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Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Laptop Review: Thin design beats upgradability

Diet with adverse effects. Lenovo outfits its cheaper ThinkPad E series with a newer, thinner chassis that uses more aluminum. That seems like an improvement, but in reality it also means the loss of several features. Apart from that, the Lenovo ThinkPad E14 is a lot like its predecessor Lenovo ThinkPad E490.
Benjamin Herzig, 👁 Andreas Osthoff (translated by Benjamin Herzig),

If one searches for an affordable Lenovo ThinkPad laptop, the ThinkPad E series is an obvious choice. The E ThinkPads offer some ThinkPad features like the red TrackPoint and the great ThinkPad keyboard. At the same time, they are much cheaper than other ThinkPad laptops of the T and X series. The recent E series is split up into two sizes: 14-inch and 15.6-inch.

One of the newest models of the series carries the name Lenovo ThinkPad E14. Obviously, the naming is totally different from the predecessor ThinkPad E490. Because of the simplified naming system, it is not as easy to differentiate the different hardware generations. One thing is still obvious with the new name: The Lenovo ThinkPad E14 is a 14-inch system. The screen has an FHD resolution and the ThinkPad laptop is powered by the Comet Lake processor Intel Core i5-10210U. The CPU is complimented with 16 GB RAM and a 512 GB SSD. There is no dGPU in this configuration, which costs 865 Euros (~$963) in Germany.

For a comparison device, we obviously use the Lenovo ThinkPad E490. Also, the Lenovo ThinkPad T490 joins the comparison, as we want to see how the E ThinkPad fares against the more expensive T series. From other manufacturers, the MSI Modern 14 and the Dell Latitude 3400 complete the comparison.

Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE (ThinkPad E14 Series)
Processor
Intel Core i5-10210U 4 x 1.6 - 4.2 GHz, Comet Lake-U
Graphics adapter
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR4-2400, 1 SO-DIMM slot
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 157 PPI, NV140FHM-N48, IPS LED, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Comet Lake-U PCH-LP Premium
Storage
SK hynix BC501 HFM512GDHTNG-8310A, 512 GB 
, M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe, 437 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Comet Lake PCH-LP - cAVS
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: combo-audio, 1 Fingerprint Reader
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 (a/b/g/h/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5/ax = Wi-Fi 6), Bluetooth 5.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 17.9 x 325 x 232 ( = 0.7 x 12.8 x 9.13 in)
Battery
45 Wh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo 2 W with Dolby Audio, Keyboard: 6 row chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Lenovo Vantage, Microsoft Office Trial, McAfee, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.648 kg ( = 58.13 oz / 3.63 pounds), Power Supply: 347 g ( = 12.24 oz / 0.77 pounds)
Price
865 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Rating
Date
Model
Weight
Height
Size
Resolution
Best Price
85 %
03/2020
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
i5-10210U, UHD Graphics 620
1.6 kg17.9 mm14"1920x1080
86 %
05/2019
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N8000RGE
i5-8265U, UHD Graphics 620
1.8 kg19.9 mm14"1920x1080
81 %
01/2020
MSI Modern 14 A10RB-459US
i5-10210U, GeForce MX250
1.2 kg16 mm14"1920x1080
83 %
10/2019
Dell Latitude 3400
i3-8145U, UHD Graphics 620
1.7 kg18.65 mm14"1920x1080
88 %
06/2019
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
i5-8265U, UHD Graphics 620
1.4 kg18.9 mm14"1920x1080

Changes compared with the Lenovo ThinkPad E490

On the outside, the Lenovo ThinkPad E14 looks a lot like its predecessor. Taking a closer look at it does reveal some differences, like the fact that the new chassis is thinner now. A visible difference is the keyboard integration into the palmrest (bottom load keyboard). This looks visually nice but does constrain reparability of the keyboard. Also, the new model uses more aluminum: With the ThinkPad E490, only the lid was made out of the lightweight metal. With the new ThinkPad E14, the base cover is as well – though it should be noted that this is not standard. There also are models that use a plastic base and lid. The aluminum base does improve the haptic quality a lot, but it also shows fingerprints very quickly. The workmanship of our unit is not perfect: When opening the screen, there is a creaking noise. This will definitely impact the rating negatively.

Other new features include the fingerprint reader, which is now integrated into the power button – a more modern, elegant solution. Also, Lenovo has added the mechanical webcam shutter "ThinkShutter" to its E series. On the other hand, we have to note the loss of the microSD card reader.

