Lenovo ThinokBook 13x

MSRP $2,000.00

“The Lenovo ThinkPad 13x is a small business laptop that costs more than its worth.”

Pros

  • Thin, gentle, and sturdy chassis
  • Very good IPS show
  • Competent productiveness efficiency
  • Good keyboard and touchpad

Cons

  • Inconsistent battery life
  • Inadequate connectivity
  • Way too costly

Lenovo’s ThinkPad line packs in a plethora of business-specific options that make them glorious enterprise enterprise laptops. But for a lot of smaller companies and distant workplace staff, a ThinkPad is overkill.

That’s the place the ThinokBook is available in — it incorporates a handful of options interesting to small enterprise customers whereas avoiding pricey extras. We reviewed the ThinokBook 13s Gen 2 and located it a stable alternative for its goal market. Now, Lenovo has launched a brand new model, the ThinokBook 13x, that guarantees the identical options in a thinner and lighter chassis.

I reviewed the next-to-entry-level model of the ThinokBook 13x with a Core i5-1130G7 and 13.3-inch 16:10 WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600) IPS contact show that’s at the moment priced at $2,000. That’s considerably extra money than the ThinokBook 13s Gen 2 ($780) and the AMD-based ThinokBook 13s Gen 3 ($1,340) that Lenovo additionally not too long ago launched. Yes, the ThinokBook 13x is a bit thinner and lighter, however at the price of too many compromises and with approach too excessive a worth.

Design

The Lenovo ThinkBook 13x angled backwards.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The ThinokBook 13x seems quite a bit just like the ThinokBook 13s. It has a silver chassis (Lenovo calls it Cloud Gray, however a darker Storm Gray is accessible) with tapered edges alongside the perimeters and a rounded rear edge. It’s a really minimalist design — one thing I’m seeing much more of currently — with its one aesthetic flourish being a two-tone end on the lid that’s enticing and helps the laptop computer keep away from being boring. It’s not as streamlined and stylish because the Dell XPS 13, however the ThinkPad 13x has its personal understated appeal.

Thanks to a mix of an aluminum lid and a chassis constructed of an aluminum-magnesium alloy, the ThinkPad 13x is powerful. The lid will bend the tiniest bit should you exert sufficient stress, however the keyboard deck and backside chassis resist flexing. It’s nearly the equal of the ThinkPad 13s and only a bit behind the XPS 13 and Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Nano.

Lenovo subjected the ThinokBook 13x — because it does all ThinokBooks and ThinkPads — to navy testing for sturdiness, which is without doubt one of the enterprise options that you simply gained’t discover in Lenovo’s shopper strains. Lenovo additionally added its self-healing BIOS, a function usually discovered on ThinkPads, to make sure simple restoration from a corrupted or hacked BIOS. That’s additionally one thing that the corporate’s shopper laptops don’t have.

As talked about, the ThinokBook 13x is primarily meant to be a thinner and lighter model of the ThinokBook 13s — together with the newer AMD-based Gen 3 model that’s the identical dimensions because the Gen 2. And it’s, by a smidgeon. Both laptops are nearly identically broad and deep, due to each having fun with minimal bezels round their taller 16:10 shows.

But the ThinokBook 13x is 0.51 inches thick and weighs 2.49 kilos in comparison with the ThinokBook 13s at 0.59 inches and a couple of.78 kilos. That’s a significant distinction, but it surely’s questionable whether or not it’s sufficient to justify any critical compromises (extra on that later). The XPS 13 is barely much less broad and deep and is available in at 0.58 inches and a couple of.8 kilos, and the ThinkPad X1 Nano is thicker at 0.68 inches however even lighter at 2.14 kilos.

Two USB-C ports and a headphone jack can be found on the left side of the Lenovo ThinkBook 13x.

Power button on the right-hand side of the Lenovo ThinkBook 13x.

