The ThinkPad X1 line of laptops has always had a special place in many peoples hearts. It’s both beautiful, and they started off strong with long battery life and fairly good performance. Now the entire line is being refreshed with Kaby Lake CPU’s, better screens with less bezel and much better internals for even better battery life.
ThinkPad X1 gets better
These were already considered by many to be the pinnacle of the ultrabook outside the Apple family of minuscule machines. They’ve persisted for some time with a formula that was good, despite not being the absolute most competitive. Now the ThinkPad X1 lineup, with a tablet and a 2-in-1, are getting a substantial overhaul. The 2017 offering keeps the 14-inch panel in 1920×1080 IPS or 2560×1440 IPS options, but stuffs that same panel into a much smaller laptop. The X1 Carbon has gone thin bezel, which means it’s a 14-inch notebook in the same physical space as a typical 13.3-inch model. In addition, the new X1 Carbon can now be had in the traditional ThinkPad black, or the new Silver option.
Just what’s new?
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
The X1 Carbon is getting Thunderbolt 3 for both connectivity and power with two USB Type-C ports. In the interest of legacy, and that most likely haven’t adopted fully those Type-C ports, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon also comes with two more USB 3.0 ports, as well as HDMI, native RJ45 (with a separate dongle), micro SD, and even a micro SIM with Qualcomm Snapdragon X7 LTE-A cellular connectivity. They’ve gone with an Intel Dual-Bnd Wireless-AC 8365 to pull WiFi duties.
They’ve gone for a bezel-less design, though unlike some other current designs, they’ve opted for a small amount on top to have the webcam in a more natural position. A small trade-off for more actual usability. Of course, that webcam is also Windows Hello capable with an IR camera as well.
Lenovo quotes a battery life of up to 15.5 hours that was tested using MobileMark 2014. That means it may very well be close to what we see in reality. We expect around that.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga
They’ve learned from the past Yoga offerings, noting the use of the GPU for certain touch and writing functions. The ThinkPad X1 Yoga would benefit from a better GPU, and its brethren does splendidly from a dedicated low-end NVIDIA solution. The new ThinkPad X1 Yoga can thus be equipped with an Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 GPU if desired. A very nice increase in performance, and hopefully only a small impact on battery life.
The ThinkPad X1 Yoga also adds USB-C with Thunderbolt 3, and offers two ports just like the X1 Carbon does. It also offers three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, RJ45 (with a dongle), micro SD, and a micro SIM with the same Qualcomm Snapdragon X7 LTE-A cellular connectivity. WiFi is handled by the same Intel 8265 or Intel 18265 WiFi options, with the latter supporting WiGig for wireless docking.
The display options remain the same as the previous model, with both two IPS panels, at 1920×1080 and 2560×1440, or the OLED version is back as well, at 2560×1440. Lenovo rates the X1 Yoga at up to 16 hours of battery life with the IPS panel, or 10.5 hours with the OLED version. There is also an optional IR camera for Windows Hello login.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet
The ThinkPad X1 tablet is sort of the outlier, not usually the most popular in the lineup, but still appreciated for the wealth of connectivity compared to other tablets. This will be the second generation, updated due to the odd positive reception it received at CES last year.
This year you’ll be able to have Kaby Lake Y processors and up to 1TB of SSD. There’s a USB Type-C port though it doesn’t support Thunderbolt 3. There’s also a USB 3.0 port as well, along with a mini DisplayPort, micro SD, and nano SIM slot for the Qualcomm X7 LTE-A, or Sierra Wireless AirPrime EM7430 cellular options. Battery life is quoted as being up to 10 hours with the tablet alone. The productivity module is said to add an additional 5 hours of battery life. That seems very much like it’s competing against the Surface Book, even if it doesn’t have a dedicated GPU on board the dock.