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ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen5 review: Strong performance, versatile platform

ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen5 FI

These ThinkPad’s are like tanks and are built for the business user who is on the move.

Techaeris Rated 9.3/10

The ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen5 is Lenovo’s 5th iteration of this device, and it keeps getting better. The ThinkPad design hasn’t changed much over the years, but the build quality does keep improving.

These ThinkPad’s are like tanks and are built for the business user who is on the move. With a rugged chassis and spillproof keyboard, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen5 will serve any road warrior well. Read on for the full review of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen5.

Specifications

The ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen5 sent to us had the following features and specifications:

  • CPU: 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10610U Processor with vPro (1.80 GHz, up to 4.90 GHz with Turbo Boost, 4 Cores, 8 Threads, 8 MB Cache)
  • GPU: Intel UHD
  • RAM: 16GB LPDDR3 2133MHz (Soldered)
  • SSD: 1 TB PCIe SSD
  • Display: 14″ 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS, touchscreen with Dolby Vision™ HDR 400, AR/AS*, 500 nits
  • Audio: Top mounted Dolby Atmos speakers
  • Wireless: Intel® Wi-Fi 6 AX201 802.11AX (2 x 2) & Bluetooth® 5.1 with vPro™
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro
  • Battery: 4 Cell 51Wh
  • Keyboard: Backlit and spill-resistant
  • Camera: HD 720p with ThinkShutter (Optional: Hybrid Infrared (IR) & HD 720p with ThinkShutter)
  • Security:
    • Fast Identity Online (FIDO) authentication capabilities
    • Match-on-chip fingerprint reader
    • dTPM 2.0 chip
    • ThinkShutter camera cover
    • Optional: ThinkPad PrivacyGuard
    • Optional: ThinkPad PrivacyAlert*
    • Kensington lock slot
  • I/O
    • 2 x USB-C Thunderbolt™ 3 (Power Delivery, DisplayPort)
    • 2 x USB 3.2 (Gen 1) (1 Always on)
    • HDMI 1.4
    • Headphone/Mic jack
    • Network extension for Ethernet/side mechanical docking
  • Dimensions
    • Height: 0.59″ – 15.2mm
    • Width: 12″ – 323mm
    • Depth: 8.5″ – 2.18mm
    • Weight: Starting at 2.99 lbs (1.35 kg)
  • Color: Iron Gray

What’s In The Box

  • Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen5
  • 65W power supply and cable
  • ThinkPad Pen Pro
  • Documentation and Quick Start Guide
ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen5 review: Strong performance, versatile platform
The Iron Gray color is beautiful.

Design

The ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen5 design toes the line of the ThinkPad aesthetic, and that’s a good thing. ThinkPad design has remained largely the same over the past few years, and we are not complaining.

One minor change over the past few years has been the Iron Gray color, which this model comes in. I absolutely love this Iron Gray finish; it picks up fewer fingerprints than the traditional ThinkPad black. The ThinkPad X1 logo on the top contrasts really well with that Iron Gray color. Add in the red X and glowing dot over the “i,” and it really sets this design apart. That same thought process is brought over to the inside palm rest, where the same ThinkPad logo sits.

Flipping the ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen5 over reveals a fairly plain look with vents and rubber feet. The spine of the X1 houses the Yoga hinges allowing this laptop to be used in tablet mode and other configurations.

ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen5
Thin and light

Along the right side of the X1, you’ll find the ThinkPad Pen Pro, power button, USB 3.2 port, a vent, and the Kensington lock. Along the left side of the X1, you’ll find a headphone/mic jack, HDMI 1.4 port, USB 3.2 port, USB-C Thunderbolt 3 Power Delivery/DisplayPort, and a USB-C Thunderbolt 3 port.

Opening the ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen5 up, you’ll find the 4K UHD/HDR touch screen display. At the top of the display is the webcam with ThinkShutter.

The keyboard is the same wonderfully awesome ThinkPad keyboard. These are some of the best keyboards on any laptop PC. In the middle of the keyboard is the TrackPoint nub. There’s a fingerprint sensor on the palm rest and a decent sized trackpad. The trackpad is glassy and smooth with no drag or stutter.

Overall, the same great ThinkPad design is here and the Iron Gray finish just makes it that much nicer.

Lenovo laptop
The 500-nit display is great outdoors.

Display

The ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen5 we have houses a 4K, UHD/HDR, 500-nit, and touch screen display. The 500-nit display is excellent outdoors and in bright light. I absolutely love displays that are 500-nits or higher due to their bright condition performance.

