Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (2017) OLED Review: Portable Perfection

Posted on October 14, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Windows 10 with 79 Comments

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (2017) OLED Review: Portable Perfection

Well, they finally did it. After tiptoeing painfully close to perfection with previous X1 Yoga and X1 Carbon designs, Lenovo has finally closed the gap with the new ThinkPad X1 Yoga OLED. It’s the nicest portable PC I’ve ever used.

Design

The ThinkPad X1 Yoga is very obviously a ThinkPad: It shares its traditional look and feel, durable carbon fiber hybrid construction, and superior keyboard and dual-pointing capabilities with other modern ThinkPads. That look is either modern and elegant or a bit frumpy, depending on your perspective. But I find it both attractive and classic, and in no need of any major changes.

As a Yoga, however, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga also provides versatile transforming/4-in-1 capabilities too. That means you can swivel the screen around and use this device in other usage modes, like tablet, tent, and presentation. Combining all this with its multitouch and active pen functionality, and the X1 Yoga is one of the most versatile PCs ever made. (By comparison, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon doesn’t even provide multitouch.)

Lenovo changed—and arguably improved—how the keyboard behaves when you switch between the various form factor modes (see below), but one thing that hasn’t changed is the 360-degree display hinge: It is rock-solid, with no wobble at all.

The X1 Yoga is also lightweight, at under 3 pounds, given the versatility and the size of its display. By comparison, the 2017 ThinkPad X1 Carbon weighs about 2.49 pounds, but is far less versatile.

Put simply, what the X1 Yoga provides is superior design and functionality in a single package. If you’re looking a portable PC that can do it all, look no further.

Before moving on, I will note that Lenovo now sells the ThinkPad X1 Yoga in an optional and bland silver color. Don’t buy that one. Just don’t.

Display

While there are many reasons to choose a convertible PC like the ThinkPad X1 Yoga, this particular device has a single, very obvious advantage over other convertibles, and even over X1 Yogas: The review unit is outfitted with an eyeball-popping OLED display that needs to be seen to be believed.

That said, I’ll try to describe it. Understand that I will not be able to do it any justice.

We’ve seen any number of technologies appear over the years that raise the bar on display quality. Recently, many of the improvements seem to be focused on a combination of pixel density, glossy display types, and richer colors.

Lenovo brings all of that to the X1 Yoga, providing an HDR-like experience that is, for my at least, a first on any portable PC. This display is so good, so bright and so colorful, that it makes all other portable PC displays look like crap. Once you see and use this display, you’ll never be impressed with anything less. And the display on virtually every other PC is just that less.

Colors pop on this screen in such a fashion that it’s almost like seeing color for the first time. If you’ve ever experienced HDR on a 4K/UHD then you’ll understand the impact of this display. It’s the same kind of effect.

More technically, it’s a 14-inch OLED glossy panel running at WQHD (2560 x 1440) resolution. I very much prefer larger displays, and find that 14-inches is the sweet spot for a productivity-focused machine. So this one is perfect.

Unlike the X1 Carbon, the X1 Yoga also supports both 10-point multitouch and active pens. (It even includes a pen.) So in addition to the superior display and form factor versatility, you also get all the added benefits of multitouch and pen support too.

Components and ports

Insider the review unit, you’ll find some pretty standard parts for the premium PC world, including a 7th generation Intel Core i7-7600U processor, 16 GB of RAM, and speedy 512 GB PCIe-based NVMe Opal 2 SSD storage.

This machine arrived before Intel shipped its quad-core 8th generation parts, so I assume Lenovo will either update this device midstream or do so for the 2018 lineup. That said, the 7th-generation chip is no slouch, and will work just about as well as the newer bits for normal productivity works. Certainly, the real world performance has been exceptional.

Externally, things are nicely modern. Lenovo manages to squeeze two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports (either of which can be used for charging) and two full-sized (and always-on) USB 3.1 ports on the left side of the device.

You’ll find a full-sized HDMI port, another full-sized USB 3.1 port, and a proprietary Ethernet port (Lenovo bundles the needed dongle) on the right.

And there’s a microSD card slot—and, optionally, Qualcomm Snapdragon X7 LTE-A cellular—on the rear. In other words, tons of options.

The webcam is nothing special: It’s a 720p unit that does not support Windows Hello.

From an ambient experience perspective, the X1 Yoga exhibits the usual amount of fan noise, which is to say, nothing particularly annoying. But some other modern PCs, like the new Surface Pro, are silent or nearly so. I’ve not noticed any particular heat issues.