Size & weight comparison

330.3 mm / 13 inch 238 mm / 9.37 inch 18.65 mm / 0.734 inch 1.7 kg3.68 lbs329 mm / 13 inch 242 mm / 9.53 inch 19.9 mm / 0.783 inch 1.8 kg3.97 lbs329 mm / 13 inch 227 mm / 8.94 inch 18.9 mm / 0.744 inch 1.4 kg3.18 lbs325 mm / 12.8 inch 232 mm / 9.13 inch 17.9 mm / 0.705 inch 1.6 kg3.63 lbs322 mm / 12.7 inch 222 mm / 8.74 inch 16 mm / 0.63 inch 1.2 kg2.69 lbs

Connectivity

Right: USB 2.0 Type-A, RJ45 Ethernet, Kensington lock
Right: USB 2.0 Type-A, RJ45 Ethernet, Kensington lock
Left: USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C, 2x USB 3.0 Type-A, HDMI, combo audio
Left: USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C, 2x USB 3.0 Type-A, HDMI, combo audio
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
935 (min: 472, max: 956) MBit/s ∼100%
Dell Latitude 3400
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
658 (min: 605, max: 676) MBit/s ∼70% -30%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
642 MBit/s ∼69% -31%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N8000RGE
Intel Wireless-AC 9260
582 MBit/s ∼62% -38%
Average of class Office
  (5 - 1722, n=268)
550 MBit/s ∼59% -41%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N8000RGE
Intel Wireless-AC 9260
676 MBit/s ∼100% +6%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
662 MBit/s ∼98% +3%
Dell Latitude 3400
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
642 (min: 490, max: 685) MBit/s ∼95% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
640 (min: 581, max: 690) MBit/s ∼95%
Average of class Office
  (34 - 1666, n=267)
508 MBit/s ∼75% -21%
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640650660670680690700710720730740750760770780790800810820830840850860870880890900910920930940950960Tooltip
; iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø918 (472-956)
; iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø640 (581-690)

Display: Still the Achilles heel of the ThinkPad E

Apart from the obligatory TN HD option (1366x768), which should be avoided by all means, there is only a single screen option: A matte FHD screen (1920x1080) that is based on IPS technology and does not offer touch support. According to Lenovo, the brightness of the screen should reach 250 cd/m², but we measure 293 cd/m². This might be an outlier for this specific unit, but at least in terms of brightness, the E ThinkPad does not disappoint this time. However, it does not even come close to the ThinkPad T490.       

Unfortunately, the screen does exhibit PWM, though with a very high frequency. Backlight bleeding is present as well but is pretty weak.

Sub-pixel array Lenovo ThinkPad E14
Sub-pixel array Lenovo ThinkPad E14
Moderate backlight bleeding (shown enhanced here)
Moderate backlight bleeding (shown enhanced here)
277
cd/m²
282
cd/m²
282
cd/m²
289
cd/m²
305
cd/m²
298
cd/m²
285
cd/m²
310
cd/m²
296
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
NV140FHM-N48
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 310 cd/m² Average: 291.6 cd/m² Minimum: 3.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 89 %
Center on Battery: 308 cd/m²
Contrast: 1794:1 (Black: 0.17 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.9 | 0.6-29.43 Ø5.8, calibrated: 4.6
ΔE Greyscale 4.4 | 0.64-98 Ø6
59.6% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 38.2% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.05
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
NV140FHM-N48, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N8000RGE
Lenovo NV140FHM-N49, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
MSI Modern 14 A10RB-459US
Chi Mei N140HCE-EN2, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Dell Latitude 3400
BOE NV14N4H, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
NE140FHM-N61, IGZO IPS LED, 1920x1080, 14
Response Times
3%
645%
-4%
14%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
52 (26, 26)
48.4 (25.2, 23.2)
7%
39.2 (20.8, 18.4)
25%
44 (22, 22)
15%
71.2 (33.2, 38)
-37%
Response Time Black / White *
39.2 (22, 17.2)
38.4 (21.2, 17.2)
2%
35.6 (21.2, 14.4)
9%
42 (28, 14)
-7%
44.8 (21.2, 23.6)
-14%
PWM Frequency
1250 (99)
1250 (99)
0%
25000 (28)
1900%
1000 (90)
-20%
2427 (50)
94%
Screen
-1%
31%
-16%
20%
Brightness middle
305
305
0%
324.1
6%
240
-21%
428
40%
Brightness
292
295
1%
301
3%
227
-22%
409
40%
Brightness Distribution
89
90
1%
87
-2%
79
-11%
91
2%
Black Level *
0.17
0.23
-35%
0.22
-29%
0.48
-182%
0.29
-71%
Contrast
1794
1326
-26%
1473
-18%
500
-72%
1476
-18%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.9
5.3
10%
1.63
72%
4.2
29%
4.6
22%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
18.4
18.9
-3%
4.25
77%
7.16
61%
8.2
55%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
4.6
5
-9%
1.42
69%
2
57%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.4
2.3
48%
2.2
50%
1.75
60%
5.4
-23%
Gamma
2.05 107%
2.09 105%
2.26 97%
2.36 93%
2.09 105%
CCT
6921 94%
6246 104%
6887 94%
6387 102%
7562 86%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
38.2
37.7
-1%
60.2
58%
38
-1%
60
57%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
59.6
58.2
-2%
95
59%
59
-1%
92.2
55%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
1% / -1%
338% / 163%
-10% / -13%
17% / 19%

