The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2-in-1 Notebook Review
Introduction and Specifications
Lenovo made quite a splash with the introduction of the original X1 Carbon notebook in 2012; with its ultra-thin, ultra-light, and carbon fiber-infused construction, it became the flagship ThinkPad notebook. Fast-forward to late 2013, and the introduction of the ThinkPad Yoga; the business version of the previous year's consumer Yoga 2-in-1. The 360-degree hinge was novel for a business machine at the time, and the ThinkPad Yoga had a lot of promise, though it was far from perfect.
Now we fast-forward again, to the present day. It's 2016, and Lenovo has merged their ThinkPad X1 Carbon and ThinkPad Yoga together to create the X1 Yoga. This new notebook integrates the company's Yoga design (in appearance this is akin to the recent ThinkPad Yoga 260/460 revision) into the flagship ThinkPad X lineup, and provides what Lenovo is calling "the world's lightest 14-inch business 2-in-1".
Yoga and Carbon Merge
When Lenovo announced the marriage of the X1 Carbon notebook with the ThinkPad Yoga, I took notice. A buyer of the original ThinkPad Yoga S1 (with which I had a love/hate relationship) I wondered if the new X1 version of the business-oriented Yoga convertible would win me over. On paper it checks all the right boxes, and the slim new design looks great. I couldn't wait to get my hands on one for some real-world testing, and to see if my complaints about the original TP Yoga design were still valid.
As one would expect from a notebook carrying Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 branding, this new Yoga is quite slim, and made from lightweight materials. Comparing this new Yoga to the X1 Carbon directly, the most obvious difference is that 360° hinge, which is the hallmark of the Yoga series, and exclusive to those Lenovo designs. This hinge allows the X1 Yoga to be used as a notebook, tablet, or any other imaginable position in between.
|Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (base configuration, as reviewed)|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-6200U (Skylake)|
|Graphics||Intel HD Graphics 520|
|Screen||14-in 1920x1080 IPS Touch (with digitizer, active pen)|
|Storage||256GB M.2 SSD|
|Camera||720p / Digital Array Microphone|
|Wireless||Intel 8260 802.11ac + BT 4.1 (Dual Band, 2x2)|
3x USB 3.0
Audio combo jack
|Dimensions||333mm x 229 mm x 16.8mm (13.11" x 9.01" x 0.66")
2.8 lbs. (1270 g)
|OS||Windows 10 Pro|
|Price||$1349 - Amazon.com|
Our review sample is the base model X1 Yoga, though this laptop still offers the high-end specs one would expect from a flagship product. This helps justify the starting MSRP of $1549, which is obviously high for an Ultrabook (though it sells for about $200 less at e-tail). What's under the hood? An Intel Core i5-6200U, 8GB of memory, and 256GB M.2 SSD. The display of even this base model is a FHD (1920x1080) IPS touch display with digitizer and pen.
Available spec upgrades include an Intel Core i7-6600U CPU, 16GB LPDDR3 RAM, 2560x1440 IPS (anti-glare) or OLED (!) display, and a 512GB SSD.
Now we'll take a brief look around the X1 Yoga, beginning with the available connections.
Looking at the I/O we see a good array of options with this new design, and here I rejoice as the inexplicable mini-HDMI output from my old ThinkPad Yoga S1 is nowhere in sight; with a full-size HDMI port and mini DisplayPort on board for connecting external displays.
In total there are three USB 3.0 ports (one of which is a charging port), the aforementioned HDMI and miniDP ports, Lenovo's OneLink dock connector, and 3.5mm audio. There is no (full-size) SD card reader, which I would sorely miss if this was my daily driver. Still, excellent I/O for a thin convertible notebook, befitting a design that carries a lot of promise as a highly versatile portable.
Around back we see the cooling vent on the left side, with a covered miniSD card/SIM card input area to the right. I bemoaned the lack of an SD slot with the side I/O, and, while far less convenient, the rear slot at least allows the use of a microSD/SD adapter setup if you need to import images from a digital camera (as I do).
The X1 Yoga also features a fingerprint reader, located just below the arrow keys on the keyboard.
With the connections out of the way, next we'll take a closer look at the build quality and key components.