Lenovo ThinkBook 13x Evaluate | PCMag

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Lenovo’s ThinkBook line splits the distinction between its trendy shopper IdeaPads and strictly-business ThinkPads, providing small-business entrepreneurs a splash of each worlds in an inexpensive bundle. The ThinkBook 13x ($1,221 as examined, and in its base mannequin) is the sleekest instance, a 13.3-inch ultraportable that weighs a mere 2.5 kilos and is simply half an inch thick. It is properly constructed and designed, with snug enter gadgets, punchy audio system, and a productive 2,560-by-1,600-pixel contact display screen. But it surely falters in port choice, and its processing energy, although peppy sufficient, is barely beneath the category commonplace. That is why we favor Lenovo’s nearly an identical ThinkBook 13s Gen 2, which has neither of these points and higher battery life (although it is marginally heavier and thicker). Nonetheless, the ThinkBook 13x remains to be a good (and far cheaper) various to our present handful of Editors’ Selection-award-winning ultraportables, together with the Dell XPS 13 and the Razer Guide 13.

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A Sea of 13-inch Laptops

The nice (and unhealthy) information when you’re out there for a 13-inch laptop computer (a standard clamshell, not a 2-in-1 convertible) is that there is a surplus of selections. Along with the ThinkBook 13x reviewed right here, choices from Lenovo alone embody the IdeaPad S540, the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2, the ThinkPad X13 Gen 2, and the ThinkPad L13 Gen 2. Different selections are the Asus ZenBook 13; Dell’s Inspiron 13 (5310) and the pricier XPS 13; the HP Pavilion Aero; and the 13.5-inch Microsoft Floor Laptop computer 4.

Lenovo ThinkBook 13x left angle


(Photograph: Molly Flores)

The ThinkBook 13x units itself aside by being one of the crucial transportable in that group. At 0.5 by 11.7 by 8.2 inches (HWD) and simply 2.5 kilos, it is thinner and lighter than the pricier XPS 13 mannequin 9310 (0.58 by 11.6 by 7.8 inches, 2.8 kilos). The Pavilion Aero is lighter (2.2 kilos) however considerably thicker (0.67 by 11.7 by 8.2 inches).

Lenovo ThinkBook 13x right angle


(Photograph: Molly Flores)

The ThinkBook’s silver outsides distinction properly with its grey keyboard and black display screen bezels. The ThinkBook emblem on the aluminum lid offers it a way of id.

Lenovo ThinkBook 13x rear view


(Photograph: Molly Flores)

The remainder of the laptop computer is plastic, although it appears to be like like steel. It is a elegant look, and the laptop computer feels stiff and durable.


What, No USB-A?

Port choice on the ThinkBook 13x is restricted to simply two Thunderbolt 4 ports (one utilized by the AC adapter) and an audio jack on its left edge—that is all. Lenovo features a USB Kind-C-to-HDMI and C-to-VGA adapter, however no USB-C-to-USB-A adapter.

Lenovo ThinkBook 13x left ports


(Photograph: Molly Flores)

Solely the ability button, which doubles as a fingerprint reader, occupies the precise edge. A small backlit arrow subsequent to the backspace key helps you discover the button with out craning your neck. Surprisingly, there is not any safety cable locking slot. An Intel AX201 card supplies Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5 connectivity.

Lenovo ThinkBook 13x power button


(Photograph: Molly Flores)

By comparability, the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 has a extra sensible collection of HDMI, Thunderbolt 4, and two USB Kind-A ports with out being a lot thicker (0.59 versus 0.5 inch) or heavier (2.78 versus 2.5 kilos). The ThinkBook 13x additionally has much less processing energy than the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2: Although each are primarily based on the Intel Evo platform, the ThinkBook 13x makes use of 15-watt as an alternative of 28-watt processors. The quad-core, 1.8GHz (4GHz turbo) Core i5-1130G7 in our take a look at unit is not as high-clocked as the two.4GHz (4.2GHz turbo) Core i5-1135G7 commonplace within the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2. Regardless of that, I discovered it provided loads of pep for many duties (benchmark ends in a minute).


Excessive-Decision 16:10 Is Again

Taller 16:10 facet ratio shows, which present a bit extra content material with much less scrolling than 16:9 panels, are making a comeback in ultraportables just like the ThinkBook 13x. Its display screen affords 2,560-by-1,600-pixel decision for nice element with out the battery-life drain of a 4K display screen.

Lenovo ThinkBook 13x front view


(Photograph: Molly Flores)

I measured a excessive peak brightness of 421 nits and a good 77% protection of the Adobe RGB coloration gamut. The show’s shiny floor creates reflections however works nice for contact enter.

The typical-quality 720p webcam above the show lacks IR functionality for face recognition, although it does have a sliding privateness shutter. For leisure, the ThinkBook’s Harman/Kardon-tuned audio system undertaking properly from beneath the chassis, supplied the laptop computer is sitting on a stable reasonably than comfortable floor. The included Dolby Atmos app has significant equalizer presets and allows you to customise your personal when you like.

The ThinkBook 13x will get its keyboard from Lenovo’s IdeaPad line. It is not as satisfying as a ThinkPad keyboard, nevertheless it nonetheless feels snappy regardless of restricted key journey.

Lenovo ThinkBook 13x keyboard


(Photograph: Molly Flores)

White backlighting, toggled by urgent the Fn key and spacebar, contrasts properly with the grey keys. In the meantime, the buttonless touchpad is excellent. Its massive, clean floor has minimal play and quiet bodily clicks. And if touchpads aren’t your cup of tea, the ThinkBook 13x thoughtfully and unexpectedly comes with a trendy Bluetooth wi-fi mouse.