* ... smaller is better

Colors
Colors
Saturation
Saturation
Grayscale
Grayscale
Colors (calibrated)
Colors (calibrated)
Saturation (calibrated)
Saturation (calibrated)
Grayscale (calibrated)
Grayscale (calibrated)

The screen has a very good contrast value of 1794:1. This holds up the quality of the picture, despite the really bad color-gamut coverage of just 59.6% sRGB. The deviations from the ideal in terms of colors and grayscale are not huge, but the ones that are there are not really eliminated with a calibration either. For the calibration, we used the X-Rite i1 Pro 2 colorimeter and CalMAN software.

sRGB: 59.6%
sRGB: 59.6%
AdobeRGB: 38.2%
AdobeRGB: 38.2%
Outdoors (cloudy)
Outdoors (cloudy)

Outdoors, it is possible to use the ThinkPad E14, since the screen surface is matte. Sunlight on the screen should be avoided.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
39.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 22 ms rise
↘ 17.2 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 96 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (24.5 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
52 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 26 ms rise
↘ 26 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 85 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (39 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 1250 Hz ≤ 99 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 1250 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 99 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 1250 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 17878 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 2500000) Hz was measured.

We have no complaints about the viewing-angle stability of the panel, even though there is a slight IPS glow effect.

Viewing-angle stability Lenovo ThinkPad E14
Viewing-angle stability Lenovo ThinkPad E14

Performance of the Lenovo laptop: Good, but not above average

The choices of available CPUs range from the dual-core Intel Core i3-10110U to the hexa-core Core i7-10710U (not available in EMEA). All CPUs contain the Intel UHD Graphics 620. Optionally, the AMD Radeon 625 or the AMD Radeon RX 640 are options. The RAM maximum is 32 GB DDR4 2400, because there is only a single SO-DIMM slot. The preceding model still had two slots. Ex factory, Lenovo sells the ThinkPad E14 with a maximum of 16 GB RAM. In terms of storage, it is possible to combine a mechanical HDD and an M.2 2280 SSD. This is an advantage over the newer T series models, as they only offer a single M.2 2280 SSD.

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z Caches
CPU-Z Caches
CPU-Z Mainboard
CPU-Z Mainboard
HWiNFO
HWiNFO
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
LatencyMon
LatencyMon

Processor

The Intel Core i5-10210U is a quad-core processor. It is part of the Comet Lake series and has a typical maximum power consumption (TDP) of 15 W. The four cores have a clock-rate ranging from 1.6 to 4.7 GHz. Comparisons with other CPUs are possible with our CPU comparison list.

In the Lenovo ThinkPad E14, the CPU can consume 25 W for up to 30 seconds. Afterwards, consumption is limited to 15 W in the Cinebench multicore test. Compared with the predecessor ThinkPad E490, the CPU performance is somewhat improved, but  the more expensive ThinkPad T490 and the MSI Modern 14 are faster than the ThinkPad E14.

There is no CPU performance limitation when the device runs on battery power.

