The Lenovo ThinkPad Is Returning to Its Upgrade-Friendly Roots

In recent years, the Lenovo ThinkPad has strayed from its upgrade-friendly roots. But the newly-revealed ThinkPad T14 Gen 5 and T16 Gen 3 explicitly aim for a more repairable, more upgradeable design. The laptops will also be accompanied by official repair guides and easily-obtainable replacement parts.

Like the laptops of yore, the new ThinkPad T14 Gen 5 and T16 Gen 3 offer a fully-socketed DIMM design for easy RAM upgrades. Customers can remove and swap out the SSD or WWAN for increased storage or next-gen wireless connectivity, and because the battery uses a cable-free connector, squeamish users should be able to safely perform a battery replacement. Visual indicators are printed alongside these components to aid in repairs or upgrades, though Lenovo also provides detailed guides for this purpose.

A diagram of the Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 5's internals.

Lenovo consulted the iFixit Solutions team when crafting the ThinkPad T14 Gen 5 and T16 Gen 3. And interestingly enough, both laptops have already received a repairability score from iFixit—9.3 out of 10. It’s a substantial improvement from the 7 out of 10 score that the T14 Gen 3 received a few years ago (iFixit didn’t review the Gen 4 model).

Kyle Weins, CEO at iFixit, says that the new laptops are “a major step forward for Lenovo and the technology industry.” However, the T14 Gen 5 and T16 Gen 3 are just two devices in a much broader product lineup. Both laptops debuted at MWC 2024, where they were joined by the X12 Detachable Gen 2, the ThinkBook 14 2-in-1 Gen 4, and other less-repairable products. Lenovo claims that 80% of its products will be user-repairable by 2025. It’s a lofty goal, but it’s certainly achievable.

Back side of a Lenovo laptop with the ThinkPad logo visible.
Justin Duino / How-To Geek

As for actual specs, the T14 Gen 5 and T16 Gen 3 both use Intel’s latest Core Ultra platform and rely on integrated graphics. Customers can configure these laptops with 64GB of DDR5 RAM, 2TB of PCIe storage, OLED displays, Wi-Fi 7 connectivity, and 5G or 4G LTE connectivity. Lenovo also offers the T14 Gen 5 with AMD Ryzen 8040-series processors, though the AMD configuration’s Thunderbolt 4 ports are downgraded to USB-C.

The ThinkPad T14 Gen 5 and T16 Gen 3 launch this April. Pricing for the Intel-based T14 Gen 5 starts at $1,199, though you can purchase an AMD version of the laptop for as little as $949. The larger T16 Gen 3 starts at $1,219.

Source: Lenovo


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