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Lenovo ThinkBook 15: A budget Comet Lake office laptop that falls short of expectations

The Lenovo ThinkBook 15: A budget Comet Lake office laptop that falls short of expectations. (Image source: Lenovo)
The Lenovo ThinkBook 15: A budget Comet Lake office laptop that falls short of expectations. (Image source: Lenovo)
Lenovo prices the ThinkBook 15 at around US$870 for the new entry-level Intel Comet Lake variant. The Core i5-10210U-powered device also comes with 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD, along with a 15.6-inch 1080p display. While that all sounds promising in theory, the device cannot get the most from its quad-core CPU.

The ThinkBook bridges the gap between the IdeaPad and ThinkPad series, with Lenovo focussing on office users who do not need the power that multimedia laptops like the X1 Extreme offer. The ThinkBook 15 does not incorporate a dedicated GPU either, which restricts it to mainly office tasks like replying to emails, processing documents and browsing the web.

Lenovo has equipped the device with surprisingly good levels of connectivity, though. The ThinkBook 15 has five USB ports, for example, of which two are USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A. While there is also an older USB 2.0 Type-A port, oddly hidden behind a protective cover, Lenovo has included two USB 3.1 Type-C ports too. Both support DisplayPort out and Power Delivery, with the latter meaning that you can charge the device with either Type-C port. Lenovo still includes its proprietary Slim Tip charging port, though.

We did have some issues with our review unit, though. While the device looks understated with its grey and silver colour scheme, it flattered to deceive in our performance tests. In short, the ThinkBook 15 cannot get the most from its Core i5-10210U processor. The device is by no means underpowered, but we have seen other devices achieve better benchmark scores with the same processor. However, we would still recommend the Comet Lake chip over its Whiskey Lake predecessors if you are looking to get as much performance as possible for under US$1,000.

The display in our review unit could be better, too. On the one hand, we were glad to see Lenovo include a 1080p IPS panel. Likewise, we appreciated the inclusion of a matte finish as this helps diffuse reflections. On the other hand, the LP156WFC-SPD1 panel in our review unit is rather dim, with it unable to average even 250 cd/m² according to X-Rite i1Pro 2. The shortcomings also extend to colour accuracy, with the panel in our review unit only covering 57.5% of the sRGB colour space. We also measured a contrast ratio of 980:1, which falls short of expectations.

Lastly, the ThinkBook 15 has comparatively poor battery life, in part because of its 45 Wh battery. Our review unit lasted for just under seven hours in our practical Wi-Fi test at medium brightness, so you should probably bring a charger with you if you are working away from the office for the day. The included 65 W power supply recharges the ThinkBook 15 to 80% after 45 minutes of being connected to the mains though, so you need not wait long before you can use the device for a few hours again.

Please see our Lenovo ThinkBook 15 review for our full thoughts on the device.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 02 > Lenovo ThinkBook 15: A budget Comet Lake office laptop that falls short of expectations
Alex Alderson, 2020-02- 8 (Update: 2020-02- 5)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor - @aldersonaj
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.