Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 6th Generation - Episode 264 - Show Notes

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 6th Generation - Episode 264

Sunday Aug 1, 2021 (00:15:28)


It's been a while since Avram brought us a new laptop, and this week we have the 6th generation of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga. The Yoga family is known for its bend-backward design, allowing you to convert from a laptop into a tablet. But, it also allows for various other configurations, such as a tent (which is great for presentations). The newest model of the family, and has been upgraded with a new processor, adjusted screen resolution, and a lot more. While the official review will hit this week on Tom's Hardware, Avram gave us a preview of what to expect.

First and foremost, the X1 Yoga has unbelievable battery life. In the Tom's Guide tests, the model they are testing ran for 16 hours. When talking about a laptop, that will give you more than all-day battery performance. For a business-focused laptop, that means you'll be able to use it throughout your entire workday.

Another important topic for Avram is the keyboard, and the X1 Yoga does not disappoint. This new model has a keyboard that vo users will recognize, as the company is known for its quality laptop keyboards. In addition, the computer features the eraser-head track pointer. While this may not be a big selling point for all users, those who love the older-style mouse alternative will appreciate its inclusion.

Of course, nothing is quite as important as the specs of the computer, and these are great. The company has upgraded the processor to the 11th generation Intel Core, with choices to configure the way you want. Models start out with the Core i5-1135G7 but can be configured up to the Core i7-1185G7. In addition, you can get both 8GB and 16GB of RAM. It is important to note that this RAM is soldered onto the board, so it cannot be upgraded later. You will want to spend the extra money and upgrade to the 16GB of RAM, because a computer is not usually a short-term purchase, and 8GB is not enough today, let alone in the future.

One of the most obvious changes in specs, though, is the screen. Rather than a more traditional 16:9 aspect ratio, the newest model has taken on a 16:10 aspect ratio. This will give you as much horizontal screen real estate while adding a noticeable amount of vertical real estate. The traditional aspect ratio has been seeing a decrease in use outside of televisions, which many consider a win.

Lenovo chose to allow the X1 Yoga to be a little thicker, coming in at 0.6 inches, in order to give us some much-needed ports. While many modern laptops have been going thinner at the expense of ports, the X1 Yoga includes 2 USB-A ports, 2 USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, and an HDMI port. The laptop comes in at just about 3 pounds, only a half-pound more than the X1 Carbon, which is one of Avram's top choices. The availability of the extra ports will be useful in a business environment and are therefore much more appreciated than a slightly thinner or lighter computer.


Scott Ertz


Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.

Avram Piltch


Avram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.

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Scott Ertz (00:08)

This week's Piltch Point with Avram Piltch is proudly powered by PureVPN. The best way to protect your privacy online is with PureVPN. You can hide your online activities, say goodbye to regional restrictions and improve your streaming quality. Plus, it's available for almost all of your devices and you can get a special price right now by going to piltchpoint.live/pureVPN. Alright, Avram it's been a little while since we've gotten to do this. But I think you've got something to show us.

Avram Piltch (00:46)

Yes, so it's show-and-tell. So, this right here is the latest notebook that I am reviewing. It is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 6th Gen, that means that there have been five previous generations of X1 Yoga and this is the 6th. So this is a really fantastic 2in1. It has a lot going for it. So let's start with the good stuff. So first of all, this is aluminum here, this is what's called Storm Gray. The color is, but so if you like ThinkPad black, don't get this one because this is the color come-only color-comes-in. But it obviously bends back-the 14-inch screen bends back a full 180 degrees. And you get several screen choices with it. It is 16:10 resolution. So aspect ratio. So this is 1920 by 1200 rows. But you can also get 3840 by likes, not like 4k, but a step above 4k because it's 16. But I wouldn't recommend that because that would probably wreak havoc on the battery life. And the battery life is really good. So our test, this notebook got 14 and a half hours of battery life.

