The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6 is designed as a high-end 14-inch convertible laptop for business productivity. The new version features a 16:10 aspect ratio, better cooling, and a host of design refinements. Let’s take a deeper look and put it through its paces.
The specific unit we’re testing has an Intel Core i7-1165G7, 16GB of RAM, and 512 GB of SSD storage. Our display features the Lenovo Privacy Guard option, which is the most expensive panel. All in all, the test configuration costs $1866.70, according to the Lenovo online configurator.
From a benchmarking and performance standpoint, you could switch over to a 256GB SSD and base 1080p display option and bring the price down to $1604.35 for the same system performance, so that’s the price we’ll use for performance/value ratios. The 8GB version is even $149 cheaper, but we recommend a minimum of 16 GB.
Lenovo offers a wide array of CPU options, and you can expect the performance to scale relatively well according to the price you pay. The same is true for memory, with 8, 16, and 32 GB RAM capacities being offered at purchase time, but note that the memory is soldered to the motherboard.
The SSD (Opal 2.0) storage options are 256, 512, and 1024 GB, which should be enough for office work.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen6 (2021) has a thin (14.9mm) and light (3 Lbs) CNC-aluminum chassis that is very agreeable to carry and use. The thinness makes the 360 convertible configurations more natural to use, even though it’s no iPad 12.9 (6.4 mm).
The ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen6 has a comparable footprint to the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen9, one of the most popular high-end laptops Lenovo has. That is much better than the original X1 Yoga, which was noticeably chubbier than the X1 Carbon.
If you want something even thinner, you might want to check the ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga, which we reviewed recently. It does not have the port selection or pen support this X1 Yoga enjoys, though."IT LOOKS CLASSY AND BUSINESS-LIKE BUT STILL HAS A DISTINCT PERSONALITY"
I also like the new Aluminum chassis “storm grey” color. It looks classy and business-like but still has a distinct personality. The machined aluminum makes it highly rigid, and it won’t bend or shear at all when closed.
For the DIY inclined, it’s super-easy to open the (ultra-thin) bottom plate to access and swap the SSD drive. The RAM is soldered, and there isn’t much more that’s replaceable, except for the battery, perhaps.
Keyboard, trackpad, and integrated pen
The ThinkPad X1 Yoga’s keyboard is closer to the Lenovo Yoga consumer laptops than your classic ThinkPad keyboard. I find it comfortable with its large keys, 1.3mm travel, and good tactile feedback.
There’s a 2-level backlight that is sufficiently bright but not aggressive to the eyes in total darkness. I just wished Lenovo would include a light sensor because it’s annoying to turn it on again every x seconds while reading documents (and not touching any keys for a while).
Even though Lenovo pitches the trackpad as “wider” (110mm width), it remains relatively small because the physical buttons do take some room. I don’t mind the buttons, and I think it’s well worth the space but not everyone would agree.
The Power switch (+fingerprint sensor) has moved from the side to the upper-right of the keyboard. I appreciate the small LED right next to this button to find it in the dark easily. Good move! Sometimes it’s the little things.
The ThinkPad X1 Yoga has an integrated pen on the right side, which is super-convenient since you 100% know that it is ready and charged. The pen is small, of course, but sufficiently comfortable for note-taking and short sketching. If you’re a pro artist, you might want to buy a larger Lenovo pen.
The ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen6 has an excellent port selection that lets you live a dongle-free life for a thin and light. The Thunderbolt 4 (TB4) connectivity opens the door to compelling docking stations options to use this laptop as your primary computer.
The HDMI 2.0 port can handle 4K/60Hz, and each USB-C TB4 port can drive one 5K/60Hz monitor. If you include the internal display, that’s a total of 4 monitors that the X1 Yoga could control.
Optionally, you can opt for a 4G or 5G wireless broadband connection, in which case, a SIM slot would be present on the right side.