Testing the ThinkBook 13x: Low Wattage, However Not Low Efficiency

The $1,221 ThinkBook 13x examined right here is the bottom mannequin from Lenovo.com, with a Core i5-1130G7 CPU, Intel Iris Xe built-in graphics, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB solid-state drive, Home windows 10 Professional, and a one-year guarantee. (It was on sale for $1,048 for a time whereas I used to be penning this, then it reverted; when shopping for a Lenovo, at all times search for gross sales.) The Samsung Galaxy Guide Professional 13 prices much less however skimps with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. I additionally like that the ThinkBook’s SSD is of the newest PCI Categorical Gen 4 selection, not an older Gen 3 drive.

Lenovo ThinkBook 13x underside


(Photograph: Molly Flores)

Relating to cooling, the ThinkBook 13x’s single fan (situated at again left, dealing with the show hinge) ramps up continuously, particularly whereas internet browsing. That stated, it is subdued reasonably than noisy, and it retains the chassis cool high and backside.

For our efficiency benchmarks, I in contrast the ThinkBook 13x to the business-grade Dell Latitude 7320 2-in-1 and Lenovo’s ThinkPad X13 Gen 2 along with the consumer-focused Samsung Galaxy Guide Professional and HP Pavilion Aero. The ThinkBook 13x has the weakest CPU of the bunch, although it could not maintain it again in all places. All of those machines emphasize on a regular basis productiveness, not powerhouse gaming or workstation functions.

Productiveness and Content material Creation Assessments

Our first take a look at is UL’s PCMark 10, which simulates a wide range of real-world productiveness and workplace workflows to measure general system efficiency and features a storage subtest for the first drive. The ThinkBook 13x scored mid-pack in the principle take a look at and did particularly properly within the storage take a look at, due to its PCIe Gen 4 solid-state drive.

Three different benchmarks concentrate on the CPU, utilizing all accessible cores and threads, to charge a PC’s suitability for processor-intensive workloads. Maxon’s Cinebench R23 makes use of that firm’s Cinema 4D engine to render a fancy scene, whereas Primate Labs’ Geekbench 5.4 Professional simulates common apps starting from PDF rendering and speech recognition to machine studying. Lastly, we use the open-source video transcoder HandBrake 1.4 to transform a 12-minute video clip from 4K to 1080p decision (decrease occasions are higher).

Our remaining productiveness take a look at is Puget Techniques’ PugetBench for Photoshop(Opens in a brand new window), which makes use of the Artistic Cloud model 22 of Adobe’s well-known picture editor to charge a PC’s efficiency for content material creation and multimedia functions. It is an automatic extension that executes a wide range of common and GPU-accelerated Photoshop duties starting from opening, rotating, resizing, and saving a picture to making use of masks, gradient fills, and filters.

The ThinkBook 13x trailed in these checks due to its lower-wattage CPU, although its numbers recommend it has ample pep for many functions. The Pavilion Aero predictably led the pack with its eight-core AMD Ryzen processor, although as I famous it is a considerably thicker laptop computer.

Graphics and Gaming Assessments

We take a look at Home windows PCs’ graphics with two gaming simulations. UL’s 3DMark consists of two DirectX 12 benchmarks, Evening Raid (extra modest, appropriate for methods with built-in graphics) and Time Spy (extra demanding, appropriate for gaming rigs with discrete GPUs). The cross-platform GPU benchmark GFXBench 5 gauges OpenGL efficiency with its 1440p Aztec Ruins and 1080p Automotive Chase animations, rendered off-screen to accommodate completely different resolutions.

The ThinkBook 13x was barely behind right here because it was within the CPU checks, however there is not any sense in being too harsh since none of those ultraportables are by any stretch of the creativeness gaming laptops. (See our characteristic on gaming with built-in graphics.)

Battery and Show Assessments

PCMag checks laptops’ battery life by enjoying a regionally saved 720p video file (the open-source Blender film Tears of Metal) with display screen brightness at 50% and audio quantity at 100% till the system quits. Wi-Fi and keyboard backlighting are turned off throughout the take a look at.

We additionally use a Datacolor SpyderX Elite monitor calibration sensor and its software program to measure a laptop computer display screen’s coloration saturation—what proportion of the sRGB, Adobe RGB, and DCI-P3 coloration gamuts or palettes the show can present—and its brightness in nits (candelas per sq. meter) on the display screen’s 50% and peak settings.

You’ll be able to safely go away the ThinkBook 13x’s energy adapter at residence for a day’s enterprise to work or faculty. That stated, its display screen is unusually dim on the 50% brightness we use for battery testing; you may doubtless end up setting it nearer to its wonderful 422-nit most, which is able to cut back battery life.


A Good Laptop computer, If Sliced a Little Skinny

The Lenovo ThinkBook 13x is a succesful ultraportable due to its light-weight design, productive 16:10 display screen, and high quality keyboard, touchpad, and audio system. It is fairly priced and even comes with a Bluetooth mouse. However Lenovo might need shaved off a tenth of an inch an excessive amount of from the same ThinkBook 13s Gen 2, which has a greater port choice and better efficiency. Nonetheless, each ThinkBooks are worthy and economical options to the premium-priced Dell XPS 13 and Razer Guide 13.

Cons

  • Middling efficiency

  • No USB Kind-A ports

The Backside Line

Lenovo’s trim ThinkBook 13x is an enticing-enough ultraportable for residence workplaces and small companies, although finally it is much less sensible than the corporate’s fairly comparable ThinkBook 13s Gen 2.

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