Since its inception, the ThinkPad has been a flagship for enterprise computing greatest observe, the place value is a secondary consideration in comparison with efficiency, resilience and reliability.
Nonetheless, in a dynamic sector, embracing new markets is essential to Lenovo, and its conventional ThinkPad product traces have deviated in fascinating methods.
The brand new Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (third Gen) is a traditional instance of that divergence. It combines the most recent Intel silicon and NVMe storage with a 2-in-1 design that may really supply laptop computer and pill performance in a single extremely versatile package deal.
For the intense enterprise buyer, does the X1 Yoga supply one of the best of each worlds, or is it a regrettable compromise?
The place to purchase?
The value quoted for the overview mannequin was one from a Lenovo companion Technoworld, and never from the official on-line store, which is pricier.
If you’re prepared to gear all the way down to a Core i5 processor, a much less spectacular display screen and SATA storage, the machine could be had for £1,649.99 within the UK, $1,503.90 within the US, and AU$1,979 in Australia.
The headline value of greater than £2,000 and $2,000 respectively for the high-end mannequin places this gadget in opposition to the Microsoft Floor Professional, HP Spectre x360 and the Dell Latitude 7285. It’s nearly the identical value because the Core i7 Floor Professional, however costlier than the Dell and HP machines.
Microsoft remains to be utilizing Intel’s Seventh-gen silicon on most of its machines, though the Floor E-book 2 has one Eighth-gen processor choice – when you fancy paying one other 20% greater than this Lenovo hybrid for a similar chips, reminiscence and related storage.
The US value we’ve quoted is for the 2OLD-001HUS mannequin, whereas our overview was similar to the UK mannequin: 2OLD-002MUK. The US machine comes with a touch quicker Intel Core i7-8650U processor, which is one other 100MHz quicker than the Intel Core i7-8550U in our overview machine.
This machine is oddly positioned inside the Lenovo enterprise laptop computer vary. Confusingly, it isn’t within the Yoga part and even the ThinkPad Yoga division. You’ll discover it listed within the ThinkPad X1 assortment, together with the X1 Carbon, X380 Yoga and X280.
That makes it a ThinkPad X1 first, and a Yoga second, we’d surmise.
All of the Lenovo X Collection machines are historically extremely transportable designs with prolonged battery life meant for individuals who work on the transfer. On the high finish is the X1 Carbon, and one notch down from that’s the ThinkPad X1 Yoga, now in its third era which we’re reviewing right here.
The current revamp has introduced with it Intel’s Eighth-generation silicon, a WQHD (2,560 x 1,440) IPS show, as much as 16GB of RAM and a quoted battery lifetime of 15 hours.
The primary impression of the X1 Yoga is that it’s a chic machine, with a slick matte black or silver end plus the signature crimson dot motif.
Whereas with different laptops we’d discuss concerning the quantity of metallic and plastic used within the gadget, the casing here’s a carbon-fibre hybrid materials that provides distinctive sturdiness and power whereas remaining light-weight.
Being simply 1.4kg, that is meant to be a extremely transportable system that will be excellent for any job that includes in depth journey.
There’s a quiet simplicity to this machine that belies some subtle engineering inside, though it’s hinted at given simply how a lot cash Lenovo is asking for it.
The display screen portion is a tiny bit longer than the bottom, making opening and shutting it comparatively simple, and the textured end helps keep away from dropping the machine whereas doing this.
Opening the lid presents you with a really clear working area, dominated by a touchpad that has each buttons on the highest and backside, and even a touch-based scroll wheel on the high.
The keyboard is the ‘Wave’ design that Lenovo beforehand flirted with, that means that when the machine is closed the keys retract, and so they additionally do that when the hinge passes 190 levels for pill use. That makes the keys stand happy with the bottom floor, and provides welcome additional journey to the typing motion.
One other fascinating function this keyboard has, which is delicate however helpful, is that the cursor keys on the appropriate are allowed to encroach under the spacebar line, making them a bit bigger than regular, and subsequently simpler to make use of.
We like that transfer, however on the left facet, Lenovo locations the perform key (Fn) on the skin the place the left CTRL usually sits, which could confuse anybody shifting from a Dell or Acer laptop computer.
