptops has an industry-leading display. Similar to the processor quality, the higher you rise in price, the better the ThinkPad display you'll get.
For instance, a cheaper ThinkPad would have a full (1920X1080)-HD resolution. Progressively, more expensive models will have a 4K display. In terms of the display size, most ThinkPad models come with a 14-inch screen which is preferred over the traditional displays of 13 or 15 inches.
ThinkPad Feature Summary
- Suited for business use (professionals)
- Simple in design
- Quite sturdy and reliable
- High processing power
- Higher resolution with brighter displays
- There are expensive
Top ThinkPad Recommendations
1. Lenovo ThinkPad X1
- Brand Lenovo, Model 20KH002JUS
- Product Type: Ultrabook, Processor Manufacturer: Intel, Processor Type: Core i7,...
- Display Screen Technology: In-plane Switching (IPS) Technology, Screen...
- Front Camera/Webcam: Yes, Finger Print Reader: Yes, HDMI: Yes, Total Number of...
Top-of-the-line ThinkPad is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. The X1 series is one of the best ThinkPad lines with some of the highest processing quality. In line with the said quality, you will incur more on the price, but it's worth it.
Image Credit: gadgetreview.com
The X1 Carbon is one of the best business laptops with adequate power to run intensive applications. Just to mention a few, the X1 ThinkPad Ultrabook comes with a Core i7 8th generation Intel processor with a speed of 1.90 GHz. Additionally, this laptop boasts a quad-core for easier and more efficient multitasking. Other internal components of the X1 Carbon include an SSD capacity of 512 GB, a Standard Memory of 16 GB and the LPDDR3 memory technology.
More to this powerful ThinkPad, it comes with a 14-inch LCD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 for crisp and beautiful visuals. The screen is also a touchscreen for easier controls. Even more, this laptop has a fingerprint scanner for additional security and 64-bit OS architecture. Other features it carries include Bluetooth, Ethernet, Wireless connectivity, and four USB ports.
2. Lenovo ThinkPad E480
- POWERFUL PERFORMANCE: Laptop computer is designed to take your productivity to...
- THIN AND LIGHT: This small laptop is 13% lighter and 8% thinner than the...
- MAXIMUM CONNECTIVITY: Extensive I/O ports such as USB Type-C, USB 3.0, and HDMI...
- LONG LASTING BATTERY: Lenovo ThinkPad laptop has 12 hours of life in its...
Besides business, the Lenovo ThinkPad series can also be used for gaming. Accordingly, the best ThinkPad for gaming is the Lenco ThinkPad E480. Despite not being as powerful as other ThinkPad models, the E480 strikes an ideal balance between portability and performance. Also, this premium laptop is affordable for most budget users.
Image Credit: gadgetsnow.com
Starting with its performance, the E480 boasts top-notch performances thanks to its upgraded Intel Core processors. Moreover, it comes with integrated Intel UHD graphics for crisp visuals as you work or game. It also comes with a wide array of ports for external device connection, alongside its efficient wireless functionality such as dual-band WIFI and Bluetooth 4.1.
On its portability, the E480 is light and thin, with a proportion of 8% thinner and 13% lighter than other preceding ThinkPad laptops. More on its display, it comes with an anti-glare feature for eye protection during long working periods. Even more, it comes with 12-hour battery life and a rapid charge feature for 80% juice within one hour. Lastly, this ThinkPad is highly durable for survival in harsh working environments.
3. Lenovo ThinkPad E570
- Intel 7th gen Core i5-7200U 2.5 GHz processor, Turbo up to 3.1 GHz, 8GB DDR4...
- 15.6" HD 1366 x 768 Energy-efficient LED backlight Display, Intel HD Graphics...
- Next-Gen Intel Wireless-AC 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1, 10/100/1000Mbps LAN,...
- 720p resolution HD webcam with 2 microphones, 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0. 1x HDMI,...
The E570 is another great business laptop that you can also use with moderate gaming. Such performances can only be achievable through high-performance components. To start with, this laptop comes with a 7th generation Core 1.5 Intel processor with a power of 2.5 GHz. Moreover, you can boost this processing power to 3.1 GHz with the use of a better processor.
Image Credit: myfixguide.com
Additionally, the ThinkPad E570 comes with an internal memory of 256 GB, which is decent for most average business operations and DDR4 memory of 8GB. Furthermore, the E570 comes with a 64-bit architecture, which further contributes to its robust performance in terms of OS compatibility. Regarding its connectivities, this laptop comes with both wireless and port connections for seamless working.
We also love this ThinkPad due to its energy-efficient 15.6-inch display, which still provides clear visuals. Also, the E570 provides extra security thanks to its fingerprint reader. Overall, this laptop is simplistic in design but provides all the essentials you need for your work sessions.
