The Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 5 Hybrid is one of the most ingenious laptops we’ve seen in a long time. Its screen is a completely standalone Android tablet that can be detached from the keyboard unit at any time for easy portable touchscreen use. When you need to resume your Windows stuff, just slide the screen back on and away you go.
We got hands on with the new Lenovo laptop at CES 2024, and while it’s not a laptop aimed squarely at PC gaming, it includes Intel’s latest Core Ultra 7 CPU with its Intel Arc graphics so should offer some casual gaming abilities. Meanwhile, the Android tablet screen will give you access to all your usual Android games.
We’ve seen loads of attempts at clever hybrid laptop/tablets before, including Lenovo’s own Yoga range of laptops that have screens with a double hinge enabling them to rotate 360° so the whole laptop becomes one thick tablet device. Compared to that solution the ThinkBook Plus Gen 5 Hybrid is an immediately more elegant solution, though the fact that you switch to Android when using the tablet could slightly interrupt your workflow – it all depends just how well Microsoft, Lenovo, and you the user setup the device and apps to have data sync and share between devices.
The other key thing about why this solution seems like it’s in with a good chance of actually being a successful device is that in all three modes, the device looks and feels sleek. As a conventional laptop, the ThinkBook Plus Gen 5 Hybrid doesn’t quite taper to the same slimness at its front edge as your MacBook Air of this world but it’s still a slim device with a premium-looking metal finish.
It’s a similar story with the tablet. It’s not quite the rival to a Samsung Galaxy Tab but it’s still impressively light and slim for a 14-inch panel with a toughened glass touchscreen. Moreover, it’s a very nice display. It’s an OLED panel with a 2,880 x 1,800 resolution – ample for s pin-sharp view. It’s limited to 60Hz, which again highlights is more basic gaming chops but an FPS-demon this machine wouldn’t have been anyway.
Back to the laptop part and it will carry on running Windows in the background – or actively if you have a display plugged in – and will just resume what it’s doing when you plug the tablet back in. The mechanism for connecting the two isn’t the absolute most effortless as it requires a strong physical bond in order for the hinge to operate properly – it can just use magnets like with folio tablet cases – but it’s easy enough considering the extra utility it provides. There’s no clips or anything – just pull reasonably hard and it’ll detach and, once the thing pins are aligned with the holes in the tablet, just push firmly to reattach.
The keyboard and trackpad felt very nice in our brief time with them, with the keyboard offering a crisp typing experience while having minimal flex to the body of the laptop. The trackpad is also responsive and plenty large enough for the screen size.
Connectivity is limited to just USB-C ports and a headphone jack. There’s one of the former on the tablet and one either side of the laptop.
Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 5 Hybrid specs
|ThinkBook Plus Gen 5 Hybrid tab (tablet)
|ThinkBook Plus Gen 5 Hybrid station (laptop)
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
|Intel Core Ultra 7
|1TB PCIe Gen 4 SSD
|14-inch 2.8K OLED, 100% DCI-P3, touch/pen compatible
|4 x 1W speakers
|2 x 2W speakers, combi jack
|1 x USB-C, E-Shutter (webcam cover)
|2 x ThunderBolt 4, 1 x audio combi jack
|Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3
|Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
|313.5 x 224 x 6.6
|313.5 x 234.5 x 9.4
Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 5 Hybrid price
The ThinkBook Plus Gen 5 Hybrid price is $1,999, which is reasonable price considering all the extra tablet hardware you’re getting. Many premium slim and light laptops demand $1,000-$1,500 anyway so to get a tablet as well makes this a competitively priced product.
Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 5 Hybrid initial thoughts
There’s still plenty to assess with the ThinkBook Plus Gen 5 Hybrid, such as its real-world battery life, easy of use for daily work and play (are those few connections a limitation, for instance) but on first impression, it’s a mighty impressive attempt and a truly viable Android/Windows laptop/tablet hybrid. Check out our best gaming laptop guide for more of our current laptop recommendations. Or see our CES story hub for more stories from CES.