ThinkPad vs IdeaPad Best Lenovo Laptop 2019

Lenovo laptops are famous for delivering excellent value and offering fantastic reliability, meeting the needs of everyone from regular home users to students to demanding professionals. But with so many different Lenovo laptops out there, choosing just one can be difficult. To help you narrow down your options, we’ve decided to explain the major characteristics of the ThinkPad and IdeaPad series of Lenovo laptops and select one representative laptop from each series for a detailed comparison.


At A Glance: ThinkPad vs. IdeaPad


ProductBrandNamePrice
LenovoLenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon LaptopCheck Price on Amazon
LenovoLenovo 320 IdeaPad 15.6 inch HD Flagship High Performance Laptop PCCheck Price on Amazon

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Characteristics of the ThinkPad Series

The first ThinkPad laptop wasn’t actually designed and manufactured by Lenovo. ThinkPads, which are known for their boxy design and military-grade durability, were formerly sold by IBM before they were sold to Lenovo in 2005. Their unorthodox design is based on traditional Japanese Bento lunchboxes, which look deceptively plain until they are opened, revealing a cornucopia of dishes, often decorated to look like people, animals, buildings and monuments, or items such as flowers and plants.

ThinkPad laptops are especially popular with businesses and professionals. Their durable design makes them suitable even for the most demanding work environments, and the abundance of aftermarket replacement parts makes it possible for power users to extend their lifespan far beyond what’s typically expected from a laptop. One interesting fact is that ThinkPads are the only laptops certified for use on the International Space Station, so if you want a laptop that you can use even in space, you now know how to choose.

Characteristics of the IdeaPad Series

The IdeaPad series of Lenovo laptops was first announced in 2008, and the first three models in the series were the Y710, the Y510, and the U110. All IdeaPad laptops are designed with the needs of home users in mind. In other words, they focus on multimedia and games. IdeaPad laptops are much more refined than ThinkPads when it comes to their design and build, but their durability is only average.

IdeaPads are much more affordable than ThinkPads, which is why they are so popular among college students and parents looking for a laptop that would be suitable for a teenager. In recent years, the IdeaPad 300 series has become especially popular because it offers a broad selection of 14-inch, 15-inch, and 17-inch laptops with powerful processors and MD Radeon video cards.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Versus Lenovo 320 IdeaPad

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon and the Lenovo 320 IdeaPad are two very different laptops from the same manufacturer. While the former is geared toward professionals with high demands and deep pockets, the later is aimed at regular home users who expect every dollar they spend to count as much as possible.

Design and Build

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is an ultrathin and ultralight laptop that weighs less than 2.5 pounds despite featuring a 14-inch touchscreen display and running up to 15 hours on a single charge. Thanks to Lenovo’s RapidCharge technology, you can boost the laptop’s battery up to 12 hours with just 60 minutes of charging.

The Lenovo 320 IdeaPad weighs 4.41 pounds, so it’s not nearly as lightweight as the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, but that’s partly because it features a 15.6-inch display. Unfortunately, the display isn’t touch-enabled, so the laptop isn’t as versatile as it could have been. Despite being plastic, the Lenovo 320 IdeaPad looks very elegant, and nobody would guess that it’s possible to buy four of them for the price of a single Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, but more on that later.

Performance

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is equipped with an 8th generation Intel Core i7-8650U processor, 16 GB of LPDDR3 memory, 512 GB M.2 NVMe SSD, Thunderbolt 3, Trusted Platform Module (dTPM), and Lenovo’s ThinkShutter technology, which allows you to physically cover the lens of the built-in webcam to ensure privacy and security.

The Lenovo 320 IdeaPad has more modest specifications. It comes with an AMD A12-9720P 2.7 GHz quad-core processor, 8 GB of DDR4 RAM, 256 GB SSD, and the AMD Radeon R7 graphics card. Just like the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, the Lenovo 320 IdeaPad offers a broad selection of connectivity options, which include one Type-C port, two SuperSpeed 10Gbs USB 3.1 ports, one HDMI port, a headphone output/microphone input combo, and a 10/100/1000 Ethernet port.

It goes without saying that the Lenovo 320 IdeaPad is not nearly as powerful as the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, but its performance is sufficient for everything from web browsing to light gaming to document editing. For demanding professionals who use heavy-weight applications like Photoshop, AutoCAD, Blender, or Microsoft Visual Studio, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is an obvious choice.

Price

Yes, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is better than the Lenovo 320 IdeaPad in almost every way, but it also costs four times as much. That’s right: you can buy four Lenovo 320 IdeaPads for the price of a single Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. If you absolutely need the incredible performance of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, then the cost is easily justifiable. But if your needs a relatively modest, you might find out that the Lenovo 320 IdeaPad does everything you expect from a laptop and save a lot of money.

Verdict

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon and the Lenovo 320 IdeaPad are two very different laptops aimed at two very different groups of users. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is perfect for system administrators or developers who travel a lot and want to be remain productive even when on the move. The Lenovo 320 IdeaPad is an affordable laptop that meets the needs of regular home users and offers excellent value for money. What’s more, its dedicated graphics card makes it suitable for light gaming.

ProductBrandNamePrice
LenovoLenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon LaptopCheck Price on Amazon
LenovoLenovo 320 IdeaPad 15.6 inch HD Flagship High Performance Laptop PCCheck Price on Amazon

* Links in this table contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Thank you for your support. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.