The Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 3 is the company’s latest attempt at a business laptop geared toward more mainstream users. It comes with some significant improvements over the previous generation, most notably the addition of a 16:10 aspect ratio for the display, which is a huge boost to productivity. One thing hasn’t changed, though, and that’s the solid range of connectivity options. Out of the box, the Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 3 gives you a wide selection of ports for all your needs, though how good it is depends on the model you get.
By default, the ThinkPad T14 Gen 3 includes two USB Type-C ports, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI, Ethernet, and a headphone jack. There’s also the option to add a Smart Card reader, if that’s something you need for your business. If you also want to add cellular connectivity, you’ll also get a nano SIM card slot.
However, those USB Type-C ports are significantly different depending on whether you get the ThinkPad T14 Gen 3 with an Intel or AMD processor. If you opt for the Intel model, the USB-C ports support Thunderbolt 4, with40Gbps of bandwidth for peripherals, external displays, and even external GPUs. But because Thunderbolt 4 is proprietary Intel technology, this isn’t supported in the AMD version. Instead, these ports only support USB 3.2 Gen 2 speeds (up to 10Gbps).
Do you need more ports on the ThinkPad T14 Gen 3?
We’d say the port selection with the Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 3 is very strong out of the box. You get a lot of them and there’s plenty of variety, too, mixing more modern USB Type-C ports with all the traditional ports you might still be using. Still, if these ports just aren’t enough isn’t enough for you, you can always add some more.
That’s where the advantages of Thunderbolt support can come in handy. Using a Thunderbolt dock, you can add a ton of high-speed ports to your laptop. For example, the Plugable Thunderbolt 3 Dock (TBT3-UDZ) gives you six USB Type-A ports with USB 3.2 Gen 2 speeds, plus you get two display outputs (with your choice of HDMI or DisplayPort), plus an SD card reader, which isn’t included in the ThinkPad T14 Gen 3. It adds a ton of versatility to your laptop, and this is one of the best docks you can buy today.
Plugable Thunderbolt 3 Dock
- This Plugable dock supports full Thunderbolt 3 speeds and gives you a wide range of ports to connect peripherals and external displays to your laptop.
There are also docks designed for standard USB Type-C ports, which you can use with the AMD variants of the ThinkPad T14 Gen 3. Because of the lower bandwidth, you won’t get the same high-speed connectivity, but they can still be useful, such as in the case of the Brydge Stone II, a solid USb-C based dock with three USB ports, Ethernet and HDMI.
The benefit of a dock, in addition to adding more ports, is that it can simplify how you connect your setup. For example, if you bring your laptop into the office and want to connect all your peripherals in one go, you can leave them connected to the dock and just plug the dock into your laptop, making everything easier to set up. Considering you already get a decent supply of ports with the laptop, we’d say this is probably the biggest reason you might want a dock.
And that’s all you need to know about the ports on the Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 3. Like most business laptops, the selection you get with the ThinkPad T14 Gen 3 already gives you plenty of options, but you can always use a dock to expand that selection. There’s no shortage of docking options if you need them, though we really like the Plugable model mentioned above.
If you’re interested in the Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 3, you can buy it below. At writing time, only Intel models are available to buy, with the AMD version planned to launch sometime in June 2022. Depending on your needs, this may be one of the best ThinkPads you can buy in 2022. If you want to check out other options and don’t care that much about the built-in ports, you may want to check out the best laptops overall to see some more modern and thin designs.
Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 3
- The Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 3 is a business laptop powered by Intel 12th-gen or AMD Ryzen 6000 processors. It has a 16:10 display, lots of ports, and it nails all the basics for businesses.
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