Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Review: Design, Performance and Pricing

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Lenovo has given us some great laptops from its ThinkPad lineup. While the flagship of this lineup, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a beast of a machine to have, it doesn’t do much well in the portability department. What if you something with amazing specs but is a bit more “flexible”? Well, fret no more as you now have the new 4th Gen ThinkPad X1 Yoga to cater to that.

As the name might suggest, the X1 Yoga can have its display folded all the way back so that it becomes a tablet when desired. The design is compact yet it doesn’t compromise on quality or performance. Does it have all that it takes to fulfill your everyday needs as a daily driver? Let’s look at the specs and find out.

Design

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga
Image: Lenovo

The body of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga is made out of Aluminum. This results in excellent build quality and a premium feel every time you touch it. It does, however, bring the weight up a little but not enough to affect portability. The overall design is traditionally subtle, which something I love about ThinkPads. They are unique in their own way without standing out too much.

The color of the aluminum body is matt silver, which sets it apart from most of the ThinkPad lineup. Open it up and you’re greeted with the 14-inch display. The bezels are small, as they should be, however, there’s quite a large chin at the bottom, which does seem unnecessary. Above the display, you have a 720p HD webcam. As an optional extra, you can get one with Hybrid Infrared, which gives you the ability to unlock the laptop with face detection. The ThinkShutter privacy cover comes as standard with both options.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga
Image: Lenovo

Move to the lower clamshell and you’ll be greeted with the keyboard. It is spill-resistant and has a white LED backlight that helps to type in the dark. Since it is a ThinkPad, you might expect the keys to have the same amazing travel that’s found across the lineup and you’d be right. Lenovo makes the best laptop keyboards and this is no exception. Since this is a 14″ laptop, you won’t find a number pad.

Above the keyboard, you get a speaker grille with dual stereo speakers inside. The placement is optimum for the best sound experience and not to mention the setup does have Dolby Atmos integrated into it. Below the keyboard, you get a decently-sized trackpad with 3 hardware buttons above it. I like the texture of the trackpad, it’s unusually smooth compared to other laptops, even ThinkPads. On the right of it, you have a small fingerprint scanner, which seems to be an odd yet convenient placement. Move further right and you’ll come across the slanted ThinkPad engraving on the bottom right.

Turn the laptop around and you’ll find that the lid is quite supple yet distinctive. There’s no Lenovo logo, however, you do have the signature slanted ThinkPad script on the top right. On the bottom left, you get the subtle X1 script, which I absolutely love and adds to the cool look of this laptop.

Performance

8th Gen Intel Core i7 vPro
Image: Intel

As mentioned earlier, the X1 Yoga is quite a performer for what it is. Under the hood, you get three CPUs to choose from. As a base model, you get the 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-8265U CPU, which is good for normal everyday tasks. If you bump up the cash, you can get the 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8650U CPU, which can handle some heavy stuff that you throw at it. In case that isn’t enough, you can get the 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8660U vPro™ which is a beast and only second to the 9th Gen processors, that are found in gaming laptops. All these processors are paired to an integrated Intel® UHD Graphics 620 GPU.

As far as memory and storage go, the X1 Yoga doesn’t have jaw-dropping numbers but it’ll get the job done. In the base model, you get an 8GB LPDDR3 RAM with a 256GB PCIe SSD. For an additional cost, they can be upgraded up to 16GB and 1TB respectively, which seems to be the ideal choice for a power user. Normally, I would complain for not being able to upgrade beyond 16GB of RAM but for a compact laptop that’s not meant to be a powerhouse, this combination is adequate.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga
Image: Lenovo

You might not get much in terms of customization options in RAM and Storage, however, you do get a lot when it comes to the Display. I’ll list them down in order from the least expensive to the most expensive. All displays are touch-sensitive and can be operated by a stylus, called the ThinkPad Pen Pro, that comes standard with the device and has its own special housing on the side.

  • 14″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, 300 nits
  • 14″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, 400 nits
  • 14″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS PrivacyGuard, 400 nits
  • 14″ WQHD (2560 x 1440) IPS, 300 nits
  • 14″ 4K (3840 x 2160) IPS with Dolby Vision™ HDR400, 500 nits, 10 bit

If you ask me, the sweet spot would be the 14″ FHD (1920×1080) 400 nits in terms of pricing and features. FHD is an amazing resolution for content consumption on a 14″ display and it probably won’t cost near as much as the extreme 4K option. 400 nits is also an ideal brightness level for outdoor visibility. However, if money isn’t an issue then do feel free to go all out with the 4K display. It is truly one of the best display options on a laptop.

Lastly, we come to the battery. It is a 4-cell 51Wh Li-Polymer non-removable unit. Since this laptop is new, tests haven’t been conducted on it yet. However, I do expect it to give a decent time, especially with the FHD resolution. The laptop charges via a USB-C port with a 65W AC adapter, which is a good thing as it’s becoming a norm in new smartphones and laptops.

Connectivity

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga
Image: Lenovo

It’s remarkable how such a compact laptop does not compromise on connectivity. On the ThinkPad X1 Yoga, you have 2 USB-A 3.1 (Gen 1) ports, 2 USB-C Thunderbolt™ 3 (one for power input) ports, a Network Extension port for Ethernet/side mechanical docking, an HDMI 1.4 and a headphone/mic jack.

In terms of wireless communications, you get an Intel Wireless-AC 9560 card for WiFi and Bluetooth Version 5.0 vPro as standard across all variants. However, as an optional extra, you can get a Fibocom L850-GL 4G LTE mobile card for using a SIM on your laptop. This is something that has proven to be useful in compact, portable laptops and I’m glad Lenovo lets us choose to include it.

Price & Verdict

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga starts at $1595.30, which is quite a lot of money for the base level specs. However, considering the build quality, features and overall convenience of the device, it does seem a bit reasonable. An all-out variant with the highest possible specs will cost an eye-watering $2666.30. This is borderline gaming laptop territory for a device that is nowhere near one in terms of specs. My recommendation would be to get a mid-tier one that costs around $1800. Anything over this is too expensive for this device.

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