Lenovo X1 Yoga Review



Lenovo has recently released the 2016 lineup of ThinkPad X series laptops. Previously this was only the X1 Carbon, which was a highly regarded laptop. I have a feeling that success has lead to extending the range for 2016 to:

Lenovo X1 Carbon (Gen4)
Lenovo X1 Tablet
Lenovo X260
Lenovo X1 Yoga

A wide variety of laptops to meet different needs. My pick of the crop is the Lenovo X1 Yoga, and here’s why:

output_1aJEi4Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga

Specs
I always like to look at the hardware specs of the device first, so here’s the table of options:

DESCRIPTION THINKPAD X1 YOGA CONVERTIBLE ULTRABOOK
Processor
  • Intel® Core™ i5-6200U Processor (3M Cache, 2.3GHz), Turbo Boost 2.0 (2.8GHz)
  • Intel Core i5-6300U Processor (3M Cache, 2.4GHz), Turbo Boost 2.0 (3.0GHz)
  • Intel Core i7-6500U Processor (4M Cache, 2.5GHz), Turbo Boost 2.0 (3.1GHz)
  • Intel Core i7-6600U Processor (4M Cache, 2.6GHz), Turbo Boost 2.0 (3.4GHz)
Operating system
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
  • Windows 7 Professional 64-bit preinstalled through downgrade rights in Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Display
  • 14″ FHD (1920×1080), 300 nits, 16:9 aspect ratio, IPS, 10-point Multi-Touch
  • 14” WQHD (2560×1440), 300 nits, 16:9 aspect ratio, IPS, 10-point Multi-Touch
Hinge / mode
  • Yoga hinge, 360 degree / Laptop, tent, stand and tablet
Stylus Pen
  • ThinkPad Pen Pro, active pen for multi-touch display, docks inside laptop and auto recharges.
Graphics
  • Intel HD Graphics 520 in processor only, supports external digital monitor via HDMI, Mini DisplayPort; supports dual independent display Max resolution: 3840×2160 (Mini DisplayPort)@60Hz 4096×2160 (HDMI)@24Hz
Onelink+ Adaptor (optional)
  • HDMI to VGA Adaptor
  • Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adaptor
Memory
  • Up to 8GB / up to 16GB for i7-6600U model, LPDDR3 1866MHz, non-parity, 1 x 204-pin SO-DIMM socket, max 16GB
Webcam
  • HD720p resolution, fixed focus
Storage1
  • 128GB / 192GB / 512GB SSD, SATA3
  • 256GB SSD, SATA3 Opal 2.0 Capable
  • 512GB SSD PCIe NVMe
Optical drive
  • None
Dimensions (W x D x H)
  • 333 x 229 x 16.8 mm
Weight
  • Starting at 1.36 kg
Case material
  • Display cover: Carbon-Fibre Reinforced Plastic + Glass-Fibre Reinforced Plastic; Bottom: Magnesium/Aluminum
Case colour
  • Midnight Black
Battery
  • 4-cell Li-Polymer battery (52Wh)
Battery life2
  • Up to 11 hours3
AC adaptor
  • 65W AC adapter
Keyboard
  • 6-row, LED backlit, spill-resistant, multimedia Fn keys
UltraNav™
  • TrackPoint® pointing device and multi-touch with 3+2 buttons click pad
ThinkLight ™
  • None
Fingerprint reader
  • Integrated touch style fingerprint reader
Audio support
  • HD Audio, Realtek® ALC3232 codec / stereo speakers, 1 watt x 2 / dual array microphone, combo audio/microphone jack
Security chip
  • Trusted Platform Module (Software TPM & Hardware dTPM enabled)
Manageability
  • Intel vPro technology
Ethernet
  • None
Wireless LAN
  • Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260, 2×2, Wi-Fi + Bluetooth® 4.1, no vPro
Wireless WAN (optional)
  • Huawei ME906S (4G LTE/WCDMA/HSPA/GSM/GPRS/EDGE/GNSS), M.2 Card
SIM card
  • None
NFC
  • None
Ports
  • 3 x USB 3.0 (1 x Always On)
  • Mini DisplayPort™
  • HDMI
  • Onelink+ connector
  • MicroSD, supports UHS-I SD card
  • Combo audio/microphone jack
  • Security keyhole
  • Optional Card Reader