0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640650Tooltip
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE Intel Core i5-10210U, Intel Core i5-10210U: Ø526 (486.23-547.65)
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N8000RGE Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel Core i5-8265U: Ø487 (483.41-509.01)
MSI Modern 14 A10RB-459US Intel Core i5-10210U, Intel Core i5-10210U: Ø565 (559.89-595.69)
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel Core i5-8265U: Ø617 (613-650)
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
MSI Modern 14 A10RB-459US
Intel Core i5-10210U
170 Points ∼100% +2%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U
  (154 - 174, n=25)
167 Points ∼98% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
Intel Core i5-10210U
166 Points ∼98%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
Intel Core i5-8265U
163 Points ∼96% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N8000RGE
Intel Core i5-8265U
160 Points ∼94% -4%
Dell Latitude 3400
Intel Core i3-8145U
154 Points ∼91% -7%
Average of class Office
  (20 - 202, n=587)
116 Points ∼68% -30%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Average Intel Core i5-10210U
  (479 - 790, n=25)
623 Points ∼100% +14%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
Intel Core i5-8265U
617 (min: 613, max: 658) Points ∼99% +13%
MSI Modern 14 A10RB-459US
Intel Core i5-10210U
596 Points ∼96% +9%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
Intel Core i5-10210U
548 (min: 486.23, max: 547.65) Points ∼88%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N8000RGE
Intel Core i5-8265U
509 Points ∼82% -7%
Average of class Office
  (36 - 1346, n=595)
371 Points ∼60% -32%
Dell Latitude 3400
Intel Core i3-8145U
350 Points ∼56% -36%
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
548 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
47.2 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
166 Points
Help

System performance

There is nothing to complain about when it comes to the system performance, neither in everyday use nor in the benchmarks.

PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
MSI Modern 14 A10RB-459US
GeForce MX250, i5-10210U, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3512GJ
4461 Points ∼100% +48%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (2487 - 4463, n=20)
3112 Points ∼70% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8265U, Toshiba KXG5AZNV256G
3036 Points ∼68% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-10210U, SK hynix BC501 HFM512GDHTNG-8310A
3015 Points ∼68%
Average of class Office
  (320 - 5547, n=202)
2821 Points ∼63% -6%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N8000RGE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8265U, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDHTNG
2693 Points ∼60% -11%
Dell Latitude 3400
UHD Graphics 620, i3-8145U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
2433 Points ∼55% -19%
Productivity
MSI Modern 14 A10RB-459US
GeForce MX250, i5-10210U, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3512GJ
7040 Points ∼100% +7%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (6099 - 7317, n=20)
6717 Points ∼95% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-10210U, SK hynix BC501 HFM512GDHTNG-8310A
6563 Points ∼93%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N8000RGE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8265U, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDHTNG
6339 Points ∼90% -3%
Dell Latitude 3400
UHD Graphics 620, i3-8145U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
6096 Points ∼87% -7%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8265U, Toshiba KXG5AZNV256G
6083 Points ∼86% -7%
Average of class Office
  (1266 - 8567, n=202)
5733 Points ∼81% -13%
Essentials
Average Intel Core i5-10210U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (7172 - 10000, n=20)
8622 Points ∼100% +6%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-10210U, SK hynix BC501 HFM512GDHTNG-8310A
8149 Points ∼95%
MSI Modern 14 A10RB-459US
GeForce MX250, i5-10210U, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3512GJ
7861 Points ∼91% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N8000RGE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8265U, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDHTNG
7529 Points ∼87% -8%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8265U, Toshiba KXG5AZNV256G
7471 Points ∼87% -8%
Average of class Office
  (2683 - 9821, n=202)
7296 Points ∼85% -10%
Dell Latitude 3400
UHD Graphics 620, i3-8145U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
7185 Points ∼83% -12%
Score
MSI Modern 14 A10RB-459US
GeForce MX250, i5-10210U, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3512GJ
4497 Points ∼100% +15%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (3752 - 4353, n=20)
4040 Points ∼90% +4%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-10210U, SK hynix BC501 HFM512GDHTNG-8310A
3901 Points ∼87%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8265U, Toshiba KXG5AZNV256G
3704 Points ∼82% -5%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N8000RGE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8265U, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDHTNG
3617 Points ∼80% -7%
Average of class Office
  (803 - 5409, n=203)
3455 Points ∼77% -11%
Dell Latitude 3400
UHD Graphics 620, i3-8145U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
3399 Points ∼76% -13%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-10210U, SK hynix BC501 HFM512GDHTNG-8310A
5001 Points ∼100%
MSI Modern 14 A10RB-459US
GeForce MX250, i5-10210U, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3512GJ
4992 Points ∼100% 0%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (4286 - 5114, n=16)
4911 Points ∼98% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8265U, Toshiba KXG5AZNV256G
4824 Points ∼96% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N8000RGE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8265U, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDHTNG
4637 Points ∼93% -7%
Dell Latitude 3400
UHD Graphics 620, i3-8145U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
4552 Points ∼91% -9%
Average of class Office
  (1226 - 5570, n=389)
4105 Points ∼82% -18%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N8000RGE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8265U, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDHTNG
3666 Points ∼100% +8%
Average Intel Core i5-10210U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (3182 - 4284, n=16)
3662 Points ∼100% +8%
MSI Modern 14 A10RB-459US
GeForce MX250, i5-10210U, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3512GJ
3464 Points ∼94% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8265U, Toshiba KXG5AZNV256G
3436 Points ∼94% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-10210U, SK hynix BC501 HFM512GDHTNG-8310A
3402 Points ∼93%
Average of class Office
  (1169 - 4770, n=451)
3114 Points ∼85% -8%
Dell Latitude 3400
UHD Graphics 620, i3-8145U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
2959 Points ∼81% -13%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3402 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5001 points
Help

