Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano evaluate: This two-pound ThinkPad is a winner

“The ThinkPad X1 Nano is an distinctive addition to the small laptop computer area.”

Stable productiveness efficiency

Extraordinarily mild

Good keyboard and touchpad

Glorious battery life

Very good 16:10 show

Lenovo has been tinkering with its iconic ThinkPad line for a few years now, breaking away from the tried and true. It went massive and highly effective with the superb ThinkPad X1 Excessive, in addition to a 2-in-1 pill type issue with the ThinkPad X12 Removable. Don’t get me began on the craziness that’s the ThinkPad X1 Fold.

Now, Lenovo has made the ThinkPad X1 Nano, the smallest and lightest ThinkPad ever. Don’t assume which means it’s cheaper, although, because the ThinkPad X1 Nano evaluate unit configuration Lenovo despatched me is available in at a cool $1,847. That nets you an Intel 11th-gen Tiger Lake Core i7-1060G7, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD), and a 13.Zero-inch 2K (2,160 x 1,350) IPS show within the more and more well-liked 16:10 facet ratio.

The ThinkPad X1 Nano has jumped into a really aggressive area (hey, Dell XPS 13). Does the ThinkPad X1 Nano dwell as much as the potential?

Design

Lenovo might need made the ThinkPad X1 Nano tinier than some other ThinkPad, nevertheless it didn’t mess with the aesthetic. The ThinkPad X1 Nano is simply as utterly black as the vast majority of ThinkPads — no seen carbon fiber wherever to be discovered, like on the ThinkPad X1 Excessive, nor a titanium lid just like the one constructed into the brand new ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga.

You’ll discover the identical delicate purple hints, just like the LED “i” on the ThinkPad Yoga and the purple TrackPoint nubbin and purple button accents. It’s a brilliant conservative look that’s distinctive to the ThinkPad. Its easy design is nothing just like the smooth strains on the Dell XPS 13, nor the gem-cut magnificence of the HP Spectre x360 13.

The X1 Nano can be constructed like different ThinkPads, with a mixture of supplies leading to a sturdy chassis. On this case, it’s a carbon-fiber hybrid materials making up the lid with magnesium-aluminum alloy within the chassis backside. These supplies contribute to the ThinkPad X1 Nano’s mild weight of simply 1.99 kilos — in comparison with the XPS 13 and Spectre x360 13, each at 2.eight kilos. And the ThinkPad X1 Nano feels simply as sturdy as these two, that are among the many sturdiest we’ve examined.

For a tool of its class, the X1 Nano is the lightest laptop computer you should purchase.

Notice that 1.99 kilos is admittedly, actually mild. For a laptop computer of its sort, the X1 Nano is the lightest laptop computer you should purchase — even lighter than the LG Gram 13 whose whole function is to be as mild as attainable. It’s virtually as mild because the Acer Swift 7 (1.96 kilos) and lighter than the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook (2.three kilos), neither of which pack on this class of CPU.

Is such a lightweight laptop computer such a giant deal? Effectively, it’s a pleasure to make use of and carry round, definitely. Add within the ThinkPad X1 Nano’s supplies that make it cool to the contact and also you get supremely engaging and comfy laptop computer.

If it felt flimsy — as some mild laptops do — then that might mitigate the benefit of being so mild. However the ThinkPad X1 Nano feels simply as strong as any ThinkPad. There’s no bending, twisting, or flexing within the lid, keyboard deck, or chassis. The XPS 13 has the ThinkPad X1 Nano beat in relation to the hinge, although — the latter’s is sort of a bit stiffer and requires each palms to open.

The ThinkPad X1 Nano isn’t fairly as skinny as it’s mild, coming in at a tapered Zero.55 to Zero.66 inches. The XPS 13 is simply Zero.58 inches, whereas the Spectre x360 13 is a bit of thicker at Zero.67 inches. As a result of the ThinkPad X1 Nano’s high and backside bezels are a bit of bigger than the XPS 13’s, it’s a bit deeper even with the smaller show (13 inches versus 13.four inches), however not by a lot.

Because of the taller 16:10 show (identical to the XPS 13), the ThinkPad X1 Nano enjoys extra palm relaxation area than the Spectre x360 13, which remains to be at 16:9.