4. Lenovo ThinkPad E575
- POWERFUL PERFORMANCE: With its slim design and light weight, the ThinkPad E575...
- DURABLE DESIGN: Every ThinkPad laptop undergoes stringent testing for...
- THINKPAD KEYBOARD: The legendary ThinkPad keyboard includes two pointing options...
- BUSINESS READY: The Lenovo ThinkPad laptop features HDMI and USB ports to make...
Another great Lenovo ThinkPad is the E575. This model is great for employees and extensive home office use. Accordingly, this ThinkPad has a powerful performance thanks to its latest AMD processors and top-notch integrated AMD graphics. Moreover, it comes with a decent 15.6-inch display that will help you stay productive with minimal strain.
Image Credit: Lenovo
Additionally, the ThinkPad keyboard is business-enabling due to its two-pointing options of a clickable TrackPad and Trackpoint for easy cursor movement. For instance, you can easily zoom in and out or drag and drop during one-hand operations. Such functionality is especially convenient for long hours of work. More on its business-ready features, it comes with different ports and wireless connections for connectivity and sharing.
When it comes to data security, this ThinkPad is unique thanks to its Trusted Platform Module (TPM) that encrypts all the data in your laptop. Another admirable feature about this ThinkPad is its wide-angle camera viewing and low light sensitivity for excellent video calls. As such, you can link up with colleagues and friends as its microphones cancel noise from your environment. Overall, this ThinkPad comes with a durable design which makes it reliable in harsh working environments.
What's Great About the Lenovo IdeaPad
The Lenovo IdeaPad series is better for home use and, yes, gaming. Additionally, the IdeaPads are better for multimedia. You can stream, watch and game on these laptops. It's not to say you cannot do those things on the ThinkPads, but we would recommend going with the IdeaPads if your sole purpose is for gaming.
The IdeaPads aren't nearly as robust or durable as the ThinkPads, which are meant for work environments where your computer may exchange hands a few times. However, the IdeaPads are great for students and people on the move. Students can fit their laptops easily in their bags to transport between classes and then use them for gaming back in their dorm. We'd also recommend the IdeaPad for children if you are looking to buy a gaming computer for your child.
Best 4 Rated IdeaPads
Moreover, the Lenovo ThinkPad is a target product for average consumers and budget buyers. As such, they prioritize portability and functionality but score low on a sturdy build. It is for this reason that these laptops are great for a younger age bracket with a solid gaming experience. Also, to make up for the ThinkPad line, the IdeaPad laptops come with more style and aesthetics.
Once again, the IdeaPad is a low processing series compared to the ThinkPad. As such, it comes with less RAM and a less powerful processor, meaning it cannot match up to intensive tasks. However, despite this seeming drawback, the IdeaPad line is intentionally made to sustain regular daily utilities such as multimedia consumption, browsing and Microsoft Office operations. That said, IdeaPad laptops come with exceptional battery capacities, with some models exceeding or keeping up with the ThinkPad battery life.
Additionally, the IdeaPad processors range in the models of AMD or Intel processors, with the latter being for more powerful operations. Nonetheless, you can still find affordable IdeaPad models with the likes of Celeron CPUs, Intel's Pentium or AMD's Athlon processors. However, moving higher the price order, you can also find more expensive models with the latest Ryzen 7 CPUs and Core i7 Intel processors.
Distinctively, the IdeaPad laptops are better-looking than the IdeaPad models with the unique options of convertible laptops. In most cases, the higher the price of an IdeaPad, the slimmer, more lightweight and streamlined it will be. That notwithstanding, cheaper models are bulky and are made from plastic material. That said, we recommend going for IdeaPads with aluminum bodies for easy portability and durability.
Generally, all IdeaPad models have a good display and resolution. Cheaper models have a resolution of 1366x768, which is still decent, while high-end models boast up to 3840x2160. Nevertheless, IdeaPad models aren't as bright as ThinkPads with low contrast ratios. But not to worry, you will hardly notice the difference in these display qualities.
IdeaPad Feature Summary
- Highly portable (Slim, streamlined and lighter)
- Budget options for regular use
- Stylish (with convertible options)
- Longer battery capacities
- Lower processing capacities
- Less sturdy than ThinkPads
- Decent display size and resolutions
- It has a good gaming lineup
Top IdeaPad Recommendations
1. Lenovo IdeaPad 110
- 15.6" HD (1366 x 768) LCD w/LED Backlight
- Intel Pentium 4405U (2M Cache, 2.10 GHz), 2 cores, 4 threads
- 4GB DDR4 of Memory, 500GB Hard Drive
- 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI, Intel HD Graphics 510, Built-in media...
A great choice for kids and light gaming is the Lenovo IdeaPad 110. This laptop is lightweight for easy handling by kids at home and school. It's also easy to pack in a school bag with a sleekness of 0.9 inches when closed.
