Lenovo ThinkBook 14 Gen 2 with AMD Ryzen Processor Review
This is their 14 inch thinkbook g2, and this is the are edition that has an amd ryzen processor inside it’s, a nice little 14 inch laptop and we’re going to be taking a closer look at this one in just a second. But i do want to let you know in the interest the full disclosure that this is on loan from lenovo, so we’re done with this, it goes back to them all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own. No one is paying for this review. Nor has anyone reviewed or approved what you’re about to see before it was uploaded, so let’s get into it now and see what this laptop is all about. Now the price point on this starts at around 629. I think for what you’re getting here. This is a very reasonably priced laptop now this is a 14 inch model, there’s a 15 inch that we looked at a few weeks ago. It’S got an ips 1080p display it’s, not that bright, though at only about 250 nits. So if you wanted something brighter you’ll have to spend more, but i think if you’re, okay, with a slightly dimmer, display you’re going to get a lot of value out of this laptop now, this computer has a ryzen, 5 4500u processor inside from amd. This is an exceptionally well performing chip that we’re finding in a lot of lower priced computers lately, and it does very well with graphical tasks like photo, editing and light video editing, and it even does a really nice job playing games.
But these chips need to have the computer’s memory configured the right way and the default configuration for this machine is eight gigabytes of ram, and normally that would be fine. However, this by default has that ram in a single channel configuration with the memory soldered onto the motherboard, but inside and i’ll show you a clip here from one of my live streams. The other day, there is another ram slot that you can populate and in this case we added another eight gigabytes of ram to the mix and when we added that ram to the computer that dramatically increased its performance and put this up to the level that all The other ryzen based machines that we’ve looked at have performed and without that ram, you’re, not getting the most out of this computer. So you’ll find when you’re configuring this, that there are options for a 16 gigabyte model. I would go with that or buy the 8 gigabyte, but get a ddr4 memory module to go with it, because without that again, you’re just not going to see the best performance out of it and in addition to that ram slot there’s also an nvme ssd that’s Replaceable on the right, this one came with a 256 gigabyte ssd, but you can of course upgrade that and then, on the lower left hand, portion of the laptop there you’ll see an area for a sata hard drive. If you wanted to add that so a good amount of storage expansion on here and some ability to upgrade the memory which is going to be a necessity on this to get the most out of it now, the build quality on the laptop here is pretty nice.
The weight is just over 3 pounds or 1.4 kilograms, so not all that heavy, it is all metal, so it’s got a nice rigid feel to it. The display, though, will pick up the keyboard deck with it. When you lift it up, so you’ll need to hold down that keyboard to get it into position. This is not a touch display, but it will fold all the way back here flat. So if you’ve got some kids that get a little over eager, you don’t have to worry about that hinge. Snapping off. It does feel like a very nicely constructed computer. The keyboard is your typical lenovo flare. It’S got the ideapad layout decent travel on it. The keys are back, lit, very comfortable to type on no problems with it at all. You’Ve got your fingerprint reader in the upper right hand corner here and then you’ve got your track pad. The track pad is a little springier than i typically like, but it’s accurate, and it seems to be working just fine in my testing, so that’s been good. You got a good number of ports on this, because this is kind of designed as a small business. Laptop you’ve got a usb type c port here. This is a gen 2 port that can run it up to 10 gigabits per second it’s, also full service. So you can do display output along with power input, just note that this is not a thunderbolt port, nor is the neighboring port, a thunderbolt port, but both of these are full service.
Gen, 2 usb c ports. Next to those you’ve got an hdmi output, a usb 3 port here for your mouse and keyboard and whatnot headphone microphone jack over there and then on the other side, you have an sd card reader for plugging in your camera cards. The card will not go all the way in it’ll stick out like so so you definitely don’t want to carry that around with you, but you can get your stuff offloaded. You got another usb 3 port and here’s, something that i really like a built in ethernet jack, gigabit ethernet, so you don’t have to carry around an extra dongle with you. If you want to plug into your network and you’ve got your kensington lock slot over there. A nice design to it, it’s all metal again, so something that i think will hold up pretty well. It also has wi fi six built in so you can get on the latest and greatest wi fi technology, not bad at all battery life on this one is not spectacular. You’Re going to be getting probably about seven hours, ish out of it and that’ll depend on what you’re doing so. If you’re playing games on it or doing photo or video editing that battery life will be significantly less. But if you stick to the basics and do your word processing and web browsing and stuff, i think you could probably get into the seven hour range on this one.
