Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen1 is such a classic in the field of ThinkPads, for many years this 14 “variant looks more or less the same, which is not to the detriment. Since Lenovo came up with the designation of models up to the magic number Tx9x, they decided to change the nomenclature similarly to the Carbon series. ThinkPad T4105 or something similar is simply called T14 and generation.The ThinkPad T14 also exists in a version with Intel processors, but I have not had it in my hands yet, as these models use older maximum quad-core processors of the Comet Lake generation.
I ordered the tested piece in September 2020 and arrived at the end of December, it is said that there is a lot of interest in laptops with AMD Renoir APU and the poor availability is said to have affected the displays as well. However, the interest in HW is so general, so it’s not very surprising. I will immediately mention that the tested piece is its own configuration directly from Lenovo and is thus not available in retail. I also slightly changed the memory and SSD configuration because I needed to test some components. The model tested today is rather cheaper, as it has only a six-core AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 4650U, one memory module is unfortunately soldered (achjo, as with the T495 / T490), in this case it is a standard 16GB DDR4-3200 CL22 module, fortunately there is one more free slot where I put the second 16GB module. We can fit a maximum of 48GB of RAM, while the lower series L with two slots can handle up to 64GB. At the same time, I can confirm that the new T14 Gen1 is more or less the same ThinkPad T495 with a newer processor, the change in the chassis and other components does not take place, which is not to the detriment. However, I would appreciate two memory slots, better cooling of the NVMe disk and a larger battery. If you want better materials and a slightly larger battery, Lenovo offers the ThinkPad T14s Gen1, which has a palmrest, bottom and display cover made of magnesium alloy, the memory is unfortunately only soldered and lacks an RJ45 connector.
The configuration tested today looks like this:
- AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 4650U – 2,1GHz, Turbo až 4GHz, 8MB L3, 25W TDP, 7nm, 6C/12T
- 2x16GB DDR4-3200 CL22-22-22-52 1T
- AMD Radeon RX Vega 6 Mobile
- 14“ LG LP140WFA-SPD2, 1920×1080 IPS 60Hz – 250 nitů
- Samsung SSD 970 EVO 2TB PCIe NVMe Gen3 x4 SSD
- Intel AX200 WiFi 6 (802.11ax + Bluetooth 5.1)
- 3 cell 51Wh baterie
- 65W USB-C adaptér
- Windows 10 Pro v20H2
The ThinkPad T14 Gen1 came to me in a traditional cardboard box with the Think print, dominated, of course, by a red dot symbolizing the best pointing device in the world, the TrackPoint. Inside, the notebook is traditionally protected in foam padding and a plastic bag. Apart from a simple manual and a 65W USB-C adapter, we won’t find anything else here. The adapter traditionally supports lower voltages such as 12-9-5V and can be used to charge phones, tablets, mice, watches and so on.
The notebook itself weighs 1.49 kilograms, but depending on the presence of additional DDR4 memory, NVMe SSD and WWAN card, this figure may vary by a few tens of grams. The back cover has a traditional ThinkPadí rubberized surface and unfortunately magnesium has easily disappeared from this series, resp. it is not here as much as it used to be or with more premium models, which is a shame. The top cover of the display has the traditional ThinkPad logo, which includes a red LED in the letter i. The LED illuminates when the notebook is turned on and flashes slowly when the notebook is asleep.
The port equipment is identical to the previous generation and the new models also support the same mechanical docking stations. On the right side of the notebook we find a socket for a Kensington type lock, a cooling exhaust and one USB-A 5Gb / s port. Alternatively, a SmartCard reader may live here, but the tested configuration does not have one.
On the left side we find the rest of the port equipment, we find a microSD card reader, which is connected via one PCIe 2.0 line, and I have recently decided to test SD / microSD card readers, which you will find in the chapter on storage. I would appreciate more the reader of large SD cards, because we can easily place the microSD in the SD adapter, but somehow we will not plug the large SD card into the microSD slot. Next to the reader there is a standard 3.5 mm audio combo jack, HDMI 2.0 output (in the BIOS it is possible to switch to 1.4 mode, while Intel version can only v1.4), USB-A 5Gb / s port and traditional two USB-C ports, both provide 10Gb / s USB connectivity and DisplayPort output. Only one supports power. In addition to embedded USB-C, there is proprietary Ethernet, the new ThinkPad T14 Gen1 again has two Realtek gigabit chips and two independent gigabit screens, modeled on its predecessors, and this proprietary connector is used to extend Ethernet to the RJ45 connector in a mechanical docking station. It is also possible to use a reduction to RJ45, which is attached to the Carbon X1 series and uses the same connector and connection. We will not find ThunderBolt on the model with the AMD CPU, it is a privilege of the Intel platform, but I believe that for the vast majority of cases it will not be a problem.
