Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Review: The OLED Display Update

ThinkPad X1 Yoga Battery Life (OLED Update)

Battery Life - How We Test:

In the following benchmarks we employ two very different battery life tests: Battery Eater Pro and a custom 1080p HD video loop test, to prove out battery life with our test group of machines. In all tests, Windows 10 Quiet Hours have been enabled and the displays are calibrated with lux meters on pure white screens to as close to 115 lux as possible. For the average notebook this is somewhere between a 45 - 60% brightness setting. Since notebook displays significantly affect power consumption and battery life, it's important to ensure a level playing field with respect to brightness of the display for battery testing. However, since many notebook displays vary in brightness at each respective brightness setting in Windows, this calibration with the meter is critical to ensure all displays are set to as near identical brightness as possible before testing.

Battery Life - The OLED Update: 

Lenovo recently sent us a new model ThinkPad X1 Yoga, equipped with a beautiful OLED display. This display carries the same 2560X1440 native resolution and 14-inch size as the first model we tested that was equipped with an IPS panel. However, the specs for this OLED-powered machine are somewhat different as well, with a slightly faster Core i7-6600U processor (versus i7-6500U in the IPS enabled X1 Yoga) and 16GB of RAM versus 8GB (IPS model). Regardless, the configurations are similar enough that it gives us an opportunity to compare battery life results between the 14-inch OLED and IPS panel options in Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Yoga line. We think you'll be pleased with the results... 

ThinkPad X1 Yoga OLED Battery Test

In our 1080p video loop rundown test, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga variant with OLED display offers a really nice gain in battery life, almost a full additional hour in fact. In the case of the OLED-equipped ThinkPad X1 Yoga, we were able to dial down brightness levels to 45% in Windows 10 and still hit our 115 lux brightness target on the meter. For the IPS display version of the machine it took about 60% to hit this same brightness level. OLED panels, in general, are more power efficient than IPS. For the 14-inch displays that Lenovo is employing in the ThinkPad X1 Yoga line currently, the OLED panel option propels the machine from middle-of-the-pack battery life, to a much more top-shelf performance. 

Battery Eater Pro wears systems down quickly with a heavy load on all subsystems, including processor, graphics, memory and even storage. This is truly a worst-case test that will give you a sense of how a machine will hold up under heavy strain, when gaming or under heavy-duty continuous content creation workloads, for example.

lenovo x1 yoga batteryeater pro

Our custom HotHardware video loop test takes a 1080p HD video with a 16Kbps bit rate and loops it repeatedly, with 1 minute break intervals in between. A timer log file increments minutes of uptime every minute and a final minutes total recorded before system shutdown is stored in the log. This is a lighter duty test that is still a bit more strenuous than say many office productivity tasks but it's not nearly the strain that Battery Eater puts on a system.

lenovo x1 yoga hh battery video loop

As we can see, all the horsepower packed inside the ThinkPad X1 Yoga comes with a price as it delivers mediocre battery life for an ultrabook, though it did exceed Lenovo's last generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon with over 4.5 hours of HD video playback up time, about enough to get you through a US coast-to-coast flight. To combat this, we'd like to see Lenovo offer a larger than 52 Wh battery but do understand there really isn't any space to spare. Fortunately, Lenovo did include a savior in the 65W power cord. It is able to charge the laptop to around 90% in under an hour in our experience while in use, with a full charge reached after an hour and a half or so as the rate slows.

We'll also take a moment to talk about the battery in the ThinkPad Pen Pro. Lenovo claims at full charge it is good to go for 19 hours and we don't have any good reason to doubt them. It's actually quite unrealistic to even be concerned about the pen's battery life as it can charge very rapidly: up to 100 minutes of usage on a 15 second charge.

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