Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7 review: The best business convertible
There’s a reason that Lenovo ThinkPad is such a powerful brand, dominating in the business market thanks to a reputation for quality and innovation. And when it comes to the ThinkPad X1 Yoga, the product is tried and true, now on its seventh generation. It’s made out of aluminum, has a built-in pen garage, and it passes over a dozen MIL-STD-810G tests, just like any ThinkPad.
Not a whole lot has changed since the previous generation, and that’s not a bad thing. There are two key differences. One is that the 4K option is now OLED, which is cool since we haven’t seen an OLED display in the ThinkPad X1 Yoga since the Gen 2 model. It also comes with Intel’s new 28W 12th-gen processors, which are more powerful, have better power management, and unlock other capabilities like how this machine includes LPDDR5 memory.
Ultimately, it’s just a great all-around convertible laptop, which is something that the ThinkPad X1 Yoga has always been.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7
Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Yoga has all of the bells and whistles you need, like optional 5G, an optional 4K OLED display, 12th-gen processors, LPDDR5, and an overall great build quality.
See at Lenovo
Navigate this review:
- Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7 pricing and availability
- Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7: Specs
- Design: The rare aluminum ThinkPad
- Display: The ThinkPad X1 Yoga now comes with optional OLED
- Keyboard: A wider touchpad, and the same keyboard design
- Performance: Intel’s P-series is powerful
- Should you buy the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7?
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 yoga Gen 7 pricing and availability
- The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7 starts at $1,589.40 on Lenovo.com, although as a business laptop, it’s available through various other channels.
- It’s available to purchase now.
Lenovo first announced the ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7 at CES back in January, alongside the new ThinkPad X1 Carbon and ThinkPad X1 Nano. It was slated to arrive in March, so it’s been on sale for a little while.
There were a few key changes. The biggest, interestingly enough, is the spec bump. Intel now makes a 28W processor in the P-series, so that’s included in these flagship products. Along with a new hybrid architecture for more cores and batter power efficiency, there’s just more power. There’s also a new 4K OLED display option, although that’s not included in my review unit.
Being the flagship convertible from the ThinkPad brand, it starts at $1,589.40, so it’s not a cheap laptop. That comes with a Core i5-1240P, 8GB LPDDR5 5200MHz RAM, and a 256GB SSD. It goes up from there.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7: Specs
|Processor||Intel Core i7-1260P|
|Graphics||Intel Iris Xe|
|Display||14.0″ WUXGA (1920 x 1200) IPS, anti-glare, touchscreen, 400 nits|
|RAM||16GB LPDDR5 5200MHz (Soldered)|
|Storage||512GB PCIe SSD Gen 4 Performance|
|Chassis||14.95mm x 315.6mm x 222.5mm x / 0.61″ x 12.38″ x 8.75″, Starting at 1.38kg / 3.04lbs|
|Pen||Lenovo Integrated Pen|
|OS||Windows 11 Pro|
|What’s in the box||
Note that these are the specs of my review unit. As with any ThinkPad, there’s a wide array of configurations. You can get it with a 15W U-series processor instead of the 28W P-series chip, there’s an optional IR camera, and there’s even optional 5G.
Design: The rare aluminum ThinkPad
- The ThinkPad X1 Yoga is made of aluminum, and the chassis is mostly the same size as it was last year.
- It has four USB ports, two of which are USB Type-A and two of which are Thunderbolt 4.
Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 4 was the first time that the product was made out of aluminum. And indeed, it’s a rare material to find in a ThinkPad, which is known for using carbon fiber in premium devices. The general design of the product has changed a bit since then, changing up the ports, adding a 16:10 display, and so on, but it still comes in the Storm Grey color.
It’s not the same chassis as last year though, although it’s very similar. It’s ever so slightly heavier, at 3.04 pounds instead of three pounds, and it’s actually a little bit wider at 315.6mm instead of 313mm. Of course, if you put the two next to each other, you probably wouldn’t even be able to tell which one is which.