Keyboard, touchpad, and pen

In use, the keyboard on the X1 Yoga looks and works much like last year’s model. But Lenovo has, in fact, reversed how it works and, in doing so, has improved the experience in subtle ways.

That is, the 2016 X1 Yoga used what Lenovo calls a “lift and lock” mechanism. When you transformed the device between its various form factors—say, moved from laptop mode to tablet mode—the plate under the keyboard would be pushed up to lock the keys in place while the rest of the chassis moved.

For 2017, the X1 Yoga now uses a new “rise and fall” mechanism for what Lenovo has named the Wave Keyboard. So there’s no keyboard plate anymore, and the keys are now pulled down into the chassis as the display is swiveled around.

According to Lenovo, this change results in a more stable design with better long-term durability and no protruding parts. But it also creates a weird “popping” effect that is felt as the keys travel into (or out of) the chassis. It initially feels wrong, like something bad is happening, and to this Bostonian, not a little bit like cracking open a cooked lobster. It’s not loud—more feeling than sound, really—and you get used to it.

As for the keyboard itself, hey, this is Lenovo: The firm’s ThinkPad keyboards remain the bar by which all PC keyboards are measured, and it has yet to meet its equal. The keyboard is backlit, of course, and offers spill resistance. The Fn and CTRL keys are swapped, for some reason, but Lenovo lets you switch them virtually.

(HP and Microsoft offer great keyboard experiences on their premium PCs, too, and the 25th Anniversary ThinkPad, with its retro keyboard, is perhaps—maybe—even better.)

Lenovo retains its lead in the pointing department, too: Like other ThinkPads, the X1 Yoga includes both a TrackPoint nubbin, which I prefer, and a glass touchpad that is certified for Microsoft’s Precision Touchpad software. That means its ideal, and no matter your preference, you’ll be happy with either choice, or both.

Unlike the X1 Carbon, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga includes an active smart pen, and it even provides storage for the accessory inside a slot on the right side of the keyboard. This pen, called the ThinkPad Pen Pro, is nothing special, with 2048 levels of sensitivity but no tilt support. And it’s tiny, probably too small for many adults. (Myself included.)

In the good news department, the pen charges quickly when inserted inside the Yoga, and Lenovo says you can achieve a 100 minute charge in just 15 seconds. So you should never be without the pen if you need it.

The ThinkPad X1 Yoga also provides a fast and touch-based (as opposed to swipe-based) fingerprint reader, which is conveniently located on the right wrist rest.

Battery

If you check in on my ThinkPad X1 Carbon review, you’ll see that Lenovo’s non-touch flagship delivers about 8 hours and 14 minutes of battery life in my 1080p video streaming test over Wi-Fi. But that Utrabook features a 1080p (1920 x 1080) IPS display, so my expectations for the X1 Yoga, which provides a dramatically better OLED 4K display, were suitably muted.

Imagine my surprise, then, when the ThinkPad X1 Yoga almost matched its stablemate by providing 8 hours and 8 minutes of life on the same test. And not only did it look better doing it—seriously, that display makes even terrible movies like The Phantom Menace look like HDR masterpieces you can’t take your eyes off of—you could also likely do even better by turning down the brightness. I make sure to set display brightness to the same setting—40 percent—and I disable adaptive brightness. But out in the real world, I would typically turn down the brightness even further on this incredibly-bright and beautiful display. Have I mentioned that it’s a wonder yet? It is.

Charge time is increasingly as important as battery life, and here Lenovo has you covered as well: As with the 2017 X1 Carbon, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga’s bundled USB-C charger can charge the battery to 80 percent capacity in 60 minutes.

Long story short, you should have little trouble getting through a day of work with this wonderful portable PC: I’ve taken the X1 Yoga on multiple business trips over the late summer and early fall, and it’s never let me down.

Software

I hope the rest of the PC industry is paying attention to what Lenovo is doing with its ThinkPad lineup. The only crapware that comes on these PCs is the silliness that Microsoft foists on us all in Windows 10. The rest of it is pure goodness.

As with other ThinkPads, the X1 Yoga provides a Signature PC experience, meaning that there is no third-party AV software or duplicate interfaces for such things as networking, audio, or battery.

