The 7th-generation Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga may look the same as its predecessor, but it has some impressive internal upgrades too.
Granted, the basics haven’t changed. The X1 Yoga is still Lenovo’s business-class flagship, and it retains the versatile convertible form factor—and integrated smart stylus—that lets it operate as a laptop or a tablet.
It arrives in a CNC aluminum chassis that exudes class, and while I’m an unflinching fan of classic ThinkPad black, the Storm Gray body, with matching keyboard and touchpad, is mighty fine too. It’s also as durable as ever, Lenovo reports, and it passes the same suite of Mil-Spec durability tests that all ThinkPads pass.
Last year, Lenovo upgraded the X1 Yoga with a choice of 14-inch displays, each in a perfect 16:10 aspect ratio, but the most expensive option was a 4K/UHD IPS panel with Dolby Vision and HDR display enhancements and 500 nits of brightness. But for 2022, the firm has found a way to surpass that with a new OLED panel, also with Dolby Vision and HDR, and 500 nits of brightness. That said, the review unit is a Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) IPS panel, as it was last year. It’s the choice I’d make if I was spending my own money, and though it lacks Dolby Vision capabilities, it offers deep, rich colors and the blackest blacks, and appears to work well for both productivity work and entertainment.
(The review unit does offer Dolby Atmos for spatial/immersive sound via its stereo speakers and Dolby Voice for online meetings via its four 360-degree microphones. I’ll test both.)
The other big change, of course, is the inclusion of 12th Gen Intel Core P-series processors, which offer up to 28-watts of TDP (thermal design power), which is almost double the maximum power consumption of its U-series predecessors. But thanks to the new hybrid design—with both performance and efficiency cores—these chipsets offer better performance and efficiency.
The review unit came with an Intel Core i7-1260P processor, 16 GB of RAM, and 512 GB of Gen 4 PCIe NVMe SSD storage. It can be configured with up to 32 GB of RAM and 2 TB of storage.
The expansion port selection hasn’t changed. You’ll find two Thunderbolt 4/USB-C ports, a full-sized USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port (with always-on capabilities), and a full-sized HDMI 2.0b port on the left. And on the right, Lenovo provides a Kensington lock slot, a second USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port with always-on capabilities, a nano-SIM card slot (if configured), a combo audio jack, and the garage for the stylus.
Last year’s Yoga received a wider touchpad, and that appears to continue forward without any changes. It’s sized just right, from my perspective, but small compared to many modern touchpads.
The backlit keyboard is similar to last year’s, with the same scalloped, low-throw keys for the most part, and the same unfortunate misplacement of the Fn and Ctrl keys.
But there is one interesting change: most of the non-alphanumeric keys—like Caps Lock, Shift, Fn, Ctrl, Alt, PrtSc, and Enter—are now rectangular, and not scalloped in shape. I wonder if there is a bigger change coming to X1 keyboards in the future.
As before, the X1 Yoga can be configured with a Match-on-chip fingerprint reader that’s integrated into the power button and, optionally, with a Windows Hello-compatible IR camera. The review unit lacks the latter, but if you do pay for this option, the 7th-generation Yoga adds human presence detection, which is more secure and more convenient.
From a portability perspective, the X1 Yoga remains relatively thin and light at .61-inches and 3 pounds, respectively. I won’t be able to fly with the PC during my evaluation time, but I’m taking it on a long weekend trip to Boston tomorrow, so I’ll get at least a bit of real-world travel experience. Lenovo says a 60-minute charge will provide up to 80 percent battery life. Charging occurs via a standard Lenovo 65-watt USB-C charger.