Lenovo ThinkPad L14 G3 AMD reviewed: Budget business laptop with long battery life has advantages over ThinkPad T14
The budget Lenovo ThinkPad L14 G3 AMD not only offers significantly longer battery life and a slimmer design, but also has some advantages over the more expensive T-series. Whilst the ThinkPad T14 G3 AMD comes with soldered RAM and Wi-Fi module, the L14 has not one but two RAM slots and a replaceable (not to mention fast) Wi-Fi 6 module.
Lenovo has finally fixed one of the main drawbacks of the L series by giving the third-gen ThinkPad L14 a larger battery (up to 63 Wh). Our review unit is equipped with a 57 Wh battery and managed to last more than 13 hours in our Wi-Fi test. The Ryzen 5 PRO 5675U from AMD's Barcelo-U line-up delivers great performance. Even so, the business laptop runs very quietly most of the time, not least due to the effective cooling solution with two copper heat pipes. By contrast, the T14 G3 AMD gets much warmer despite having a similar cooling system.
Cinebench R15 Loop
|Lenovo ThinkPad L14 G3 21C50030GE|
R5 PRO 5675U, Vega 7, 57 Wh
|Lenovo ThinkPad L14 G2 AMD|
R7 PRO 5850U, Vega 8, 45 Wh
|Lenovo ThinkPad T14 G3-21CF004NGE|
R7 PRO 6850U, Radeon 680M, 52.5 Wh
|Lenovo ThinkPad E14 G3-20Y7003SGE|
R5 5500U, Vega 7, 57 Wh
|HP ProBook 445 G8-3Z6Q8ES|
R5 5600U, Vega 7, 45 Wh
|Dell Inspiron 14 5425 6VPKR|
R5 5625U, Vega 7, 54 Wh
The L14 G3 AMD also has a wide range of ports, including a gigabit Ethernet port, HDMI 2.0, 4x USB 3.2 (two of which are USB-C ports that support PD 3.0 and DisplayPort 1.4), a 3.5 mm audio jack and a microSD card reader, which is missing on the T series. Our review model is WWAN-ready to boot. We didn't encounter any Bluetooth connectivity issues such as those frequently reported about ThinkPads with the latest AMD CPUs.
Our review unit comes with the mid-range display option. The panel has an average peak brightness of 282 nits and only covers 61% of the sRGB colour space. However, its contrast and black level are pretty decent. All the screen options available have a matt finish. In our opinion, given the choice, you should go for the low-power panel option with a specified peak brightness of 400 nits and 100% sRGB coverage. Unfortunately, you'll always be getting a 16:9 display no matter which option you choose, whilst the smaller ThinkPad L13 G3 already has a 16:10 screen.
Another disadvantage is that Lenovo decided not to give the chassis a magnesium frame. As a result, the base section can be more easily bent and twisted and the keyboard flexes noticeably at certain spots when pushed down deliberately. The most annoying thing, however, is that some games and our combined load test caused the laptop to crash. Furthermore, the CPU hovered at around just 500 MHz after waking up from sleep mode. We hope that a BIOS update will resolve these issues.
Our review configuration features 8 GB of RAM, 256 GB of SSD storage and a 6-core AMD CPU. You can order it from Campuspoint at a special price of 939 Euro (around US$923) for students and educators (only available in Germany). It originally costs around 1,019 Euro (US$1,002) from the same retailer. If you prefer an Intel-based model instead, there is one with a Core i5-1235U, 8 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD available directly from Lenovo US for about US$1,070.
You can read our full review of the Lenovo ThinkPad L14 G3 AMD for much more information and in-depth analyses of the laptop.