Lenovo ThinkBook 13x

MSRP $2,000.00

“The Lenovo ThinkPad 13x is a small enterprise laptop computer that prices greater than its price.”

Professionals

  • Skinny, mild, and sturdy chassis
  • Superb IPS show
  • Competent productiveness efficiency
  • Good keyboard and touchpad

Cons

  • Inconsistent battery life
  • Insufficient connectivity
  • Manner too costly

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

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

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

Design

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

The ThinkBook 13x seems to be rather a lot just like the ThinkBook 13s. It has a silver chassis (Lenovo calls it Cloud Grey, however a darker Storm Grey is on the market) 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 recently — 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 chic because the Dell XPS 13, however the ThinkPad 13x has its personal understated appeal.

Due to a mixture 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 when you exert sufficient strain, however the keyboard deck and backside chassis resist flexing. It’s virtually the equal of the ThinkPad 13s and only a bit behind the XPS 13 and Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Nano.

Lenovo subjected the ThinkBook 13x — because it does all ThinkBooks and ThinkPads — to navy testing for sturdiness, which is among the enterprise options that you just gained’t discover in Lenovo’s shopper strains. Lenovo additionally added its self-healing BIOS, a characteristic 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 ThinkBook 13x is primarily supposed to be a thinner and lighter model of the ThinkBook 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. Each laptops are virtually identically huge and deep, due to each having fun with minimal bezels round their taller 16:10 shows.

However the ThinkBook 13x is 0.51 inches thick and weighs 2.49 kilos in comparison with the ThinkBook 13s at 0.59 inches and a pair of.78 kilos. That’s a significant distinction, nevertheless it’s questionable whether or not it’s sufficient to justify any severe compromises (extra on that later). The XPS 13 is barely much less huge and deep and is available in at 0.58 inches and a pair 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 ThinkBook 13s, however, has two out of the three, with a full-size HDMI and two USB-A ports. Such restricted connectivity isn’t price 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.

Efficiency

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

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 ThinkBook 13x appeared lots 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 must be a bit faster, whereas the 16GB of RAM in my evaluate unit is the utmost obtainable.

In Geekbench 5, the ThinkBook 13x was the second-slowest amongst our comparability group — solely the Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Removable with the identical CPU was slower. The ThinkBook 13x scored notably poorly in our Handbrake take a look at that encodes a 420MB video as H.265, though after I used Lenovo’s utility to modify from “Clever cooling” to “Excessive efficiency” mode, the laptop computer accomplished the take a look at in a extra aggressive 196 seconds. Oddly sufficient, our Handbrake take a look at was the one one the place the swap to efficiency mode made a significant distinction.

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

Regardless of these benchmark scores, the ThinkBook 13x offers satisfactory productiveness efficiency. I didn’t discover any slowdowns throughout my pretty typical productiveness workflow. Demanding productiveness customers and inventive professionals gained’t be completely satisfied, however the ThinkPad 13x might be speedy sufficient for many customers.

Geekbench (single/multi) Handbrake
(seconds)
Cinebench R23 (single/multi) PCMark 10 3DMark Time Spy
Lenovo ThinkBook 13x (Core i5-1130G7) 1337 / 4863 271 1282 / 4037 4590 1363
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 (Core i5-1135G7) 1406 / 5379 178 1357 / 5502 4668 1511
Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Removable (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 Ebook (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 ThinkBook 13x has Intel Iris Xe graphics, nevertheless it’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 just a few fps slower than the comparability group, nevertheless it doesn’t make a lot of a distinction. None of those are gaming laptops, and the ThinkBook 13x is not any completely different. Stick with older titles or be ready to show the decision and graphics high quality means down.

Show

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

Lenovo has gone all-in recently on changing to taller shows, and the ThinkBook 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 Imaginative and prescient excessive dynamic vary (HDR) assist made for satisfying Netflix and Amazon Prime Video bingeing.

After I utilized my colorimeter, my subjective impressions have been verified. The ThinkBook 13x’s show may be very vivid at 417 nits, properly above our 300-nit threshold, and it enjoys wonderful distinction at 1,430:1, considerably higher than our most popular 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 wonderful).

