Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 2-in-1: Reimagining Productivity with Innovative Features

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 2-in-1: Reimagining Productivity with Innovative Features

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 4: A $3,000 laptop with dual screens, offering ingenuity in design While one screen falls short, the audio impresses and performance is generally smooth However, battery life may require frequent charging Is it worth the investment?

Some Noticeable Information

The Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 is a hybrid laptop with dual displays, but it is expensive and may not be worth the price.

The OLED display on the ThinkBook is impressive and ideal for graphic design and media consumption. In contrast, the E-Ink display proves impractical for the majority of users due to evident ghosting and subpar responsiveness, while the battery life is rather disappointing.

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 2-in-1: Reimagining Productivity with Innovative Features

Source: LenovoLenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 2-in-1 Laptop is a powerful and stylish hybrid laptop designed for small-business owners, students, and those dealing with photo/video-heavy workflows. While the easy-swap dual displays add a cool factor, it's important to note that the inclusion of two screens significantly increases the price of this machine. In this regard, Lenovo may have pushed the boundaries a bit too far.

The Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 offers a stunning OLED display and a smooth user interface, but falls short in several areas. Additionally, its high price tag may be off-putting.

Solid performance

A novel approach to a hybrid laptop

Cons Borderline unaffordable

Lots of ghosting on the e-ink screen

Poor battery life

Puts out a lot of heat

$3040 at Lenovo See at Walmart

Design: Ingenuity in Full Force

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 2-in-1: Reimagining Productivity with Innovative Features

Joe Robinson

The ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 is a hybrid laptop that leans slightly towards the heavier side. When folded, it doesn't feel too burdensome to hold and carry, but it does give the sensation of holding two screens stacked on top of each other. The front-facing display boasts a 13.3-inch OLED screen, while an additional 12-inch color E-Ink panel resides beneath. What sets the ThinkBook apart is the fact that these screens can rotate within the same housing.

Thanks to a centralized 360-degree swivel mechanism, you can effortlessly rotate in one screen, while seamlessly switching to the other. Why opt for a transition from OLED to E-Ink? Perhaps you intend to conserve battery power, or you desire to peruse an extensively lengthy PDF document on a screen resembling the pages of a physical book. Remarkably, the process of rotating the screens felt remarkably fluid and flawlessly executed whenever I engaged a new screen.

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 2-in-1: Reimagining Productivity with Innovative Features

Joe Robinson

The ThinkBook exudes class with its sleek design, effortlessly accommodating two displays. The hardware primarily consists of displays and a keyboard, complemented by a glossy black chassis. The device features convenient Thunderbolt 4 (TB4) USB-C ports, a fingerprint scanner integrated into the power button, and a 3.5mm line-in. Additionally, there is a USB-C dongle included, allowing for HDMI output and a USB-A port. Take a glimpse at the Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 4's webcam in the photo below:

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 2-in-1: Reimagining Productivity with Innovative Features

The OLED screen features a 1080p webcam and there is an additional lens on the E-Ink display. Both cameras provide satisfactory image quality for video conferencing. While it is possible to use the E-Ink panel for video calls, it is likely that most people will prefer the OLED screen. Heat-venting grilles can be found on the rear bezel of the keyboard housing and underneath it as well.

Display(s): The E-Ink Screen is Haunted

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 2-in-1: Reimagining Productivity with Innovative Features

Joe Robinson

I loved the versatility of both screens - they could rotate for a full keyboard experience or easily fold down over the keyboard for tablet usage.

Out of the two displays, I believe most people will prefer the 2,880 x 1,800 OLED screen. OLED displays always impress me, and the ThinkBook didn't disappoint. With its wide range of colors, impressive contrast, and smooth motion clarity, the main screen of the ThinkBook is ideal for graphic design, photo or video editing. Additionally, it provides an excellent display for streaming videos from Netflix, Prime Video, and YouTube.

I'm fascinated by the test reels showcasing the 4K HDR capabilities of the latter. The vibrant and lush wildlife of Costa Rica in UHD appears exceptionally stunning on this compact screen. The OLED screen offers a refresh rate of 60Hz, which should be more than sufficient for most media and applications. However, gamers might desire a 120Hz or 144Hz performance. I found the Lenovo Base Pen to be a seamless companion for both screens. Personally, I preferred using my fingers on the touchscreen, but I found the pen to be excellent for note-taking and doodling.

Unfortunately, when it comes to screens, things take a slight downturn from here. In my opinion, the E-Ink display isn't an ideal match for the ThinkBook's target audience, which consists of small business owners, students, and graphic designers who require a portable workstation. It's regrettable because, in theory, the concept of a full-color E-Ink screen is an appealing way to conserve battery life and read extensive documents without straining your eyes.

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 2-in-1: Reimagining Productivity with Innovative Features

Joe Robinson

With a resolution of 2,560 x 1600, the ThinkBook's E-Ink panel surpasses its predecessor's black-and-white display. I was pleasantly surprised by the higher pixel count and the addition of colors, which added a new dimension to the E-Ink experience. While reading Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" on the E-Ink screen was enjoyable, it is important to note that the demands of the workplace are quite distinct from recreational reading.

