ThinkPad X1 Refresh Brings Gorgeous OLED Displays And Intel 12th Gen CPUs To Lenovo’s Flagship Laptops
Did you know the ThinkPad brand turns 30 years old this year? That won't actually happen until April, but in the meantime, Lenovo's got a pile of new products for you to peruse, and they all look right fancy. Lenovo calls the new models the "pinnacle of [its] ThinkPad portfolio," and it's easy to see why.
First up, we're taking a look at the company's flagship laptops, the ThinkPad X1 series. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is the original X1 model, and this year it hits its 10th iteration. As usual, ThinkPad X1 Yoga is a folding hinge-type convertible, now in its 7th generation. Finally, the ultralight ThinkPad X1 Nano gets its first revision.
There's a fair few feature upgrades that are common to all three models. The audio systems on all three support Dolby Atmos as well as Dolby Voice tech to provide more natural audio when working remotely. The cameras on all three got upgraded to Full HD (1920×1080) resolution, too, and there's an optional IR MIPI camera upgrade that provides computer vision support, allowing the machine to do things like warn of people looking over your shoulder, or automatically lock when you step away. Lenovo claims that the system can recognize you right through your mask, even.
The 10th-generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon remains what would have been called an ultrabook, once upon a time: a 14" laptop with a thin profile but full-sized performance. The new models get updated to the latest Intel 12th-generation CPUs, and they'll have both 15W U-series and 28W P-series chips (with up to 14 cores, 6P+8E) as options. You can get up to 32GB of LPDDR5 memory, and a PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD with up to 2TB capacity.
Aside from the new CPUs, the biggest upgrades in the new Carbon models are in the display options. As is tradition, the displays are in 16:10 aspect ratio, and range from a basic 1920×1200 IPS display, to a similar display with 500 cd/m² brightness and touch input, a 2240×1400 high-resolution IPS LCD, a 2880×1800 OLED, or an ultra-high-resolution IPS LCD in 3840×2400 resolution with DisplayHDR 400 certification and touch input support.
The 10th-generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon has powerful external connectivity. A pair of Thunderbolt 4 ports are the shot, and a pair of USB 3.2 Type-A ports are the chaser, followed up with an HDMI 2.0b connection and a 3.5mm combo jack. There's Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 included by default, as well as optional 4G LTE and 5G sub-6 WWAN modems. Of course, the new models still support Near Field Communication (NFC), too.
Lenovo calls the ThinkPad X1 Yoga a "multi-mode" device, referring to the way that it can be used in laptop, tablet, tent, or stand modes thanks to the flexible hinge. Thus the name "Yoga," get it? Like the X1 Carbon above, the 7th-generation Thinkpad X1 Yoga gets upgraded to Intel's latest Alder Lake mobile CPUs, and it too will have options ranging from 15W ULV chips on up to the 28W P-series processors. It also has the same options for memory and storage: up to 32GB of LPDDR5, and 2TB of PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD.
The Yoga's special screen does limit its display options a little, as it essentially requires touch input to be useful. The basic display for the new X1 Yoga is a 1920×1200 IPS LCD with up to 400 cd/m² brightness, although there's a brighter 500 cd/m² option that integrates Lenovo's Privacy Guard feature. The real star of the show here is the optional 3840×2400 OLED with Dolby Vision certification. Lenovo says this screen can reproduce 100% of the wide DCI-P3 color space, making it great for artists and designers who will doubtless appreciate the integrated pen support, too.
External connectivity on the ThinkPad X1 Yoga mirrors that of its less-flexible sibling above: two Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB 3.2 Type-A ports, a full-sized HDMI 2.0b plug, and a 3.5mm combo audio jack. Also like its older sibling, the X1 Yoga includes Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 by default, while 4G LTE and 5G sub-6 WWAN adapters are optional.
Last and surely littlest, we have the ThinkPad X1 Nano. This 13" model is both the lightest and the youngest member of the ThinkPad X1 family, and this is its first major revision. Like its larger siblings, the second-generation X1 Nano is stepping up to the latest Intel CPUs, although surprisingly it seems Lenovo is sticking to the more potent 28W P-series CPUs in the Nano. Memory and storage options are unchanged from the previous two machines, though: 32GB of LPDDR5 and a 2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD are the max.
There's only one screen option on the 13" Nano: a 2160×1350 LCD with Dolby Vision certification that can shine at up to 450 cd/m². Lenovo doesn't elucidate what type of panel it uses, but the company does say that the display can reproduce the entire sRGB color space, at least. You can have this screen with or without touch input, provided by an Add-On Film Touch (AOFT) layer that provides touch input without adding extra weight.
External connectivity on the Nano is a bit more limited than its siblings, but that's to expected given its 970g weight and half-inch thickness. Besides the ubiquitous 3.5mm combo audio jack, you also get a pair of Thunderbolt 4 ports. Frankly, with a suitable dock, a pair of TB4 ports probably should do the job. Networking options on the X1 Nano are the same as the X1 Carbon: standard Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2, plus optional 4G LTE or 5G sub-6 WWAN.
Lenovo says that the updated Thinkpad X1 Carbon and Yoga models will show up in March, while the Nano will toddle along in April. The company expects the Carbon to start at $1,639, the Yoga to begin at $1,749, and the Nano to bottom out at $1,659.