Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (2018) First Impressions

Posted on June 25, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Windows 10 with 8 Comments

I’m heading to New York today for meetings, and I’ll be bringing along a new rendition of a perennial favorite, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga.

Yes, I’m behind on hardware reviews right now, and in particular on Lenovo PC reviews: My Flex 6 (14″) and ThinkPad L480 reviews are still on the way. But when the new ThinkPad X1 Yoga became available for review, I couldn’t say no. This PC has placed at or near the top of my personal list of PC favorites since its inception.

It began in 2016, with the first ThinkPad X1 Yoga, a PC that combined the premium quality of the X1 Carbon with the versatility of Lenovo’s Yoga PCs. In early 2017, Lenovo released the second-generation ThinkPad X1 Yoga, further raising the bar. And then the firm shipped a version with a killer eyeball-popping OLED display that needs to be seen to be believed.

For 2018, Lenovo is only subtly refining the design of this gorgeous convertible PC. It features roughly the same basic port layout as before. The same 360-degree hinges with receding keyboard. The same versatile pointing options, and fingerprint reader. The same smartpen, with its integrated holder. It comes in the same premium (for Lenovo) packaging.

Same (bah) 16:9 display too. And the review unit is 1080p, and not the high-end OLED unit.

But there are subtle differences, some of which we saw first on the 2018 ThinkPad X1 Carbon.

For example, the hinges now match the device’s body color. So on the black review unit, those hinges are black. It’s a small change, I guess, but I really prefer the new look.

The webcam features the same ThinkShutter mechanical shutter for privacy, a nice touch.

There are fewer expansion ports, from what I can tell so far. On last year’s model, there were two full-sized USB 3.0 ports on the left, but I see only one this time.

Somewhat related, the X1 Yoga doesn’t feature Lenovo’s unique docking port, which consists of two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports, one of which is height adjustable. Instead, the Yoga retains the old design, which two standard and separate USB-C/Thunderbolt ports as before.

I’ve only just configured the PC and am set for a few days of travel, so I’ll report back when I learn more. But in my early testing over the weekend, I was immediately flooded with an appreciation for this PC and how good it’s been over the past few years. I have a good feeling about this one, for sure.

More soon.


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Comments (8)

8 responses to “Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (2018) First Impressions”

  1. ibmthink

    One small correction: The OLED screen unfortunately isn't available anymore with this years X1 Yoga. Instead Lenovo offers the same LTPS-IPS HRD screen as on the X1 Carbon 2018.

  2. cheetahdriver

    I have both the 2016 and 2017 versions of this deployed, my personal one has the OLED screen (which is amazing). This was what we used to replace the SurfacePro3s we had in the field, and I have been holding off on the 2018 model, waiting for the processors promised by Intel that have the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities fixed internally (more cores sound nice too). I had left Thinkpad after years when they came out with the soggy keyboards (T530 era), but these units are a pleasure to type on (this from a keyboard snob who uses CherryMX blue mechanical keyboards whenever possible), and have no defects I have found. My personal 2017 version had the charger die, which brings out the other great thing about USB-C units. I was traveling when it failed, and I simply went across the street to the Apple store and picked up a 88 watt USB-C charger and cable from Apple. It's slightly bigger than the charger supplied with the unit, and with the Thunderbolt cable I can charge my iStuff quickly as well. It's worked so well that I have never sent the Lenovo charger back for warranty. After straying off the path for a bit, I have found Lenovo to be back with a vengeance.

    It's welcome, with the Surface stumbles.

    (edit) I should also say that these things are tough as nails. I stood on one (for minutes) without realizing it (black computer on black floor) and I tip the scales at 250. Beyond the dusty footprint on the lid, there was no damage and it opened back up and came out of sleep like it had been sitting in the bag.

  3. KingNerdTheThird


    When do you imagine Lenovo will move to 3:2, which they have expressed a desire to do?

  4. Richardsona39

    Ive had mine for about a month and so far mostly liking it (having come from a problematic gen 1 Surface Book). Typing and trackpad are great, light weight for size. Haven't used a Touchpoint before so getting used to that.

    Mine has the HDR display, which has rich colors but definitely needed calibrating, was way too warm. The lack of 3:2 display is somewhat made up by it being 1440.

    The micro SD slot position is a joke, but at least you can keep the card in there and covered. My machine ran hot and with frequent fans while charging for the first couple weeks, but that seems to have calmed down.

    Its not as elegantly designed as HP, Dell or MS machines, but I have come to like the soft touch paint (though it's a fingerprint magnet). Overall thumbs up so far.

  5. judgejewelz

    On a side note, I bought two Lenovo X200s laptops off of eBay a couple of years ago for around £50 GBP each (both excellent condition) and they run Windows 10 Pro flawlessly. I've upgraded the RAM from 2Gb to 4Gb, and one now has an SSD. Were anything to go wrong I can replace the keyboard, RAM, hard drive, battery, and screen; all readily accessible and designed for replacement.

    I think these devices will go on and on! Truly wonderful tools.

  6. ne0kn1ght

    Hey Paul,

    I would love to get your thoughts on the new ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 3. I have preferred the Surface Pro because of the form factor but now that Lenovo is finally duplicating it with the Gen 3 X1 tablet I think I am game to trade my Surface in for the ThinkPad keyboard and Thunderbolt connectivity provided by the new X1 tablet Gen 3. Be curious what others might think.