Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Review: A Petite Premium Powerhouse

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano: Benchmark Performance Evaluation

lenovo thinkpad x1 nano review evo

With Intel 11th Gen Tiger Lake brawn under the hood of this thin and light, we are interested to see how the ThinkPad X1 Nano performs. Performance metrics are met or exceeded through more than just CPU performance though, so lets take and see what we found...

ThinkPad X1 Nano Storage Test: ATTO

First on the docket of tests is the ATTO disk benchmark, which is a fairly straight-forward and easy test that measures read and write operations per second at differing file transfer sizes. On board our machine from Lenovo is a 512GB WD PC SN530 SDBPMPZ-512G-1001 NVMe SSD that performed decently enough.

lenovo thinkpad x1 nano review atto

Read speeds ended up topping out around 2.3GB/s while writes peaked somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.56GB/s which is fairly close to the drive's advertised speeds. Compared to some of the other drives we have seen, however, this is not the greatest, but it will certainly get the job done.

Web Based Benchmarks: Speedometer

BrowserBench.org's Speedometer is a real-world test for the performance people would find while using a browser. The test automatically runs several sample web apps using a number of popular web development frameworks such as JavaScript, React, and others. Besides just seeing numbers associated with speeds, this test is a good way to equate to a consumer's web browsing experience on a device.

speedometer thinkpad x1 nano

In our case, the Lenovo X1 Nano did pretty well compared to other Tiger Lake devices we have seen. It lands right about where we would expect it, below the higher end i7-1165G7 and above old generation Intel CPUs as well as newer AMD Ryzen CPUs.

3D Rendering Performance: Cinebench R20

Cinebench R20 is a long sustained-load rendering test that gives a good idea of single and multithreaded performance. Moreover, it gives a rough idea of how a laptop may or may not struggle in the cooling department, though thermal saturation is not something we noticed specifically in testing this ThinkPad machine.

c20 thinkpad x1 nano

Interestingly, the X1 Nano beat out some slightly more performant CPUs, such as the Intel Core i7-1165G7, but it fell to the Core i7-1185G7 as with the Speedometer test. Perhaps this speaks to the cooling solution Lenovo employed, which allows the X1 Nano to keep a solid pace. Either way, the Lenovo X1 Nano gets a round of applause here for its efforts here.

Synthetic CPU Throughput Test: GeekBench 5

GeekBench 5 is something of a benchmark Swiss-Army knife as a “cross-platform benchmark that measures your system's performance with the press of a button.” In this instance, we ran both the single- and multi-core tests to get an idea of how the ThinkPad X1 Nano performs versus its peers.

geekbench thinkpad x1 nano

Again, we have another slight upset as the X1 Nano knocked the Intel Core i7-1185G7 down a rung as far as multithreaded workloads go. On the other hand, single-thread workloads reign supreme on the leaderboard for Tiger Lake-based machines. All things considered, the ThinkPad X1 Nano sits right where we would expect it for the most part.

Trace-Based Productivity Application Testing: PCMark 10

Futuremark tests are something of a staple when it comes to benchmarking systems around here, and for good reason. We put our X1 Nano through the PCMark 10 gamut, which gives us an idea of how the device would perform in real world day-to-day tasks, unlike GeekBench 5's synthetic workloads.

thinkpad x1 nano pcmark 10 score

The results from this test are interesting, to say the least, as the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano with its Core i7-1160G7 excelled overall but fell short in some areas like the Essentials and Productivity tests. Perhaps this is related to the machines somewhat more pedestrian SSD storage throughput. Regardless, this test shows that the ThinkPad X1 Nano is perfectly capable, especially considering its size, and it lead the pack in the Digital Content Creation test.

ThinkPad X1 Nano Gaming Tests: 3DMark Night Raid

With all the productivity and average task tests out of the way, we can move on to testing the gaming-capable aspects of this laptop. As this laptop is thin and light with gaming much less of a focus, we only ran 3DMark’s Night Raid benchmark as a quick sanity check.

night raid thinkpad x1 nano

The Lenovo X1 Nano does impressively well here, considering its petite chassis. It toppled our baseline score for the Intel Core i7-1185G7 but could not quite catch the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 with a Ryzen 94900HS.

Middle Earth: Shadow Of War Performance / Gears Tactics

With the synthetics behind us, we can now move on to proper games, though perhaps this is not a strong suit for the X1 Nano. First up, we have Middle Earth: Shadow of War, a fairly challenging game to play with any laptop specs.

sow thinkpad x1 nano

The Middle Earth test lets the ThinkPad X1 Nano just barely outpace the Asus Zenbook Flip with two more frames at low settings, but the lead is lost when switching to high settings. As we said, though, playing this game at 1080p is rough in most cases, so perhaps it is not advisable unless you want to drop down to a lower resolution. Still, our tests give you a relative feel on peer group performance overall.  

gears tactics thinkpad x1 nano

However, kicking over to Gears Tactics tells a differing story, as the X1 Nano holds a decent position on the charts. It still falls behind higher-end Tiger Lake CPUs as well as devices with dedicated graphics, but overall, it did well with approximately 70FPS at low settings. At medium settings, we find a happy middle ground that delivers solid visuals at playable frame rates.

Ultimately, whether you are getting work done or playing some light-duty games, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano should handle mostly whatever you'll throw at it. Our benchmarks have shown that the ThinkPad X1 Nano is a formidable opponent both in and out of the office. Now it is time to move on to battery life, acoustics, and our final thoughts of this new ThinkPad.


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