Connectivity is one space the place the ThinkPad X1 Nano is affected by its measurement. There are simply two USB-C with Thunderbolt four ports on the left-hand facet, to go along with a three.5mm audio jack. The Spectre x360 13 manages to pack in each a USB-A port and a microSD card reader, each of which the ThinkPad X1 Nano lacks.

The Lenovo is on top of things on wi-fi connectivity, although, with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.Zero, and both 4G or 5G WWAN assist is optionally available through a SIM slot alongside the again.

Safety

I’m including in a particular part to this evaluate to account for some fairly cool know-how that Lenovo has included with the ThinkPad X1 Nano. None of it’s new, however the software program, particularly, has been perfected — not less than, in comparison with the final time I attempted it.

The ThinkPad X1 Nano has the standard ThinkShutter bodily slider that covers the webcam, in order that’s nothing particular in relation to ThinkPads. However what’s particular is the human presence detection (HPD) know-how and software program that makes use of radar to sense when a person is in entrance of the laptop computer and when that person walks away. So long as the person stays in entrance of the ThinkPad X1 Nano, it stays awake and works usually.

Transfer outdoors of a 60-degree arc, although, and the laptop computer turns off the show, locks, and goes into Fashionable Standby to protect battery life. As soon as the person returns to inside that 60-degree arc, the ThinkPad X1 Nano wakes up and, if Home windows Hiya is about up for facial recognition, routinely logs again in.

It really works extraordinarily nicely, and is an actual comfort — for those who’re not operating a activity, that’s. I came upon that my longer benchmarks have been being interrupted when the software program put the ThinkPad X1 Nano to sleep, so the utility must be turned off for those who want the machine to maintain operating. I couldn’t discover a setting to show off the step of switching to Fashionable Standby, which is a little bit of a bummer.

General, although, I discovered Lenovo’s resolution quicker and extra dependable than the same utility on Dell’s Latitude 7400 2-in-1.

Efficiency

The ThinkPad X1 Nano makes use of a so-far uncommon model of Intel’s newest 11th-gen Tiger Lake CPU, the Core i7-1160G7. Not like the extra well-liked Core i7-1165G7 that runs at as much as four.7GHz and has a thermal design energy (TDP) vary of 12 to 28 watts, the Core i7-1160G7 maxes out at four.4GHz and has a decrease TDP vary of seven to 15 watts. That makes it much less power-hungry and cooler — a great match for the diminutive X1 Nano.

Despite the fact that the CPU is theoretically slower, it didn’t present up in an enormous method in our benchmark testing. The ThinkPad X1 Nano didn’t exhibit in Geekbench 5, the place it might solely handle 5,139 in multi-core mode and 1,466 in single-core mode. Different Tiger Lake laptops are likely to exceed 5,400 and 1,500. In Handbrake, although, the place we encode a 420MB video as H.265, the ThinkPad X1 Nano did surprisingly nicely, ending in precisely three minutes. That beats out a number of laptops with quicker Tiger Lake chips, just like the Dell XPS 13 with a Core i7-1185G7 that required about 20 seconds extra. The HP Spectre x360 14 with a Core i7-1165G7 took 10 seconds longer.

The ThinkPad X1 Nano additionally did comparatively nicely in Cinebench R23, the place it scored four,550 in multi-core mode and 1,377 in single-core mode. That once more beat out the XPS 13 (four,267 and 1,449) however fell behind the Spectre x360 14 in its efficiency mode (four,847 and 1,404).  The ThinkPad X1 Nano isn’t the quickest Tiger Lake laptop computer on this take a look at, nevertheless it’s not as far behind because the CPU specs may point out.

Lastly, I ran the PCMark 10 Full take a look at, the place the ThinkPad X1 Nano managed a complete rating of four,684, after which 9,295 within the Necessities, 6,413 within the Productiveness, and four,678 within the Creation subtests. These scores are a bit additional behind the quicker CPUs, the place the Spectre x360 14 scored four,796, 9,760, 6,340, and four,837 throughout the completely different assessments. That is the one take a look at the place the ThinkPad X1 Nano’s lower-spec’d CPU couldn’t fairly sustain.