I would only use the ThinkBook's screen for personal entertainment purposes due to its poor ghosting performance. While I didn't have high expectations for the E-Ink display's precision and responsiveness, the combination of typical lag and noticeable ghosting, which is one of the ThinkBook's major drawbacks, resulted in a less than satisfactory experience.

To address this issue, Lenovo included a manual refresh button, but it only manages to clear up approximately 60% of the temporary ghosting at a time. I must admit that I switched to the OLED display to finish reading "Tell-Tale" because I grew tired of constantly refreshing the screen.

Audio: Satisfactory

The ThinkBook features a pair of downward-facing speakers that deliver a satisfying level of audio. To test their performance at maximum volume, I played some intense live Metallica tracks from the late '80s. I was highly impressed with the speakers' ability to handle the heavy genres without any distortion, even at the highest volume setting. For optimal listening experience, most individuals will find a comfort zone between 40 and 50 percent volume.

Performance: Smooth Sailing for the Most Part

The ThinkBook’s speakers do not excel in terms of frequency representation. They lack bass and the majority of the equalization is concentrated in the upper mid-range.

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 2-in-1: Reimagining Productivity with Innovative Features

Joe Robinson

For the ThinkBook Plus Gen 4, you can select either a 13th Gen Intel i5 or Core i7 processor (the model I tested). This laptop operates on Windows 11 Pro and has 16GB of RAM integrated on the motherboard. Both CPU options also offer 512GB of internal storage.

I had no issues with the ThinkBook’s performance. My preferred setup was the OLED screen in laptop mode, and it performed all the tasks I needed it to. In fact, I deliberately used an excessive number of apps simultaneously, along with several browser tabs. One of the tabs was playing a looping 4K HDR video, while another was displaying an interactive weather radar. Switching between apps and webpages was smooth, although there was some delay when launching a new app. I found this surprising, especially considering it was a Core i7 machine.

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 2-in-1: Reimagining Productivity with Innovative Features

Joe Robinson

Priced at nearly $3,100, I had high expectations for the i7 processor and 16GB of RAM in the ThinkBook. However, I found that my late 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro with the Apple M1 chip, which only cost me $1,300, offers similar responsiveness.

One thing to note is that the ThinkBook tends to get quite warm. Even with just a few tabs open, including a PDF, the laptop felt hot to the touch. The temperature rose even further when I connected the ThinkBook to its 65W charger.

Battery: Don't Leave Home Without a Charger

The ThinkBook's E-Ink display was believed to excel in conserving the laptop's battery life, but it turns out this is not the case. Whether you opt for the OLED screen or the E-Ink panel, the ThinkBook's battery consumption remains alarmingly high.

In approximately 30 minutes, the battery life of my test unit decreased from 42% to 29%. Admittedly, I was running three different 4K videos simultaneously, so I decided to switch to web browsing only. However, even with just a few basic web pages open, the ThinkBook's battery dropped from 29% to 25% in less than 30 minutes.

Considering this experience, I would strongly recommend not leaving home without the laptop's 65W charger, especially if you plan to use the ThinkBook extensively for work purposes. In my previous review of the Lenovo Tablet Extreme, I had a positive charging experience with Lenovo's 65W charger, and it did not disappoint me when using it with the ThinkBook either.

During a single charging test, I connected the ThinkBook at 5:15PM while it had 24 percent battery remaining. By 5:59PM, the battery had reached 77%. Moreover, it is convenient to have the 65W adapter available for charging smartphones and other devices.

Should You Buy the Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 4?

The Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 presents a perplexing blend of excess and insufficiency. The exorbitant price tag seems excessive for its intended niche audience, and the addition of dual screens appears superfluous. Moreover, operating the E-Ink screen proves to be a near-impossible feat.

On the flip side, the performance aspect leaves much to be desired. With its Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM, one would expect lightning-fast load times, but unfortunately, the laptop falls short in this regard.

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 2-in-1: Reimagining Productivity with Innovative Features

Source: Lenovo

The Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 2-in-1 Laptop is quite enjoyable to use. However, despite its captivating OLED display and sleek user interface, this hybrid laptop disappoints in various aspects. And let's not ignore the steep price tag attached to it.

$3040 at Lenovo See at Walmart

Editor's P/S

As a Gen Z netizen, I have mixed feelings about the Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 4. On the one hand, I appreciate the innovative design and the versatility of the dual screens. The OLED display is stunning, and the E-Ink display is a unique addition that could be useful for certain tasks. On the other hand, I am concerned about the price, the battery life, and the practicality of the E-Ink display.

Overall, I think the Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 4 is a well-made laptop with a lot to offer. However, I would recommend it only to those who are willing to pay a premium for the innovative design and who can justify the expense. For most people, I think there are better options available at a lower price point.