Lenovo provides only a few utilities and both are useful and even desirable. Lenovo Companion is a dashboard, of sorts, for the PC, and it helps you find system updates, monitor the system health, and get support when needed. And the Lenovo Settings app helps you configure features that are unique to this device. (For example, you can use it to reverse the Fn and CTRL keys.) That’s it.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga comes with Windows 10 Pro.

Pricing and configurations

As a premium transforming PC, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga is not inexpensive. Pricing starts at about $1900 for a Full HD version with a Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM, 256 GB of storage, and Windows 10 Home. But it can escalate quickly from there. (That said, Lenovo always has sales, and this configuration currently sells for under $1700.)

But you can spend more. There are Core i7 processors to be had, up to 16 GB of RAM, and up to 1 TB of storage. You can upgrade to a WQHD display, in either IPS or OLED. You can get WWAN. And you can, of course, get Windows 10 Pro. Get the RAM you need as you can’t upgrade it later.

Specced like the review unit, you’re looking at about $2550, or $2300-ish during the sale I see at the time of this writing. (The OLED display is a $530 upgrade, though it is on sale for just $250 right now. This will be the best money you’ve ever spent.)

Recommendations and conclusions

In my review of the 2016 ThinkPad X1 Yoga, I noted that Lenovo had delivered a nearly-perfect business-class transforming PC. Its successor, in OLED trim, puts this device over the top. Perfect is a tough word, but this one gets really close. My only serious nitpick, of course, is the price. But you get what you pay for.

If you can afford a 2017 ThinkPad X1 Yoga in the OLED configuration, it will be a source of jealousy for everyone around you. This the nicest portable PC I’ve ever used, period.

The ThinkPad X1 Yoga is highly recommended.

At-a-glance

Pros

  • My God, that display
  • Versatile form factor
  • Excellent typing and pointing experiences
  • Great battery life

Cons

  • Expensive pricing
  • Weird popping effect during form factor transformation
  • Fn key is in the wrong place

 

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Comments (80)

80 responses to “Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (2017) OLED Review: Portable Perfection”

  1. Harrymyhre

    I have used a thinkpad laptop for years now.

    The keyboard is the best there is.

    "FN key in the wrong place" - i got used to it

  2. Jules Wombat

    Shame about the 16:9 screen. No good for professional users.

  3. Craig Hinners

    I would have preferred an extra USB-C port in lieu of the proprietary Ethernet port. Either way, you still need a dongle, but the former is a few orders of magnitude more versatile.

  4. the_sl0th

    Mad reflections on that screen. OLED might be nice, but if the price is a screen that acts as a mirror, then no thanks.

  5. DF

    I wonder if other premium models from HP and Dell will see the writing on the wall and start offering OLED panels as a high end option, I.e. the HP x360, XPS 15 and Apple books. At the cost premium it's not like they'd sell in quantities to make supply chain an issue but they sure do entice enthusiasts to spend a bit more.

  6. ZeroPageX

    Looks like an awesome machine! I was going to wait for the 8th gen quad-core OLED version, but they just recently released the 7th gen OLED, and with the specs I want, it's almost $1000 more than a similar Spectre x360. :(

  7. Daishi

    In 2017, at that thickness, weight and price, I really would have expected there to at least be an option for a GPU.

  8. rameshthanikodi

    3:2 > 16:9. Unfortunately you'd need to start an entirely new supply chain just to make a logic board that fits the in the narrower chassis of a 3:2, thus the industry has settled on 16:9 now.

  9. zankfrappa

    "Fn key is in the wrong place"


    any sensible person knows to remap the capslock key to ctrl so its easier to reach. how many times do you actually need to write things in all caps anyway? and since youre not using the ctrl key on the bottom row its actually easier to find the fn key without looking for it

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to zankfrappa:

      I thought this too at first, then it struck me that the [Fn] key may not generate standard scan codes. Did a quick web search and found https://stackoverflow.com/questions/24423724/finding-the-scan-code-of-fn-key which states that it doesn't. Anyone who wants either [Caps Lock] left as-is or wants [Fn] to be the 2nd key from the bottom-left corner is SOL.

  10. RickEveleigh

    So given that huge price difference to the HP Spectre range -- also highly rated by Paul -- is it worth it?

  11. ssaroiu

    Hi Paul,


    I'm wondering why the lack of a Windows Hello-supported webcam hasn't made it on the Cons list.


    Cheers.

  12. Dashrender

    To bad they are Lenovo, a company we can never trust again.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to Dashrender:

      Use Lenovos with Google services and for buying things from Amazon, then distract yourself wondering which groks your id more completely.