System storage

The ThinkPad E14 contains a single PCIe NVMe SSD made by SK Hynix. This M.2 2280 SSD is not extremely fast but easily beats older SATA III SSDs. Optionally, it is also possible to outfit the ThinkPad E14 with a 2.5-inch HDD. The necessary connectors are there.

Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
SK hynix BC501 HFM512GDHTNG-8310A
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N8000RGE
SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDHTNG
MSI Modern 14 A10RB-459US
Kingston RBUSNS8154P3512GJ
Dell Latitude 3400
WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
Toshiba KXG5AZNV256G
Average SK hynix BC501 HFM512GDHTNG-8310A
 
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
-9%
-2%
9%
24%
-9%
Write 4K
121.9
110.7
-9%
107.7
-12%
107.9
-11%
119.9
-2%
110 (89.3 - 122, n=3)
-10%
Read 4K
42.66
41.02
-4%
39.73
-7%
40.27
-6%
39.94
-6%
40.6 (37.4 - 42.7, n=3)
-5%
Write Seq
628.3
756.6
20%
926.3
47%
1253
99%
1334
112%
677 (608 - 796, n=3)
8%
Read Seq
1193
1037
-13%
1014
-15%
1298
9%
1357
14%
1104 (1019 - 1193, n=3)
-7%
Write 4K Q32T1
590.3
359
-39%
343.6
-42%
415
-30%
311.2
-47%
438 (235 - 590, n=3)
-26%
Read 4K Q32T1
414.5
402.4
-3%
499.1
20%
313.3
-24%
400.6
-3%
338 (285 - 415, n=3)
-18%
Write Seq Q32T1
866
832.6
-4%
1033
19%
1297
50%
1642
90%
860 (842 - 872, n=3)
-1%
Read Seq Q32T1
2078
1635
-21%
1604
-23%
1728
-17%
2778
34%
1786 (1635 - 2078, n=3)
-14%
SK hynix BC501 HFM512GDHTNG-8310A
Sequential Read: 1215 MB/s
Sequential Write: 659.5 MB/s
512K Read: 1129 MB/s
512K Write: 703.1 MB/s
4K Read: 46.71 MB/s
4K Write: 123.8 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 375.2 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 514.3 MB/s

GPU

The Intel UHD Graphics 620 is an integrated GPU, which has to rely on the main system memory that it shares with the CPU. Since the RAM runs in single-channel mode here, the GPU cannot fulfill its potential completely. Since its performance potential is very limited anyway, this is not a huge problem. The GPU cannot compete with dedicated GPUs.

