Usage Experiences and Conclusion
Display and Battery Life
For me, adjusting to the OLED screen involved naturally choosing darker backgrounds and using darker themes (such as Office 365’s dark theme) to help counter the eye strain that potentially comes with looking directly at a very white 14” panel. I wasn’t specifically making these choices to save power, but in the end, they served the same purpose. In my own use over the past few months, I typically did some rather heavy excel number crunching, RAW converting and photo editing for articles, web surfing for article research, etc. Even at the heaviest usage, I typically saw 5-6 hours of reasonably heavy usage on an 80% charge (limited by the handy Battery Charge Threshold mode – useful for maintaining battery endurance over time). Starting from that same 80%, I achieved 8 hours in ‘tent mode’ with a PDF open for an extended session of automotive wrenching.
Keyboard, Trackpad, TrackPoint, Fingerprint Sensor
The X1 Yoga comes with a quality Synaptics driven touchpad in addition to the ThinkPad staple TrackPoint center button. A fingerprint sensor makes logins quick and easy. The keyboard features the Lift & Lock feature where the recessed key surround raises to become flush with the laptop surface while the keys simultaneously lock extended, meaning no accidental key presses while in tent mode or tablet mode. Rubber feet on either side of the keyboard extend out in tandem with that conversion, keeping the flattened keyboard from slipping around on the surface it rests on.
The stylus is a nice implementation and comes in very handy in tablet mode. Unlike most tablets on the market, this stylus has its own storage compartment in the Yoga’s body – no silly magnets or cover loops that beg to lose track of the pen when you need it. This compartment also charges the built-in supercapacitor in just 15 seconds for 2 hours of usage. The stylus has pressure sensitivity and it worked seamlessly with Microsoft Pen Services and all other pen-enabled applications I tried.
After months of heavy use, I came away very impressed with the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga. The build quality was outstanding and in keeping with the ThinkPad tradition. Performance and battery life were impressive considering the thin profile and light weight. The OLED 10-point multi-touch display is a thing of beauty and stands as a killer feature that by itself justifies the upgrade to this impressive little machine. Sales are paused as of this writing as Lenovo is updating the line with a slightly different keyboard retraction mechanism, USB Type-C, Kaby Lake CPUs, and a silver option, all of which should make the upcoming revision even more refined than what we reviewed here today. I personally can't wait to check those new models out and might even buy one myself!