Lenovo is continuing to try to make the “laptop with a Kindle glued to the lid” aesthetic work at CES 2021, announcing the ThinkBook Plus Gen 2. It ups the ante from the original ThinkBook Plus with a bigger and better 12-inch E Ink panel on the lid, with a faster refresh rate, higher resolution, and improved software that makes it easier to launch applications without opening the laptop.
The ThinkBook Plus debuted at last year’s CES, standing out as a laptop with an E Ink display built into the lid that allowed users to take notes, read ebooks, and display things like calendar information.
The new model improves on that, though, with a 12-inch, 2560 x 1600 E Ink panel that supports multitouch and works with the pop-out stylus, creating what should be a more enjoyable E Ink experience. The main display on the inside swaps E Ink for a regular IPS display, but it also has a 2560 x 1600 resolution while offering 400 nits of brightness and Dolby Vision support.
The rest of the specs indicate a competent laptop, too, with Intel’s 11th Gen processors, 16GB of LPDDR4x memory, and up to 1TB of PCIe Gen 4 storage. The design has also been improved, with a sleeker look overall. Those improvements also have resulted in a higher price: it’ll be available sometime in Q1 2021 starting at $1,549.
Alongside the new E Ink-equipped ThinkBook, Lenovo also announced three other new products in the lineup. There’s the ThinkBook 13x, which starts at $1,199 and claims to be one of the “slimmest 13-inch Intel Evo business laptops.” It’s effectively just a ThinkBook Plus Gen 2, minus the E Ink screen on top.
Lastly, there’s a pair of AMD-powered options. First, there’s the ThinkBook 14p Gen 2, which starts at $849, offers AMD’s next-gen Ryzen processors (likely the rumored Ryzen 5000 chips for laptops that it’s expected to announce at CES 2021), and offers configurations with up to 32GB of RAM and up to 1TB of PCIe Gen 4 storage. There are also two intriguing screen choices: a 2.2K 14-inch IPS panel and a 2.8K 14-inch OLED.
There’s also the ThinkBook 16p, the 16-inch version of the 14p, which will also offer AMD’s next-gen chips and a larger display (although there’s no OLED option here). That said, it will offer the option of adding an upcoming next-gen Nvidia GeForce RTX discrete GPU for those who need extra power. The 16p will start at $1,299, and like the other three laptops, it’ll be available in Q1 2021.