The bezels on the X1 are slim on the right and left. The top bezel is slightly thicker but not crazy thick. The bottom bezel is thick, and it would be nice if they could shrink that down somehow.

The UHD/HDR display has bright, punchy, and clear colors that are accurate. The blacks are nice and deep, with whites staying clean with no yellowing. Text is super crisp but can get very small if you run this at its full 4K resolution.

I’ve enjoyed using Lenovo’s displays these past few years; they’re some of the best on the market, particularly those on the ThinkPad line.

This is also a touch display, and responsiveness is spot-on. I saw no lag in scrolling, pinch to zoom works great, and the included ThinkPad Pen Pro also worked very well.

Overall, this is a color-accurate display with an amazing 500-nit capability and probably too much resolution for the average user. I generally keep these 4K displays at 200% zoom to keep text seeable, old eyes and all.

Lenovo Yoga
Windows 10 Pro was pre-loaded on our unit.

Software/Ecosystem

Our ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen5 came loaded with Windows 10 Pro. There’s not much to say here, Windows works well, and the UI is familiar and easy to navigate. I was pleased to see no bloatware on this laptop. The only thing I noticed was Lenovo’s Vantage software, which is designed to help users more easily keep their laptops updated.

Overall, Windows 10 Pro good. Lenovo Vantage, I am indifferent to. Happy to see no bloatware.

Performance

Our ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen5 came with the 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10610U Processor with vPro and 16GB of soldered-on RAM. It’s a bit of a bummer that we have soldered-on RAM here because that prevents future upgrading. So, I would advise you to max out the RAM on the X1 if you’re thinking of purchasing it.

There is no dedicated GPU, instead you get the Intel UHD graphics chip which works just fine. The Core i7 and 16GB of RAM give this unit plenty of power but it would have been nice to see a dedicated GPU for those needing graphics performance.

That being said, ThinkPad’s are really meant for business tasks, and the ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen5 performs business tasks with ease. This is more than enough for running multiple word processing sessions, business apps, web browsing, email, and much more. You could probably get away with running apps like Affinity Photo or PhotoShop if you really needed to.

Overall, this unit has a bit more power with the i7 processor and a decent amount of RAM. Most business users will be able to get work done without issue and take a break from time-to-time to enjoy movies and entertainment.

ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen5
Top mounted speakers are a win!

Speakers/Sound

Top-mounted speakers are a winner. These speakers are Dolby Atmos tuned, and they sound excellent. They’re still not meant for immersive multimedia sound, but they certainly sound way better than the speakers on the X13 I just reviewed.

You could potentially enjoy a good movie with these speakers and not need headphones or an external speaker. Pushing the volume too high will result in a thinner sound stage, and I found the speakers to perform best at 65% or less while watching movies.

For video conferencing, these speakers work remarkably well. Voices aren’t thin and tinny like other speakers on other laptops.

Overall, these are better speakers than other ThinkPad’s but still consider using headphones for the sound you really care about.

Camera

The webcam on the ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen5 is also basic. Most laptops are still using 720p webcams, and they work fine but aren’t the best. We’d love to see 1080p webcams become the new normal, but we’re not waiting up for that anytime soon.

Battery Life

The 51Wh battery on the ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen5 gives an overall excellent performance while using it for basic tasks. Watching videos or running heavy apps on this laptop will drain the battery faster. This is true of any laptop, and battery life will depend heavily on how you use it. Not to mention how bright you have this 500-nit display at. I was able to get a solid day of basic use out of the battery without a problem.

Price/Value

Pricing for the ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen5 starts at US$1270 and goes up from there. These ThinkPad’s are really a great value for business users. They’re super tough and made to hold up during travel and they have some of the best hardware out there. These are really worth the price for business and basic users alike.

Wrap Up

ThinkPad’s are some of the best laptop PCs on the market period. I’ve enjoyed these machines for years and recommend them to friends and family. It’s no different with the ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen5, it’s a great machine that will hold up over the years.

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ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen5

Starting at US$1270

Design

9.5/10

Display

9.5/10

Software/Ecosystem

9.5/10

Performance

9.5/10

Speakers/Sound

9.0/10

Camera

8.5/10

Battery Life

9.0/10

Price/Value

9.5/10

Nailed it

  • Love the ThinkPad design
  • Love the Iron Gray color
  • Yoga option gives it versatility
  • Great business machine
  • Strong performance for business tasks
  • Decent speakers and top mounted
  • Great battery life

Needs work

  • 720p camera is basic
  • Would be nice to have a dedicated GPU
  • RAM is soldered on the motherboard
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