Scott Ertz (02:22)


Avram Piltch (02:23)

- which is fantastic. This configuration has a Core-i7-1185G7 processor in it. It's got 512 gigabyte SSD and 16 gigs of RAM. Now, you can buy this with 8 gigs. Don't do it. You shouldn't be buying. Nobody who's serious about the computer today should be buying anything with less than 16 gigs of RAM. It has a really fantastic ThinkPad keyboard on it. And of course my favorite, which not everybody loves, the trackpoint but also a very comfortable touchpad here. Interestingly, also, it has a stylus in a stylus garage. So if you see over here, and trying to show this little knob, this little section here, I got to look to pull it out, but it is a little pen. So the stylus is a little smaller than some of the competitors like the HP Spectre X360. But the advantages are that it goes into that little garage. And so you can very easily use the stylus for writing and drawing. By the way, this is not an anti-glare display that I have here. So even though this is a touchpad, a touchscreen, it's matte you can also get this as a Privacy Guard, which means, if someone is sitting next to you on the train, you can limit the viewing angles. But today I would try to stay away from people on the train anyway. But the screen itself, this is the lowest dense screen option on it. And the color is decent. It's about 71% of DCI-P3 gamut. It has a good brightness in 350 nits. So that's pretty good. The overall performance for you know, an ultra lightweight notebook. This is three pounds. And an Ultrabook like this is good. Obviously it's not to play games because there's no integrated graphics, but it's a really good productivity machine. There's also this on/off button here that is actually a fingerprint reader. So kinda log in and turn on at the same time.

Scott Ertz (05:04)

Definitely a trend that I like.

Avram Piltch (05:06)

Yeah, some prior ThinkPads had the on off button on the side which I really did not like and this has good port selection. So here you have a USB A on this side and you've got on this side, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, another USB A and HDMI out so you don't skimp on the ports. So you know, I mean, it's not the thinnest that it could be. It's 06 inches, which to me is really thin, but you know they're ones on them. There are things in the market that are less than .06 inches thick, and it's jus giving you a USB type port which most USB products still use. So I'd rather have the a4 to be honest. But this starts at $1300. I definitely recommend though that you spend a little bit more to configure it up with 16 gigs of RAM because you can't upgrade the RAM it's soldered with and at least a 500 gig SSD. So that's just a quick look at the X1 Yoga Gen 6th ThinkPad I reviewed that will be going up for the next couple of days on Tom's Hardware. But it's a really really good business to

Scott Ertz (06:35)

Put up that screen. The half second behind you. Yeah, it looks like a really solid, really solid machine. I'm impressed by the number of ports because one of the things that we've been talking about for a little while has been the constant degradation and the number of ports available as companies. Yeah as companies try to be the thinnest on the block. They end up dumping things that are valuable.

Avram Piltch (07:08)

It's not worth it. I mean granted at three pounds, this is not the lightest on the block. If you get the ThinkPad X1 Carbon ,which I have, I think may have brought on the show before but that is now up to the 9th Gen is just coming out with I think the 9th Gen C Carbon which I haven't tested yet the last this was the 8th Gen Carbon that is lighter that is to two and a half pounds. So it's half a pound less than this. And probably for me, I would consider that one more because I don't need the bend back screen. I don't need the two on one. However some people really like this especially when you combine that with the pen. So you know you Yeah, let's say you're going somewhere and you want to, I don't know, take notes or something, you can do it you know. So you want to draw something whatever you can do it and the fact that this is such a nice anti-reflective display means that it's really easy to you know to use like this and you don't end up just looking at a mirror picture of yourself when you're looking at a close up like this as you might have a very glossy display. So I think if you like the two on one style which a lot of people do this definitely should be near the top of your shopping list.

Scott Ertz (08:45)

Very cool. I like the style, obviously you know longtime viewers know that computer that's sitting here next to me and when I'm out and about it's not unusual for me to pop this screen off and use it with a stylus same with my phone. So that's definitely something that I would appreciate.

Avram Piltch (09:08)

The stylus- what do you do with it?

Scott Ertz (09:10)

It depends on what I'm doing. Sometimes I'm taking notes and something like one note, sometimes I'm drawing something I'll have Inkscape open. I spend a lot of time in Inkscape back to all of the people who are watching the show, everything you're seeing except the actual live video is all from Inkscape.

