Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (7th Generation) First Impressions

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.

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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.

More soon.

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Conversation 14 comments

  • hastin

    Premium Member
    01 June, 2022 - 7:17 pm

    <p>I’m still rocking an X1 Yoga Gen 3 at work, and it’s one of my favorite work laptops I’ve ever used. We get an option to upgrade this year, and I’m thinking the Gen 7 would be perfect. Really curious about battery life with the 12th Gen processor having both performance and efficient cores.</p>

  • hrlngrv

    Premium Member
    01 June, 2022 - 7:55 pm

    <p>Pipe dream, but given some people prefer [Ctrl] on the corner and [Fn] inside and others who prefer the reverse, when will any PC maker put Ctrl and Fn on both keys, with LEDs underneath each, and include a hardware setting to choose which is which, and light the LEDs accordingly?</p>

    • wright_is

      Premium Member
      02 June, 2022 - 5:01 am

      <p>I just switch mine over in the BIOS. If it is yours and you use it regularly, you know which key does which function. To be honest, it doesn’t bother me, what the keys say, I never look at them anyway, I just know that Ctrl is the furthest left and I’ve used the 2nd key maybe half a dozen times in the last 4 years.</p><p><br></p><p>I’d find an LED annoying., same s the backlight, I think I’ve turned it on once since I have had the ThinkPad – although it is better than the backlight on the HP Spectre I have, which has silver keys, with glow-through cutouts for the letters, so when it lights up during the day, all the letters/symbols on the keycaps are invisible.</p>

      • fourbadcats

        Premium Member
        10 June, 2022 - 9:15 am

        <p>Same for me… I switch Fn and Ctrl in BIOS and move on with my lift. Such a dumb default though IMO.</p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      02 June, 2022 - 7:43 am

      <p>Some people? </p><p><br></p><p>Almost every PC on earth uses the same locations for these keys, including all of Lenovo’s non-ThinkPad products. The correct layout puts Ctrl in the corner, period. </p>

      • Markld

        Premium Member
        02 June, 2022 - 3:14 pm

        <p>I sure like my Lenovo Flex 14" screen has the Ctrl key in the corner, if it wasn’t that way, it would drive me crazy! </p><p>Why a different set up in two different models from same manufacturer? </p>

        • ibmthink

          02 June, 2022 - 4:46 pm

          <p>It comes from Lenovo’s history: Lenovo is a fusion of the Chinese company Legend and American IBM PC division. Historically, the FN key has always been to the left of the Ctrl key on the IBM ThinkPad line, and Lenovo has not changed this aspect. On the other hand, the Lenovo laptop lines with Chinese origin (so all lines besides ThinkPad) all have the Ctrl key to the left of FN.</p>

    • rob_segal

      Premium Member
      02 June, 2022 - 7:24 pm

      <p>Lenovo has been careful about changing the ThinkPad after the icey reception the X1 Carbon 2nd generation changes got. ThinkPad users can be sensitive about certain design changes. Permenantly switching the CTRL and Fn key around to match the standard Windows keyboard layout seems to be one of those changes Lenovo is hesitant about. It might anger a lot of devoted ThinkPad users, I guess. On a Mac, the fn key is to the left of control. I highly doubt that’s a factor in Lenovo’s decision, but there’s that detail. One justification I did read is that ctrl is easier to reach when it’s to the right of the fn key instead of the left. I didn’t have that issue when I used Windows laptops. Apart from Macs, this is the only laptop I can think of that has this kind of layout with these two keys.</p>

      • VMax

        Premium Member
        02 June, 2022 - 9:24 pm

        <p>IIRC the justification is that the Fn key is for system functions like sleep, screen brightness, ThinkLight/keyboard backlight, volume etc. Those need to be findable in the dark. Putting it there originally made perfect sense, and if it’s your own laptop, you get used to it very quickly.</p>

  • hoyty76

    01 June, 2022 - 10:20 pm

    <p>Anxiously awaiting my order of almost 20 of these. Lenovo seems to be slowly ramping production of them. Seems like processor is big upgrade this time.</p>

  • wright_is

    Premium Member
    02 June, 2022 - 5:07 am

    <p>Paul, the image of the closed laptop has a white horizontal line on the left middle of the lid and the tent-view image has 2 horizontal white lines, left bottom and in the middle. The open laptop with lock screen and close-up of the keyboard from the left side both have a white marks on the left edge.</p><p><br></p><p>Not sure if there was a problem with the photo editing or whether it is corrupt images. I just looked again on my phone to make sure, it has the same problem – that is iOS Safari and Windows Firefox, so I don’t think it is a browser problem.</p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      02 June, 2022 - 7:40 am

      <p>Yeah, there’s a problem with Affinity Photo that’s causing this. Not sure what’s up, it happens sporadically and on every PC I use. </p>

  • PauloBelle

    03 June, 2022 - 8:18 pm


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