Thinkpad T14 vs T14s vs Ideapad 5

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Scollurio, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. Starlight5

    Starlight5 Don't call me Chris, my name is Elvis

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  2. Scollurio

    Scollurio Notebook Enthusiast

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    Pulled the trigger on the T14s, AMD, Ryzen 7, 400 nits Display. Let's see how it is when it arrives sometimes next week.
     
  3. Starlight5

    Starlight5 Don't call me Chris, my name is Elvis

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    I'm still waiting for L14 release - 64GB RAM is very tempting. On the other hand, next generation may bring a lot of improvements including high resolution displays, so I might even pull the trigger on cheaper E14 or something used instead, to last me a year before going all-in on next model.
     
  4. Ramzay

    Ramzay Notebook Connoisseur

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    I actually ordered both the T14 & T14s so I can compare. I'm also typing this on the Dell Inspiron 15 5505 (Ryzen 7 4700U). Not a bad machine, 2x RAM slots, 2x M.2 NVMe slots. Decent screen. Decent build quality considering the price point. Only comes with 8GB of RAM, but its super easy to open it up and install your own extra 8GB stick for dual-channel. Keyboard isn't on par with a ThinkPad keyboard, so I wouldn't recommend this for people who type a lot.

    EDIT: The T14 literally just arrived, setting it up now. A bit thinner/lighter than the T480 from what I can remember. Trackpad a bit rough (not a smooth gliding surface), but MAN that keyboard - it's soooo good.

    EDIT 2: I'd forgotten how much Thinkpads attract fingerprints...feels like you have to constantly wash/wipe your hands every few minutes if you don't want smudges everywhere.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020 at 11:06 AM
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  5. Ed. Yang

    Ed. Yang Notebook Evangelist

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    Externally, L14 looks very much identical to E14. That to most eyes, they couldn't tell apart.
    However under the hood, it's the "PRO" grade CPU available to choose, together with dual channel RAMs that will costs potential buyers $100~300 more depending on what they choose...On L14.
     
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  6. Scollurio

    Scollurio Notebook Enthusiast

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    SORRY doublepost
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020 at 6:14 PM
  7. Scollurio

    Scollurio Notebook Enthusiast

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    Any updates yet?

    I have run many tests on my T14s and I have to say, there are many things that impressed me, but others that didn't.

    PROS
    • keyboard is just great
    • great display (400 nits low power, not the innolux though, so a bit of ghosting is present)
    • great look and feel overall
    • just enough ports

    CONS
    • Wifi seems to be wonky at times, have done all updates on windows and also got the latest wifi driver from lenovo's website, sometimes it's like it's pausing the data stream. While installing Photoshpo and InDesign I oftentimes had the download sit on a certain percentage for minutes before it continued. I was sitting directly next to my routher though interference by room design is out of the question.
    • this thing runs HOT, I mean REALLY hot (more detail in a second)

    Temperatures and throttling

    I know it's the extra thin and light version of an already passably slim ultrabook, I know that physics have their limits. Yes I know running an 8-core processor in something that's just 16 mm thick is probably not the best idea. But I have to say, I was underwhelmed by the cooling performance. Right now I have a room temperature of 25 to 28 degrees celsius here (it's really hot) and yes that also plays a role.

    BUT

    I'm getting idle (!!) temperatures of around 60 to 70 in performance mode. Hitting 92 or 98 degrees before immediately throttling as soon as I do ANYTHING. I tested geekbench, cinebench and exporting a PDF file from indesign for print (one of my usual usecases). My older laptop is a kabylake i5 quadcore ideapad. Compared to that, in synthetic benchmarks the T14s is THREE times faster. But my real life test, taking the time for the PDF to complete I saw 53,42 seconds on the ideapad with quadcore intel and 38,85 seconds on the T14s. That's "just" shy of a 30% improvement. The ideapad cost 600 Euro. The T14s 1.700.

    Watching the behaviour and temperature of the CPU cores with HWINFO while testing things out, I saw 89° while just installing League of Legends. The fan spins up fast, it's not too annoying, actually quite silent. Still. I can see that boost clocks are only hit for SECONDS and even then not on all cores, just on 3 or 4 of the 8. I mean. Yes, it's an ultrabook and yes it's PLENTY fast, but still I feel like I'm leaving so much performance on the table. Argueing that you shouldn't do heavy InDesign work on an ultrabook is a stupid argument, because who buys a 1.700 Euro laptop for browsing the web and looking at spreadsheets?! (I mean, yes, people do... but why then put a potent Ryzen 7 in it?).

    The exhaust and the metal surrounding it get's really hot. I mean. REALLY. I wouldn't mind all that but I am seriously fearing for the longevity of this machine.

    My initial excitement is somewhat hampered to be honest. It's already tough to use Windows 10 instead of macOS, but I switched for the at the moment way better hardware on Windows 10 machines. But... yeah... it's a DAMN hot machine, in a literal sense.

    Experiences? Ideas?


    What's anyone else's take on this?
     
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  8. Scollurio

    Scollurio Notebook Enthusiast

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    Holy HELL!
    Triplepost. Sorry.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020 at 6:17 PM
  9. Ramzay

    Ramzay Notebook Connoisseur

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    @Scollurio
    My experience with the T14 is the opposite - great cooling, low fan noise (T14s is supposed to arrive in 2 days, I can try that out then). Those temps are really high for idle, meaning its likely your machine isn't actually idling and your CPU is running close to 100%. Have you checked to see if your CPU is actually idling (I'm talking about CPU utilization, not just temps/fan noise).

    Something that seems to help a lot with Ryzen on laptops with sub-par cooling is to disable turbo boost, see here:


    https://www.reddit.com/r/ZephyrusG14/comments/gho535/important_update_to_properly_disable_boosting/

    Honestly one of the concerns I had about the T14s was its ability to cool a Ryzen 7 Pro - while its an efficient CPU, it is still quite powerful and needs an appropriate cooling solution.
     
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  10. Scollurio

    Scollurio Notebook Enthusiast

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    I do understand the limits of a thin and light chassis housing an 8-core CPU, I was expecting heat and throttling, but only under constant load. I just installed League of Legends and CPU utilization was 11% with temps around 84 °C. What the hell? :(

    About your T14, common issues I've read about are:
    • whirring annoying fan
    • sharp edges aroudnd where your wrists rest
    Any thoughts on those?

    Also having to disable turbo boost seems to me like cutting the tires on your ferrari so you won't go too fast...
     
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