The ThinkBook 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 virtually nearly 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 ThinkBook 13x advantages from a high-quality IPS panel that gives a superb show for productiveness work. Inventive professionals will need wider colours, however given the ThinkBook 13x show’s excessive distinction and distinctive shade accuracy, it may well work in a pinch even for creators. The show is one space the place the ThinkBook 13x is best than the 13s.

Two downward-firing audio system present audio duties, and so they barely put out satisfactory quantity when turned all the way in which 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 Traits

The ThinkBook 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 format, however there’s not a ton of journey. The switches are snappy, with a definite bottoming motion, nevertheless it’s not as exact because the keyboards on the HP Spectre line or Dell’s XPS. I additionally discovered the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Professional keyboard to be even snappier, due to newer switches that don’t appear to have been used right here.

The keyboard is backlit, in fact, 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 ThinkBook 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 a lot of the obtainable area on the palm relaxation. It has a barely grippy floor that supplied some tactile suggestions whereas swiping, and its Microsoft Precision Touchpad assist meant that each one of Home windows 10’s multitouch gestures have been well-supported. The buttons have been mild, clicky, and quiet. The contact show was additionally responsive, and I used to be glad to see it.

Home windows 10 Good day assist is supplied by a fingerprint reader embedded within the energy button on the proper facet 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 swap that blocks the webcam, which is frequent on Lenovo laptops.

Battery life

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

Battery capability dropped a bit from 56 watt-hours within the ThinkBook 13s to 53 watt-hours within the ThinkBook 13x. Each have high-resolution shows, and the ThinkBook 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 constantly. As a substitute, I noticed battery outcomes that have been a bit out of the strange. For instance, the ThinkBook 13x managed just below 8.5 hours in our web-browsing take a look at the cycles by way of some complicated web sites, in comparison with the ThinkBook 13s at 9.3 hours. These are common scores, however we prefer to see 10 hours or extra on this take a look at.

In our video take a look at that loops a neighborhood 1080p film trailer, the ThinkPad 13x lasted for a strong 15.75 hours, a lot better than the ThinkBook 13s that made it to about 13.4 hours. These are each sturdy scores, however we often don’t see fairly so big a discrepancy between the online and video assessments. I observed that the video was uneven at instances throughout the ThinkBook 13x take a look at, that means the laptop computer wasn’t operating quick sufficient to play the video easily, and that definitely contributed to its endurance. For an additional comparability, the Dell XPS 13 4K managed simply 6.3 hours within the net take a look at and 10.5 hours within the video take a look at.

Within the PCMark 10 Functions battery take a look at, which is the perfect indicator of productiveness battery life, the ThinkBook 13x hit 8.5 hours, lower than the ten hour-plus common we’ve been seeing on this take a look at. The ThinkBook 13s hit 11.5 hours and the XPS 13 4K reached 8.7 hours. Lastly, within the PCMark 10 Gaming battery take a look at, the ThinkBook 13x lasted 2.75 hours, which is longer than the ThinkBook 13s at simply over two hours and fewer than the XPS 13 4K at 3.5 hours. This take a look at appears to indicate how laborious a laptop computer works whereas on battery life, and the ThinkBook 13x apparently throttles down fairly a bit. That will assist clarify the uneven video.

Total, the ThinkBook 13x ought to get you thru a full day in case your productiveness workload isn’t too heavy. However 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 is able to probably lower down your viewing time significantly.

Our take

The ThinkBook 13x is a troublesome laptop computer to charge. By itself deserves, it’s a pleasant little machine, being skinny and light-weight sufficient to toss right into a backpack and barely discover it’s there. Nonetheless, it’s solely 0.07 inches thinner and simply 0.29 kilos lighter than the ThinkBook 13s, which has the identical design, the identical primary 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 ThinkBook 13x doesn’t provide sufficient to suggest it over its bigger sibling, particularly on the present worth of $2,000. Perhaps if it have been as mild because the ThinkPad X1 Nano and priced extra fairly, it could make extra sense, however because it stands, the ThinkBook 13s is the higher alternative.

Are there any alternate options?

I’ve already mentioned it: The ThinkBook 13s is a superior different. It affords much better worth to small enterprise customers with better expandability, sooner efficiency, and higher battery life. You possibly can go together 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 strong alternative. Sure, you hand over 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. However you get a better-built, sooner, extra elegant, and all-around higher laptop computer.

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

How lengthy will it final?

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

Must you purchase it?

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

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