You generally get what you pay for with a laptop. If you can afford it, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga really is top-of-the-line stuff. It has a best-in-class keyboard, effortless power and an amazing (touch) display. The only thing that’s less than superb on it is its battery life, which is only average (at around five or six hours per charge).
From a design perspective, this is a joy to use. Its 14in HDR widescreen makes it natural to work on two (or more) windows at the same time.
The matt black finish on the inside of the laptop is gorgeous, while the keyboard is near-perfect – just the right amount of give (or ‘travel’, as tech geeks call it).
This isn’t the lightest or slimmest laptop, but it’s pleasingly high end in both categories. It weighs 1.4kg, still very light for a 14in machine.
The test version I had was close to top of the range: 16GB of Ram, a Core i7 chip and 512GB of storage. For almost any task the average business person needs to do, this will slice through it. It’s a sleek, quiet weapon.
The display is one of the high points. It rotates right around on its 360-degree hinge to give you an option of either a long tablet or a screen that stands upright. Both are useful to have: if you’re the type to give presentations or use notes during a meeting, having something tablet-like is far more natural than awkwardly balancing a laptop in your arm.
Similarly, rotating the screen around so that it stands upright is a space-saving method for when you need to jump on video meeting calls or go through a presentation at a table with colleagues. (This physical set-up is also useful as a makeshift TV or video player on a plane or in a hotel room.)
As far as connections go, it has two USB-C (Thunderbolt) ports, either of which can be used to power the device. There are also two regular USB ports and an HDMI port. There’s no SD card port, which is a bit of a shame, but there is a 3.5mm headphone port.
It’s not just the headline specs. It’s little things, too, the kind of stuff that Apple fans would comfort themselves with their MacBooks. Like the dot on the ‘i’ in the small ‘ThinkPad’ logo on the front glows on an off to remind you your laptop is sleeping. And when you open the box first, the X1 levers itself out as you remove the flaps.
This sounds like small stuff, but it’s the kind of detail that delights. Anyone into industrial design will love it.