      • Dashrender

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        This is a completely different situation. You KNOW Google is collecting your data, and they are using it to sell you stuff. We don't know the intentions of the crapware that Lenovo installed, nor were we made aware that it was there. Even worse, when the cat was let out of the bag - Lenovo denied it, then months later quietly released a patch for it.

        • hrlngrv

          In reply to Dashrender:

          What, you believe Amazon hasn't amassed any data on its customers in order to sell them stuff?

          OTOH, you have a point about Lenovo. Their data collection could be for the Chinese military to amass a collective personality profile for all other countries. World domination awaits.

  13. NormGregory

    I am confused.


    Is this::


    Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2nd Gen 20JD000WUS 14" WQHD (2560 x 1440) OLED Touchscreen Display 2-in-1 Ultrabook - Intel Core i7


    Or


    Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga - Core i5-6200U, 256GB SSD, 14in Full HD Touch Display, 8GB RAM, Windows 10 Pro

  14. Trickyd

    Just checked the UK pricing the entry price for the OLED screen is £2774 , 16Gb and 1TB SSD - seriously expensive - I won't be upgrading my HP Spectre X360 just yet, and it seems like the bargain of the century by comparison.

  15. longhorn

    This has been said many times already but 16:9 is such a shame. Do Lenovo and other PC makers hate money? Apple is laughing. 16:10 is needed for something that is aimed at productivity. This Lenovo is even supposed to be able to function as a tablet. A 16:9 tablet? Also high resolutions on small screens force scaling and then those vertical pixels are needed.

  16. hrlngrv

    For me, anything with a joystick pointer and up and down arrow keys the same size as left and right arrow keys has superior standard input facilities. If only I could find a laptop with only the joystick pointer and no touchpad since more often than not I have to disable the touchpad because I tend to brush it while typing, which moves the insertion point.

  17. Waethorn

    I see a problem already:


    Either a) you have really greasy fingers, or b) the keyboard bezel plastic material is a smudge magnet. In any case, materials like this often show a lot of wear after a year, making it look really gross for resale value. I remember how bad the Surface RT keyboard and a few cheap Atom convertibles looked after a year of use like that. Aluminum bezels won't show the same rapid smoothing of the surface like certain plastics will, although lots of quality aluminum-bezel designs include the cheap plastic keyboards that wear out quickly. It's hard to find a system that has the right materials that won't show this because it seems that most manufacturers always cheap out somewhere.

  18. BrickPrinter

    Paul, I agree whole heartedly, although I have the 2016 version--it is the best laptop I have ever had and have had them since they were invented. I would love to see if could trade mine for the oled screen one . The keyboard is a joy. The trackpoint is a joy. The function lock and layout is a joy. Every time I pick it up, I think to myself "what a wonderful piece of design". And this one is even better. I have a surface book also, and do like its aspect ratio, but for my needs the the 16:9 works fine and if have to do major productivity I have 34" screen that work well with the dock


    This thing i a damned joy. I think MJF might even like it.

  19. RobertJasiek

    I would never buy a mirror (instead of matte), 16:9 (instead of 4:3 or similar), OLED (as long as the technology is not sure from not burning in), fan (instead of silent) or tiny arrow keys. It is immaterial whether all other features approach perfection.

  20. skane2600

    A year ago Paul commented "Also, I should add: 16:9 is terrible on tablets/2-in-1s because they look terrible in portrait mode. It creates a weird, super-tall-looking stretched look. "


    I'm not quoting this to point out an inconsistency in Paul's part, I'm just curious if he's changed his mind and why.

      • skane2600

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        It seemed implicitly possible to me, since you described this PC as "Portable Perfection" and made no complaint about its 16:9 display despite complaining about such displays in the past. But note I said I was curious IF you changed your mind, I didn't claim you did.


        So do you still dislike 16:9 screens or not?

        • nightmare99

          In reply to skane2600:

          I'm not sure anybody is going to be using such a large screen in portrait mode, in fact there is no mention in this review of using the system in such an orientation.

          • hrlngrv

            In reply to nightmare99:

            Yogas have tablet mode. You've never seen anyone using a tablet in portrait orientation? Never seen anyone reading e-books like that? Really?!

            • skane2600

              In reply to hrlngrv:

              I don't know. IMO, e-books dividing up the pages differently doesn't really matter and usually the text adjusts so that landscape results with more words per line while portrait displays more lines per page. The content per page stays about the same regardless.


