The Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Gen 1 was one of the best business laptops of 2020. The successor Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Gen 2 does introduce a new design as well as a platform update with AMD Ryzen 5000 and Intel Tiger Lake, but it still uses 16:9 screens, unlike the new X13. Like the X13, the keyboard travel is reduced.
The Lenovo ThinkPad T14s probably made the list of many ThinkPad buyers last year (available on Amazon). Different from the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, the ThinkPad T14s was available with AMD Ryzen 4000, and the smaller ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 was not really more attractive, either.
In 2021, the ThinkPad pecking order might shift. The new Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Gen 2 brings a new design, but compared with the new ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 and ThinkPad X13 Gen 2, there is one key difference: The Lenovo laptop T14s Gen 2 does not adopt the taller 16:10 ratio.
New design, old format: Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Gen 2
Opting to stay with 16:9 14 inch screens instead, the screen option stay roughly the same as with the preceding model. The only difference in terms of the screens is that the entry level display now has a brightness of 300 instead of 250 cd/m².
The outdated look with a wide bezel beneath the screen is still there, but there are many other design changes that mirror the ThinkPad X13 Gen 2: The speakers are shifted from the bottom to the top of the keyboard, the touchpad is wider and the powerbutton is combined with the Fingerprint reader. The ThinkPad T14s Gen 2 will also offer the choice between the traditional black magnesium/carbon chassis and a grey aluminum one.
Just like with the ThinkPad X13 Gen 2, the key travel is reduced from 1.8 mm to 1.5 mm. The keyboard of the T14s Gen 2 has very similar specifications to the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8.
T14s Gen 2: platform upgrade plus 5G
The obligatory CPU upgrade comes in form of the Intel Tiger Lake and AMD Ryzen 5000 CPUs. The RAM is still soldered on, but at least Lenovo uses LPDDR4X now instead of slower DDR4 memory – this should benefit the GPU performance as well as power consumption.
Also upgraded are the connectivity options: The T14s Gen 2 is the first ThinkPad laptop of the T series with 5G and it is also available with Wi-Fi 6E (Intel only). The microSD card slot is no longer present, but the USB C ports are upgraded to Thunderbolt 4.
Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Gen 2: pricing & availability
The ThinkPad T14s Gen 2 with Tiger Lake is going to be available in March in the USA. The AMD model is slated for a release in the month of May. With a base-price of $1,280, it is more affordable than the Intel T14s Gen 2 ($1,499). The spec-sheet of the ThinkPad T14s Gen 2 is also not out yet – we expect it when AMD announces their Ryzen Pro 5000 CPUs.
Benjamin Herzig, 2021-02-23 (Update: 2021-02-23)