What does that inform you? That

Usually talking, although, the ThinkPad X1 Nano was loads fast for productiveness duties. I by no means discovered myself noticing any slowdowns, and I used it simply as onerous as some other laptop computer I’ve reviewed. Lenovo did an important job of packing simply the correct quantity of energy into the small and light-weight chassis.

By way of gaming, the ThinkPad X1 Nano geared up with the standard Intel Iris Xe you’ll discover in Tiger Lake machines was additionally according to its competitors. It scored 1,549 within the 3DMark Time Spy take a look at, which is in the midst of the pack. The XPS 13 managed 1,589 whereas the MSI Status 14 Evo (a really quick laptop computer in any other case) might solely muster 1,465. The Spectre x360 14 hit a blazing 1,709 in efficiency mode.

I additionally ran Fortnite, which on the ThinkPad X1 Nano ran at 1,920 x 1,200, and I noticed 31 frames per second (fps) in 1080p and excessive graphics and 23 fps in epic graphics. That compares to the XPS 13 at 29 fps and 22 fps, and the Spectre x360 14 at 36 fps and 23 fps. Some Tiger Lake laptops are quicker and a few are slower, however usually talking, you’re getting near discrete Nvidia MX350 efficiency out of a really small and light-weight laptop computer.

Show

The ThinkPad X1 Nano has a brand-new show that’s 13.Zero inches within the taller 16:10 facet ratio. It enjoys a 2K (2,160 x 1,350) decision that’s loads sharp, though I did discover the colour temperature was a bit of on the nice and cozy (yellower) facet.

In line with my colorimeter, this can be a good show for a premium laptop computer, however not an important one. The colour gamut was of common width, at 74% of AdobeRGB and 98% of sRGB, and colour accuracy was good at DeltaE 1.31 the place 1.Zero or much less is taken into account glorious. The XPS 13 Full HD+ show was related at 75% AdobeRGB and 98% sRGB and a colour accuracy of 1.36. The Spectre x369 13 I reviewed used an OLED show that had a lot wider and extra correct colours, so it’s not the very best comparability.

The ThinkPad X1 Nano’s show was very brilliant at 414 nits, which was good to see (no pun supposed). That made it brilliant sufficient to overpower a number of ambient lighting. Distinction got here in at 980:1, just below our most well-liked threshold of 1000:1 for premium laptops. The XPS 13 was brighter at 458 nits and had significantly better distinction at 1350:1. Once more, the Spectre x360 13’s OLED panel was superior in its nearly infinite distinction, though it wasn’t as brilliant at 405 nits.

I loved the show, particularly the 16:10 facet ratio. As soon as I obtained used to the colour temp being a bit of heat, I settled in and loved the panel for all the work I threw at it. Artistic sorts who demand broad colour gamuts will need to look elsewhere, however for most individuals, this can be a superb show.

Audio was superb, with tons of quantity for such a small laptop computer and no distortion. That’s due to quad audio system, two downward-firing woofers, and to upward-firing tweeters. You get nice highs and mids and only a smidgen of bass. It’s loads for Netflix and the occasional tune, though it might probably’t maintain a candle to the very best laptop computer audio system in the marketplace, these on the MacBook Professional. I additionally discover the audio system to be rather less pleasing than the quad audio system on the HP Spectre x360 14, which give just a bit extra oomph.

Keyboard and touchpad

In line with Lenovo, the ThinkPad X1 Nano’s keyboard is identical as on different ThinkPads, with “related” journey. That definitely appears to be the case — they’re the identical sculpted keys with loads of spacing, and the mechanism is virtually similar to different ThinkPads. I do assume the journey is considerably much less, which to my thoughts is an effective factor — I discover the “regular” ThinkPad keyboard to require a bit of an excessive amount of effort.

I just like the lighter keyboards on the Dell XPS 13, HP Spectre line, and Apple’s Magic Keyboard on the newest MacBooks. So, in the long run, except it’s my creativeness, the ThinkPad X1 Nano’s keyboard really feel is the very best I’ve skilled on a ThinkPad.

