Laptop announced date: 17th September 2020
Last reviewed: 18th August 2020
If you are looking to buy a new gaming laptop and want to know how well the Lenovo ThinkBook Plus i5-10210U 8GB RAM 256GB M.2 compares to other laptops on offer then you have come to the right place. Today we are going to explore the type of performance return we can expect from this mobile gaming solution by comparing it to today’s demanding games
Is the Lenovo ThinkBook Plus i5-10210U 8GB RAM 256GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Not for gaming
Processor - This laptop CPU struggles with the 2021 releases. It will not meet modern requirements of games and it is a poor choice for gamers today. The CPU in this laptop comes with 4 of processor cores. This is a good quantity for today’s AAA games, which are often making use of multiple cores nowadays, to load-spread the processes.
Graphics Card - Today’s AAA 2021 gaming is not met by the graphics solution found in this laptop. The performance provided by the UHD Graphics 630 will certainly struggle with some of the more demanding games around. The VRAM of this graphics solution is not enough for modern games. This VRAM shortage alone makes the laptop not right for modern gaming.
System Memory - The 8GB system memory in this machine is a good gaming amount of RAM for a 2021 laptop.
Screen Size - Our laptop’s 13.3" is OK for gamers of today, but certainly consider going for a larger screen size if gaming is your primary focus. Games of 2021 would still run on this machine, providing the hardware meets their requirements, but the panel size may cause some visual problems during some games. Exploring for a suitable gaming laptop, we look at 17 inches for the better viewing size, 15 inches is always a good size if portability is more your focus, but in our minds we want the largest screen size while still being portable, so we can more clearly see the games.
Refresh Rate - Refresh rates can be hard to see, when the laptop reseller doesn't make it clear. Assume 60Hz if this is the case. Ideally for a gaming laptop you want 120Hz. This means the games you run can get up to 120 frames per second, assuming the hardware inside them is powerful enough to deliver that FPS. The refresh rate caps a games deliverable FPS even if the hardware can deliver more FPS than the Hz. Refresh rates are tied to the laptop’s screen. This laptop has an ok refresh rate for modern gaming but at 60Hz it could restrict FPS if the laptop was capable of delivering more than the refresh rate.
No two laptops are the same. But one of the primary gaming laptop components is of course the graphics card. Often a slightly weaker mobile solution, when compared to its desktop equivalent. Today we will consider this laptop's hardware, when running modern popular and sometimes demanding games, like Far Cry 6, Battlefield 2042 and Halo Infinite Multiplayer which will help us know if this mobile graphics card and the overall laptop hardware is considered a good price to performance point. We consider it running these titles at its native 1080p resolution, and at Ultra video settings. Lets compare the UHD Graphics 630 found in this laptop to today’s top 500 most demanding games. Of those games, this laptops GPU can run 0 at their minimum system requirements and then 0 games when looking at their recommended system specs.
A key focus of this laptop review is to compare the Lenovo ThinkBook Plus i5-10210U 8GB RAM 256GB M.2 to all other laptops in terms of how much its $ reflects the value of the gaming performance delivered by the this laptop’s hardware.
P2P rating of 3.1 today the Lenovo ThinkBook Plus i5-10210U 8GB RAM 256GB M.2. Our value to performance rating score will auto adjust as new hardware capability improves and prices drop. This version of the ThinkBook Plus laptop is currently positioned at 2nd when ordered in the range lineup for Price to Performance value rating. The closer to 1st place the better gaming performance it deliver for its price.
Show Laptop Specifications
|Processor||Core i5-10210U 4-Core 1.60GHz|
|Graphics Card||UHD Graphics 630|
|RAM||8GB DDR4 2666MHz|
13.3" 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 60Hz
Lenovo ThinkBook Plus i5-10210U 8GB RAM 256GB M.2 model range price to performance comparison table
|i7-10510U 16GB RAM 512GB M.2||$1,139.27||94%|
|i5-10210U 8GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1249.00||0%|
It's good to see how this ThinkBook Plus laptop compares to models outside of its own model range as well. If we look at the very best P2P laptop, the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2, our laptop has 357% worse performance difference when comparing its price to performance rating. That top laptop currently has a listed price of $999.00. How about we also look at the 2nd ranked laptop for excellent Price/Performance ratings, which is the MSI Bravo 15 R7 4800H RX 5500M 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 and has a recorded cost of $1049.00. We see our ThinkBook Plus laptop scores 299% worse against it for price to performance.
If you are looking for a strong CPU focused laptop then let's compare this ThinkBook Plus laptop with the top CPU performance focused laptop available today and see how it compares. The ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733 (2021) R9 5900HX RTX 3080 8GB Max-Q 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 1080p 165Hz is today’s best performer in the laptop CPU department. It has a Ryzen 9 5900HX 8-Core 3.3GHz processor in it, which currently has 245% better performance than our laptop’s Core i5-10210U 4-Core 1.60GHz.
Our laptop’s CPU can currently run 0 of today’s top 500 demanding games meeting their recommended processor requirements. This figure is 0 for the top 500 minimum requirement games that can be run by the Core i5-10210U 4-Core 1.60GHz.