              Hardcovers and paperbacks always paginated books differently and it never mattered.

              • hrlngrv

                In reply to skane2600:

                OK, but it's easier for me to read portrait layouts faster than landscape layouts. I believe there may be evidence to support narrower but longer columns of text being more readable. I understand that some e-readers can show two pages side-by-side like an open physical book, so that may work better for many than single page portrait mode.

                As for portrait orientation in tablet mode, the Yoga comes with a pen, so presumably can handle handwriting and note taking. How many people take notes landscape vs portrait?

                I figure landscape in tablet mode is used mostly for consumption, but most continuous input is done in portrait mode.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to hrlngrv:

                  I think it's just personal preference. The two pages side-by-side sound like just a skeuomorph to me. In a physical book it makes sense to have two pages side-by-side to avoid wasting paper, but I don't see any benefit for an ebook.

  21. Todd Northrop

    Unfortunately a 16:9 screen means this laptop is not "perfection", and is in fact a no-go. Too bad.

  22. Care

    Do OLED displays burn in?

    • nbates66

      In reply to Care:

      It's not exactly the same as CRT burn in but unfortunately OLED display pixels do dim over time, My phones with OLED displays have eventually wound up with elements like the battery icon on the status bar imprinted because the pixels displaying those area's became dimmer compared to the unused surrounds. It's the main reason we don't see many standalone OLED monitors whilst OLED displays have been used in phone displays (particularly every Samsung Galaxy phone to date) since 2010. I'm not sure how the lifetime of the OLED's in Laptops will compare to the phones.

  23. nerdile

    I’ve always had black. Is the silver really that lackluster?

    And I’ve used ThinkPads for over a decade, the Fn key is definitely still in the wrong place :)

    • will

      In reply to nerdile:

      I disagree with Paul. I saw a silver one just the other week, it was the Yoga with OLED, and it looked good. The nice thing on the silver is you do not get the fingerprint or hand oils on the case like you do with the black one.


      Personally I am thinking of a silver one, but also thinking of waiting till Jan to see what they do with the next gen.

  24. MacLiam

    I have been watching your enthusiasm for these ThinkPad transformers grow over the months, and I understand why this one has the appeal it does. While my current machines (a Surface Book and Pro) still do what I need at the moment, the next time I need to replace or upgrade a unit that is starting to struggle, I'm pretty sure this device or its successor will be the solution of choice. Thanks for the clear presentation of its capabilities.


  25. jerriep

    Coming from a Macbook Pro, the Ctrl key placement is thankfully familiar and not an issue to me :)


    I went for the X1 Carbon, because I prefer the non-reflective, non-touch screen, but this one sure looks nice as well.

  26. Daekar

    What's the hate for 16:9 screens? They were fine for years, what changed?

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to Daekar:

      What change?

      Many have despised 16:9 ever since they displaced 8:5 (or 16:10 for those who don't reduce fractions), and despised 8:5 for displacing 4:3 and 5:4. Myself, I'd prefer 4:3, but I could live with 3:2. For me, 16:9 sucks and has always sucked. No change here.

      ADDED: aside from e-mail client and browser, I mostly use Excel, GNU R using R Studio as GUI, Notepad++ and various SQL query tools for work. For me, I find these all work better in squarer windows. I accept that this is subjective, but it's my preference, and I'd really like having more choices. What really sucks about 16:9 is 1366x768. I realize that's an improvement over 1024x768, which is often cited as the move from 4:3 to 16:9, but some of us were bludgeoned at work from 5:4 1280x1024 to 8:5 1280x800 to 16:9 1366x768, losing several display lines in applications on each hardware refresh.

    • Stooks

      In reply to Daekar:

      Nothing IMHO. I think crazy high resolutions on small screens is a bigger problem. DPI scaling is getting better but some stuff that is not DPI scaling aware, just looks horrible.


      On my 15inch Lenovo E570 I have a 1080P IPS screen. Looks great but for my eyes just too small. I run it at 133%, which makes it like a 1400 x 900p screen, which was a common resolution years ago. It also makes everything sharper by the fact it is cramming 1080p worth of pixels into a 900p screen.

      • skane2600

        In reply to Stooks:

        It seems rather pointless to me to pay extra for a high resolution screen that you have to scale up in order to read. In a way it seems like avoiding the true issue which is that small screens are not very suitable for productivity work.