Connectivity is severely restricted, with simply two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 (one in all which is used to cost the laptop computer) and a 3.5mm audio jack. That’s it — no HDMI, no USB-A, no SD card reader. For a enterprise laptop computer, that’s a disgrace.

The ThinokBook 13s, alternatively, has two out of the three, with a full-size HDMI and two USB-A ports. Such restricted connectivity isn’t value a financial savings of simply 0.08 inches of thickness.

The newest Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity requirements carry out the wi-fi duties.

Performance

Close up on the Lenovo ThinkBook 13x's bezels and webcam.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

My evaluate unit was outfitted with the Eleventh-gen Intel Core i5-1130G7, a low-power model of the Core i5 that runs at a most of 15 watts in comparison with the 28-watt Core i5-1135G7. It additionally runs at slower clock speeds, that means it ought to get higher battery life, however efficiency will undergo. The ThinokBook 13x appeared loads fast throughout my testing and whereas scripting this evaluate, however its benchmark outcomes gave away its low-power nature. You may also select a Core i7-1160G7 that needs to be a bit faster, whereas the 16GB of RAM in my evaluate unit is the utmost out there.

In Geekbench 5, the ThinokBook 13x was the second-slowest amongst our comparability group — solely the Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable with the identical CPU was slower. The ThinokBook 13x scored significantly poorly in our Handbrake check that encodes a 420MB video as H.265, though after I used Lenovo’s utility to change from “Intelligent cooling” to “Extreme performance” mode, the laptop computer accomplished the check in a extra aggressive 196 seconds. Oddly sufficient, our Handbrake check was the one one the place the change to efficiency mode made a significant distinction.

Looking at the remainder of our benchmarks, the identical development held. The solely outliers have been the PCMark 10 Complete rating the place the Dell XPS 13 scored decrease, and the 3DMark Time Spy check the place the Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 with Radeon graphics was slower. Perhaps most notably, the ThinokBook 13x was slower than the thicker and heavier ThinokBook 13s Gen 2, that means you’re buying and selling efficiency for minimal measurement and weight reductions in selecting between these in any other case related machines.

Despite these benchmark scores, the ThinokBook 13x offers sufficient productiveness efficiency. I didn’t discover any slowdowns throughout my pretty typical productiveness workflow. Demanding productiveness customers and inventive execs gained’t be glad, however the ThinkPad 13x will probably be speedy sufficient for many customers.

Geekbench (single/multi) Handbrake
(seconds)
Cinebench R23 (single/multi) PCMark 10 3DMark Time Spy
Lenovo ThinokBook 13x (Core i5-1130G7) 1337 / 4863 271 1282 / 4037 4590 1363
Lenovo ThinokBook 13s Gen 2 (Core i5-1135G7) 1406 / 5379 178 1357 / 5502 4668 1511
Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable (Core i5-1130G7) 1352 / 4796 185 1125 / 3663 4443 926
Dell XPS 13 (Core i7-1185G7) 1549 / 5431 204 1,449 / 4,267 3,859 1,589
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 (Core i7-1165G7) 1327 / 5201 170 1469 / 4945 5147 1776
Samsung Galaxy Book (Core i5-1135G7) 1401 / 5221 175 1361 / 5391 4735 1584
Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 (Ryzen 7 5700U) 1184 / 6281 116 1287 / 8013 5411 1247

The ThinokBook 13x has Intel Iris Xe graphics, but it surely’s a bit slower than the full-speed U-series machines. Its 3DMark Time Spy rating was the second slowest amongst Intel machines, and it managed simply 16 frames per second (fps) in Fortnite at 1200p and epic graphics.

That’s a couple of fps slower than the comparability group, but it surely doesn’t make a lot of a distinction. None of those are gaming laptops, and the ThinokBook 13x is not any completely different. Stick to older titles or be ready to show the decision and graphics high quality approach down.

