Hands On: Will Lenovo’s ThinkPad X13s Be a Snapdragon Battery-Life Monster?

Lenovo’s new Windows-on-ARM (WOA) business laptop, packing 5G mmWave support, is the first with the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 CPU. Will the battery life make you go ”Whoa!” over WOA, though?

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– Hi, this is John Burke with PCMag. I’m here today with Lenovo And we’re looking at some new ThinkPads. So we’ve seen many
ThinkPads through the years, T Series, X Series, And what we have here is a variation Of the ThinkPad X13 13” laptop. It’s the X13s Gen 1. So why Gen 1 on this machine? So it turns out that this
machine’s actually based On a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, Specifically it’s the
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3. Now, we’ve seen Snapdragon
chips in Windows On ARM-based systems before, But Lenovo has adopted it
here for the first time Because it believes that the
Gen 3 version of the 8cx Is finally at a performance
level that makes it adequate For the kind of users that
would want an X Series ThinkPad. So why would you go with
a Qualcomm-based machine When Wintel versions exist? Well, with the X13s Gen 1, Lenovo’s claiming 28 hours of battery life With video playback. Now, that may not be one-to-one
sort of what you would get In productivity use or in
certain other usage cases, But if you do that kind of
testing on other laptops, You’ll generally never get
anything close to 28 hours, So you have a big battery
life story to be told here. The other aspect of this machine That sets it apart from the pack Is that it also supports 5G,
and specifically 5G mmWave, So if you’re looking to
use this in a roving, Need-internet-anywhere kind of situation, Whether that’s in airports or in a cab

Or wherever you need to be
online at any given time, This is the kind of machine That a traveling executive
would really be down with. So as a pure laptop, as
hardware, this is as attractive As any of Lenovo’s
ThinkPad X Series machines. We’ve got a 13 millimeter height, Very thin, easy to tuck under your arm Or to slip into a briefcase
or even just a laptop sleeve. Decent connectivity. If you go around the edges here, We’ve got two USB-C ports on the left side And on the other side, We’ve got an audio jack and
a notch for a security cable. The keyboard itself is very
much up to ThinkPad standards. Got a nice clickability and travel. Spacing is good left to right, So very comfortable typing on this. And then you’ve also got
the inimitable TrackPoint The little rubber eraser
nub for navigation, Some folks prefer that, as well
as the dedicated three keys Underneath the keyboard here
to use with the TrackPoint. Of course, you could
also use the track pad As a conventional track pad
and click on that as well. So, of course, first
the elephant in the room With any Qualcomm-based
system is it’s running On Windows 11 on ARM. The app compatibility for Windows
11 on ARM is doing a slow, Sort of steady build. You now can do Microsoft
Office natively on there, And for a lot of users, that’d
be all they really need. And this machine with an
8cx Gen 3 processor in it Might be adequate in terms of performance For everyday tasks. Lenovo’s claiming pretty
significant increases over Gen 2

And for something like Office Or web browsing or simple email, You’ll probably be just fine
with that sort of performance. On top of performance, There’s a whole bunch
of connectivity aspects To this machine that really
will appeal to the kind of users That’s gonna be using it
on the road, in airports, Or in sort of just odd locations Where there may not be
internet access otherwise. You got a five megapixel camera up here, Which can be perfect for your Zoom calls And for your sort of
marathon meeting sessions. And apart from the
performance of the machine, There’s another aspect, The 5G mmWave that we were talking about. Now, Lenovo’s claiming That in their own internal lab testing That they’ve gotten up
to one gig throughput On this machine. Now, that may or may not hold up When it is taken out into the wild, But for someone who is
using this in an airport Or, again, in an odd location Where your only internet
access is going to be Over the 5G network, that’s
a pretty significant claim. Now, the machine itself
is a pleasure to hold. It’s about 2.4 pounds And the body is made of magnesium alloy. And Lenovo’s proud to point out That this is 90% recycled mag alloy, So there’s a green aspect
to this machine as well. Now, we mentioned before,
in this camera bump up here, We have a five megapixel camera, Which is gonna be great
for your Zoom calling

And your meeting marathons, But also up here we have another circle That you see over here, Which is for Qualcomm’s
presence detection. And the reason that this has
a separate sensor up here Is that it detects when
you’re away from the machine And turns it off, so
thereby saving battery life. In addition to that, You also have Windows
Hello for face log-ons And also a fingerprint
reader in the keyboard deck. So a lot of biometric and
battery life-saving conveniences On this machine, Which will help to augment
the already long battery life That Lenovo’s claiming for it. So you might be wondering
how you can integrate this Into an IT environment. This is a ThinkPad. Typically ThinkPads are
known for their manageability And sort of IT-friendly aspects. This machine supports all
of the same Lenovo security And management tools that a
typical ThinkPad could use. So if you have a traveling executive Who really needs something That before all else is able
to be connected anywhere And has extremely long battery life And will support them
leaving their charger at home And you not having to
FedEx them a spare one On the road somewhere, this
could be the machine for them. So this machine is coming in April. Again, it’s the Lenovo ThinkPad 13s Gen 1 And starting price is
estimated to be around $999. So this Qualcomm-based machine
is actually pretty exciting For us to check out in PC Labs. We’ve done some testing

On Qualcomm versus Wintel machines before And this will be a new gen machine That we are very much looking forward To putting through its paces. So check it out when
we have a full review, Which should be in the coming months. Thanks very much for
watching and take care.

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