Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Kaby Lake-R) Laptop Review

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Kaby Lake-R) Laptop Review

In need of an extremely thin versatile notebook ? Look no further than the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga.

@StevenBassiriTT
Published Fri, Nov 2 2018 10:00 PM CDT   |   Updated Thu, Jul 30 2020 4:20 PM CDT
Rating: 92%Manufacturer: Lenovo

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

Today we are taking a look at one of Lenovo's prized products, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga. The notebook we have in for review today is the 3rd Generation of the ThinkPad X1 Yoga line and features 8th generation Core i5 series processor, as well as many other notable features.

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VIEW GALLERY - 45 IMAGES

The new processors offer more cores in the same power package as their predecessors, which should greatly improve productivity. Let's take a look at this stylish notebook.

Specifications

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Our model uses the 8250U CPU, 8GB LPDDR3, a 512GB NVMe SSD, and it has integrated mobile broadband (it has a SIM card slot). The notebook also comes with a 4-cell 54Wh battery and is charged through a USB type-C charging port from a 65W type-C adapter. The notebook weighs in at 3.08lbs and is 13.11"x9.01"x0.67" (LxWxH). You can configure it with more DRAM, up to 1TB SSD, and even an IR camera.

Pricing

The ThinkPad X1 Yoga starts at $1,253; our model starts at $1394

Physical Overview

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Lenovo's box is simple, but it's packaging is neat. As you lift two flaps, the notebook magically floats up. We have seen this design on previous model Yogas.

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Accessories include AC/DC power adapter, AC power cord, and manuals. The AC/DC adapter is rated upwards of 20v and 3.25A with a resulting current of 65W. The cool thing is that it has multiple voltages and current output for charging different devices like phones. We find 15v at 3A, 9v at 2a, and 5v at 2a.

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The top and bottom are quite simple and have a nice texture to them, so you are less likely to lose grip. Fingerprint are picked up easily though. The bottom features some vents for speakers, four rubber feet, and some intake vents for the cooling solution.

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The front features an angled lip, so it's easy to open the notebook. The rear features an exhaust vent and a little cover that hides the SD and SIM card slots. The right side of the unit features the recharging bay for the ThinkPad active pen, the power button, the combo headset port, an external Ethernet connector port, a USB 3.0 port, HDMI port, and Kensington lock slot. The left side features two Thunderbolt 3 ports, one of them is labeled for charging, and a USB 3.0 port.

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The QWERTY keyboard is backlit with white LEDs. It is by default set with function keys performing secondary functions. There is the ability to swap the Fn and Ctrl keys both in BIOS and in their software.

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We also get a nice fingerprint sensor.

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At the rear, we can remove rubber cover to access the microSD and SIM card slots.

Physical Overview Continued

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The ThinkPad Pen is included and features the ability to right click and left click. The internal battery will be charged when you place the pen back into its slot.

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The touchpad has a soft rubber coasting, and multiple mouse buttons are at the top.

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The TrackPoint mouse alternative is included and can be replaced with the classic dome or soft rim TrackPoint tops.

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A nice feature is a physical slider to cover the camera. It seems to be located near the dual array microphones and a light sensor.

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One of my favorite features is that when you flip the notebook into tablet mode, the keys recede into the notebook, so you don't press them. It makes the notebook more of a true convertible.

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Opening the notebook reveals the special joints to move the keys into the notebook, as well as the little cooling solution. The 54Wh battery takes up more of the space, and it seems to have been shifted towards the middle of the notebook to balance things out. It's not odd to find extra weights in Lenovo notebooks to balance them.

Software and BIOS

Software

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Here we have Lenovo's Vantage software, which replaces all the other software applications that Lenovo used to have. It centralizes Lenovo updates and all the customization settings Lenovo offers into a single application. Dolby Atmos is also included and offers a wide array of ways to tune the speakers or headphones.

BIOS

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The BIOS is basic but contains all the settings you need, including the ability to swap the Fn and Ctrl keys.

System Performance Benchmarks

CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks

These benchmarks are run using default settings and configuration.

CINEBENCH 11.5

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wPrime

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AIDA64 AES and HASH

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AIDA64 Memory

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PCMark8 Home

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Handbrake 4K and 720P Transcoding

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WebXPRT 2015

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UNIGINE Heaven 4.0

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Graphics performance is where one would expect it to be in a notebook without a dGPU, but overall, the performance of the processor is pretty good, especially compared to its more budget-friendly X380 competitor, indicating higher power limits or cooling capacity.

System IO and Battery Performance

System IO Benchmarks

Internal Storage Read Test:

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Internal Storage Write Test:

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ixChariot Network Throughput:

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Lenovo knows how to use those Samsung NVMe drives; we are glad to see them in use. Networking is solid.

Battery Tests

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The battery performance is solid; you should get all-day battery usage out of this notebook.

Thermal Performance

Thermal Imaging

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The front of the notebook barely raises 10C from idle to full load, which is quite amazing. The heat does spread to the keyboard, but it's not that hot.

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The bottom of the notebook raised only 3C? It looks like the heat is either being shielded from the back by all those stickers we saw when we opened her up and that it helps the heat spread. Either way, it's nice to see what the hot spots are.

What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts

What's Hot

Perfect size: The notebook is the perfect size and weight for personal use and business use. It's a really well-balanced notebook that isn't hard to store in smaller bags, and it's extremely thin.

Type-C charger: The type-C charger is something I wish more vendors would incorporate. It's great because you can use it to charge your phone and theoretically you could hook it up to other Thunderbolt devices and transfer power other ways.

More true tablet mode: I love the mechanism that pulls the keys on the keyboard into the notebook when you flip the screen into tablet mode. It makes it feel much more like a tablet. One other cool thing is the integrated pen, which recharges and allows you to right and left click.

What's Not

Small things: There are a few things that I didn't like by default. I don't like how they positioned the touchpad keys above the touchpad, or that by default Function keys are secondary while they have reversed the position of the Fn and Ctrl keys. You can change the latter two through their software.

Final Thoughts

The ThinkPad X1 Yoga Pro is well designed, well-built successor to the previous generation ThinkPad X1 Yogas we have reviewed. While you won't be gaming with this machine or rendering tons of content, everything else is pretty seamless, and while it doesn't have a metal unibody, we found construction to be solid.

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The notebook is also loaded with features such as dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, fingerprint reader, SIM card slot, and it still maintains features such as HDMI and two USB 3.0 ports. We really enjoyed this versatile machine, and think it would make a perfect notebook for any business executive, student, or anyone who wants a solid notebook that can convert into a truer tablet.

TweakTown award
Performance89%
Quality92%
Features95%
Value90%
Overall92%

The Bottom Line: With its profound ability to actually feel more like a tablet than other 2-in-1s, the well-equipped ThinkPad X1 Yoga is a versatile machine at a reasonable price.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

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AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

Steven went from a fledgling forum reader in 2003 to one of the internet's brightest tech stars by 2010. Armed with an information systems degree, a deep understanding of circuitry, and a passion for tech, Steven (handle Sin0822) enjoys sharing his deep knowledge with others. Steven details products down to the component level to highlight seldom explained, and often misunderstood architectures. Steven is also a highly decorated overclocker with several world records.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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