ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6 evaluate: versatile flagship

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As soon as upon a time, the Thinkpad X1 Yoga was Lenovo’s flagship enterprise convertible, becoming a member of the clamshell X1 Carbon on the prime of the corporate’s enterprise hierarchy. Nowadays, it has extra firm. We now have the paper-thin, titanium-coated X1 Titanium Yoga, the featherweight X1 Nano, and the powerhouse X1 Excessive kicking round, all of that are wonderful, expensive, and will moderately be thought-about flagships in their very own proper.

There’s a number of innovation occurring throughout the ThinkPad line, however the X1 Yoga retains a number of the hallmark options which have graced old-school ThinkPads over time. (With a beginning tag of $1,493.40 — $2,315.28 as examined — that features the premium value.) There are some delicate however vital upgrades, after all, together with a 16:10 (lastly) contact show, a brand new grey colour, a wider touchpad, and new security measures that may principally attraction to enterprise customers. It’s removed from probably the most cost-effective Home windows convertible you should purchase, nevertheless it does have quite a bit to supply — particularly to long-time ThinkPad followers searching for a contemporary spin on a longtime bundle.

Beginning with what’s new: the 16:10 facet ratio is right here. It is a change that Lenovo has delivered to different prime ThinkPads this yr, together with the X1 Nano. I a lot favor this to the 16:9 panel we noticed on the Gen 5, as a result of it gives noticeably extra vertical area with out including a lot footprint to the chassis.

The opposite factor to notice about this show is its matte texture — you don’t see matte touchscreens fairly often. Writing on it with the stylus feels principally the identical as writing on a shiny panel, although the sound of the tip dragging alongside is a bit louder on the matte display screen. (I additionally favor touching the matte texture, although preferences differ.) Primarily, the matte texture makes colours look a bit muted in comparison with these on shiny screens, however you’ll additionally see considerably much less glare, and work in brilliant settings is a way more doable prospect. The colours had been sharp sufficient that watching movies was nonetheless pleasurable, and I may make out the small print properly sufficient, so I discovered the matte texture to be a constructive general. The panel additionally didn’t retain any smudges or fingerprints throughout my testing interval.

The fingerprint sensor on the ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6 seen from above.

Fingerprint reader and energy button in a single.

The ThinkPad X1 logo on the ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6 seen from above on a stone table.

No fingerprints right here.

The opposite notable change: the touchpad is greater. Particularly, it’s 4.33 inches huge, the place the Gen 5’s (a lot maligned by reviewers for its small dimension) was simply 4. It’s lots huge now, although it’s nonetheless a bit quick, and my fingers hit the plastic body typically as I scrolled. If the trackpad is simply too cramped for you, the X1 Yoga gives you loads of different methods to click on: There’s a set of discrete buttons on the prime of the touchpad (although they lack the pink accents that always seem on ThinkPad clickers) in addition to the signature ThinkPad TrackPoint within the heart of the keyboard. And the unit comes with a tiny stylus, which lives in a storage on the appropriate facet of the chassis.

After which there are a variety of up to date security measures, which Lenovo has drizzled throughout the ThinkPad line. There’s an elective IR webcam with human-presence detection which might mechanically lock the pc in the event you’re not close by (the webcam itself has a bodily shutter, as ThinkPads historically do, and delivers a reasonably grainy image), a match-on-chip fingerprint reader within the energy button, a dTPM 2.0 safety chip (which encrypts person knowledge on the system), and an elective characteristic known as Privateness Guard which makes your display screen tougher to peek at from the edges.

However probably the most noticeable replace is to the look. Whereas the Gen 5’s chassis had some grey on it, the Gen 6 is grey in all places, together with the keyboard, touchpad, and hinge. Which means that the Yoga appears a bit totally different from the ocean of different ThinkPads on the market, that are historically very black. It provides the X1 Yoga extra of a futuristic vibe than gadgets just like the X1 Carbon and the X13, although pink and grey aren’t almost as hanging as pink and black.

Anyway, to every their very own on the aesthetic. What’s barely disappointing is how simply scratchable the end was. I folded my unit right into a pill and positioned it onto an outside desk for a couple of minutes for some temporary drawing and writing, and once I picked it up there have been scratches on the palm rests. I used to be afraid to let the gadget close to something remotely sharp after that. If this was the impact of some minutes of writing, I fear about how scratched up this chassis may get from every day pill use.

In any other case, I’ve no complaints concerning the construct high quality. There’s a little bit of flex within the keyboard deck, however none within the show, and there wasn’t any display screen wobble whereas I used to be typing or touching the display screen. The end didn’t decide up many fingerprints (a difficulty I generally have with black ThinkPads). The hinge is clean, making folding and unfolding a breeze — I may pop it open one-handed, with some issue. It’s additionally a reasonably moveable product, at three kilos and 0.59 inches thick, although a bit heavy to carry as a pill for lengthy intervals.

The ThinkPd X1 Yoga Gen 6 half open, angled to the left, seen from behind on a stone bench outdoors.

Aluminum on the highest, aluminum on the underside.

The ThinkPad X1 Yoga in tablet mode, seen from above, on a stone bench.

Use it in pill, tent, stand, or clamshell modes.