Avram Piltch (09:31)

See, the interesting thing about it is I have kind of a split mind right? I love the idea of scribbling on my computer. But I have yet to see an app that really lets me do what I wanted to do. And I think the main thing I would do with it is I would attempt and be frustrated to use the handwriting keyboard like I would open Something that I do take notes in or do write in, like Google Docs. And I will just want to be able to write in that. And I want to be able to do it while I am standing up. Because I think that is the use case where you really cannot easily use a lot of time. Like, yeah, you know, you it's not easy to like, you know, assuming someday we're all going back to CES and waiting in line. You know, I think about the scenario where I'm waiting in a long line to get into something for half an hour. I want to be writing an article, and I'm standing in line and moving. And so it's not easy to try and write like this. You know, where are you going to drop it? It's not pleasant, right? I mean, I've seen a couple of weird contraptions where people could wear a laptop around their waist, but-

Scott Ertz (10:52)

-Over your shoulders,

Avram Piltch (10:55)

-but it's not common. So the easiest thing ergonomically would be to turn into a tablet mode, and start writing. But then I realized how bad my handwriting is, and the handwriting recognition and it's a disaster. So I don't know, for me, I just haven't found, I would get one of these. And I would say, Oh, well I'm really going to change the way I work. And like that would last about a minute. So I got the Galaxy Note. Galaxy Note phone, one of my phones a few phones ago as a Galaxy Note. Oh, great. Now I'm going to take notes everywhere. That lasted about a day. So you know,

Scott Ertz (11:41)

My most common usage and again, I am fully aware that I am not normal. This is not something that probably anybody who's watching the show does, but I do a lot of wiring diagrams, right when we're going and doing something like this weekend at Metro Con setting up the hado stuff, we drew out a wiring diagram and that's real nice to be able to do on a tablet because you're way less likely to lose that than a clipboard which always goes missing. Guaranteed to disappear so yeah, I do a lot of wiring diagrams and stuff on there too. But again, I know I'm fully aware that's not a normal use case for people but anyway, that's one of my main use cases. I like this thing though. I've not personally had Yoga . I know you know that John had one. A number of generations ago. He really liked his. I just never had that I've kind of stuck to the removable screen device. And but-

Avram Piltch (12:55)

I love the removable screen concept. Microsoft hasn't really, I mean, I don't think they've really kept up with it, though. Because what was the most recent Surface Book update was when? I think they're too long processor generations behind, right? Yeah,

Scott Ertz (13:09)

There's a patent out there. They just filed a patent this week. That looks like they're gonna have a new device, the new hinge.

Avram Piltch (13:21)

I mean, I really, really do like what Microsoft has done that you really haven't seen anywhere else. Yeah, right. I mean, Lenovo, at one time had Turner ever the name of a detachable like that. And that last one generation it was over. Because normally you have either this bend back design, or you have a tablet. Normally you either have a tablet first design, like the surface at the surface pro or whatever. Or you have a laptop versus one like this. And since most people are probably using this primarily as a laptop, it's okay to have a laptop first design.

Scott Ertz (14:04)

Absolutely. And yet, this one somehow Microsoft managed to think in both terms, and nobody has stuck with it, but them. It's just-

Avram Piltch (14:18)


Scott Ertz (14:18)

And that was one of the things that Microsoft said when they launched the surface brand was that it was designed to inspire new thinking and hardware design. And it did. Right, we've got all kinds of new hardware concepts that have come out since then. companies try stuff, they do weird things. Microsoft's got the weird Surface Studio, you know, they've got all kinds of oddball things and I think that's been a good thing. Because, you know, things like Yoga continue to, to improve and get better because there are companies out there doing weird stuff. So, you said that this review is coming soon.

Avram Piltch (15:05)

Yes will be up this week on Tomshardware.com

Scott Ertz (15:08)

Fantastic. Well, I look forward to reading it and I guess I look forward to seeing what we talk about.

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