The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga is the latest addition to the ThinkPad X1 series. As an answer to features in high demand, I suspect without disturbing the existing success of more classic computers such as the ThinkPad X1 Carbon.
This ultralight has a 13.5” display with a 3:2 aspect ratio, which has been one of the most-requested features for several years. As a Lenovo yoga device, it can turn into “tablet mode,” along with the other Lenovo Multimode positions.
Our unit, as tested, has the following configuration: Intel i5-1130G7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB (475GB formatted) of SSD storage. It was retailing for $1675 at publishing time.
Buyers might find other CPU options, including the Intel i5-1140G7, i7-1160G7, and i7-1180G7 processors, although I suspect most users would be content with the CPU SKU we’re testing. If you can afford more, there’s nothing wrong with an upgrade.
I’ve seen 8GB or 16GB RAM options on the official site, and I highly recommend getting more RAM if you can. 256GB and 512GB of storage are offered, and I have not seen a 1TB SKU at the moment.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium doesn’t use the classic ThinkPad design language and is visually closer to the Yoga consumer laptops. However, the feature-set is business-oriented as you will see.
I find the design to be very agreeable, with a very slim body and clean lines. The chassis is very rigid and doesn’t flex or bend at all when closed. Lenovo mentions that it passes military-grade tests, and we assume they refer to the MIL-STD-810G tests that other ThinkPads also go through. That said, the keyboard does not seem to be spill-proof.
The 2.54 Lbs weight and 12.5mm thickness (0.45”) make it comfortable to carry in your hand when going from one meeting to the other. It feels like a large magazine, and the slightly textured Titanium-color paint gives you a good grip. The bottom part of the chassis is about the thickness of a phone (~9mm) and looks neat.
The thin profile also makes the tablet mode that much better, and this is the best convertible laptop that we recently had our hands on.
Using a Lenovo Precision Pen (included in the box, product link) in tablet mode feels much better because you’re getting closer to an ideal tablet thickness. This is not like an iPad Pro, but that’s pretty much as good as it gets for a convertible PC.
As the name suggests, there’s some Titanium in the construction of the laptop. The display cover is made of Titanium and Carbon Fiber, while the rest of the chassis is a Magnesium/Aluminum alloy. It’s all very high-tech, but not a massive block of CNC Titanium as some might imagine.
Keyboard and Trackpad
The keyboard looks like a typical ThinkPad Keyboard from a distance, but you should know that it feels different. I mention it because many people buy ThinkPads based on the legendary keyboard alone.
The main difference is the shorter key travel. I estimate it to be about 1mm instead of the typical 1.3mm. Other than that, the keys’ surface does a great job at repelling skin oil, and the keyboard’s tactile feel is very good.
The 90x65mm trackpad could be bigger, but the increased height makes the overall surface sufficient, and I haven’t seen trackpad size as a particular friction point for me. If you use complex Windows gestures, it’s something to know about.
The trackpad buttons aren’t as fancy and agreeable to use as on the classic ThinkPad keyboards. They even feel a bit cheap, but they are functionally fine and better than not having physical buttons at all. The new chassis is probably too thin to accommodate the standard ThinkPad trackpad.
The chassis is just thin enough to accommodate USB-C connectors, and you have two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports for data and power. Lenovo has managed to have an antitheft port on the right side, and that’s a massive plus for corporate customers or users who worry about theft at a cafe.
Thunderbolt 4 is amazing for connectivity as you can very quickly expand your options at your desk with Docks like the Anker PowerExpand Elite, or the Sabrent Thunderbolt 3 DS-TH3C. Lenovo has TB docks too, but we haven’t tested one yet.
There are tiny Thunderbolt (TB) travel HUBs, but you might still not have them at a critical moment, which is the main advantage of having integrated ports.
The ThinkPad X1 Titanium has two 2W stereo speakers located on either side of the keyboard. That’s an optimal position because there’s no energy loss from bouncing on a surface such as a table.
That’s particularly important because the speakers’ size is minimal due to the small chassis. The result is an outstanding sound experience for the laptop’s weight and size.