Image Credit: itechguides.com
Additionally, this laptop comes with a 500-GB Hard Drive and DDR4 memory of 4 GB. Such features are decent for light computing tasks, including light gaming and light school tasks. Even more, this IdeaPad has a dual-core Intel Pentium 4405U processor, which is adequate for its recommended functions.
Moreover, this laptop has a 15.6-inch display with a 1366 x 768 resolution backed by an LED backlight. It also comes with Intel HD Graphics for crisp visuals. When it comes to connectivity, it has the standard WIFI, Bluetooth, HDMI, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 functions.
2. Lenovo IdeaPad 210
- 11.6" (1366 x 768) HD Energy-efficient LED backlight display, Intel HD Graphics...
- Intel Celeron N3350 Dual-Core processor, 1.10 GHz Base up to 2.0 GHz, 2GB RAM,...
- Stereo Speakers, 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0, Webcam, Media Reader
- 1 x Headphone output/Microphone input combo, 1 x USB Type-C, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x...
We also recommend the Lenovo IdeaPad 210 for light gaming and kid's use. This dual-core processor model also comes with 2 GB of RAM. It's also lightweight and sleek for easy handling by kids.
Image Credit: Lenovo
Moreover, it comes with a smaller display of 11.6 inches and a resolution of 1366 x 768. With the help of a backlight and the Intel HD Graphics 500, the display guarantees crisp visuals at an energy-efficient rate. In addition, this IdeaPad comes with a stereo speaker, webcam, and headphone/microphone output for light gaming. Overall, you will benefit from its versatile wireless (Bluetooth and WIFI) and port connectivities.
3. Lenovo IdeaPad 320
- 15.6" HD 1366 x 768 LED Backlight, Anti-Glare Display, Intel HD Graphics 500
- Intel Celeron N3350 Dual-Core processor, 1.10GHz (with Max Turbo Speed of...
- 1 x DC-in port, 1 x Ethernet port, 1 x HDMI port, 1 x headphone/microphone jack,...
Another great performer for school, light gaming and a home office is the Lenovo IdeaPad 320. Typically, this laptop is enabled by its Intel dual-core processor, which runs at 1.10 GHz. You can max this processing speed to 2.40 GHz alongside 8 GB DDR3 and 1 TB hard disc.
Image Credit: Lenovo
Moreover, we love this laptop for its anti-glare display that will protect your kid's eyes. That said, it has a 15.6-inch display with a 1366 x 768 resolution. It also has crisp visuals, thanks to its LED backlight. Finally, this IdeaPad comes with HDMI, Ethernet, Jack and USB ports alongside its internet and Bluetooth connectivities.
4. Lenovo IdeaPad 710
- CPU: Intel Core i7 (6th Gen) 6560U, 2.2GHz
- Resolution: 1920 x 1080 (Full HD)
- 8 GB RAM
- 256GB SSD
Hailing from the 700 IdeaPad series, the IdeaPad 710 is a highly portable and high-performance laptop. Unlike other IdeaPad models, the IdeaPad 710 boasts a powerful Core i7 Intel processor and 8 GB RAM. Additionally, this laptop is ultra-slim for enhanced portability.
Image Credit: Lenovo
Moreover, this IdeaPad is an impressive multimedia laptop thanks to its signature 700 series machine-learning technology. Subsequently, the 710 is highly responsive for light school tasks and gaming. It's also decent for light duties thanks to its 256 GB hard drive.
Other features it comes with include a 14-hour battery life for optimal productivity. It also has an excellent 1920 x 1080 full HD resolution. These features combine to make an IdeaPad great for school, professional use and slightly heavier gaming.
You can compare the ThinkPad and IdeaPad Lines on various fronts. To start with, the ThinkPad models are well-built for durability and reliability even in harsh working environments than the IdeaPad models. Typically, both IdeaPad and ThinkPad lines present more durability the higher the price gets. Regarding aesthetics, the IdeaPad series is more stylish and streamlined than the ThinkPad alternative.
Additionally, ThinkPad laptops pack more processing power than the IdeaPad line. Notably, IdeaPad and ThinkPad processors get better as the price increases. However, despite IdeaPad models being recommended for gaming, they're mostly for light gaming due to their limited processing power. That said, the higher the IdeaPad series, the better the capability to handle gaming.
Lastly, ThinkPad also takes the crown for added features, with these properties getting better in higher-end models. Conversely, the IdeaPad series boasts better battery life than the ThinkPad models. Therefore, having distinguished these Lenovo laptop series, where is each line appropriate?
- Lenovo ThinkPad: It's appropriate for heavy-duty professional use such as in video editing, architecture, animation, programming and designing.
- Lenovo IdeaPad: It's appropriate for light regular or daily tasks such as school work, browsing, multimedia playing, light gaming, and Microsoft Office tasks.