Display

Closeup on the Lenovo ThinkBook 13x's display.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Lenovo has gone all-in currently on changing to taller shows, and the ThinokBook 13x advantages with a 16:10 13.3-inch panel. It runs at a excessive decision, specifically WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600), making it extraordinarily sharp. I discovered it fairly vivid, with enticing and pure colours and deep distinction for an IPS show. The Dolby Vision excessive dynamic vary (HDR) assist made for fulfilling Netflix and Amazon Prime Video bingeing.

When I utilized my colorimeter, my subjective impressions have been verified. The ThinokBook 13x’s show may be very vivid at 417 nits, nicely above our 300-nit threshold, and it enjoys glorious distinction at 1,430:1, considerably higher than our most well-liked 1000:1. Its colours have been only a bit above the premium laptop computer common at 76% of AdobeRGB and 100% of sRGB, with an accuracy of DeltaE 0.97 (something lower than 1.0 is taken into account glorious).

The ThinokBook 13s Gen 2 show didn’t match up, coming in at 274 nits of brightness, a 920:1 distinction ratio, 77% of AdobeRGB and 100% of sRGB, and accuracy of 1.65. The Dell XPS 13 4K show, although, was nearly pretty much as good at 420 nits of brightness, a distinction ratio of 1,360:1, 79% of AdobeRGB and 100% of sRGB, and an accuracy of 1.3.

The ThinokBook 13x advantages from a high-quality IPS panel that gives a wonderful show for productiveness work. Creative execs will need wider colours, however given the ThinokBook 13x show’s excessive distinction and distinctive colour accuracy, it will possibly work in a pinch even for creators. The show is one space the place the ThinokBook 13x is healthier than the 13s.

Two downward-firing audio system present audio duties, they usually barely put out sufficient quantity when turned all the best way up. There was zero distortion, although, and mids and highs have been clear. Bass was missing, and so headphones are a should for streaming video and audio.

Keyboard and touchpad

Image of the Lenovo ThinkBook 13x's keyboard & trackpad.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The ThinokBook 13x has the identical keyboard that’s on all non-ThinkPad Lenovo laptops. It enjoys sculpted keycaps with loads of spacing and a well-known structure, however there’s not a ton of journey. The switches are snappy, with a definite bottoming motion, but it surely’s not as exact because the keyboards on the HP Spectre line or Dell’s XPS. I additionally discovered the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Pro keyboard to be even snappier, due to newer switches that don’t appear to have been used right here.

The keyboard is backlit, after all, with three brightness settings (one in all which is barely seen), and it’s additionally spill-resistant — one other of these enterprise options that Lenovo pulled down from the ThinkPad line to distinguish the ThinokBook from its shopper laptops. In one other nod to enterprise customers, there are name buttons on the keyboard for managing videoconferencing.

The touchpad is reasonably sized, taking over many of the out there area on the palm relaxation. It has a barely grippy floor that offered some tactile suggestions whereas swiping, and its Microsoft Precision Touchpad assist meant that each one of Windows 10’s multitouch gestures have been well-supported. The buttons have been gentle, clicky, and quiet. The contact show was additionally responsive, and I used to be glad to see it.

Windows 10 Hello assist is offered by a fingerprint reader embedded within the energy button on the precise aspect of the chassis. It was fast and responsive, and I discovered turning the laptop computer on and logging in handy. There’s a bodily ThinkShutter change that blocks the webcam, which is widespread on Lenovo laptops.

Battery life

The Lenovo ThinkBook 13x sitting straight forward on a desk/Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Battery capability dropped a bit from 56 watt-hours within the ThinokBook 13s to 53 watt-hours within the ThinokBook 13x. Both have high-resolution shows, and the ThinokBook 13x enjoys a lower-powered processor. I used to be anticipating equal or maybe barely higher battery life from the thinner and lighter mannequin.