In theory, there are ways to get excellent sound on tablets (see our Huawei MatePad Pro 12.6 review), so it’s not impossible. However, for a 2.5 Lbs laptop, this is excellent, partially thanks to the preloaded Dolby software.
The new display is probably one of the most important reasons to buy this laptop. Although Lenovo recently switched to 16:10 in newer ThinkPads, the 3:2 ratio of the X1 Titanium significantly expands the vertical screen real estate, which is most important to people who work on documents, and that’s a lot of potential users.
As a result, I find the extra vertical space to vastly improve my productivity and overall comfort. I don’t have to scroll as much, and therefore this cuts down on unnecessary distractions.
Image quality is excellent with a 100% sRGB color gamut and brightness of at least 450 Nits (measured near 490 NITs). That’s good enough for Creative work or any situation where you need to present beautiful graphics.
I find the QHD (2256 x 1504) resolution to be an excellent tradeoff between image quality and battery life for productivity apps. If you require 4K, you might want to check the ThinkPad X1 Yoga instead.
Design-wise, the top and bottom display bezels might seem a little thick, and I think it is due to the chassis size more than any display technology limitation. The chassis had to accommodate the full-size keyboard, and internal components are spread onto a larger surface since they cannot be stacked.
At the top, there’s a webcam that includes a physical privacy shutter. I find that super-useful and leave it closed most of the time. It guarantees that malware cannot turn the camera ON without your knowledge, and most enterprise users will appreciate this capability.
The webcam also supports Lenovo’s new Human Detection feature introduced in Feb 2021. The webcam uses a low-power mode to detect if you are approaching and will try to (securely) recognize you right away, saving a few seconds of unlock time.
If you look at the system specifications of the Lenovo ThinkPad Titanium X1 Yoga (2021), you would expect to get comparable performance to the ThinkPad X1 X12 and ThinkPad X1 nano, both of which we have reviewed.
And that’s precisely the case, so all the benchmark numbers tell us that this ThinkPad will be great for office productivity apps and that you could find better options for more demanding tasks such as gaming or video editing (duh).
And keep in mind that you can opt for the faster Intel i7-1180G7 if you need the extra CPU speed. The same is true for the SSD storage speed, and there are no surprises here: that’s right in line with what’s expected for this type of configuration and price point.
The Titanium X1 Yoga is probably not a laptop I’d use to edit videos or play games, although it can, in a pinch. However, it’s fantastic for travelers who mostly do office work.
The performance for the weight is probably more interesting to look at, and that’s where we realize that Lenovo has built a great line-up of ultralight computers in the past year. Now, the X1 Series offers something great at virtually every weight, going from a traditional laptop down to the ultralight ThinkPad X12 Windows tablet.
The 44Wh battery capacity is great for the laptop’s weight, and our tests show a battery life of approximately 9 hours and 29 minutes when running office productivity applications.
As you can see in the charts, if you need higher battery life, you can opt for a higher-capacity battery, as long as you remain on a comparable CPU platform, like the ThinkPad X1 nano which re recently reviewed.
However, the ratio between weight and battery life is entirely satisfactory and should please users looking for a very light laptop with a large display.
The battery charge speed (29% in 30mn) wasn’t awe-inspiring and lags behind other Lenovo laptops like the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen9, which charges 2X faster. For an ultramobile computer, I’d like to see this improve in the second generation next year.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium is an excellent addition that adds two essential features to the X-Series. First, the 3:2 display introduces massive changes in daily comfort and productivity, which is the prime reason for choosing this laptop.
Virtually anyone will benefit from this, and frankly, I’m not sure why we don’t see more of these 3:2 laptops on the market, and the X1 Titanium is one of the most exciting.
Secondly, the tablet mode (360-degree clamshell mode) is impeccable and the best I’ve seen to date in this size category. The thinness of the design makes a big difference in that mode and helps writing with the e-Pen as well.
As we’ve seen, the performance and battery life are outstanding, and in line with what we would expect from a laptop like this. I highly recommend considering the X1 Titanium when shopping for a work laptop.