Elsewhere, the X1 Yoga is superb. ThinkPad keyboards are world-renowned, and this one — whereas flatter than these of a few of its siblings — continues to be snug with wonderful journey. Observe that like most ThinkPads, the Yoga has half-sized arrow keys, and the Fn and Ctrl keys swapped from the place they’re on nearly all of different laptops, which takes a number of getting used to. (You may remap these keys, however having incorrectly labeled keys can nonetheless be an eyesore to some.) The port choice is nice, together with two Thunderbolt 4 ports (a brand new addition to the X1 Yoga), a USB 3.2 Sort-A, and an HDMI 2.0 on the left, in addition to a USB 3.2 Sort A, a headphone jack, and a lock slot on the appropriate. The 4 360-degree microphones did a advantageous job of selecting up my voice. And the Dolby Atmos speaker system sounds nice, with audible bass and really clear vocals.

The X1 Yoga Gen 6 has one million and one configurations, with all types of add-ons. One fascinating factor: the most affordable listed mannequin (presently $1,493.40) is definitely a Linux mannequin. The bottom specs embody a Core i5-1135G7, 8GB of RAM (soldered), and 256GB of storage. My take a look at mannequin (operating Home windows 10 Professional, not Linux) is listed at $2,315.28 at B&H and features a quad-core Core i7-1165G7, 512GB of storage, and 16GB of RAM.

Then there are the varied extras. Home windows 10 Professional will value you $60 greater than Home windows 10 Residence. You may bump as much as a 3840 x 2400 display screen, or a 1920 x 1200 display screen with Privateness Guard. Each of those choices are solely out there with the IR digicam, which is $30 over the common digicam. Human Presence Detection, additionally solely out there with the IR digicam, is an additional $15. And you may add 4G and 5G cellular broadband; costs differ relying on the modem you choose.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6 open on a stone bench seen from above. The screen displays an outdoor night scene with an orange banner rippling through and the Lenovo banner on the bottom right side.

See these scratches on the clickers?

The Core i7 utilized right here is similar processor present in lots of the finest laptops available on the market and is sufficient for all types of demanding workloads. Intel’s Iris Xe graphics card can assist with work duties and lighter gaming, although the X1 Yoga isn’t a gaming laptop computer by any stretch. Apps launched shortly, and I didn’t discover a lot stuttering or slowdown throughout my day stuffed with streaming, picture modifying, and Slacking on prime of round a dozen Chrome tabs. Efficiency does rely considerably in your battery profile greater than with different Home windows laptops — I needed to swap off of Battery Saver once I was making an attempt to run a Zoom name on prime of a heap of tabs and apps as a result of the whole lot began freezing.

Talking of battery, the X1 Yoga’s life span isn’t a catastrophe however was nonetheless simply advantageous for a convertible at this value level. I averaged eight hours and 7 minutes of steady use with the display screen at medium brightness. That’s not a nasty end result, however I’ve seen higher from the highest ultraportables at this degree.

The ultimate commentary — which I’m most likely a bit too pleased about — is that there’s no bloatware on this factor. No McAfee, no Norton, no nonsense that I needed to uninstall as quickly as I turned it on. I usually hope that laptops above the $1,000 mark gained’t come loaded with these items, however I repeatedly see them on expensive client laptops from all types of firms (together with Lenovo). I’m glad that the ThinkPad isn’t loaded with any junk, however customers ought to get this expertise, too.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6 in easel mode angled to the left on a stone outdoor bench. The screen displays an outdoor night scene with an orange banner rippling through and the Lenovo banner on the bottom right side.

Bloatware-free zone.

With so many add-ons and configurations, and costs starting from $1,500 to over $3,000, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga can actually be what you make it. It may be a midrange convertible with fundamental specs, or it may be a premium enterprise laptop computer with the safety emphasis attribute of the ThinkPad line. Among the many saturated sea of convertible ThinkPads on the market, it’s completely one to contemplate.

With that stated, it’s fairly a dear line for a client or self-employed employee. For context, you may get a comparable mannequin of Lenovo’s prime client convertible, the Yoga 9i, for simply $1,529 — which even has the Core i7-1185G7, a step above the chip that got here with my take a look at mannequin. X1 Yoga fashions with that processor begin at $1,938. Just like the X1 Yoga, the Yoga 9i has a convertible type issue, a bodily webcam shutter, a built-in stylus, a one-year guarantee, and a lot of the similar software program from Lenovo.

That raises the query of what all that extra cash is basically paying for. The X1 Yoga’s 16:10 facet ratio is definitely a bonus, as are the dearth of bloatware and the matte show. Alternatively, the 9i has higher battery life (as do many client convertibles at that value), distinctive audio, and a few actually modern options like a haptic touchpad and an ultrasonic fingerprint reader. At a sure level, X1 Yoga consumers are actually paying a premium for the ThinkPad construct. ThinkPads have some distinctive elements — their TrackPoint and the distinctive keyboard association will at all times have their devotees — however in addition they have a modern, skilled feel and appear. They’re identified for his or her excessive sturdiness (and the X1 Yoga is MIL-spec examined, although the X1 Yoga’s scratch-prone chassis and the flex in its keyboard provides me some pause on that entrance). General, just like the MacBook’s bitten apple, the ThinkPad emblem is a graphic anybody will acknowledge. It’s related to a excessive degree of construct high quality, longevity, and efficiency — it instructions a sure standing amongst enterprise customers and customers alike.

Which is all properly and good, if that’s what you need. In case you’re searching for a contemporary ThinkPad that’s aggressive with at the moment’s finest laptops, and particularly in the event you’re concerned about tidbits like Linux and human presence detection, that is most likely your dream machine. I simply really feel obligated to notice that in the event you’re so-so on the ThinkPad branding, you may get most of what this gives for less expensive.

Pictures by Monica Chin


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