There’s no question that Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon ultrabook is a high performing ultrabook which offers great performance and mobility in a thin, light package. On the other hand, Lenovo’s Yoga design offers convertibility, allowing for use as a laptop, tablet, or anything in between. Our Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga review takes a look at what happens when Lenovo combines the ThinkPad X1 Carbon with the versatile Yoga design.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga laptop as tested has the following features and specifications:
- Processor: 6th Generation Intel® CoreTM i5 Core i5-6200U Processor (i7 Core i7-6500U available)
- Memory: 8GB soldered to system board (16GB available)
- Storage: M.2 SSD / SATA 6.0Gb/s 256GB (512GB available)
- Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520
- O/S: Windows 10 Pro
- Battery: Li-Polymer (52Wh) Up to 11.0 hr.
- Ports & Options: Three USB 3.0 (1 Always On), Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, Onelink+ connector, combo audio / microphone jack, Micro SD slot, SIM slot
- Display: 14.0″ FHD (1920×1080), anti-glare, LED backlight, IPS, 270 nits, 16:9 aspect ratio, Capacitive touch panel (14.0″ WQHD (2560×1440) available)
- Dimensions & Weight: 13.11″ x 9.02″ x 0.66″; 333.0mm x 229.0mm x 16.8mm), Starting at 2.8 lbs. (1.27 kg)
- Case Top Cover: Carbon Fiber/Palm Rest
- Case Bottom Cover: Super Mag
- Camera/Mic: HD720p resolution, fixed focus, HD Audio, Conexant® CX11852 codec, Dolby® DAX2/stereo speakers, 2W, dual array mic
- Wireless: 11ac+BT, Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260, 2×2, M.2 Card
- Keyboard: 6-row, spill-resistant, LED backlit, TrackPoint® pointing device & glass surface touchpad
- Pen: ThinkPad Pen Pro, active pen, rechargeable
- Security: Power-on, hard disk, supervisor password, security keyhole, Trusted Platform Module, TCG 1.2-compliant and Software TPM 2.0, Touch style fingerprint reader
What’s in the Box
- 1x Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga laptop
- 1x power adapter
- 1x ThinkPad Pen Pro
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga is well constructed, features a carbon fibre top cover, and utilizes Lenovo’s new “Super Mag” materials — a Magnesium Alloy composite — for the palm rest and bottom cover. The new Super Mag material allows Lenovo to keep the ThinkPad X1 Yoga thinner and lighter without sacrificing durability. Speaking of durability, this laptop feels very well built, and has been tested against military specifications which include vibration tests, bump tests, drop tests, dust tests, heat tests, and more.
The left side of the ThinkPad X1 Yoga (from back to front) houses the DC power connection, OneLink+ docking port, mini-DisplayPort connection, and always on USB 3.0 port. The right side (again, from back to front) includes a Kensington Key Lock, HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports, headphone/mic combo port, volume keys, power button, and slot for storing the ThinkPad Pen Pro. You’ll also find a microSD card slot and SIM card slot on the rear of the laptop. Opening up the laptop you’ll find the webcam lens in the usual spot above the display, as well as the keyboard, TrackPoint pointing device, glass surface touchpad, and fingerprint scanner.
As is evident by the name, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga has four basic modes — Laptop, Stand, Tent, and Tablet. On the ThinkPad series, Lenovo equates this to Work, Present, Connect, and Create functionality. One of the features that is included on the ThinkPad X1 Yoga that isn’t present on most of the Yoga laptops is a Lift ‘n’ Lock Keyboard, and both the keyboard and touchpad are automatically disabled once the screen is moved past the 190-degree angle. When using the laptop in Stand, Tent, or Tablet mode, the frame of the laptop rises to create a flat surface. In addition, the keyboard is spill resistant and has three levels of backlighting — off, low, and high brightness.
A very welcome addition to the ThinkPad X1 Yoga is the ThinkPad Pen Pro. Using Active Capacitive technology, the pen can be used for making notes and annotating documents, and it’s 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity make it great for drawing as well. The pen slot on the right side of the ultrabook not only stores the pen safely and securely so you don’t lose it, but it also charges the pen and only takes 15 seconds to recharge it for 100 minutes of use.
