Lenovo ThinkPad vs IdeaPad laptops — what’s the difference?

ThinkPad and IdeaPad are two of the most recognized laptop series made by Lenovo. Which are the main differences between the two? Which models from both series are the best options for you to buy right now? Find out in this article.

Lenovo is known for its ThinkPad laptop series. ThinkPad laptops are powerful, durable, and high-end laptops for business users and professionals. But over the years, Lenovo introduced new laptop series oriented toward different markets.

The ThinkBook line is ThinkPad’s sub-brand, characterized by eye-catching design and powerful hardware. Lenovo’s IdeaPad devices are all-around machines made for a variety of purposes. Yoga convertibles are thin and portable 2-in-1 laptops and tablets. Finally, Legion laptops are powerful gaming machines aimed at hardcore gamers.

This many laptop series may create confusion if you’re buying a new convertible made by Lenovo. The complexity rises with a vast number of models in each series. Today, we will make the process of picking your next Lenovo laptop a bit easier. We will show the best models from the ThinkPad and IdeaPad lines.

About Lenovo

Lenovo didn’t make a significant push into western markets until Lenovo acquired IBM’s computer business in 2005. The acquisition brought the world-famous ThinkPad brand and IBM’s sales channels and offices located in western countries. The second major acquisition took place in 2014. That was the year when Lenovo bought Motorola from Google.

Today, Lenovo is an international company with offices all over the world. It’s headquartered in Beijing, China. The company is known for its laptop business and was leading the global notebook market in 2018. HP topped Lenovo in the first three quarters of 2019. Today, Lenovo is the second-largest notebook manufacturer in the world.

It’s still the world’s biggest PC manufacturer. The majority of these numbers come from laptops from its two most prominent brands. ThinkPad and IdeaPad. Let’s delve into both brands and find out the significant differences between the two.

Differences between ThinkPad and IdeaPad brands

ThinkPad brand is one of the most recognizable laptop brands today. Richard Sapper, a famous industrial designer, designed the first ThinkPad in 1990. The manufacturing began in 1992. IBM developed the first generation of ThinkPad devices in its facility located in Yamato, Japan. The original design was based on a traditional Bento lunchbox. The lunchbox is a simple black square that hides its savory contents until opened.

ThinkPad laptops aim at businesses and professionals. Both niches demand powerful machines. Machines that are durable and reliable and ThinkPad laptops provide just that. Built from magnesium, titanium, or carbon fiber reinforced plastic, ThinkPads are rugged computers known to last for decades.

ThinkPads were the only laptop brands used in space for decades. They are still the most common notebooks found on the ISS, with some models working for a decade and a half. ThinkPad line and its military-grade build quality are famous all over the world.

Thick black boxes featuring premium components and the signature TrackPoint device are still the benchmark for durability and reliability. Lenovo diversified the lineup over the years in a push to attract new customers. The efforts proved successful. The current ThinkPad portfolio includes ultimate business laptops, powerful workstations, and rugged machines made for extreme conditions. But also sleek ultrabooks and versatile 2-in-1 devices.

ThinkPad line is the premium Lenovo line of laptops. It offers excellent performance and build quality. It’s made for everyone in need of reliable and powerful portable machines.

IdeaPad, on the other hand, is a more recent laptop sub-brand aimed at the mainstream market. Lenovo launched the line in 2008 to provide users with more choices. The company wanted to offer solid performers that wouldn’t break the bank. And the line proved a massive success.

They offer solid performance, sleek design, and a relatively affordable price. Lenovo markets IdeaPad convertibles as all-around devices. They are great for basic tasks such as browsing the web or watching videos. But they can also offer powerful performance and even a solid gaming experience.

IdeaPad laptops aren’t as durable or rugged as ThinkPad devices. Lower-tier models feature plastic materials and are rather bulky. But members of the IdeaPad 700 and 900 series are sleek ultrabooks with aluminum bodies, excellent displays, and powerful innards. Since they cover such a wide gamut of use scenarios, most users will find a perfect device among the broad IdeaPad line.

IdeaPad laptops are popular among home users and students. They offer excellent performance for less money compared to ThinkPad devices or competitor brands.