    • RobertJasiek

      In reply to Daekar:

      It's not hate but frustration and desparation that too many models are only offered with one aspect ratio instead of two ratios and the offered ratio does not fit one's personal needs. (Same for fixed versus detachable display because some of us need use as a pure tablet or in portrait position whilst the same manufacturer would not offer detachables with otherwise very similar features and those few like Toshiba that do only offer about 16:9.) There are those needing about 16:9 ratio, those needing about 4:3 ratio, those fine with any ratio and a few needing extreme ratios (21:9 or 1:1, which one finds for desktop monitors).

      Around 2000, most was 4:3. Around 2017, most is 16:9. Not the computer needs of the endconsumers have significantly changed but 1) the prevailing produced ratio for computers, 2) the prevailing ratio in TV in more countries and 3) smartphones have arisen and typically use around 16:9 (recently also around 2:1). It can be argued whether 16:9 is better than 4:3 for TV and for smartphones. For TV, I do not know: I was fine with the old German 4:3 and am fine with the new German 16:9; both have their advantages and disadvantages. For smartphones, I would prefer 4:3 but do not really care because I can use 4:3 tablets for reading and surfing.

      However, for computers, there are endconsumers and businesses absolutely needing small aspect ratios. You can see this for desktop monitors, for which 5:4 has become even much more popular (and I use some in portrait position) than 4:3 and such small ratios are much more popular for productive use than high aspect ratios around 16:9 as far as I can tell from seeing actually used monitors everywhere. Of course, there are also the 16:9 desktop monitors, which seem more popular among private endconsumers than businesses, maybe because, for some endconsumers, private use can often be a dual use as TV and computer, too few make a serious buying decision and buy what is offered, or because some prefer to watch multiple windows or contents pages simultaneously.

      Currently, somebody needing 5:4 or 4:3 is often forced to use desktop and desktop monitor, although some are willing to compromise on 3:2 (surface and its clones). Mobile devices with 5:4 or 4:3 are missing (except for a few 4:3 ruggedised devices and 4:3 ebook readers), restricted to a few models often with an unsuitable operating system (yes, iOS) for productive software to fit one's own needs, or a few series have 3:2 but there might be no model whose other specifications meet one's needs. E.g., add matte and non-ruggedised and there a 0 such models (other than ebook readers); add desktop-computers-alike longeivity and reliability and there are 0 such models.

    • Alex Taylor

      In reply to Daekar:

      I didn't really think they were fine for years, I've been waiting for a 4:3 comeback.

      I just value vertical space over horizontal.

      What actually has change is that typical screen sizes shrunk from 15.6 inch to 13, making side-by-side multitasking even more futile.

      Given that 2017 is the year of the shrinking bezel, have a look at that huge bezel under the screen and ask yourself what use it serves, compared to more display!

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to agt4:

        I bought a refurbished NEC 19" 4:3 monitor for my home office this year, and I'm very pleased with it. Sadly, refurbished seems the only way to go at the moment.

        • RobertJasiek

          In reply to hrlngrv:

          For 4:3, 5:4 or 1:1 monitors, buy Eizo. You can get some that can be rotated and are matte. Note that some models (with rotation) are mostly sold in Europe, others (without) in the USA. Last time I looked, Iiyama also offered 4:3.

          • hrlngrv

            In reply to RobertJasiek:

            While I'm not too cheap, I never buy from any vendor so timid they don't show prices on their web site. Eizo doesn't show prices, so they wouldn't seem to be interested in one-off business.

            • RobertJasiek

              In reply to hrlngrv:

              Retail prices depend on models and, for typical office monitors, vary from ca. €150 to €1000. (They also offer medical solutions for astronomic prices.) Their monitors are reliable and have good quality, IMO. If you want a specific feature, such as no bleeding, ask the service before buying.

              It is your decision where not to buy but I would not mind missing prices at the manufacturer‘s page ALA retailers are available, which would underbid the manufacturer‘s „recommended“ prices anyway.

              • hrlngrv

                In reply to RobertJasiek:

                The most reasonable Eizo monitor I've found is the FlexScan EV2455FX-BK, which can be had for a bit over US$500. However, it's 8:5 (16:10); better than 16:9, but still too wide for me. The XMT-EV27N-DPU30-E1 at 1:1 (1920x1920) can be had from Advantec for a mere US$1,361. While I believe I'm not cheap, I'm not going to buy a monitor costing more than US$1,000.

