Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 review e-ink on tap

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 review e-ink on tap

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 4: An Innovative and Flawed 2-in-1 Laptop

ThinkBook Plus Gen 4

Lenovo is well-known for its traditional ThinkPad lineup, which has remained largely the same for years. But with the introduction of the ThinkBook series, Lenovo is pushing the boundaries of innovation. The ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 2-in-1 laptop is a prime example, featuring a swivel design reminiscent of early Windows Tablet PCs and incorporating a color e-ink display into the lid.

When viewed as a traditional 2-in-1 laptop, the ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 boasts an impressive set of specifications. It comes with a high-resolution OLED display, an Intel 13th-gen CPU, and 16GB of RAM. However, it comes with a hefty price tag of $3,039, making it difficult to justify for most small business buyers that Lenovo is targeting. Additionally, the innovative color e-ink display, the standout feature of this laptop, suffers from significant ghosting issues.

Lenovo offers only a single configuration of the ThinkBook Plus Gen 4, which may not be suitable for all users. A more diverse range of options would have been beneficial. However, the laptop itself feels solid and durable, with an all-aluminum construction that has earned MIL-STD 810H certification. It is slightly thicker than competing clamshell designs, but still reasonable for a 2-in-1 device.

The design of the ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 may seem brand new, but it actually harkens back to the early 2000s when the swivel design was popularized by the introduction of the Windows Tablet PC Edition. Despite the complexity of the design, the laptop feels remarkably solid. The keyboard is well-designed, with sculpted keycaps and ample spacing, although the touchpad is slightly small. In terms of connectivity, the laptop offers two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4, along with other necessary ports.

E-Ink Display

The standout feature of the ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 is the color e-ink display embedded in the lid. It is the first color e-ink screen available on the market and adds another dimension to the laptop’s functionality. However, the display suffers from significant ghosting issues, making it difficult to use for reading or other tasks. While the dedicated interface and bundled active pen enhance the e-ink display’s usability, it still falls short of delivering a great experience.

On the other hand, the 13.3-inch 2.8K OLED display on the laptop’s main side is stunning. It is vibrant, colorful, and offers inky blacks. With exceptional brightness, wide color gamut coverage, and high contrast, this display is a pleasure to use for media consumption and productivity tasks.

Performance-wise, the ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 features 13th-gen Intel U-series processors, offering a balance between productivity performance and efficiency. While it performs well for mainstream tasks, it falls short for heavy creative work and gaming. The battery life, unfortunately, is disappointing. Despite a 56 watt-hour battery, the laptop lasts only around five hours in web browsing tests, which is below average.

ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 Keyboard

In conclusion, the Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 is an innovative laptop with a unique design and a color e-ink display that sets it apart from the competition. However, the ghosting issues with the e-ink display, coupled with its high price tag, make it difficult to recommend for most users. While the OLED display is excellent and the laptop performs well for everyday tasks, the battery life could be improved. The ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 is a promising concept that needs further refinements to reach its full potential.