Now the webcam is located here at the top of the laptop it has that shutter mechanism we’ve seen on a lot of lenovo devices for blocking the lens. The video quality out of it, though, is not great it’s only 720p, as you can see, it’s, just not looking all that great here, but it’s good enough. If you have to get a conference, call done or something along those lines. No issues here with zoom or google meet or any of the other meat platforms, but you might want to plug in a higher quality camera for a better quality image. Let’S get into the performance now and see how this thing does all right. Let’S take a look. First, at some web browsing we’ll load up, google chrome here and visit the nasa.gov homepage. As you can see, everything renders in here super quick video is no problem. Everything seems to be working just fine on this one as expected, so no complaints there and a little bit earlier, we booted up my youtube channel and played back a 1080p 60 video, no drop frames, as the video was playing back. We did have a couple when it first started, but nothing of concern. So i think, if you’re doing video playback and that sort of thing you shouldn’t have any trouble watching youtube, twitch or netflix or any of the other video services that are out there and on the browserbench.org speedometer benchmark test. We got a score of 124.
1 that’s, a very good score for that web. Browsing benchmark and what’s interesting is that we got a similar score when we were running with one stick of ram as well as when we went into dual channel mode with two but that’s web browsing when you’re doing things like games, it’s a whole different story. So let’s take a look and see what a difference an extra stick can do there. So this is gta 5 running on a single stick of ram. This is 720p at its lowest settings and, as you can see here, we’re struggling to maintain 30 frames per second it’s playable, but we’ve seen better performance out of other ryzen. 4. 500. U based computers that we’ve looked at with this same game at higher settings, so check out what happens when you drop a second stick in this is gta 5 running at 1080p, also lowest settings, but here we’re in the 40 frames per second territory give or take So if we were at 720p, we’d be probably running around 60 at this point, but you can see what a difference that ram makes. This processor really needs that dual channel memory. Let me give you another example of an even more demanding game, and this is red dead redemption 2, and this was running with dual channel memory. This is 720p at the lowest settings and we were getting about 25 frames per second, most of the time, occasionally going up to 30 or so this game is probably pushing the limits of what we can do with this hardware, but it was playable, but look what Happens when you have it in single channel mode, you get nothing so that extra stick of ram in some cases is going to be the difference between things working and not working at all, especially when it comes to gaming, and all of this graphical boost that you’ll Get out of that second stick also applies to things like photo and video editing.
So, if you’re doing anything beyond the basics on here get that slot populated and on the 3d mark time, spy benchmark test, we got a score of 997 with that extra stick of ram installed. Without the stick we got 609. So you can see what a big difference having that ram slot occupied can make, so definitely do it if you’re looking to buy this and thermally, it did pretty nice here. On the 3d mark stress test, we got a score of 96.9 percent. That is just shy of their passing grade of 97 percent, but i don’t think you’re going to see all that much thermal throttling here. We didn’t notice that when we were running some of the games on it, both in single and dual channel configuration, so i think by and large it’ll be a consistent performer when you’re placing the computer under load and the fan noise wasn’t bad on this either. And i think the reason is because of the size of the fan you can see it here in this shot from earlier, and a larger fan can move more air at a lower rpm, so it doesn’t make as much noise and it’s certainly evident here. You will hear the fan come on, but it’s not as loud as some of the other 14 inch laptops that we’ve looked at here and i think to some degree, because it’s a little bit thicker it’s got a little bit more room to move air around.
So, all in a good performer and it’s, not all that loud – you just want to keep the vents here on the bottom clear for good airflow. Now, when you’re playing those games, the sound quality out of the speakers is not spectacular. They are downward firing. Speakers here on the left and right hand, side of the laptop. This is similar across the whole thinkbook line. They’Re clear they’ve got good volume. You get decent stereo separation because of the distance between the speakers, but you don’t get a wide range of sound. I found music to be a little tinny on it, so you probably would want to connect up some headphones or do some bluetooth headphones or something for a better audio experience. But it’s good enough for conference calls and youtube videos and podcasts and stuff. But if you want a wider range of sound, connecting headphones is going to be the way to go here all right. We got one last thing to take a look at here before we close out, and that is its linux performance. We booted up ubuntu 20.10. A little bit earlier, everything seemed to work just fine that includes video ethernet, bluetooth, wi, fi audio, it all just worked when we got everything up and running. So if you’re looking to run something other than windows, i think you’ll have a good experience with the laptop here and all together. I think this is a very solid performer from lenovo, i wasn’t sure exactly where they were going with this think book line, but i think we’re starting to see things kind of flesh out here where you’ve got their consumer idea pads that are more thin and light.
You’Ve got the think pads on the higher end of the business market and these kind of sit in the middle, where you get some of the thinkpad upgrade ability. But you get something that’s more reasonably priced for small businesses. That don’t need all the bells and whistles, and this one is minimal in many ways, but performs well and is really nicely constructed. I think for the price point just get that ram slot occupied and i think you’ll have a good experience with this one that’s going to do it for now until next time. This is london seidman thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the lawn dot tv supporters, including gold level supporters, chris allegretta tom albrecht mark bollinger, sergio morales mark dell, jim calliger and steven suh.