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The XPS rounded out the middle of the pack with a battery life of Both models of the X1 Yoga remained cool during use, and maintained similar temperatures. The touchpad was the coolest area, hitting The webcams on the ThinkPad X1 Yogas we tested were drastically different across our configurations. I might have believed it were a p camera if you told me; it was that good.
Colors were dimmer and there was a bit of a grain to my photos. Both cameras captured texture well. Even with these handicaps, images still looked more true-to-life here than on the FHD model. Regardless of your model, though, you can always up your webcam quality by adding an external webcam like the Logitech c or other best webcams contenders.
Both models of the X1 Yoga are free of bloatware, aside from typical Windows pack-ins like the Microsoft Solitaire Collection. They do, however, come with a number of helpful productivity apps. Dolby Access also links you to a number of media clips for testing your audio setup. We tested two different custom-built X1 Yogas for this review. Even the Yoga C, another Lenovo convertible with performance that rivals the ThinkPads, undercuts it by about half.
That said, Lenovo does frequently offer steep sales on its products. When writing this review, two sales passed by that lowered the X1 Yoga's price by up to thousands. Neither was active when we first submitted the review, but one did pop up during edits. Given that frequency, we're willing to bet that you can avoid the ThinkPad tax if you keep an eye on Lenovo's website. The X1 Yoga also has a few input device aces up its sleeve in its included stylus, comfortable keyboard and ThinkPad TrackPoint.
Its biggest weakness may be its price, which is far higher than competitors when it is not on sale. The screen is dimmer, however. If you want consumer-level prices with a bright screen, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is brighter than even the ThinkPads, while also offering slightly better graphics performance in exchange for a slightly slower SSD.
The HP Spectre x 13 , meanwhile, is even cheaper than both the Yoga C and the XPS, in exchange for less performance in certain speed-based processing tasks and a slightly dimmer, less colorful screen. It does, however, have longer battery life than its competitors.
The all-metal chassis on the X1 Yoga will suit you well, as will the typical ThinkPad niceties like the trackpoint and the physical webcam cover. Its price, even when not on sale, also isn't outrageous for a business computer, especially when compared to other high MSRP rivals like the HP Dragonfly. Business computers often have extra security features and higher durability that companies don't mind paying extra for, and it's not uncommon to get them at a discount when buying a whole fleet.
Michelle Ehrhardt is an editor at Tom's Hardware. She's been following tech since her family got a Gateway running Windows 95, and is now on her third custom-built system. Her work has been published in publications like Paste, The Atlantic, and Kill Screen, just to name a few. She also holds a master's degree in game design from NYU. Tom's Hardware Tom's Hardware. Home Reviews.
Our Verdict. Image 1 of 6. Image 2 of 6. Image 3 of 6. Image 4 of 6. Image 5 of 6. Image 6 of 6. Image 1 of 4. Image 2 of 4. It's included with the ThinkPad X1 Yoga and hides snugly in a slot on the right side of the machine. It's a real convenience to store the pen when you're done with it and to know where it is the next time you need it.
But physical constraints result in a very slim stylus that isn't comfortable to hold. Speaker quality used to be a key weakness of ThinkPads, but Lenovo stepped it up in recent generations. Those improvements can be attributed to a unique quad-speaker setup consisting of two downward-firing speakers and two upward-firing drivers.
The tweeters did a good job with the flurry of electric guitar notes while preventing Brandon Flower's vocals from being blanketed. The downward-firing woofers, on the other hand, are weak; the bass in the Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow" sounded like someone knocking their fist on a table, not like the low thud I was anticipating. Both performed admirably in my real-world testing, loading 25 Google Chrome tabs simultaneously without any noticeable slowdowns. There were some minor pauses on the Core i5 version when I played four p YouTube videos in the background and watched someone stream Fall Guys on Twitch , but they never slowed me down.
I should also point out that whatever performance gap there is between the Core i5 and Core i7 models wasn't perceivable in my real-world testing the benchmarks below do a better job of showing the differences. With a score of 3, on the Geekbench 5. On our video transcoding test, the cheaper ThinkPad X1 Yoga needed 20 minutes and 28 seconds to convert a 4K video to p resolution using the Handbrake app.