Today’s games are getting more demanding so let's see how our gaming laptop performs against their recommended cpu system requirements. First off we have the Battlefield 2042 which currently our Core i5-10210U 4-Core 1.60GHz is 97% worse next let's see how well it runs against Halo Infinite Multiplayer. We can see it is 97% worse. Ok finally lets see it against Far Cry 6. Here our laptop is 100% worse.
A good comparison in terms of graphical power for our review model would be to compare it to one of the most powerful GPU focused laptop’s around today. This type of comparison can show us what another laptop, with a top end graphics hardware solution, can deliver and in turn provide us a relative point of laptop Graphics Card cost comparison. We have the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i9-10980HK RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz as one of today’s best graphics crunching laptop. It comes with a GeForce RTX 3080 16GB Mobile video card in it, which currently has 1327% better performance compared to our laptop’s UHD Graphics 630.
Today’s performance comparison for all games shows our laptop GPU can currently meet or beat 0 game’s recommended system requirements when we put the 500 most demanding games into a list. With a list of 500 Minimum system specs put ina similar most demanding order this changes to it being able to run 0 games.
But the real test is seeing how well the laptop GPU performs against today's popular games. Our UHD Graphics 630 compared against recommended graphics requirements for Far Cry 6 delivers 100% better performance while against Battlefield 2042 it’s 100% better and finally compared to Halo Infinite Multiplayer it has a performance difference : 100% better.
The Lenovo ThinkBook Plus i5-10210U 8GB RAM 256GB M.2 has a physical 13.3" screen size and a fixed number of pixels in that screen of 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels tall, or 1080p resolution. So is it ok to go for a 1080p laptop like this one or should I be considering a 4K screen resolution laptop instead of this? A 4K laptops will likely run with 60Hz screen refresh rate, so should the laptop’s hardware be able to get good frame rates at 4K resolution and due to the refresh rate the laptop would max out at 60 frames per second as its screen would not be capable of delivering any higher. Modern games in Ultra graphics settings are also normally too demanding for a 4K resolution anyway. This particular laptop refresh rate options are 60Hz.
Dropping a game’s resolution down from the laptop’s native 4K resolution to a more sustainable 1080p or maybe 1440p, would certainly deliver extra frames and improve stability. So there is always that option if the experience is unplayable due to low frame rates. But know that this action comes at a price. Dropping from a monitor or laptop panel’s native resolution immediately reduces in-game visual definition across all the game’s graphics. It basically makes the game look blurry. Not an ideal situation if you just bought your new 4K gaming laptop. If the following is the case, where the 1080p gaming laptop could run games you love at a higher 4K resolution then you could always hook up the PC laptop to a desktop monitor. One that was much bigger than the laptop screen size, like a 31inch with 144Hz refresh rate to enjoy 1440p or 4K resolution when gaming at home. Then still have your laptop for mobile gaming as well.
4K streaming could be a viable reason to consider 4K over 1080p laptop panels.
At the moment our advice would be, stick to the 1080p laptop panels for now. Your laptop remains portable and 4K laptop’s just aren't quite there yet. The 4K needs to be a no brainer but at the moment you will still have to lower resolution in game to get playable but sub par visuals that still can't raise above 60FPS.
A well priced 1440p gaming monitor with 75Hz, is the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS, which is currently priced at $299.99 and would work well with our Lenovo ThinkBook Plus i5-10210U 8GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop. We have seen this desktop 1440p monitor recorded at a low price on 9th Mar 2021, where we saw it was costing $229.99.
Why not grab a monitor like the Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz 4K screen. It is currently coming in with the best price tag in the 4K range of monitors that we are watching, at $629.99 and has a 144Hz refresh rate. During these past 2 weeks, this 4K monitor’s price has gone up by $580. Once we spot a monitor we like we start price tracking it. The lowest tracked price we have for this monitor was recorded on 13th Nov 2020, where it was seen at $549.99.
[Note - check that monitor display connectors are compatible between a monitor and a laptop before purchase]
Possibly a suitable purpose for a 4K laptop would be if you were keen to watch 4K streaming services like Netflix. At which point perhaps it's enough of a selling point for you to consider a 4K laptop?
As you can probably gather from the information above, it's probably not worth the extra cash for a 4K laptop if gaming is your Laptop purpose. 1080p is likely plenty and has enough alternative gaming options for when you want better resolution. It feels like you might not get what you were after if you picked up a shiny new 4K laptop, then was needing to lower game resolution, while getting blurry in-game experience and achieving a max 60FPS when you could push the hardware into better frame rates.
Of the mice we monitor and price track, today’s top mouse is the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons, priced at $12.99. We have seen this mouse lower its price during these past couple of weeks by $37, which is part of the reason we are considering it as a good option for this laptop. Our mice price tracker had this mouse marked at its lowest price on 15th Aug 2020, where it cost $11.99.
|Quality||Mouse||Price (USD)||Check Regional Pricing|
|**||PICTEK Gaming Mouse 7200DPI wired 7 Buttons||$13.99|
|**||Redragon M711 Cobra||$19.99|
|***||Cooler Master MM710||$42.85|
|***||Razer DeathAdder Elite||$53.99|
We price track a number of good value gaming headset and the one that currently stands out is the Corsair HS45-7.1 Surround, which is currently available for $36.99. Out of interest our lowest price tracked on this headset was on 28th Nov 2019 where we saw it for $34.99.