Lenovo ThinkBook 13S

Cool factor 5/5
Usability 4/5
Value for money 4/5

Lenovo has launched a new ThinkBook that is specially designed for millennials in the workplace.

The laptop targets freelancers and entrepreneurs who want something aesthetically pleasing as well as powerful. Lenovo believes the millennial workforce demands a high-performance device that looks good and is easy to carry around.

The ThinkBook comes in 13-, 14-and 15-inch variants, including an S line that is designed to be ultra-portable, which we had on test. As a freelance writer, I found the size of the ThinkBook 13S to be ideal for popping into a bag before heading to a meeting or a coffee shop to work from.

At 1.4kg, it isn’t bulky. It has a minimalist look in a pleasant grey shade, rather than Lenovo’s traditional black. It is big on security for an entry-level business device, which should put the entrepreneur at ease.

The power button doubles up as a fingerprint sensor, and the webcam has a physical ThinkShutter camera cover for privacy, which I kept permanently shut.

The full-size keyboard is backlit and a pleasure to type on; it’s not noisy yet offers the right amount of tactile feedback. It does not feature Lenovo’s signature red "mouse on the keyboard" TrackPoint that ThinkPads are known for.

There were moments during charging when I noticed the fan being distractingly loud.

Perhaps perhaps it was more noticeable as my current laptop has been fan-less for years.

The ThinkBook 13S ships with Windows 10 Pro, and is powered by a Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD storage and a four-cell battery, which yields around 10 hours of use — more than just a day of work.

Despite a compact design, it has a full HDMI port, USB-C, audio jack and charging port to the left, and two USB-A ports to the right. There is no ethernet port.

The ThinkBook 13S is for small-business owners who don’t want to fork out for an enterprise-grade ThinkPad yet still enjoy similar features. It is a worthy business-consumer hybrid, and costs R15,000.

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