Lenovo's ThinkPad T14s is an upper-midrange notebook currently available with either AMD or Intel processors. It replaces the T490s (Intel-based) and T495s (AMD-based) systems and marks a change in Lenovo's nomenclature for many ThinkPads. The T continues to mean thinnest mainstream system, while the 14 indicates screen size in inches, and the s means thin and light—at least compared to a normal T-series. The model number no longer includes the generation of the system or the processor manufacturer, but this information can be derived in other ways.

The T14s is precisely the same size and weight as its predecessors—in fact, it's fair to believe the cases are the same. As in previous generations, the AMD-based systems weigh approximately six ounces more than the Intel-based systems, largely due to differences in internal build and case material. Black and silver finishes are offered, and there is a slight variance in height depending on the display selected.

Options are slightly different between the AMD and Intel systems, indicating Lenovo's adjustments in market positioning. The lowest-end display offering for AMD systems is an unacceptable 1366x768 resolution, while only Intel systems offer a UHD option. Of course, Intel-specific options such as Optane memory are not available with the AMD-based systems.

ISC tested a T14s for almost three months. This particular T14s included an AMD Ryzen 5 Pro, 16 GB of RAM, a 256 GB SSD, a Full HD (1920x1080) 14.0-inch touch display, and Windows 10 Enterprise version 20H2. With the backup partition, the SSD shows 238 GB available, with 63 GB in use. Installed and tested software included Microsoft Office (including Teams), Box Drive, Adobe Acrobat Reader, BlueJeans, Slack, WebEx, Zoom, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Mozilla Firefox. Systems management and security software included BigFix, Broadcom Symantec Endpoint Protection (managed), CrowdStrike, and GlobalProtect.

With its 720p megapixel camera in the front bezel, the T14s is well-suited for video conferencing. Video quality is quite good, and T-series systems continue to have the reassuring manual ThinkShutter camera cover. The two speakers give above-average sound reproduction. General display quality is good, but some users may find the brightness (rated at 300 nits) to be limiting. Lenovo does offer three brighter display options at additional cost.

The ThinkPad T14s evaluated was tested against expectations of a normal T-series in institutional use at the University. It has performed as expected, with no extra allowance made for the AMD processor inside. Overall performance is good in all tasks. Battery life is as expected, ranging from a high of nine hours in light office use to a low of between three and four hours in heavy video conferencing use.

ISC sees the ThinkPad T14s as an appropriate successor to the ThinkPad T490s/T495s. Properly configured, the ThinkPad T14s (with either AMD or Intel processors) is approved under the Midweight portion of the Notebook Purchasing Guide.