As usual, it looks clean and professional, with the only markings on the lid being a metallic ThinkPad X1 logo on the corner, and a Lenovo logo in the opposite corner.
It’s a business laptop, and that means that it still has a bunch of ports, including two USB Type-A ports and HDMI 2.0. Indeed, on a consumer laptop, you’re lucky to find one USB Type-A port, let alone two, and you can forget about HDMI. Sadly, those two USB Type-A ports are still USB 3.2 Gen 1, meaning that you get 5Gbps speeds.
One of those USB Type-A ports is on the right side of the device, along with the 3.5mm audio jack. On that side, you’ll also find a pen garage, so you always have the pen with you. Personally, I think this is the best method of pen storage. We’ve seen pens attach magnetically, and while that allows for a larger pen, those often fall off in a bag and just get in the way. This way, the pen is always with you and it’s always charged.
Personally, I think this matters. If you’re not going to be using the ThinkPad X1 Yoga as a tablet from time to time, you should ask yourself why you’re considering buying it. Without the convertible functionality, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a better option.
On the left side, you’ll also find a USB Type-A port and the HDMI port, but there are also two Thunderbolt 4 ports. That means that a single port can connect to up to two 4K displays or one 8K display, or you could connect this laptop to an external GPU. And of course, you’d use one of these ports for charging.
Ultimately, this is a fine design for a laptop. It’s got two USB-A and two USB-C ports, and it comes in a clean-looking aluminum chassis.
Display: The ThinkPad X1 Yoga now comes with optional OLED
- It has a 14-inch 16:10 display, which can now be configured as 4K OLED.
- The 1080p webcam is now standard
While the option for 4K OLED is one of the two big changes for this laptop, the model that Lenovo sent me is FHD+, or 1,920×1,200. It’s fine, and it will get you better battery life, something you’ll want with Intel’s new P-series processors. Back in the old days, the OLED options for the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and Yoga were actually 1440p, which was a nice balance between a higher resolution and battery life. With 3,840×2,400 resolution and OLED, you’re going to really feel the difference between battery life on that, and on the FHD model.
Of course, 16:10 is also the correct resolution. Pretty much all premium laptops have moved beyond 16:9 aspect ratios now, as 16:10 is taller with more surface area. Screens are measured diagonally, so while it’s still 14 inches, the taller aspect ratio means that you actually get more space.
In my testing, the screen supported 99% sRGB, 77% NTSC, 82% Adobe RGB, and 82% P3. That’s pretty good. In fact, I’d say anything over 80% in the Adobe RGB and P3 departments is solid. I will point out that the OLED model would likely be in the 90s.
Brightness maxed out at 418.1 nits, exceeding the 400 nits that were promised on the spec sheet. Notice that black came in at 0.22 at 100% brightness, and that column will be the biggest difference between OLED and non-OLED. If it as 0.01 at 0% brightness, it would be 0.01 at 100% brightness.
As noted above, the webcam is FHD, and that is standard. Last year, a lot of the ThinkPad lineup for the FHD webcam treatment, but the base model was only 720p. Now, if you buy this very expensive laptop, you’ll definitely get a solid webcam. Indeed, that’s as it should be. It’s about time that OEMs started taking webcam quality seriously.
Keyboard: A wider touchpad, and the same keyboard design
- The touchpad is 110mm wide, but it still has buttons that take up valuable real estate.
- The keyboard is still 1.5mm.
Lenovo’s ThinkPads are renowned for keyboard quality, so it’s no surprise that the ThinkPad X1 Yoga has an excellent keyboard. Also, it hasn’t changed from te Gen 6 model; the depth of the keys is still 1.5mm. It’s comfortable and accurate to type on, something that you’d expect from a ThinkPad.
The power button the sits above the keyboard doubles as a fingerprint sensor, which is nice since the IR camera is optional. In fact, this review unit doesn’t have an IR camera, so the fingerprint sensor was the only means I had of biometric authentication. Naturally, it scans your fingerprint when you first press it, automatically logging you in after the laptop boots up.