                The 5:4 and 4:3 monitors all appear to have resolutions from yesteryear. I have a few old 5:4 1280x1024 monitors at home which still work, so I have no interest in paying for new monitors with the same resolution.

  27. michaelpatricehuber

    A week ago, I bought the same model (i7-7600, OLED, 16GB, 512GB) as a replacement for my broken Surface Book, but I will very likely return it for the following reasons:


    (1) dimensions - a very thick bezel results in a fairly big notebook (difference to XPS 13 2--in-1 or HP Spectre x360 is much bigger than I would have expected);


    (2) fan noise - fan kicks in fairly regularly and is even louder than on my Surface Book (maybe better with i5 than i7?);


    (3) 16:9 aspect ratio - after using a Surface Book for close to 2 years, it is hard to go back to 16:9 - portrait mode in 16:9 is just odd; and


    (4) glare - you see it very well on Paul's photos....


    I will try out the XPS 13 2-in-1 next. Smaller, lighter and fanless. I am sure I will miss the far superior screen, keyboard and the higher performance of the Lenovo.


    At the end of the day, buying a notebook is always about making compromises. It depends on the particular use case what compromises are acceptable. There is no question that the Lenovo is a fabulous machine - it might just not be the right one for me.


    BTW - if I decide to keep the Lenovo, I will get a different pen. The built-in pen is just too small, particularly the small buttons (eraser) just do not work well for me at all.

    • will

      In reply to michaelpatricehuber:

      I am in the same boat as you and have some of the same observations. However with the fan noise, I think from reading this has more to do with the i7 vs the i5 as it just runs warmer. However with the i7 I have been able to almost eliminate the fan by setting the max CPU to 99% and setting cooling to passive vs active.


      What I like about this device over the Surface is the weight and keyboard. The Surface Book keyboard is good, but in the right lighting the keys just disappear. With the Yoga they do not have this issue and they are super quiet. I have never used a keyboard with keys so quiet.


      I agree with you that once you are used to the Surface ratio for screen it is harder to get used to 16:9. The good news is a I use a dock and the Thunderbolt 3 dock from Lenovo is ROCK SOLID, works so much better than the Surface dock and has more ports, and I have a external monitor keyboard and mouse.


      My take is if they take this version, make some small tweeks to heat displacement, bump the graphics to Iris levels, and offer a larger pen option this will be an amazing device.


      I agree the bezels are a little thick but I think the reason for this is if it was just screen only, and very limited bezels, it would feel like you are using a long/tall tablet. But I am glad they keep working on it!

      • michaelpatricehuber

        In reply to will:

        Thanks for the tip about the cooling settings. Will give that a try.


        I agree the Lenovo keyboard is fantastic - easily the best keyboard I ever used. I quite liked the Surface Book keyboard, but I have had the same issue with "disappearing keys" (white light on silver keys are not an ideal combo...).


        I have been using the Surface Book with the Surface Dock as well (3 screen setup - 2 external FHD monitors plus Surface display, keyboard/mouse and sound) and it has been working quite reliably (I has some issue during the first few months of usage, but those seem to have been resolved with firmware and driver updates). I ordered the Lenovo Thunderbolt 3 Dock and it will arrive tomorrow. I will keep that even if I end up returning the X1 (assuming it will also work with the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1). If Thunderbolt 3 delivers on its promise, I should be able to it for multiple generations of notebooks.


        Note that you can use the more traditional Thinkpad pen with the X1 Yoga, which sells for a very reasonable $25 on Amazon right now.

  28. Chris Mertens

    I'll respectfully disagree with Paul on the Silver. I've actually had a couple of compliments in the couple of weeks I've had it already commenting on the fact that they thought seeing a silver "ThinkPad" was cool.


    I will however agree with everything else Paul had to say about this machine. It's quite possibly the best machine I've used.



  29. Stooks

    Thinkpad's are the only Windows laptops I will own. There are 4 in my house, various models. I am typing this on my E570 and I simply love the keyboard.


    Lenovo does a great job in terms of support and software.

  30. Evan Prytherch

    Paul you can remap the Fn key in the Lenovo config software.

  31. ken_loewen

    Thanks for your cogent review. I showed it to my IT guy and got my i7 Yoga yesterday. Business travel next week will give me evenings to get it setup just as I want it. Excited that it's less than half the "starts at" weight of what it's replacing.

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