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That is a lesson my father taught me at a young age, and it is one that Lenovo has incorporated into its ThinkPad laptops, most notably the second-generation ThinkPad E14. The ThinkPad E-series does not cater to the consumer’s desire for opulence and grandeur. It consists of business laptops with tough designs, more security than your neighborhood bouncer, and enough power to get the job done.
This mid-tier lineage may not be at the top of any best laptops lists, but that’s okay (it remains one of the best ThinkPads). They’re here to get things done, and the ThinkPad E14 takes another step forward with 11th Generation Intel processors to become a seriously capable business laptop that’s also affordable.
Apple’s new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini all feature the Apple M1 SoC, kicking off the company’s multi-year transition away from Intel CPUs and toward its own proprietary silicon. Apple announced a similar pivotal computing shift about 15 years ago, transitioning from PowerPC to Intel CPUs, and it’s doing it again now. It took a long time but giving Apple more control over the design and performance of its Mac computers was necessary. More importantly, knowing what types of chips to expect in the future should help Apple better plan its future product roadmaps.
Lenovo Thinkpad E14 vs Macbook Air M1: Comparison Chart
|PARTICULARS||Lenovo ThinkPad E14||MacBook Air M1|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Pro||macOS|
|Display||35.56cms(14) FHD (1920 x 1080), TN, antiglare||13.30-inch|
|Processor||10th Gen Intel® Core i7 Processor||Apple M1 Chip|
|Graphics||RX 640 discrete||N/A|
|Memory||16 GB DDR4||SSD 512 GB|
|Storage||Up to 2TB HDD||512GB|
|Battery Material||Up to 12.8 hours on a 45Whr battery*||65W Type-C Fast Charger|
Lenovo Thinkpad E14 vs Macbook Air M1: Detailed Analysis
Compatibility And Pricing
The ThinkPad E Series is marketed by Lenovo as “affordable productivity.” Given the pricing structure, that is true to some extent, but you must read between the lines. The MSRP in the United States starts at an eye-watering $1,379. That’s insane given that an M1 MacBook Air costs $500 less, but read between the lines once more. Lenovo frequently runs sales, and an eCoupon was available for $896.35 at the time of publication.
For that price, you can get an Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, and a 256GB SSD in the base model.
Pricing begins at £759.99 in the United Kingdom, which is significantly less than the MSRP in the United States.
The model I tested costs $1,058.85 and comes equipped with an Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor with integrated graphics, 16GB DDR4 RAM, and a 512GB PCIe SSD.
In terms of Macbooks, Apple has removed the Intel-based MacBook Air models from its India website while keeping the M1-powered MacBook Air at the same Rs. 92,900 price. This model has 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and an Apple M1 SoC with a 7-core GPU. You can customize it with up to 2TB of SSD storage and 16GB of RAM before checking out.
The second MacBook Air variant I’m testing costs Rs. 1,17,900 and includes the M1 SoC with an 8-core GPU, 512GB of storage, and 8GB of RAM. RAM and storage can now be reconfigured, but nothing can be upgraded in the future.
Build Quality And Design
You’ve only seen one ThinkPad if you’ve seen them all. This trend continues with the new ThinkPad E14, which looks nearly identical to the previous model.
The Asus ExpertBook B9450 (12.6 x 8 x 0.6 inches and 2.2 pounds) and the HP EliteBook 845 G7 (12.8 x 8.7 x 0.7 inches and 3.5 pounds) are both significantly larger and heavier (12.7 x 8.5 x 0.7 inches, 3 pounds). The dimensions, on the other hand, make it easier to transport. Regarding the design of the MacBook, the MacBook Air (M1, 2020) has the same physical design as the refreshed MacBook Air Retina. Both models are identical in size and weight, and they are impossible to distinguish even when seated next to one another. You’ll have to wait until next year if you want a redesigned MacBook Air. Personally, I see no reason to argue against this. The current design, in my opinion, is functional and stylish, and it more than serves the purpose.
In terms of I/O, there’s a fairly standard selection of ports that support both legacy and modern connections.
A Thunderbolt 4 port, a USB 3.0 Type-A input, HDMI 1.4, and a headphone/mic combo jack are located on the left edge. On the right, you’ll find an RJ-45 Ethernet port and a USB 2.0 Type-A port. While the Macbook Air M1 is Apple’s first SoC designed specifically for Macs, it is built on a 5nm process, which is similar to the A14 Bionic found in the iPhone 12 series and iPad Air (4th Gen). It has an eight-core CPU (four performance cores and four efficiency cores), a seven- or eight-core GPU (depending on model), and a sixteen-core Neural Engine. The M1 SoC also includes an I/O controller, RAM, and a Secure Enclave coprocessor in a single package.
The 14-inch, 1080p display on the ThinkPad E14 is bright and sharp enough for both important work and casual binge-watching. Although the side bezels are thin, the device has a fairly large forehead and chin, which contributes to the widescreen feeling a little squashed. To showcase more of my work, I would have preferred a 3:2 aspect ratio or even 16:10 for a little more height. The MacBook Air has the same 13.3-inch IPS display as the Retina models, with a resolution of 2,560×1,600 and a brightness of 400nits, but Apple has added support for the DCI-P3 wide color gamut, which should provide more color grading flexibility for creators.
The use of 11th Generation Intel processors is a major selling point for this latest ThinkPad E14 iteration. The review unit came with an Intel Core i5-1135G7 CPU and 16GB of RAM, which is a great combination for most multitasking tasks.
My typical workday consists of managing over 40 Google Chrome tabs (don’t judge), editing headline images in Photoshop, and eating lunch while watching YouTube videos and Twitch streams.
While there were a few hiccups along the way, the system largely stood up to this punishment. macOS Big Sur runs slightly faster on the M1 MacBook Air than it did on the previous model. Minor lags in animations, such as when swiping through apps in Launchpad or loading large apps, are no longer noticeable. When you launch a non-native application for the first time, you are prompted to download Rosetta 2. This installation happens only once and only takes a few minutes. Non-native apps will then function normally without further intervention.
Lenovo Thinkpad E14 vs Macbook Air M1: Final Verdict
The ThinkPad E14 aspires to be an excellent productivity machine, and it succeeds admirably in this regard. This is an excellent day-to-day business machine with enough power to get tasks done quickly.
The improved performance and efficiency of the M1 SoC in the same chassis transform the MacBook Air from an entry-level laptop to a serious contender for heavy-duty tasks. In addition, Apple has increased battery life and eliminated fans from the design. The icing on the cake is that all of this costs the same as the previous Intel-based MacBook Air.