Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga review
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga specs
Display: 13.5-inch 2K display ((2,256 x 1,504 pixels)
Processor: Intel Core i5-1130G7
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe (integrated)
Storage: 512GB SSD
Accessories: Lenovo Precision Pen
Ports: 2x Thunderbolt 4, 3.5mm audio jack
Size: 11.71 x 9.16 x 0.45 inches
Weight: 2.5 pounds
Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga is a study in compromise. At a scant 0.45 inches thick it’s the thinnest member of the ThinkPad family, but it’s also pricey, sacrifices ports, and lacks the staying power you’ll find in marginally beefier machines. But maybe that’s okay: the bright, 13.5-inch 2K display and sleek, ultraportable chassis makes it a strong contender for meeting your business-machine needs.
It doesn’t come cheap, though. If you can’t find a good discount, this laptop can cost you over $2,000. And the X1 Titanium Yoga is stacked up against competitors that can offer just as much (and usually more), for less.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga review: Price and configuration options
- Expect to pay between $1,200 – $2,500
- Precision Pen stylus included with all configurations
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga is available right now on Lenovo’s website, as well as at select retailers. The configuration I reviewed is priced at $2,021 (at the time of writing, after instant savings). It’s equipped with an Intel Core i5-1130G7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD.
The base model is (at time of writing) discounted down to just over $1,200, and offers half as much RAM and storage. The most expensive preconfigured variant, at $2,300, bumps the CPU up to a Core-i7 1180G7 and doubles the storage to 1TB.
All models include Lenovo’s Precision Pen, and the same 13.5-inch 2K (2,256 x 1,504 pixel resolution) display.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga review: Design
- Simple, functional design
- Weak hinge can lead to screen bouncing while typing
The X1 Titanium Yoga gets its namesake from the titanium and carbon fiber lid of the casing; the underside case material is a magnesium-aluminum alloy. The material selection lends the chassis strength without packing on too much weight. It’s light, at just 2.5 pounds, but not much more so than competing models like the Dell XPS 13 (2.9 pounds) or the HP Elite Dragonfly (2.5 pounds).
I appreciate the X1 Titanium Yoga’s simplicity. It feels like a ThinkPad, built for business without much in the way of accents or aesthetic flourishes. Which isn’t to say it’s unattractive: the slim silhouette and titanium shell lend it a sleek gravitas. The iconic red Thinkpoint nub and the red LED above the “I” in ThinkPad on the lid are a nod to its heritage, and security considerations like the shutter for the webcam and the integrated fingerprint reader show its business-first focus. Even the Function row at the top of the keyboard says “ready to work,” with its lack of media playback controls, but dedicated buttons for answering and ending VOIP calls.
The thin-and-light chassis is rigid, resisting attempts to bend or flex. The display’s hinge isn’t as stable as I’d like though, as the screen has a tendency to bounce while I’m typing. It’s simple enough to find a sweet spot to tilt the display back to, or work on a desk, but that’s not the sort of thing I want to think about while getting things done.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga review: Ports
- 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports!
- …and not much else
The paucity of ports available here isn’t surprising given the slim size of the X1 Titanium Yoga. There are two Thunderbolt 4 ports on the left, and a 3.5mm jack, power button, and Kensington Nano Security Lock on the right. Bluetooth 5.1 and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) connectivity is also included.
The power button on the right feels like a missed opportunity; I’d love to see it integrated into the fingerprint reader that sits up above the keyboard, akin to machines like Dell’s XPS 13, to leave a bit of room for something more useful.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga review: Display
- Vibrant colors, even at extreme viewing angles
- Bright enough to use indoors and out
The 13.5-inch display showed an average brightness of 425 nits in our testing. It’s readily visible in direct sunlight, and while reflections are an unavoidable fact of physics, they were never so problematic as to make the screen unreadable when I took my testing outdoors.
The display is Dolby Vision certified, which promises livelier imagery by boosting brightness and increasing the color gamut. It doesn’t disappoint: I spent a chunk of my time with the machine doing some light photo editing and watching the occasional nature documentary on Netflix, and colors were admirably vibrant, even at extreme angles.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga review: Keyboard, Touchpad, and Lenovo Precision Pen
- Keyboard feels spacious, comfy, and quiet to type on
- Stylus works well, but slips loose easily due to a weak magnet
The keyboard feels good. The bulk of the keys are spacious, offering generous travel and a soft, quiet typing experience. The narrow touchpad is a bit finicky out of the box; I had to duck into the settings to adjust the sensitivity and palm rejection to my liking.
Lenovo’s signature TrackPoint nub also makes its requisite appearance. I’ve never figured out how to use it effectively, and the doubled set of trackpad buttons takes up room that might have been used for a larger mousepad, or literally anything else. But I’m sure it’s appreciated by ThinkPad aficionados.
Finally, there’s the Lenovo Precision Pen. It offers 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, and while I lack the creative chops to weigh its merits as a drawing implement, it works well for handwritten notes. The Yoga’s 360-degree hinge is especially useful here, as folding the machine into tablet mode feels far more expedient than either my Surface Book or my iPad Pro — with those devices, I never know what to do with the keyboard.