We could not measure any reduction of the GPU performance in battery mode.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
MSI Modern 14 A10RB-459US
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i5-10210U
4920 Points ∼100% +178%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-10210U
1768 Points ∼36%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (1235 - 2006, n=215)
1737 Points ∼35% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8265U
1718 Points ∼35% -3%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N8000RGE
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8265U
1666 Points ∼34% -6%
Dell Latitude 3400
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i3-8145U
1461 Points ∼30% -17%
Average of class Office
  (185 - 5422, n=706)
1411 Points ∼29% -20%
3DMark
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
MSI Modern 14 A10RB-459US
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i5-10210U
1164 Points ∼100%
Average of class Office
  (76 - 1164, n=91)
521 Points ∼45%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (299 - 443, n=68)
376 Points ∼32%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N8000RGE
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8265U
348 Points ∼30%
Dell Latitude 3400
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i3-8145U
310 Points ∼27%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
MSI Modern 14 A10RB-459US
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i5-10210U
3845 Points ∼100% +229%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-10210U
1168 Points ∼30%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (557 - 1418, n=184)
1147 Points ∼30% -2%
Average of class Office
  (138 - 4109, n=523)
1085 Points ∼28% -7%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N8000RGE
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8265U
1071 Points ∼28% -8%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8265U
1008 Points ∼26% -14%
Dell Latitude 3400
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i3-8145U
942 Points ∼24% -19%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
MSI Modern 14 A10RB-459US
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i5-10210U
23376 Points ∼100% +158%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (6910 - 11436, n=196)
9198 Points ∼39% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-10210U
9050 Points ∼39%
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N8000RGE
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8265U
8559 Points ∼37% -5%
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8265U
8448 Points ∼36% -7%
Dell Latitude 3400
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i3-8145U
7496 Points ∼32% -17%
Average of class Office
  (1208 - 27117, n=565)
7451 Points ∼32% -18%
3DMark 11 Performance
1938 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
8057 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1072 points
Help

Gaming performance

For gaming, we would recommend a different laptop or a ThinkPad E14 with an AMD GPU. The Intel graphics processor is only suitable for older titles.

low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 59.76 33.23 27.38 8.74 fps
Dota 2 Reborn (2015) 68.7 40.7 19.3 17.1 fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 20.6 fps
X-Plane 11.11 (2018) 10.6 9.02 8.8 fps
Total War: Three Kingdoms (2019) 23.4 fps

Emissions: ThinkPad E14 runs quiet & cool

Noise

Lenovo delivers good work when it comes to noise. The ThinkPad E14 almost runs completely passive. Even under load, the fan noise does not exceed more 30 dB(a). We could hear some coil-whine, but it was only audible when pressing an ear to the keyboard.

Noise Level

Idle
29.2 / 29.2 / 29.2 dB(A)
Load
29.5 / 29.9 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 29.2 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2030.429.531.629.42525.828.223.824.83127.329.327.528.94025.228.62526.7502524.425.923.26323.424.622.924.38022.823.322.922.810024.32623.924.112524.825.524.123.516024.62524.323.920023.223.82422.925022.423.523.323.131521.621.621.721.740021.120.420.521.35002020.52020.763019.819.518.819.880019.319.318.318.7100019.118.919.319.1125018.317.717.118.7160018.817.216.218.5200017.616.616.217.8250017.816.215.517.7315016.115.615.216.1400015.415.215.115.5500015.215.115.115.363001515.215.11580001515.115.115.11000015151514.91250014.81514.914.81600014.614.714.614.5SPL29.929.529.229.9N1.31.31.21.3median 18.8median 17.7median 17.1median 18.7Delta3.43.82.93.530.33130.329.82729.424.627.230.227.728.328.328.227.527.524.124.726.225.123.325.824.825.223.52423.523.122.724.523.122.922.723.323.421.721.622.522.222.122.22323.42222.321.32221.322.121.220.72121.721.52120.620.921.421.120.220.720.920.219.420.120.42018.920.619.919.318.319.920.419.417.920.119.818.517.119.518.917.816.718.818.217.216.217.91716.416.11717.516.715.817.41716.315.61716.115.815.41615.815.715.515.915.715.515.415.615.415.415.215.415.215.114.815.130.930.229.430.71.51.41.21.4median 19.9median 19.3median 17.9median 19.92.32.62.52hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseLenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGELenovo ThinkPad E490-20N8000RGE

Temperature

Stress test (Prime95 + FurMark)
Stress test (Prime95 + FurMark)

The ThinkPad E14 is not only quiet but is also cool. The highest temperature of 41.7 °C is warm but not hot.

In the stress test with Prime95 and FurMark, the Lenovo ThinkPad can consume up to 25 W, though the consumption is quickly limited to 15 W. The clock-rate sits at 1.1 GHz at this point. After 10 minutes, clock-rates go down to 800 MHz and power consumption decreases to 10 W. After 20 minutes, the clock-rates are back to 1.1 GHz. The highest CPU temperature: 80 °C. This value is reached at the beginning of the test. The TDP throttling has no impact on everyday use, as the 3DMark11 after the stress test produces a normal result.

