If you’ve been looking for an affordable yet powerful laptop, the Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 delivers a solid laptop experience with impressive performance and security features. It boasts long-lasting battery life and a bright 14” FHD display that should come as a delight to both business users and students alike, all without breaking the bank.
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 specs
The Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 is powered by an 11th generation Intel Core i5-1135G7 2.4GHz processor, 8 GB DRR4-3200 RAM, and an Intel Iris Xe Graphics GPU, making this machine plenty fast. It comes pre-loaded with Windows 11 Pro (64-bit) on a 256 GB PCIe SSD and has a 14-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) 60 Hz anti-glare display.
Upon unboxing you’ll find the Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2, a 65W AC adapter, and a quick-start guide.
We immediately appreciated how lightweight and slim the laptop is, weighing only 3.5 lbs and measuring 0.70″ thick x 12.75″ wide x 8.66″ long.
You’ll find it perfectly sized for use on the go, whether you’re at a coffee shop or a coworking space. Unfortunately, the black anodized aluminum exterior picks up quite a few fingerprints, even if it’s mostly visible when the light hits the device at certain angles.
We also appreciate how the three rubber feet on the bottom of the device work great at keeping the laptop from sliding around different surfaces. The air vents at the bottom keep the laptop plenty cool. even when
If you prefer to use the device while it is resting on your legs for extended periods of use, you’ll be happy to note that you’ll never hear the fans turn on. The laptop can also dock to a ThinkPad USB-C Dock if needed.
We were very happy to see that the 14” (1920 x 1080) display is an anti-glare matte screen that cuts down on reflections and makes viewing things much easier, especially in brightly lit environments.
The HD video seems nice and crisp with lots of detail when streaming movies and TV shows or watching music videos.
The ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 model we reviewed didn’t have an illuminated backlit keyboard which we didn’t realize we would miss so much until we didn’t have it, especially when working in dimly lit areas. In the center of the keyboard is the ThinkPad’s familiar red Trackpoint button that is used for controlling the mouse and scrolling which works pretty well and fits perfectly under our fingertips.
The power button doubles as a fingerprint reader and works great when logging in while the illuminated ring around the button gives a nice clean modern look to an otherwise standard black laptop.
The keyboard is also spill-resistant, needless to say, we didn’t try that one out, but it’s good to know that it’s there just in case your iced tea accidentally gets spilled on it.
When typing away, including for this review, we enjoyed how quiet and comfortable the keys are and how they sit at a good height with plenty of feedback, making for a very pleasant experience as opposed to some other laptop keyboards we’ve used in the past.
While we love the inclusion of page up and page down keys, there’s a chance your fingers might accidentally hit them every time you want to use the arrow keys instead.
Another minor annoyance we noticed was how the touchpad’s left and right-click buttons are positioned directly under the spacebar and we found ourselves accidentally pressing the buttons instead of the spacebar on more than one occasion. We would prefer ditching all the touchpad click buttons and using the extra real estate on a taller one-piece trackpad.
Video and audio
Since a good portion of our daily life is spent on video calls nowadays it’s important to have a good setup that provides clear video and audio. When speaking on video calls, our colleagues reported that the sound was good thanks to the dual array microphone.
Our biggest gripe with the Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 was the poor video quality and dynamic range of the 720p HD webcam which left us looking less than sharp with blown-out highlights that lacked any detail.
While it would have been nice to get a 1080p FHD camera, the current camera gets the job done, just not as pretty as you’d hope for. The camera supports Windows Hello so you can sign in with just your face.
We loved the built-in sliding camera cover for added privacy and how nicely it blends into the laptop’s design, so much so that we barely noticed it at all.
The Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 comes nicely stacked with ports. You’ll find a USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port On the left side of the machine. The USB-C port can support up to two external displays, a USB-A 3.2 always-on port, an HDMI 1.4 port, and a headphone/microphone combo jack.
On the right side of the device, you can spot a USB-A 2.0 port along with an ethernet port and a Kensington lock slot for security. It also has a 720p HD webcam, Bluetooth 5.2, and WiFi 6.
Music and audio both sounded really good on the Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 even when we cranked up the volume, with a nice range of lows, mids and highs without any annoying tinniness.
The Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 ships with Windows 11 Pro 64 and after trying out Windows 11 on this laptop we are impressed with how smooth and enjoyable the new operating system’s graphical user interface looks and feels.
We didn’t notice any graphical performance lag while using the laptop. It works great for everyday productivity needs like content creation and photo editing as well as when you want to just relax and enjoy your favorite streaming HD video content.
Download/upload speeds are quite zippy thanks to the integrated Wifi 6 technology and connecting the wireless devices via Bluetooth 5.2 is pretty quick and seamless.
You can get a solid 8-9 hours of battery life on a full charge depending on the tasks at hand. Charging is speedy with rapid charging available via USB-C which is great as you can charge back to almost 80% capacity in just under an hour.
Another bonus is that you can ditch the stock AC power cord and brick in favor of your own 65W USB-C power cube to save on space/weight, especially when commuting.
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 review verdict
Consistently good quality and ruggedly reliable machines are what we’ve come to expect from the ThinkPad series and the ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 doesn’t disappoint. This lightweight machine offers portability, speed, and power all at an affordable price.
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 price
Pricing ranges between $535-$1110 depending on the configuration, making it a great option for students as well as for on-the-go business professionals. The Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 is available on Lenovo’s official website, Lenovo.com.