When you open the laptop, you get a classic view of the cheerful keyboard with TrackPoint. Lenovo has been using this backlit chiclet keyboard since 2012 and it suits me better than the older variants, but I understand that it is subjective for some people. The full-click giant touchpad with gesture support is a fairly standard pointing device on modern notebooks, but it can be turned off and used with the TrackPoint. The keyboard has built-in LEDs Caps Lock, FN Lock, mute speakers and microphone. I would appreciate separate volume buttons like the ThinkPad W530. The keyboard can be easily removed and replaced in the event of damage, and the notebook’s design is designed so that any liquid flows through the keyboard into special channels and everything flows out at the bottom of the notebook and should not damage the motherboard. Above the keyboard live two speakers and a power button.
The ThinkPad T14 Gen1 can be configured with different displays, most retail configurations will include a standard 14 “IPS 250 thread panel, but I also see a version with a 400 thread backlight. The model tested has a cheaper LG LP140WFA-SPD2 panel. station and the display is completely OK for indoor use.
A standard 720p webcam lives above the display, and for an additional fee it is possible to have an infrared camera supporting the Windows Hello function. ThinkShutter, ie the integrated cover of the webcam, which also serves as a power button, is present again.
Traditionally, I looked inside the laptop, disassembly is very simple, just loosen (screws hold a small washer in the bottom cover, so they do not fall out spontaneously) all the screws of the bottom cover and then carefully snap it off with a plastic tool, break the beaks that hold the cover you certainly don’t want to. I also recommend removing the SIM card holder, which is in the back of the notebook (this model only has a blanking plug, WWAN and WWAN antennas are not inside).
The inside of the notebook looks the same as the ThinkPad T495, the layout of the components is practically the same. Unfortunately, we only have one memory slot in which I installed a 16GB DDR4-3200 CL22 module from Kingston. There can be only one SSD and it is an M.2 2280 format, while under the SSD there is a thermally conductive pad that dissipates heat to the motherboard. Above the M.2 SSD sit two more short M.2 slots for WLAN and WWAN card.
Cooling is at 25W APU I would say quite sufficient and reasonably quiet, at longer loads the power limit is reduced to some 22 Watts, the power is quite decent, all six cores can boost at 3GHz at maximum load. The six-core Ryzen 5 PRO 4650U will be a rather slower processor in the test, but it is relevant for comparison and will easily handle where and what work. The integrated graphics card is a slightly trimmed Vega 6, has 6 CUs and thus 384 shaders. However, thanks to faster memory, improvements in iGPU and a more powerful CPU part, it is often faster than the older Vega 8 or 10.
Software a BIOS
As for the software, I have no idea what Lenovo is pre-installing on my laptop, as I installed my own SSD and a clean system. Below you can see at least screenshots from the Lenovo Vantage program, in which we can find out the warranty status, update drivers, BIOS or firmware, configure hardware and so on.
The ThinkPad T14 Gen1 was willing to talk to the VGA2USB epiphan framegrabber with the help of the HDMI> VGA reducer. To force the picture to HDMI, I had to snap the laptop down and use an external keyboard immediately after turning it on. Someone at Lenovo got a great idea to replace the good old text ThinkPad Setup with a newer graphic, following the example of DELL and others. When I first jumped into the BIOS / UEFI, I got a minor culture shock there, but I can please the reader that the graphical BIOS can be switched to text mode, which can be controlled pretty quickly with a keyboard and you don’t need a mouse. On the positive side, the graphics core can be configured with the amount of memory allocated, the Auto option is set at the factory, which usually allocates 512MB or 1GB depending on the total amount of memory. Because I had 32GB of RAM, I set the graphics to the maximum possible two gigabytes of VRAM to make it a little happier.
Source: Diit.cz by diit.cz.
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