Max. Load
 39.1 °C
102 F
39.7 °C
103 F
41.7 °C
107 F
 
 38.1 °C
101 F
38.8 °C
102 F
36.5 °C
98 F
 
 29.7 °C
85 F
30 °C
86 F
29.5 °C
85 F
 
Maximum: 41.7 °C = 107 F
Average: 35.9 °C = 97 F
40.3 °C
105 F
39.2 °C
103 F
37.7 °C
100 F
34.4 °C
94 F
37.5 °C
100 F
36.7 °C
98 F
30.4 °C
87 F
31.5 °C
89 F
30.9 °C
88 F
Maximum: 40.3 °C = 105 F
Average: 35.4 °C = 96 F
Power Supply (max.)  32.6 °C = 91 F | Room Temperature 19.8 °C = 68 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 35.9 °C / 97 F, compared to the average of 29.4 °C / 85 F for the devices in the class Office.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 41.7 °C / 107 F, compared to the average of 34 °C / 93 F, ranging from 21.2 to 62.5 °C for the class Office.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 40.3 °C / 105 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 23.8 °C / 75 F, compared to the device average of 29.4 °C / 85 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 30 °C / 86 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(±) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28 °C / 82.4 F (-2 °C / -3.6 F).
Load (palmrest)
Load (palmrest)
Load (bottom)
Load (bottom)

Speakers

Despite the "audio by Harman" claim – the speakers of the Lenovo ThinkPad E14 do not deliver a convincing performance. The sound is too quiet, tiny and without bass. Instead, the perfectly working combo audio port should be used.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.633.52523.827.73127.529.4402526.65025.926.16322.925.18022.923.210023.925.212524.123.916024.3262002437.425023.34931521.755.540020.554.65002052.563018.849.980018.353.9100019.362.1125017.165.6160016.267.1200016.265.7250015.559.5315015.262.4400015.154.7500015.153.4630015.149800015.155.5100001554.41250014.948.31600014.644.5SPL29.273.6N1.228.3median 17.1median 53.9Delta2.94.535.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6median 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseLenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGEApple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (73.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 18.3% lower than median
(-) | bass is not linear (15.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6.4% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.2% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (11.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (23.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 70% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 22% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 21%, worst was 51%
Compared to all devices tested
» 64% of all tested devices were better, 9% similar, 27% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 65%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 20%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 65%

Power management: Lenovo notebook despite small battery with good endurance

Power management

The power consumption is not bad, though the consumption while idling is partly higher than the competition. The maximum power consumption does not pose any challenges for the 65 W charger.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.47 / 0.77 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 3.01 / 6.32 / 8.78 Watt
Load midlight 32.5 / 45.5 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
i5-10210U, UHD Graphics 620, SK hynix BC501 HFM512GDHTNG-8310A, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N8000RGE
i5-8265U, UHD Graphics 620, SK hynix BC501 HFM256GDHTNG, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
MSI Modern 14 A10RB-459US
i5-10210U, GeForce MX250, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3512GJ, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Dell Latitude 3400
i3-8145U, UHD Graphics 620, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
i5-8265U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba KXG5AZNV256G, IGZO IPS LED, 1920x1080, 14
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
 
Average of class Office
 
Power Consumption
11%
-32%
12%
5%
-10%
-59%
Idle Minimum *
3.01
2.76
8%
4.2
-40%
2.4
20%
2.34
22%
3.81 (1 - 12.4, n=225)
-27%
7.39 (1.3 - 32, n=1019)
-146%
Idle Average *
6.32
5.96
6%
5.9
7%
4.9
22%
5.22
17%
7.01 (2.8 - 15.7, n=227)
-11%
11.2 (3.7 - 42, n=1019)
-77%
Idle Maximum *
8.78
6.57
25%
7.2
18%
7.4
16%
8.82
-0%
8.78 (3.8 - 16.6, n=225)
-0%
13.5 (4.8 - 67, n=1019)
-54%
Load Average *
32.5
28.2
13%
63.4
-95%
31
5%
35.8
-10%
35.3 (8.1 - 51.6, n=225)
-9%
37.2 (7.43 - 99.3, n=1004)
-14%
Load Maximum *
45.5
43.6
4%
67.4
-48%
47
-3%
47.3
-4%
47 (22 - 96.3, n=227)
-3%
46.3 (12.2 - 129, n=1006)
-2%
Witcher 3 ultra *
53.5