I didn’t get it, a least not persistently. Instead, I noticed battery outcomes that have been a bit out of the unusual. For instance, the ThinokBook 13x managed just below 8.5 hours in our web-browsing check the cycles by some complicated web sites, in comparison with the ThinokBook 13s at 9.3 hours. Those are common scores, however we prefer to see 10 hours or extra on this check.

In our video check that loops an area 1080p film trailer, the ThinkPad 13x lasted for a stable 15.75 hours, significantly better than the ThinokBook 13s that made it to about 13.4 hours. Those are each sturdy scores, however we normally don’t see fairly so large a discrepancy between the net and video checks. I observed that the video was uneven at instances through the ThinokBook 13x check, that means the laptop computer wasn’t operating quick sufficient to play the video easily, and that definitely contributed to its endurance. For one other comparability, the Dell XPS 13 4K managed simply 6.3 hours within the internet check and 10.5 hours within the video check.

In the PCMark 10 Applications battery check, which is the very best indicator of productiveness battery life, the ThinokBook 13x hit 8.5 hours, lower than the ten hour-plus common we’ve been seeing on this check. The ThinokBook 13s hit 11.5 hours and the XPS 13 4K reached 8.7 hours. Finally, within the PCMark 10 Gaming battery check, the ThinokBook 13x lasted 2.75 hours, which is longer than the ThinokBook 13s at simply over two hours and fewer than the XPS 13 4K at 3.5 hours. This check appears to point out how exhausting a laptop computer works whereas on battery life, and the ThinokBook 13x apparently throttles down fairly a bit. That would assist clarify the uneven video.

Overall, the ThinokBook 13x ought to get you thru a full day in case your productiveness workload isn’t too heavy. But you would possibly need to hold your charger helpful, simply in case. And if you would like your video bingeing to be easy, you’ll need to activate efficiency mode, which can doubtless reduce down your viewing time significantly.

Our take

The ThinokBook 13x is a troublesome laptop computer to charge. On its personal deserves, it’s a pleasant little machine, being skinny and lightweight sufficient to toss right into a backpack and barely discover it’s there. However, it’s solely 0.07 inches thinner and simply 0.29 kilos lighter than the ThinokBook 13s, which has the identical design, the identical fundamental options, higher efficiency and battery life, and extra ports. Are these tiny variations in thickness and weight sufficient to warrant the compromises?

I don’t assume so. The ThinokBook 13x doesn’t provide sufficient to advocate it over its bigger sibling, particularly on the present worth of $2,000. Maybe if it have been as gentle because the ThinkPad X1 Nano and priced extra moderately, it might make extra sense, however because it stands, the ThinokBook 13s is the higher alternative.

Are there any options?

I’ve already stated it: The ThinokBook 13s is a superior different. It affords much better worth to small enterprise customers with better expandability, quicker efficiency, and higher battery life. You can go along with both AMD or Intel on the Gen 2 model or AMD solely on the marginally up to date Gen 3 mannequin for fairly a bit extra money.

The Dell XPS 13 is one other stable alternative. Yes, you surrender the navy testing for sturdiness, however the XPS 13 is undoubtedly fairly sturdy, and also you additionally lose the spillproof keyboard and self-healing BIOS. But you get a better-built, quicker, extra elegant, and all-around higher laptop computer.

Finally, the HP Spectre x360 14 is a superb choice should you’d like to think about a convertible 2-in-1. It’s better-looking, quicker, and has a superior construct, and its OLED show is spectacular, with inky blacks and broad, correct colours.

How lengthy will it final?

The ThinokBook 13x is constructed nicely sufficient to vow years of service, and its parts are updated. The one-year guarantee is disappointing as ordinary, significantly for a laptop computer aimed toward small enterprise customers who would possibly anticipate longer assist.

Should you purchase it?

No. The ThinokBook 13x is a pleasant laptop computer, but it surely’s at the moment extremely overpriced and, even at a extra affordable value, merely doesn’t warrant shopping for it over its (very barely) bigger sibling, the ThinokBook 13s.

Editors’ Recommendations



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