Lenovo ThinkPad 13 review: This ThinkPad is built tough for travel, but easy on the wallet

There is a small touchpad, too, with support for multitouch gestures. You might end up turning some of the gestures off though, in particular pinch to zoom. All too often I would accidentally resize whatever I was working in.

If you're planning to connect to external displays or hard drives, a keyboard and mouse or anything else, it won't be a problem. There are three USB 3.0 ports (one on the left, two on the right), a full-size HDMI port and a USB-C port that can be used for peripherals as well as power. There's also a Lenovo OneLink+ port for use with the company's $180 dock with support for two external displays and much more, though the reviews on the product page are mixed.

PC Geekbox Lenovo ThinkPad 13
Price as reviewed $611 (AU$900, £360)
Display size/resolution 13-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 display
PC CPU 2.3GHz Intel Core i3-6100U
PC Memory 4GB DDR4 SDRAM 1600MHz
Graphics 128MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 520
Storage 128GB SSD
Networking 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.0
Operating system Windows 10 Home (64-bit)


The silver base model in the US includes a Core i3-6100U processor, Intel HD Graphics 520, 4GB of memory (DDR4-2133) and a 128GB solid-state drive (SSD). You can customize the ThinkPad 13 on Lenovo's site adding more memory or storage, or a Core i5 processor.

This configuration is capable of playing web-based games and streaming video, but it'll struggle with anything graphically intensive. You can do some light photo editing and can be used to put together a presentation, but it's underpowered for anything more. It's made for getting essential work tasks done and for that it is just fine.

lenovo-thinkpad-13-04.jpg

A lot of ports for all your peripherals.

Sarah Tew/CNET

And if you're looking to do those tasks all day long away from an outlet, you should be able to pull it off. In our demanding battery rundown test, it was able to reach about 6.5 hours before shutting down. Lenovo rates the battery life at up to 11 hours, though. In my experience with mixed use -- streaming video or music while web surfing in Google Chrome and working in Microsoft Word -- I was able to reach 8 hours. If you're just working in Office, it should be able to run even longer.

With the Lenovo ThinkPad 13 you're paying more for the durable build, the excellent keyboard, 1080p-resolution screen and the useful port assortment than you are for performance. It's made for handling the essentials and it does just that -- no more, no less -- making it a good deal for the office or for school.

Multitasking Multimedia Test 3.0 (in seconds)

Dell Inspirion 15-7559
290
HP Envy 13
626
Lenovo ThinkPad 13
666
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S
856

Note:

Shorter bars indicate better performance

Geekbench 3 Multi-Core

Lenovo ThinkPad 13
5192
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S
4722

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Online Streaming Battery Drain test (in minutes)

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S
435
Lenovo ThinkPad 13
388
Dell Inspirion 15-7559
374
HP Envy 13
358

Note:

Longer bars indicate faster performance

System Configurations


Lenovo ThinkPad 13
Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i3-6100U; 4GB DDR4 SDRAM 1600MHz; 128MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 520; 128GB SSD
HP Envy 13 Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-6200U; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz; 128MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 520; 128GB SSD
Dell Inspirion 15-7559 Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-6300HQ; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz; 4GB Nvidia Geforce GTX 960M; 1TB 5400rpm HDD
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.2GHz Intel m3-6Y30; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz; 128MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 515; 128GB SSD

Multitasking Multimedia Test 3.0 (in seconds)

Dell Inspirion 15-7559
290
HP Envy 13
626
Lenovo ThinkPad 13
666
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S
856

Note:

Shorter bars indicate better performance

Geekbench 3 Multi-Core

Lenovo ThinkPad 13
5192
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S
4722

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Online Streaming Battery Drain test (in minutes)

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S
435
Lenovo ThinkPad 13
388
Dell Inspirion 15-7559
374
HP Envy 13
358

Note:

Longer bars indicate faster performance

System Configurations


Lenovo ThinkPad 13
Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i3-6100U; 4GB DDR4 SDRAM 1600MHz; 128MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 520; 128GB SSD
HP Envy 13 Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-6200U; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz; 128MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 520; 128GB SSD
Dell Inspirion 15-7559 Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-6300HQ; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz; 4GB Nvidia Geforce GTX 960M; 1TB 5400rpm HDD
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.2GHz Intel m3-6Y30; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz; 128MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 515; 128GB SSD