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Lenovo ThinkBook 13s: More battery life, less flexibility

Lenovo's ThinkBook 13s Tiger Lake in review. The 13-incher now has Thunderbolt 4, a bigger battery, and a powerful Iris Xe iGPU. However, the Wi-Fi chip and RAM are now on board.

The Lenovo ThinkBook 13s-ITL G2 is an improvement compared to the predecessor, but the manufacturer takes two steps forward and one step back. The battery capacity has been increased from 45 to 55 watt-hours, resulting in an 11-hour runtime! Together with the bright, matte display - which also reproduces colors excellently - a mobile 13-incher is created.

Furthermore, Thunderbolt 4 is now available as USB Type-C. This means that corresponding docking solutions that also charge the device via this port can now be implemented. Unfortunately, there's only one Type-C port, and those who can't get a dock won't be able to connect Thunderbolt devices and a charger at the same time. The ThinkBook comes with Power Delivery via USB Type-C, and it's exclusively charged this way.

The third big plus point is the Intel Iris Xe 80EUs iGPU, which seems almost as powerful as the Xe 96EUs in the test thanks to dual-channel memory. However, the Iris Xe's performance drops heavily in certain games; the drivers are apparently not optimal here yet.

In terms of CPU performance, the ThinkBook 13s has a lot to offer for an Intel device: Scalable performance with extra horsepower in "High Performance" mode. The manufacturer allows a short-term energy consumption of 50 watts (PL2), which then quickly drops to 25 watts (PL1). Consequently, short-term load has very good results, but long-term load dips by 10-20% depending on the performance mode. Either way, the CPU can't catch up with AMD's Ryzen 4 processors. However, the ThinkBook 13s-ITL makes a good impression in terms of performance among the Intel competition.

The biggest drawback - and this is a new addition - is that the Wi-Fi chip and RAM are on board; there's no longer a slot. The upgradeability is gone, and if the WLAN module fails, the entire motherboard has to be replaced. A clear minus point!

The ThinkBook 13s is not a business device. The original 1:1 IdeaPad input devices are not bad, but they're just not business quality.

All the details and benchmarks can be found in our review: Lenovo ThinkBook 13s-ITL G2.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > Reviews > Lenovo ThinkBook 13s: More battery life, less flexibility
Sebastian Jentsch, 2021-01-10 (Update: 2021-03-12)