The Good The fourth-gen Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga continues to be one of the best two-in-one convertibles for business, thanks to a wealth of hardware options and security features all wrapped in a thinner and lighter aluminum frame.
The Bad Only one of the four display options has the Lenovo screen privacy feature, and battery life is estimated to be shorter with the UHD resolution display.
The Bottom Line With updated components, new privacy settings, and an updated aluminum chassis, ThinkPad X1 Yoga retains its crown as a leading 2-in-1 business.
Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Yoga Edition 2018 was named CNET’s “Best Two-in-One for Business” by CNET. Intel’s slimmer frame and updated 8th generation processors, as well as a pair of cool privacy options, is our favorite two-in-one premium business.
However, while battery life has improved for some configurations, it is noticeably short if you chose a 14-inch 4K UHD display with Dolby Vision HDR400 resolution. It’s a great display, but it’s probably not worth the power punishment for most users, and Lenovo thankfully offers three other options, including a low-power 380-bit full HD display that should deliver a much better battery life.
And the options here are the name of the game. The base price is around $ 1200, but the X1 Yoga can be set up to $ 2500. However, if your needs are not specific, you may want to use a pre-configured model, such as my review sample. It was loaded with all the high-tech components offered and didn’t break $ 1,900.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 4
|Display size/resolution||14-inch 1,920×1,080 touch display||14-inch 3,840×2,160 HDR touch display|
|PC CPU||1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8265U||1.9GHz Intel Core i7-8665U with vPro|
|PC memory||8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz||16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz|
|Graphics||128MB dedicated Intel HD Graphics 620||128MB dedicated Intel UHD Graphics 620|
|Storage||256GB PCIe NVMe Opal 2.0 SSD||1TB PCIe NVMe Opal 2.0 SSD|
|Networking||Intel 9560 802.11AC vPro (2 x 2), Bluetooth 5.0||Intel 9560 802.11AC vPro (2 x 2), Bluetooth 5.0|
|Operating system||Windows 10 Home (64-bit)||Windows 10 Pro (64-bit)|
Yoga X1 is essentially a business version Lenovo Premium C940 Yoga . With dual 360-degree hinges and an active handle, it is not only great as a laptop, but also for presentations, document layout, or collaboration on projects, without anyone inconveniently pointing at you.
If privacy is a concern, you can completely mute the microphones, and a slimmer built-in webcam features a physical shutter that slides to lock the camera. Lenovo also offers two new privacy features for this model: PrivacyGuard and PrivacyAlert. The first one makes it difficult for people who move to the side of your display to see that you are looking at it from your head. The latter is actually a pop-up notification when someone is surfing over your shoulders while you work. Unfortunately, PrivacyGuard is only available in one of four display options, and PrivacyAlert requires an additional infrared camera in the laptop.
A fingerprint reader is standard, and it saves and processes your printing on your own system chip (SoC) for better protection of your system and printing from hacking or malware. Other security features include self-encrypting SSDs and Intel vPro processors, TPM 2.0 and FIDO discrete authentication.
Regardless of the configuration, you get the same solid build quality that, according to Lenovo, meets 12 military-grade requirements and passes over 200 quality checks. You’ll also get the same great keyboard. It is spill resistant and has a two-level backlight. Undoubtedly, one of the most comfortable keyboards you’ll find on a laptop is so thin, and you probably won’t have to set it up for use.
Having remained a ThinkPads past, you will still find the Lenovo TrackPoint between the G, H, and B keys, as well as the left, right, and scroll buttons below the space bar. Although many are likely to use a reliable Windows Precision touch panel, I believe that TrackPoint will come in handy in tight aircraft, train or bus seats.
The X1 Yoga has two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, two USB 3.1 (gen 1) ports and full-size HDMI 1.4 output. Sitting directly near one of the USB-C ports is an Ethernet socket with the included key and an optional side mechanical dock. There is also a combo headphone / microphone jack.
Also on the right side of the body is a ThinkPad Pro Pen Lenovo with 2048 pressure sensors on the front. It recharges in its garage, receiving up to 100 minutes of battery life with only 15 seconds of charging. It’s a nice, responsive little pen, and its flawless body storage makes you wonder why other notebooks and pen-supported tablets can’t have something like that.
Fast performance, faster charging
The performance of my X1 Yoga was excellent, not surprisingly, given its mixed configuration: 1.9 GHz Intel Core i7-8665U vPro processor, 16 GB 2.133 MHz RAM and 1 TB PCIe NVMe SSD. For everyday office work, such as email and word processing, you’ll be fine with the entry-level configuration running on the 1.6 GHz Intel Core i5-8265U. If you usually do more intensive tasks these days – such as working on large databases or spreadsheets or creating multimedia presentations – or just want more space for the future, keep getting the i7.
However, the battery life is a little disappointing. Lenovo does require up to 18 hours, but it’s not for the more powerful configuration I tested on the UHD resolution display, which ran 6 hours 7 minutes in our streaming video test. By adjusting the power and brightness of the screen, you can get more working time, but if you need the best battery life, skip the 4K HDR display. What saves, though, is that the USB-C port can charge the laptop up to 80 percent in just an hour – perfect for recharging at those airport flights – or you can run X1 Yoga from an external battery pack.
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Like the Gen 3, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga is a slim, lightweight two-in-one that you don’t mind getting from your IT department. While it would be nice if PrivacyGuard and PrivacyAlert were standard features, but at least it’s good to have these options. It’s a little thinner and lighter, making this flexible, durable convertible more attractive.