One other curious function is the shortage of a standard LAN port. With such a skinny cross-section, Lenovo designers might have used an increasing Ethernet port. As an alternative, they created a a lot smaller port and offered a brief versatile adapter that you should utilize to entry a wired community.
Misplacing that cable may very well be an issue, however a substitute is lower than the Lenovo docking station alternate options.
The two-in-1 nature of this machine compelled the designers to position all of the energetic ports on the edges, taking the area that will usually be occupied for a facet cooling vent. The latter ended up on the rear, alongside a skinny detachable cowl the place you may entry a cellphone SIM (WWAN) slot and a microSD card slot. The location of the latter card slot isn’t excellent when you use the laptop computer to overview photographs.
A more sensible choice has been made by way of the 2 Sort-C Thunderbolt Three ports on the left-hand facet, which double for each peripheral connection and a Sort-C charging port.
Given the considerably variable high quality of Sort-C units and the facility they will demand, Lenovo was sensible sufficient to make these ports ‘anti-fry’ to keep away from any potential harm points.
As a concession to this machine’s pill aspirations, an energetic stylus is offered that was designed by Wacom. The outlet the place the stylus lives is designed to offer a tough to misplace house, and likewise expenses the gadget prepared to be used.
The stylus has two buttons on it, together with the pen tip clicking perform, however doesn’t seem like stress delicate.
One mistake made with this half is that the channel the place the pen slots in is on the underside of the machine, making it simple to retrieve in laptop computer mode, however way more tough to extract when the X1 turns into a pill, satirically.
An even bigger problem with pill mode right here shouldn’t be that the machine can’t carry out this function nicely, however that almost all of customers gained’t have an apparent want for this mode of use.
The failure of Microsoft to persuade customers and software program builders to help common apps – or no matter they’re referred to as this month – has relegated contact and pill modes to the underside of most prospects’ want lists.
Typically, customers and companies get Home windows machines to run Win32 windowed functions, not full-screen touch-enabled variations with much less inherent performance.
Having ‘tent’ mode for shows is sweet, however we’d argue that it’s hardly a deal breaker to not have this perform.
When you have no intention of utilizing full-screen apps or the stylus, you then may wish to take into account an X1 that isn’t a Yoga mannequin. These are marginally cheaper and are much more strong than the 2-in-1 designs.
Right here is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (third Gen) configuration despatched to TechSwitch Professional for overview:
CPU: Intel Core i7-8550U quad-core 1.8GHz
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
RAM: 16GB LPDDR3 RAM (2133MHz)
Display screen: 14-inch 2,560 x 1,440 decision IPS
Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Ports: 2 x USB Sort-C (Thunderbolt Three), 2 x USB Three.zero, 1 x HDMI, microSD card slot, micro-SIM card slot, headphone/mic jack
Connectivity: 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth four.2, LTE-A (optionally available)
Digital camera: 720p
Measurement: 333 x 229 x 17.05mm (W x D x H)
Battery: Three-cell lithium-ion 54Wh
When spending this a lot on a laptop computer, you count on it to be excessive spec, and the X1 Yoga doesn’t disappoint.
Constructed round Intel’s new Kaby Lake R sequence silicon, this can be a new era that provides 4 cores (and eight threads) but has a most energy profile of simply 15W.
Lenovo needed this machine to be a flagship design, and so pulled out all of the stops to make it pretty much as good as attainable.
One oddity with the spec is that Lenovo went with LPDDR3 system reminiscence, which you may assume is unusual on condition that low-power DDR4 reminiscence has been accessible for some time.
The explanation for that is that Intel selected to not help something aside from LPDDR3 and unusual DDR4 within the Kaby Lake R sequence chips. And, for laptop computer designs, that’s a stark selection between providing the best efficiency or longest battery life.
The overview machine had a SIM card slot on the rear for WWAN use which is optionally available, as is NFC performance when you want that, too.
A digital camera with Home windows Hi there performance can be an choice – though for apparent causes that one doesn’t have the privateness shutter on it.
The cheaper fashions on this vary have a show that’s the similar decision because the overview machine (2,560 x 1,440), but don’t have the brightness or coloration gamut of the display screen in our overview mannequin.
If you happen to can afford one with this display screen, we extremely advocate it, particularly when you do any work that includes coloration or presenting in pure gentle.