The touchpad is a Microsoft Precision model, making for a exact monitoring expertise and practical multitouch gestures in Home windows 10. You lose some area to the buttons for the TrackPoint nubbin in the midst of the keyboard, one thing that’s at all times bugged me about ThinkPads. Actually, the touchpad finally ends up being too small, the place the additional area due to the taller show might make for a bigger swiping floor.

Talking of the show, it doesn’t assist contact, which can be a destructive. I discover non-touch laptops to be a hassle, after getting so used to utilizing my thumb to scroll lengthy internet pages and my finger to faucet fast on-screen buttons.

Lastly, Home windows 10 Hiya assist is supplied by each a fingerprint reader instantly to the proper of the touchpad and an infrared digicam up high for facial recognition. With the human presence detection function, the facial recognition methodology makes additional sense and works completely.

Battery life

Once I noticed that the ThinkPad X1 Nano had simply 48 watt-hours of battery, I used to be anticipating it to toe the road with different ThinkPads in affected by mediocre battery life. I suppose the smaller show and lower-power CPU made an actual distinction, although, as a result of the ThinkPad X1 Nano positively bucks the ThinkPad pattern.

First, I ran our internet shopping take a look at, which gives a satisfactory indication of productiveness battery life. Right here, the ThinkPad X1 Nano managed 10.25 hours, which is an excellent rating that probably means the laptop computer meets or exceeds Intel’s Evo certification of 9 hours of typical use.

It additionally beat the XPS 13 Full HD+ and the 4K OLED-equipped Spectre x360 13 (with 60 watt-hours of battery) by virtually two hours. In our video take a look at that loops via a Full HD Avengers trailer, the ThinkPad X1 Nano lasted for 18 hours — an distinctive end result. That’s six hours longer than the XPS 13 and eight hours longer than the Spectre x360 13.

I additionally ran the PCMark 10 Gaming battery take a look at that stresses the CPU, and the ThinkPad X1 Nano lasted for nearly 4 hours. That’s the second-longest rating we’ve seen, only one second behind the XPS 13 Full HD+. I attempted operating the PCMark 10 Utility battery take a look at, which is the very best indicator of productiveness longevity, however sadly, the take a look at failed a number of occasions. I think about, although, that the ThinkPad X1 Nano would have executed nicely on the take a look at, and general it ought to present the standard productiveness person greater than a full day’s battery life.

Our take

The ThinkPad X1 Nano is a extremely competent entrant into the tiny laptop computer market. It gives strong productiveness efficiency, nice battery life, and a strong construct with a great keyboard and usable human presence detecting know-how. And it’s up-to-date with the transfer to a taller show due to its 16:10 panel.

There’s not lots to dislike concerning the ThinkPad X1 Nano. It doesn’t have fairly the polish of the XPS 13 and it doesn’t have the standout beauty or flexibility of the Spectre x360 13, however as 13-inch laptops go, this can be a good one.

Are there any alternate options?

The HP Spectre x360 14 is a strong various, providing its personal taller show with a 13.5-inch three:2 OLED panel that’s miles forward of the ThinkPad’s show. It’s priced about the identical because the ThinkPad X1 Nano relying on the configuration, however its 2-in-1 flexibility units it aside.

The Dell XPS 13 9310 is probably probably the most logical competitor, although, with a barely bigger 16:10 show and a extra streamlined design. Efficiency is comparable between the 2, however the ThinkPad has higher battery life. The XPS 13 is simply as well-built, has a superior show, and may deal with extra storage and RAM than Lenovo’s providing.

Lastly, for those who’re keen to change working techniques, then Apple’s MacBook Professional 13 M1 is one other nice choice. It’s extraordinarily quick, maybe higher constructed, has a greater show, and enjoys the very best keyboard and audio on any laptop computer. It’s additionally a number of hundred cheaper than the ThinkPad X1 Nano.

How lengthy will it final?

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano is well-built and will final for years of helpful productiveness, and its parts are state-of-the-art. It’s lined by the trade normal —  and too quick — one-year guarantee.

Must you purchase it?

Sure. The ThinkPad X1 Nano is a really well-built, very mild, and really long-lasting laptop computer with some additional safety features and a contemporary show.

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