Lenovo ThinkPad X13s hands-on assessment: ARM-powered ThinkPad

Lenovo’s greatest laptops have at all times had Intel or AMD, however first, there’s now a brand new ThinkPad powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 compute platform.

Extra particularly, it is the ThinkPad X13s, an ARM-powered system that is in contrast to the common ThinkPad in additional methods than one. With always-on, always-connected efficiency and a perfectly sturdy design, this Lenovo laptop computer feels completely different from earlier Home windows on ARM units, and after making an attempt it forward of Cell World Congress, it is within the enterprise realm of Apple’s M1 MacBook. dares to take ,

ThinkPad X13s sitting on a desk.
Arif Bacchus/Digital Traits


Lenovo ThinkPad X13s
Dimensions 11.76 x 8.13 x 0.53 inches
weight 2.35 kilos
Processor Snapdragon 8CX Gen 3
graphics Adreno GPU
to hit LPDDR4 as much as 32GB
present 13.3-inch WUXGA (1920 x 1200), at 16:10 facet ratio
storage PCIe SSD as much as 1TB
Contact included on some fashions
ports 2 USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, Audio Jack, SIM Card Tray
cordless Wi-Fi 6 and 6E, 5G Sub6 eSIM, 5G mmWave eSIM
webcam 5MP Home windows Whats up Webcam
Working System home windows 11 professional
battery 49.5 Wh Li-ion polymer, as much as 28 hours of video playback.
worth, availability $1,099, Could 2022


Looking down at the cover of the ThinkPad x13s.
Arif Bacchus/Digital Traits

On the surface, the ThinkPad X13s seems to be like an ordinary Lenovo enterprise laptop computer would possibly at first look. It sports activities a “thunder black” colour, however issues change while you run your arms aspect to aspect. There, you will not discover any air flow followers, that are a signature function of ARM-powered Home windows units.

The corners of the system are additionally rounded, making it simple to carry and maintain the laptop computer with one hand – necessary as a result of it is one thing to make use of whereas on the go. Nonetheless, Lenovo is considering stability, which, in principle, makes this design a bit completely different.

In case you are curious, with out the followers, the laptop computer continues to be slim and light-weight, at about 11.76 by 8.13 by 0.53 inches and a couple of.35 kilos, however Lenovo is not simply utilizing common supplies to maintain the profile slim. The ThinkPad X13s is designed from 90% recycled magnesium on the highest and backside covers and can be manufactured with low-temperature solder.

Arif Bacchus/Digital Traits

Elsewhere, 97% of post-consumer materials recycled plastic is used on speaker enclosures, 30% of the identical materials is utilized in batteries, and once more 30% in wall adapters. All of this helps cut back emissions and assist make the world a greener place for all.

It is a good environmental change from Apple’s M1 MacBooks, the place simply the enclosure is created from 100% recycled aluminum. Within the Home windows area, it jogs my memory numerous HP’s Dragonfly laptops, which in its mechanical elements are created from 80% recycled supplies.

All that doesn’t come at a sacrifice for the sake of permanence. Pushing on the keyboard would not bend the chassis, and the lid would not flex in any respect. This should not come as a shock, because the ThinkPad X13s is MIL-SPEC 810H examined with 12 strategies, 26 procedures, and 200 further high quality checks.


Directly on the image of the ThinkPad x13s.
Arif Bacchus/Digital Traits

The 16:10 slim-bezel show is what’s changing into extra widespread in laptops nowadays, and I am glad to see one on the ThinkPad X13s. Coming to a WUXGA decision of (1920 x 1200), this laptop computer is the one that can allow you to do your multitasking the precise approach.

In my time with the system, I pulled up Microsoft Edge and stacked Home windows aspect by aspect. I bought the same view of net pages, with extra room to scroll, because of the broader 16:10 ratio. I additionally snapped nature movies on YouTube, and even when the ThinkPad was in direct daylight, the show was clear and crisp. I’ve clearly given all the small print in a video showcasing the landscapes of Italy.

ThinkPad X13s .  But Italy opened
Arif Bacchus/Digital Traits

On the panel I used to be engaged on, the height of 300 nits brightness is perhaps too low for some individuals, and much from the brightness of a MacBook. However for fundamental net shopping and workplace work, it is perhaps sufficient to get the job accomplished with out getting too washed out.

keyboard and trackpad

Gray keyboard with red accents on the ThinkPad x13s.
Arif Bacchus/Digital Traits

No surprise, the ThinkPad X13s sports activities a tremendous keyboard and trackpad. If you happen to’ve ever used a ThinkPad earlier than, you already know the deal. The keys have superb journey distance and the response is good and easy while you push into the chassis. The trackpad, in the meantime, is easy as butter, making scrolling and gliding via net pages a simple activity.