Sound quality"EXCELLENT DISTORTION-FREE SOUND"
The sound system consists of four speakers (2W x2 and 0.8W x2) located at the bottom and on either side of the keyboard.
The setup generates excellent distortion-free sound. The audio is powerful with a loud volume and good bass but clear voices at the same time. That’s because the quad-speakers have been selected to cover a wide frequency range.
Watching movies with powerful effects and clear voices simultaneously is a pleasure and make this laptop an entertainment beast. Bravo!
The display we have on hand is the anti-glare (matte) 1920×1200 IPS LCD 500 NITs with ThinkPad Privacy Guard. If you’re unfamiliar with Privacy Guard, it is an array of optional display-related security measures.
Privacy Guard prevents people from seeing your content from the side by limiting the field of view. Secondly, the laptop can detect and alert you if someone is peeking at your computer from behind.
I find the ThinkPad privacy guard induces a bit of display vignetting even when OFF. Be mindful of that. The official video demo below provides a good illustration, and it does work like this in the real world.
The 16:10 aspect ratio gives users a little bit more extra vertical room for extra productivity, and that’s a welcome change.
With Privacy Guard disabled, the 519 NITs of brightness (measured) make the screen legible in a bright environment. The 99% (measured) sRGB color gamut is very good and makes the display Creative-friendly from a color point of view.
Lenovo has other display options in case you need 4K resolution and the highest color accuracy. There’s a glossy option as well (“anti-reflection”) if you prefer that. There’s something for everyone. If you don’t have any specific needs, pick the WUXGA 400 NITs base version, and you’ll be fine.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen6 performance is very comparable to the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, one of the best productivity laptops on the market. It makes sense since the hardware platform is very similar. The charts show that the performance is nearly identical when using the same Intel Core i7-1165G7, minus the benchmarks margin of errors.
Comparing it with the ThinkPad Yoga Gen5, you can see a massive difference in performance, with nearly 1.5X CPU performance and 3.5X graphics performance. That could be a very compelling reason to nag your IT manager for an update if you can justify your need for the extra speed because you can finally play decent 3D games on your work laptop.
The new dual-fan cooling system might help sustain performance if you do occasional gaming or video editing sessions, but we expect most people to do office work. Better cooling never hurts, especially on small laptops.
The storage performance is good and comparable with laptops with the same price range, so things are all clear on that front too.
ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6 Battery Life
The 57Wh battery capacity is high in relation to the size/weight of the laptop, and we got 10h13mn of battery life in the continuous office productivity test (110 NITs brightness, “best battery life” power settings).
Depending on your CPU configuration, the laptop would ship with power supplies ranging from 45W to 65W. Ours is a 65W charger, and with it, we measured a respectable fast-charge speed, again on par with the new X1 Carbon but slightly slower than the X1 Yoga Gen5.
I’ll also remind you that having a 4K display would greatly tax the battery life, reducing it by 20%-30%. We haven’t measured it for this laptop because our screen isn’t 4K, but that’s what we typically see on various laptops.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen6 is a great thin & light business laptop. It is as compact and almost as light as the X1 Carbon but with a 360 convertible form-factor, an integrated pen, and an Aluminum chassis that some people prefer over the classic ThinkPad black paint.
It is as if Lenovo was going after users who like MacBook, XPS13, MateBook type designs, and I have to say that this is very convincing. The ThinkPad X1 Yoga is better than ever, and I’m very impressed with how this 6th-gen came out. All we can ask for now is a discrete GPU, even a modest one."VERY CONVINCING"
Unlike most competitors, the X1 Yoga has a full-size HDMI output, and the integrated e-Pen might push the purchase decision over the edge if you’re into notes or sketching. In short, it is a near-perfect ultralight convertible 14-inch laptop.
The webcam has standard image quality, but the physical ThinkShutter system (video demo) helps ensure privacy and maximize security when you shut the camera lens. The webcam is compatible with Windows Hello face login.