Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga review: The ultimate business Yoga
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga review: Performance
No corners have been cut in the performance department. You get your choice of dual-core Core i5 or Core i7 Skylake processors, stretching up to the 2.6GHz Core i7-6600U in the review unit. With 8GB of LPDDR3 RAM as standard, you can upgrade that to 16GB on the high-end models for a reasonable £70. Factor in the choice of everything from bog-standard 128GB SSDs to encrypted OPAL 2 drives, right up to blazingly-fast 1TB Samsung NVMe drives and you can configure models at anything from £1,300 right up to more than £2,000.
I didn’t find the X1 Yoga wanting for performance. That’s not especially surprising. With a top-of-the-range Core i7, 8GB RAM and a ridiculously fast 512GB Samsung NVMe SSD inside, you’d never expect this laptop to be slow. The SSD produces read and write speeds that are highly impressive, sequential read speeds tickling the 2,000MB/sec mark, while write speeds still nudge just over 1,000MB/sec. Boot Windows 10 Pro from cold and it’s mere seconds before you land on the desktop.
[gallery:6]Oddly enough, the Lenovo didn’t perform quite as brilliantly in benchmarks as you might expect. An overall score of 39 puts it a tad behind the Dell XPS 13 with its slightly slower 2.5GHz Core i7-6500U processor. I have a sneaking suspicion that Lenovo’s more aggressive power management might be the issue here, so I’ll be re-running the benchmarks after tweaking some of the power settings in Windows. My experience suggests that this laptop will coast through most applications without blinking, though. However, do grab the 16GB RAM upgrade if you’re a fan of OS virtualisation shenanigans.
Battery life is very respectable as well. With the screen brightness set to 170cd/m2 and Wi-Fi off, the X1 Yoga was able to play a movie constantly for 7hrs 55mins. However, this is a laptop that’s more than likely to last the working day under normal usage. Use a more aggressive power plan, drop the screen brightness (even 85cd/m2 is fine for most indoor environments), and you’ll be closing the lid and heading home for the day before having to dig the charger out of your bag.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga review: Connectivity & security
It’s probably easier to start with what’s missing here: USB Type-C. In all honesty, though, this isn’t a big loss for a business device and is still far from essential on any consumer devices.
Thankfully, the X1 Yoga hits the nail on the head elsewhere. There are three USB 3 ports, a OneLink+ port for adding Lenovo’s various optional docking stations, and you get both HDMI and Mini DisplayPort outputs, too. Factor in the fingerprint reader just beneath the keyboard and the X1 Yoga ticks all the right boxes.
[gallery:4]This review unit, which is currently the priciest pre-configured model on Lenovo’s site, also partners an Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi chipset with a Sierra Wireless EM7455 LTE modem that supports the fastest mobile broadband speeds going (up to 300mbps, if you’re wondering). However, you can swap the mobile broadband for an Intel WiGig module, which opens the door to high-speed wireless docking stations.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga review: Verdict
The big names in business laptops, tablets and hybrids have been producing some amazing devices in recent times but it’s no surprise to see Lenovo waltz in and do what it does best: produce another effortlessly brilliant business hybrid. It’s not cheap – even in its most modest specification the X1 Yoga is a cool £1,300 – but you most certainly get what you pay for.
Apart from the cost, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga is pretty much perfect to my mind; the screen is large enough to use all day without once wishing for an external monitor, everything from the keyboard to the stylus is faultless, and the performance is good enough to please all but the most demanding users. Factor in the flexibility on offer and it’s nigh-on unbeatable. Beg your IT department for one now.