You will additionally discover Lenovo’s Signature TrackPoint, which might help you progress your mouse round extra precisely than the Glass-like ThinkPad trackpad beneath. For enjoyable, I ran a typing take a look at and bought about 87 phrases per minute, which is nicely above my common of about 80 phrases per minute.

Ports and Connectivity

Two USB-C ports on the left side of the ThinkPad x13s.
Arif Bacchus/Digital Traits

Apple’s new 2021 M1 MacBooks deliver again the previous HDMI port, however issues are completely different within the Home windows on ARM area. Many laptop computer makers persist with USB-C to maintain the system skinny and light-weight, and the identical is going on with the ThinkPad X13s. However there are some further connectivity advantages that you simply will not discover on the M1 MacBook.

On the ThinkPad X13s, you may discover 2 USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports, an audio jack, and a SIM card tray. As well as, there’s native help for 5G-capable Sub 6 and 5G mmWave connectivity, which is absent on Apple’s M1-powered MacBooks.

5G on ThinkPad.

It wasn’t obtainable for me to check, however Lenovo says the system can swap to 5G mmWave, 4G LTE, or Sub6 wi-fi WAN for “lightning-fast, extremely safe, on-the-go connectivity” Is. That is the primary 5G ThinkPad, though it’s a far cry from the primary 5G Home windows laptop computer.

There are others just like the HP Elite Dragonfly G2 or Lenovo Flex 5G. 5G and LTE laptops at all times provide related advantages, particularly when away from Wi-Fi, as I’ve talked about earlier than, and this ThinkPad is not any completely different.


Webcam on ThinkPad X13s.
Arif Bacchus/Digital Traits

One other distinctive function of the ThinkPad X13s is the communication bar on the highest of the system. It sports activities three far-field 360-degree microphones and a 5-megapixel webcam. After I turned on that webcam, I used to be happy to see the standard. I made wonderful threads into my masks, in addition to the background colours of the couch I used to be sitting on.

Lenovo additionally says that it labored with Qualcomm and Microsoft to allow sure communication options on this ThinkPad. Nevertheless, I did not get to strive these out. There’s AI-based auto framing to maintain you within the body on workforce calls. Clever noise suppression can be obtainable to mute background noise at each ends of the decision throughout video convention calls.

There’s even a neat trick, the place the ThinkPad mechanically turns off the consumer’s presence or dims the show when the consumer seems to be away. Different options embrace posture and screen-time consciousness, in addition to vision-health notifications. That is all because of the pc imaginative and prescient processor of the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3.

efficiency and battery life

Task Manager on ThinkPad X13s
Arif Bacchus/Digital Traits

Up to now, we have disliked laptops and tablets with Qualcomm processors for poor efficiency and app-emulation points. Microsoft has improved Home windows 11 on ARM units with 64-bit app-emulation, although, and Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 8cx guarantees huge efficiency good points, too. All this mixed to present the ThinkPad X13s Apple M1 functionality when it comes to efficiency.

Earlier leaked benchmarks have proven that the Snapdragon 8cx is pretty much as good because the U-series Intel twelfth Era 25-Watt processor. It is no surprise why Lenovo guarantees that system-level efficiency on this system will be boosted by as much as 57% and multi-tasking will be as much as 85% sooner.

After making an attempt out the ThinkPad X13s, which has this very chip, I am unable to assist however assume I’ve bought a glimpse of that efficiency. After all, I wasn’t capable of run benchmarks, however I used to be capable of sustain with the chip for the online shopping I did.

Qualcomm Snapdragon logo on Lenovo laptop.
Arif Bacchus/Digital Traits

Microsoft Edge tabs, Workplace apps like Phrase and PowerPoint and a mixture of different system apps run easily on the system. I opened Job Supervisor to examine, and the system’s CPU utilization was barely 5% in my unscientific assessments. Even placing the system out and in of sleep was easy, and I used to be capable of soar again into the motion instantly.

Numerous Microsoft apps are actually optimized for ARM processors, and Lenovo instructed me that Microsoft’s Azure program ensures native compatibility and an immersive expertise for business-critical functions on this system. Microsoft additionally made the Pluton safety chip for this ThinkPad and put it within the Qualcomm Safe Processing Unit. This safety chip permits chip-to-cloud safety of consumer identification, information and functions.

So far as battery life is anxious, Lenovo is promising as much as 28 hours of video playback. We’re keen to check that declare, however we have discovered that common battery life is not that far off from Intel machines. It is unscientific, however the system I examined was at 100% once I took it off the charger and solely went as much as about 95% after 45 minutes.

worth and availability

The ThinkPad X13s can be obtainable beginning Could 2022 beginning at $1,099. Within the US, the ThinkPad X13s can be obtainable on AT&T and on Verizon later in 2022. Extra particular availability and pricing can be shared later.

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