The Lenovo ThinkPad T16 Gen 2 aims to be the perfect workhorse laptop, balancing a spacious display, solid build quality, and mobility with ThinkPad’s renowned keyboard. However, it stumbles in key areas, leaving its value proposition in question.
Spacious Screen and Excellent Keyboard: The 16-inch display, available in FHD, FHD+, and UHD options, shines with its bright (around 400 nits) matte finish, ideal for both productivity and multimedia. The keyboard, as expected from a ThinkPad, is a dream – responsive, tactile, and even includes a numpad for number crunching.
Speaker Shame: Unfortunately, the audio experience is a low point. The speakers are tinny, quiet, and prone to distortion, a major letdown for presentations, video calls, or even casual music listening.
Mixed Bag of Other Features: The trackpad is good, accurate, and offers multi-gesture support with the classic ThinkPad trackpoint nipple. Mobility is decent, with a relatively light and travel-friendly design. However, the advertised 11-hour battery life falls short in practice.
Performance for Productivity: Our tested model with an i5, 16GB RAM, and 512GB NVMe drive handled productivity tasks flawlessly. However, steer clear of heavy gaming or video editing.
I/O Galore: Connectivity options are impressive, including Gigabit ethernet, 2x Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI, and various USB ports. The lack of a camera card reader is a missed opportunity for on-location creators.
Disappointing Feature Set: The T16 Gen 2 falls flat in features. Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth, and a webcam are standard, but upgrades to 1080p or 5MP webcam come at an extra cost. No Windows Hello and a missing keyboard backlight are glaring omissions at this price point.
Questionable Value: The biggest hurdle is the value proposition. Compared to competitors like the Dell Inspiron, the T16 Gen 2 offers less for the price. While ThinkPads boast superior reliability and repairability, even Inspirons offer decent durability.
Verdict: The ThinkPad T16 Gen 2 presents a difficult choice. Its excellent keyboard, bright display, and solid build quality are strong selling points for business users and travelers. However, the terrible speakers, missing features, and questionable value compared to competition make it a hard sell. Unless the keyboard and ThinkPad pedigree are absolute must-haves, consider alternatives offering better value and a more well-rounded feature set.