Lenovo’s unassuming new ThinkPads just became my favorite laptops of MWC – here’s why

An image of the Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 5 at MWC 2024
(Image credit: Future)

Lenovo’s ThinkPad laptops aren’t exactly what you’d call sexy when compared to the slick slabs of aluminum that make up the MacBook Air and Dell XPS machines. But what they lack in pizazz they make up in just being really capable laptops. 

While even a high-end ThinkPad won’t win any awards for killer looks, in my experience they are excellent laptops for getting stuff done. And for handy DIY fans, new ThinkPads are getting easier to repair, further boosting their appeal. 

The latest Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 5 and ThinkPad T16 Gen 5, showcased at MWC 2024 ahead of an April release, have been developed with repair gurus iFixit’s advice to make the laptops easier to repair than ever before. 

As a result, where once the Gen 4 ThinkPad T14 and T16 models scored a reasonable 7 out of 10 for iFixit’s repairability score, the latest ThinkPads now hit a very high score of 9 out of 10. In real-world terms that means a laptop that people can easily repair themselves, albeit with the right tools, parts, and a reasonable level of computer hardware knowledge.

This was achieved by iFixit proposing a load of tweaks to the Lenovo design team, including using captive screws to prevent their loss when loosened.

While I'm mentioning parts, the new T-series ThinkPads have access to the latest Intel and AMD laptop processors and Lenovo’s communication bar, which is like a reverse notch that sticks up from the top edge of the display and holds a webcam and microphones, all to make for a screen with slimmer bezels.

Replaceable ports are also in the mix, and there are QR codes so that would-be DIY-ers can figure out exactly what they are trying to replace. The motherboard has been moved to aid access to the trackpad, while the keyboard is rather easy to replace with just a couple of screws and the use of a ‘spudger’. Oh, and there appears to be precious little glue used to keep parts in place. 

An photo of the Lenovo ThinkPad T15 Gen 5 opened by an opened Gen 4 model

(Image credit: Future)

And just looking at the laptops' innards after their backplates have been removed, it’s a lot easier to spot what you can replace, with little to get in the way of finding the part you want to replace or fix.

While the previous generation of ThinkPad T14 and T16 weren’t nearly as glued and sealed as other laptops - looking at you my beloved MacBook Air M2 - they weren’t exactly friendly on the repair front. There were a lot of screws and other bits to disconnect, and the RAM is soldered down. So iFixit’s work with Lenovo has not only produced laptops that are a lot more repairable than their predecessors, but they are more sustainable too, and give people the right to repair their devices without the need for exclusive services. 

And while Framework and its modular repairable laptops are great, it’s good to see other brands like Lenovo get more onto the DIY repair wagon.

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Managing Editor, Mobile Computing

Roland Moore-Colyer is Managing Editor at TechRadar with a focus on phones and tablets, but a general interest in all things tech, especially those with a good story behind them. He can also be found writing about games, computers, and cars when the occasion arrives, and supports with the day-to-day running of TechRadar. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face and a nose for food markets.