The Core i7 model cut that time by a minute, finishing in 19 minutes and 22 seconds. Both models outpaced the Elite Dragonfly but lagged behind the Latitude 2-in-1 and the premium laptop average Both laptops obliterated the Elite Dragonfly Only the Latitude 2-in-1 put up a faster pace 1, Until then, we're stuck with Intel UHD graphics. It's good enough for most programs and casual gaming, but if you're going to play graphically intensive games or edit photos in Photoshop then consider buying a laptop with a discrete GPU.
Our rally car barely missed the minimum speed limit of 30 frames per second when we ran the Dirt 3 benchmark on the ThinkPad X1 Yoga 29 fps. The Spectre x 13 47 fps with Iris Plus Graphics fared better but the Elite Dragonfly 31 fps , Latitude 2-in-1 38 fps and ThinkPad X1 Carbon 33 fps also struggled against the premium laptop average 63 fps. The ThinkPad X1 Yoga's battery life ranges from great to respectable depending on which display option you choose: p or 4K.
The FHD model proved to have the lungs of a marathon runner when it endured for a stellar 11 hours and 30 minutes on our battery test, which involves continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at nits. The 4K version powered down after 7 hours and 28 minutes, which is a decent result for any laptop with a UHD panel. However, it doesn't last as long as the average premium laptop In what can only be considered a cruel irony, the webcam — a seemingly stagnant technology — has become one of the most important features on a laptop due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
It's especially important on a business laptop because who doesn't want to look good for the boss? Well, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga doesn't buck the trend — its p webcam produces grainy photos. I took the laptop outside on a nice day to give it a chance. Sadly, a selfie I snapped was too dark — you could see any color in my green eyes — and shrouded by visual noise.
My red shirt was the proper scarlet hue and I could see a fair amount of detail in my face. So while the webcam isn't great, it'll work in a pinch. Both versions of the X1 Yoga we tested remained below our degree Fahrenheit comfort threshold when we subjected them to a minute, p video before checking their temperature.
That's great news for people who like to use their laptop as intended — on their lap. The touchpad on the p and 4K models maintained a breezy 76 degrees. The center of the keyboard on these laptops also stayed well within our comfort range, at 84 degrees p and 87 degrees 4K. Even the hottest areas only matched our upper limit, at 95 degrees on both notebooks. Lenovo neatly packages its pre-installed software into a single app called Lenovo Vantage. Here, you can see your warranty status, update your drivers, run diagnostics or request support.
It is a one-stop-shop should anything go wrong with your X1 Yoga. So, there is a second app called Pen Settings, which does exactly what you'd expect: allow you to remap the two buttons on the stylus or enable Hover Click. You can also add the battery status of the pen to the Taskbar. There is also a Glance by Miramax app that interfaces with the webcam and locks your screen when it determines you're away.
For now, that's OK. But in the future, it might not be. The competition is heating up with the likes of the HP Elite Dragonfly pushing the boundaries of design in the business segment. If it wasn't for outdated CPUs and an inflated price, the Elite Dragonfly would be neck-and-neck with the X1 Yoga as the top business 2-in-1 laptop. Yes, you'll be happy with the ThinkPad X1 Yoga as your personal day-to-day laptop but your wallet won't be at this price.
Unless you need the stylus garage, the Spectre x is a better laptop for the price, flaunting a more modern design and longer battery life also consider the affordable Envy x Even if you do need the pen garage, Lenovo already sells the perfectly capable Yoga C , which costs considerably less than a comparably specced Thinkpad X1 Yoga.
So, is the ThinkPad X1 Yoga my first choice 2-in-1 laptop? At this price, no. But it's an excellent option for business users, particularly those who gravitate toward the brilliant ThinkPad keyboard or divisive pointing stick, a pair of features you won't find on any other laptop. And if you need the aforementioned enterprise-focused options available on the ThinkPad X1 Yoga, then there's no better 2-in-1 laptop on the market Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news.
After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer. Laptop Mag Laptop Mag. Home Reviews.
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