This is all pretty standard with good options these days, nothing underpowered or missing in my opinion. Here’s some interesting points:

Stylus Pen

This is a very nice to have, a discreet stylus hidden in the chassis of the Yoga X1. It’s a bit larger than the one I found in the Yoga 260, but still much smaller than a Surface Pro 4 pen. It also charges while docked, and won’t go flat in a year like the Surface Pen :) For more details on the pen, check out this YouTube review

penX1 Yoga Pen

Battery
We’re really getting into good devices with a working day’s battery life. This device was left on a desk for two weeks with frequent but short usage, but always in at least standby mode and still had half it’s battery left. Nothing unique to this particular laptop, but it’s a compelling consideration to upgrade if you’ve got something that hasn’t got an Intel 6th Gen CPU in it.

Storage
We’re now seeing more devices having hte PCIe NVMe SSD option – a lot faster than SATA3. For an idea on the difference, read this review. For most people you won’t ‘need’ a faster SSD, but if you’re doing work with lots of local IO, it’s going to be a worthwhile upgrade.

Weight
1.36kg – that’s 0.05kg heavier than the X1 Carbon Gen3, but  0.18kg heavier than the 1.18 kg X1 Carbon Gen4. Keep in mind, the X1 Carbon Gen4 doesn’t have touchscreen, and as a comparison the Apple MacBook Air 2015 13″ weighs 1.35 kg, so these are all really light laptops. Lenovo have managed to design enough toughness into the hinges for the full flipped Yoga experience, which previously was really clunky.

It’s a lot less chunky too than older X1 Carbons, here’s a comparison with the X1 Carbon Gen1 where there’s quite a bit of height difference (the Carbon is designed to appear thinner, but is perfectly flat on the table):

20160404_165953Left to right: X1 Yoga, X1 Carbon Gen1

Ports
On the left side, we have power, OneLink+ dock connection (which will only take a OneLink+ dock connector, not the older OneLink), Mini DisplayPort and USB 3.0:

20160404_165814X1 Yoga Left Side

Right side has stylus pen, power, volume up/down, 3.5mm audio jack, 2x USB 3.0 and full size HDMI:

20160404_165847X1 Yoga Right Side

The back has the fan out slot, and a panel that hides a MicroSD and SIM card slot:

20160404_165910X1 Yoga Back

Keyboard
It’s very similar to the X1 Carbon keyboards in layout and feel, but also the keys will retract when folded into Yoga mode to protect them against wear. You can see the little rubber mounts pop out in the top corners too, which will touch the table when this is face down:

20160404_172241Keyboard in Yoga Mode

20160404_165612Laptop Mode

Hardware aside, why do I think this is the best in the X series now? This is around my personal tastes, but everyone has their own requirements. Here’s the standout reasons for me:

X1 Yoga vs X1 Carbon 4th Gen – Carbon is lighter and thinner, but doesn’t fully flip around. There’s also no touchscreen option anymore!

X1 Yoga vs X1 Tablet – Tablet has some awesome additions like a projector, but personally I don’t like the more flimsy style of keyboard (similar to Surface 4, but a bit better). Tablet mode is cool, but the X1 Yoga flipping around is light and thin enough already without taking away the proper laptop experience. Just wish I could have a projector in it! On top of that, the tablet is using the m7 series of Intel CPU which isn’t going to be as powerful as the i series.

X1 Yoga vs X260 – Has 25 hours battery life!! But, Smaller 12.5″ again with no touchscreen, or ability to Yoga. Weighs the same despite this. It is hard to get past the 25 hour battery life, but only needed if you’re not near a power point for a very long time.

The X1 Yoga will also soon have an OLED option for the screen – that should be a big jump in screen quality. As I haven’t seen this yet I’ll refrain from making further statements around it, but expect to be impressed.

For a high end laptop, the X1 Yoga is an all rounder that I’d strongly recommend anyone to consider. It’s definitely one of the best all rounder business grade machine available.

If you have any questions or comments please post below!

Leave a Reply