* ... smaller is better

Battery life

Charging time: 108 minutes
Charging time: 108 minutes

The battery capacity has not changed compared with the predecessor. 45 W is not a lot for a laptop of this size, which is why the more expensive Lenovo ThinkPad T490 with its 50 Wh battery gets a better result. 8.5 hours in the Wi-Fi test (150 cd/m² screen brightness) is still a respectable result though.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge)
8h 27min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 max Brightness (Edge)
6h 05min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
10h 17min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 40min
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE
i5-10210U, UHD Graphics 620, 45 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad E490-20N8000RGE
i5-8265U, UHD Graphics 620, 45 Wh
MSI Modern 14 A10RB-459US
i5-10210U, GeForce MX250, 50 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad T490-20N2004EGE
i5-8265U, UHD Graphics 620, 50 Wh
Dell Latitude 3400
i3-8145U, UHD Graphics 620, 56 Wh
Average of class Office
 
Battery Runtime
8%
4%
28%
15%
-14%
Reader / Idle
1063
986
587 (101 - 3537, n=816)
H.264
617
687
11%
677
10%
448 (139 - 882, n=202)
-27%
WiFi v1.3
507
485
-4%
515
2%
572
13%
584
15%
428 (105 - 1124, n=403)
-16%
Load
100
117
17%
105
5%
161
61%
102 (37 - 259, n=783)
2%

Pros

+ aluminum base enhances build quality
+ very comfortable input devices
+ good battery life
+ extremely quiet & very cool
+ mass storage upgradability

Cons

- screen with bad color gamut
- one RAM slot less than predecessor
- no more microSD card slot
- only 12 months of warranty
- creaking noise when the screen is closed

Verdict

In review: Lenovo ThinkPad E14. Test sample supplied by
In review: Lenovo ThinkPad E14. Test sample supplied by

Lenovo continues to evolve the E series with the new ThinkPad E14: The thinner chassis takes a lot of design cues from the older ThinkPad E490 and thus carries over many of its strengths. One of them: The great ThinkPad input devices. Others include the good battery life and the low heat/noise-level, even under load. The ThinkPad E14 is still upgradable as well, especially when it comes to storage. Also, thanks to the increased use of aluminum, the haptic quality has improved.

Unfortunately, there are some steps backwards as well: The microSD card slot has been eliminated without a replacement. RAM upgradability has also been restricted: Instead of two SO-DIMM slots and up to 64 GB dual-channel memory, the E14 only offers a single RAM slot with up to 32 GB single-channel memory. Other negatives include the short 12 months of warranty and the screen, which has a bad color-gamut coverage. Somewhat concerning is the creaking sound from the hinge area when closing the screen – workmanship is definitely not perfect here.

Not really better than the predecessor: The Lenovo ThinkPad E14 needlessly eliminates some features.

Overall, we can still recommend the Lenovo ThinkPad E14 as a solid ThinkPad laptop for a smaller budget, despite the drawbacks – even though we do think that it is not as attractive as the predecessor ThinkPad E490, due to the loss of features.

Lenovo ThinkPad E14 20RA001MGE - 03/03/2020 v7
Benjamin Herzig

Chassis
79 / 98 → 80%
Keyboard
88%
Pointing Device
88%
Connectivity
58 / 80 → 73%
Weight
67 / 20-75 → 86%
Battery
84%
Display
82%
Games Performance
51 / 78 → 65%
Application Performance
81 / 95 → 86%
Temperature
92%
Noise
99%
Audio
57%
Camera
31 / 85 → 37%
Average
74%
85%
Office - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Laptop Review: Thin design beats upgradability
Benjamin Herzig, 2020-03- 5 (Update: 2020-03- 5)
Benjamin Herzig
Editor of the original article: Benjamin Herzig - Editor
In 2010 I started to get more and more involved with technology, especially notebooks have been my passion ever since. Of course I came across the detailed tests of Notebookcheck very quickly. With time I learned more and more about notebooks and started writing small reviews about notebooks in forums and blog pages. To earn some extra money during my studies I turned my hobby into my profession and joined the team of Notebookcheck in 2016. My personal interest is especially in business notebooks.