Software and OLED


Lenovo has thankfully taken a minimalistic approach to their software loadout on this X1 Yoga. The only two OEM-installed apps installed are Lenovo Companion and Lenovo Settings. These are not bloatware as much as they are apps that help open up all of the Lenovo-specific functionality of these machines.

Lenovo Companion is a simple app that handles driver and security updates, warranty status, etc.

The Lenovo Settings app is feature packed and allows for the following:

  • Power
    • Battery Stretch mode (reduces power use system wide across multiple functions)
    • Always on USB (charging power to the left side USB port even when shut down)
    • Battery charge threshold (to limit full charge – increases LiPo battery lifespan)
  • Audio
    • Application specific Dolby Audio
    • Microphone DSP modes for center focused voice isolation or omni
  • Wireless
    • Can preset home page (Edge), default printer, and VPN based on local WiFi SSID
  • Camera (webcam)
    • Privacy mode for disabling webcam
  • Display
    • Calibrated color modes (sRGB, AdobeRGB, DCI-P3, Blue Cut, etc)
    • Night mode (start/stop time based)
    • Dynamic brightness
    • Taskbar dimmer / background dimmer

That last part about dimming the taskbar and background are significant mostly because of how OLED displays work. A typical LCD must keep the backlight on constantly and rely on the pixels to ‘close off’ that light to produce blacks, meaning LCDs consume some power all of the time and a bit more power when displaying a fully black screen. An OLED display flips all of that on its head because the pixels *are* the light sources, so a black screen takes literally zero power to drive while a fully white screen consumes more power than an equivalent white LCD screen would. While OLEDs themselves are very efficient, independently driving 11 million (sub-pixels) requires more power than what is required to backlight an equivalent LCD panel at the same brightness level. With a mix of typical content displayed on these screens, this first generation of OLED will probably draw slightly more power than the equivalent LCD, but that appears to be a small price to pay given the amazing contrast, sharpness, and vivid colors possible.

Macro shot of web text. Note the pure whites with minimal color fringing around the edges of text. This sharpness helps increase the effective resolution of this OLED panel vs. competing LCD.

Lenovo compensated for the increased display power draw by increasing that model’s battery to 56Wh (up from 52Wh in the other models). Despite having a larger battery, Lenovo rates the OLED’s battery life more conservatively at 9 hours, down from 11 hours for the LCD models. This stems from the display brightness and content displayed during those standardized tests (a lot of full page white background stuff). Even with the larger battery, the lack of a required backlight brings the total weight of the OLED model down to 2.8 lbs. The backlight and LCD hardware add 0.2 lbs to the non-OLED models.

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