Just like with almost every other ThinkPad, there’s a TrackPoint between the G, H, and B keys. It’s a relic from the era when Windows laptop touchpads were terrible, but there are still some people that use them. In fact, Lenovo undoubtedly has telemetry around how often the TrackPoint gets used, and it has to be considering that when it includes it on every single ThinkPad laptop’s keyboard. ThinkPads still dominate in businesses, so Lenovo is doing something right.
You can easily ignore it if you don’t like it. If you can’t ignore it, then ThinkPads aren’t for you.
One result of the TrackPoint that you can’t ignore is the buttons above the touchpad. Those are there so they can be used with TrackPoint navigation, so if you only use the touchpad, it’s a waste of real estate. Of course, you could use the buttons with the touchpad, but that’s up to you.
The touchpad is wider than in previous generations, coming in at 110mm, so Lenovo does see the value of a larger touchpad. I think that at some point, the firm is going to have to release some ThinkPads without the TrackPoint or touchpad buttons, or even if a model like that was released as an option, but that day is not today.
Performance: Intel’s P-series is powerful, but it has limitations
- It comes with 28W Intel 12th-gen processors
When Intel introduced its 12th-generation processors for ultrabooks, it showed off its all-new P-series. It still offers the more traditional 15W and 9W CPUs that go in laptops, and while there have been 28W U-series processors in the past, this is a specifically 28W series of chips.
It’s basically billed as a way to put more powerful CPUs in the same kinds of laptops that we’ve seen 15W CPUs used in. So now, premium laptops like the entire ThinkPad X1 lineup use P-series chips, and that even includes the ultra-thin ThinkPad X1 Nano, which used 9W processors last year.
Intel’s 12th-gen chips also use a new hybrid architecture. The Core i7-1260P in this laptop has 12 cores and 16 threads, a big change from the quad-core octa-thread CPUs from the U-series of years prior. Out of those 12 cores, four of them are performance cores and eight are efficiency cores, with Intel using a scheduler to direct tasks to different cores as necessary.
|ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7
|ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6
|Lenovo Yoga 9i
|3DMark: Time Spy||1,458||1,781||1,678|
|Geekbench 5||1,419 / 6,915||1,592 / 5,518||1,736 / 9,525|
|Cinebench R23||1,375 / 6,831||1,473 / 4,807||1,638 / 7,757|
Here’s the issue with performance. Intel really billed P-series as a way of putting more performance into the same laptops, but that’s just not the case. These processors run hotter and use more battery life. Performance is better than 11th-gen, but it doesn’t really benchmark well because it starts to heat up and throttle. As you can see, the newly redesigned Yoga 9i actually sustains performance a lot better.
Interestingly, while performance wasn’t quite as good as other P-series laptops that I’ve reviewed, battery life was better. I got between 210 minutes and 374 minutes of usage out of it, the latter of which is really impressive. I expect four to five hours out of any regular laptop, so maxing out at six hours and 14 minutes is pretty great.
Lenovo did say that the ThinkPad X1 Yoga is available with U-series processors as well, so there’s a lot of flexibility for the kind of laptop you can get here.
Should you buy the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7?
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7 is a phenomenal convertible laptop. It’s not the flashiest, but it’s one of the best around.
You should buy the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7 if:
- You’re looking for a quality convertible with great build quality
- You like the TrackPoint
- Keyboard quality is important to you
- Webcam quality is important to you
You should not buy the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7 if:
- You’re not willing to spend a lot of money for quality
- You’re looking for something flashy
- You’re not planning to use the convertible aspect of it
Like I said, this is a phenomenal laptop. But you should definitely be planning to use it as a tablet from time to time. Otherwise, you should look at the ThinkPad X1 Carbon or X1 Nano, as they’re lighter and better suited to be strictly clamshell laptops.
In fact, for tablet use, the best was the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga, a 3:2 ultra-light convertible that was specifically designed to be great at being a tablet and a laptop, while most convertibles are meant to be a laptop first. The Titanium Yoga is no more though, so the ThinkPad X1 Yoga gets the crown of best business convertible.