However, the magnet that keeps the Pen affixed to the side of the display isn’t nearly as strong as it needs to be; I constantly found myself fishing through my bag to figure out where it had gotten to, while the styli on my other devices held on just fine.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga review: Audio
- Satisfying bass, even at high volume
- Dolby Atmos-certified content sounds great
The X1 Titanium Yoga’s Dolby Atmos-certified speakers are impressive — especially if you’re playing the right content. Its tiny tweeters are loud enough to fill a room with sound, with satisfying bass that doesn’t get distorted when the audio is cranked up.
Speakers shine when fed Dolby Atmos-certified content, creating a rich, immersive soundscape. I’m a sucker for nature documentaries, and watching the Our Planet series on Netflix is a real treat when the vibrant display is coupled with quality speakers tuned for the experience.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga review: Performance
- Unimpressive CPU performance and file transfer speeds
- Powerful enough for daily work, but not for serious gaming or photo editing
The X1 Titanium Yoga scored an average of 4,747 on the Geekbench 5.3 multicore CPU performance test. That puts it behind the bulk of the competition: the 11th-gen Dell XPS 13 and HP Spectre x360 14, for example, scored 5,254 and 4,937, respectively. The disparity isn’t too surprising, as both of those machines are equipped with Intel Core i7 CPUs, giving them an edge on this multicore general performance test.
The X1 Titanium Yoga’s 512GB SSD eked out a transfer rate of 409 MBps on our file duplication test, which tasks it with replicating 25 GB of multimedia files. Doing so at a rate of 409 MBPs is unimpressive; the aforementioned HP Spectre x360 14, for example, scored 764MBps on the same test.
Anecdotally, the X1 Titanium Yoga held up well during my usage, which largely consisted of writing, browsing the web with Microsoft Edge, streaming music through Spotify, and importing, culling, and syncing photos with Adobe Lightroom CC.
The Core i5 CPU started to struggle whenever I attempted serious photo editing, and graphically intensive games are going to be beyond this PC. As part of our lab testing, we tasked the X1 Titanium Yoga with running the graphics benchmark in Sid Meier’s Civilization 6: Gathering Storm, a moderately intensive 3D game that’s a couple years old. Running at native resolution (2,256 x 1,504) the X1 Titanium Yoga could only manage an average of 14 frames per second; even when we bumped it down to 1080p it still achieved just 16 fps in the Civ 6 benchmark.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga review: Battery life
- Lasts nearly 10 hours on a full charge
- But realistically, expect 5-6 hours of life under heavy use
The X1 Titanium Yoga last for 9 hours and 58 minutes on our automated battery test, shy of the advertised 11.7 hours. I eked out an average of about 5 to 6 hours before I reached for a power cord under heavier workloads, particularly when editing photos with the display at maximum brightness.
It’s easy enough to make it through a full workday with time to spare, but the competition is tough to beat. The $1,259 (as reviewed) 11th-gen Dell XPS 13 lasted for 11 hours and 7 minutes. The $1,669.99 (as reviewed) HP Spectre x360 14 lasted for 12 hours, while the $2,258 (as reviewed) HP Elite Dragonfly lasted for 12 hours and 25 minutes.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga review: Webcam
- 720p webcam leaves much to be desired
- Delivers grainy, desaturated video
The 720p webcam feels out of place for a premium business device that’s ostensibly targeting video conference-obsessed offices. Video is grainy, with dull, desaturated colors that left me looking lifeless.
There are plenty of external webcam options available, but losing one of the precious few ports to a webcam, or opting for an external dock, erodes the machine’s inherent portability.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga review: Heat
- Laptop gets warm with use, but never uncomfortable
This 2-in-1 has no trouble dissipating heat; while watching videos, or streaming music through Spotify and editing photos, I could feel a bit of warmth seeping out of the base if I went looking for it; it was never very noticeable otherwise, and never uncomfortable.
In our testing (which involves streaming 15 minutes of HD video) the machine peaked at 93.6 degrees Fahrenheit on the keyboard tray, just above the Function row.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga review: Software
- No need to worry about bloatware
- Webcam security features work well — until you try to use it in bright light
The X1 Titanium Yoga is blissfully free of bloatware. A dedicated app for configuring the Precision Pen lets you choose the functionality of the top and side buttons, and set the desired pressure and tilt sensitivity levels. Lenovo’s Commercial Vantage app monitors pending updates, and the manages the included security measures.
Some of these Intelligent Security options include using the webcam to detect a user’s presence, automatically locking or unlocking the machine depending on your proximity to the device.
In my experience, it worked well enough until I went outside: in direct sunlight the webcam seemed to have trouble understanding whether I’d left machine or simply turned my head away to praise the dog or admonish the cat. I ended up turning these features off, but your mileage may vary.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga review: Verdict
- A remarkably thin and light laptop with good speakers and a great screen
- Still, it’s pricey and underperforms compared to the competition
The thinnest ThinkPad to date is an attractive, lightweight convertible, and packs enough oomph to get work done. But shaving off inches came at the cost of battery life, and premium materials inflates the price tag into the realm of competitors that offer more value for your dollar.
At this price, I’d consider Dell’s XPS 13, which offers better performance and battery life for the price. If you’ve got your heart set on a 2-in-1 design, the HP Spectre x360 14 is another solid option that’s only marginally thicker.
If you’re on the hunt for a capable machine to meet your business needs and a svelte package outweighs cost, the ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga is a compelling option — I’d opt for a Core i7 CPU, and take a close look at adding the optional 4G or 5G modem. If you’re on a stricter budget, competing models offer a great value without making so many sacrifices.
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