Finally, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga’s Touch Fingerprint Reader is super easy to set up and use to login to Windows using the new Windows Hello login system.
Overall, the combination of the ThinkPad X1 durability and the added Yoga modes make for a very solid, yet versatile ultrabook experience.
Our review unit featured the 1920×1080 FHD display, and to be honest on a 14″ screen it was more than adequate. I have no doubt the WQHD (2560×1440) option would look fantastic as well, but might be a bit much for a 14″ screen size. The screen itself is clear, sharp, and responsive to both touch and the ThinkPad Pen Pro. Of course being a touch screen, there is a bit of glare, but it also has a matte screen protector which helps reduce glare.
Initially there was an issue with brightness toggle not working, but a quick follow up with Lenovo indicated a driver issue and downgrading the driver fixed the issue — just something to keep in mind if you pick up this ultrabook and run into the same issue.
Being a target for the business market, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga ships with Windows 10 Pro, instead of Windows 10 Home like most laptops do these days. We’ve already covered Windows 10 previously, and it works great with the touchscreen on the ultrabook.
As with other Lenovo laptops, there are a few Lenovo apps that come pre-installed. Love ’em or hate ’em, they can be uninstalled, and depending who you talk to there are those who would prefer these apps didn’t come pre-installed at all. These apps include Lenovo Companion which allows you to optimize and learn more about your ThinkPad, as well as update your system, check system health, and access support; a Lenovo Settings app which allow you to change the settings for various aspects of your ultrabook including TrackPoint and TouchPad settings, audio settings, camera settings, display settings, and more; Lenovo ID which allows you to connect your Lenovo account to the ThinkPad X1 Yoga; and finally the Lenovo WRITEit app which you can use to convert handwriting to data in nearly any text field including within browsers, search boxes, email, social media, and much more. The WRITEit app worked surprisingly well and also includes gesture support which allow the user to draw gestures that will allow you to delete “ink” or text, erase ink or text, insert spaces, replace text, invoke tabs and returns, and more.
Like its Carbon X1 counterpart, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga performs very decently with the 6th Generation Intel® CoreTM i5 Core i5-6200U Processor and handled pretty much anything I threw at it with ease including Adobe Photoshop and Premiere photo and video editing apps. If you’re doing a lot of work with processor intensive apps, you’ll probably want to upgrade to the available i7 Core i7-6500U processor, but for most basic business tasks, video playback, and programs the i5 with 8GB of RAM and the SSD hard drive is more than capable. Gaming of course is a bit of a mixed bag with the Intel HD Graphics 520, but basic games ran with no issues and more intensive games ran just fine on lower settings.
The Dolby DAX2 stereo speakers sound good enough for the intended purposes of the laptop, and watching movies or listening to music was still a fairly pleasant experience.
The ThinkPad X1 Yoga features a 720p HD webcam which works well for videoconferencing with a pretty clear picture and decent sound.
Battery life was a bit of a mixed bag here. Of course with any laptop, the specifications do say “up to” a certain amount of battery life and in this case it’s 11 hours. During testing, we actually ranged anywhere between 5 1/2 to 10 hours on a single charge, and of course it really does depend on what you are doing with it. If you’re doing a lot of editing using processor intensive apps like Photoshop or Premiere, you can expect your battery to drain more quickly. For basic business tasks like word processing and web browsing, you should be able to stretch it out near the max battery life on a single charge.
Starting at $1395USD, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga can run you just over $2000 with 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD drive. Given its versatility, performance, and size, the pricing is in line with what you get.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga is a well designed, great performing business ultrabook. The ThinkPad Pen Pro is a great addition with the touchscreen, and adds extra convenience and productivity. With the added versatility of the four Yoga modes, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga definitely takes the best from the ThinkPad X1 and Yoga lines and combines them for a truly versatile business ultrabook.[rwp-review id=”0″]
*We were sent a demo unit of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga for the purposes of this review.
Last Updated on April 17, 2016.