Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 laptop review: Affordable and fast thanks to AMD Renoir

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Lenovo has improved the ThinkPad E series over the years. Three to four years ago, the affordable E models were still completely made out of plastic. Their rounded corner design made them look like el-cheapo models, too.

This is not the case with the Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2. In terms of design, Lenovo has improved the E14 Gen 2 compared with the Gen 1 model by implementing much smaller screen bezels. With the matte-black color and straight, sharp corners, the ThinkPad exudes an aura of seriousness. There is an optical feature that clearly distinguishes the E14 Gen 2 as a 2020 ThinkPad design: The silver Lenovo logo on the lid.

The fit and finish is not extremely far below the more expensive ThinkPads: The backside of the screen (A cover) and bottom (D cover) are made out of black anodized aluminum. The palmrest (C cover) and the screen bezel (B cover) are plastic, with the palmrest sporting a smooth-textured paint. The ThinkPad E14 feels more expensive than it is, though the aluminum surfaces are very smudge-sensitive.

Of course, this still is a budget ThinkPad. There is no magnesium structure frame inside like with the ThinkPad T series and there also is no aluminum unibody-style construction like with the ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 5. The aluminum parts of the E14 do increase the stiffness, but they might be susceptible for dents and bending – only long-term usage will tell. Pressure on the back of the screen is passed onto the LCD panel comparably fast, but the keyboard does not flex. There also are variations of the E14 that are completely made out of plastic.

All in all, the Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 leaves a very good impression. The wide hinge does not diminish the impression, even if it is less elegant than the small metal hinges of a ThinkPad T14. The hinge of the ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 has a firm grip on the screen and enables an opening angle of 180°. Opening the screen with one hand is possible as well.

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