Lenovo's Arm-Powered ThinkPad Touts 28-Hour Battery Life

Lenovo ThinkPad X13s
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

When we say "all-day" battery life, we're usually talking about a laptop that lasts more than 8 hours, but what if there were a system that could run longer than 24 hours? Today, alongside some ThinkPad T-series and X1 Extreme laptops, Lenovo announced the ThinkPad X13s, an ultraportable that promises 28 hours of endurance thanks to its low-power Arm processor.

Available in May with a starting price of $1,099 in the U.S., the 2.35-pound, 13-inch laptop is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 processor that operates at a power-sipping 9w TDP and has built-in support for 5G and 4G cellular connectivity. The laptop will be available at AT&T and Verizon later in the year.

Windows laptops powered by Arm processors, specifically Qualcomm Snapdragon CPUs, are nothing new. In years past, we've reviewed several models which touted long battery life and integrated cellular connectivity but came up short in terms of performance. Lenovo even got in on the game with its disappointing Flex 5G, but this is the first ThinkPad to use an Arm processor and the company told us that the performance is equivalent to that of a Core i5 processor.

We had a chance to see the ThinkPad X13s in person and it has the standard features of a ThinkPad, including a fantastically-tactile keyboard and a TrackPoint pointing stick. However, the color of the “Thunder Black” chassis is a little less black and more grayish than a regular ThinkPad, though it is a nice soft-touch material. The change in color may be because it's made from 90 percent recycled magnesium. Despite the materials, the laptop is made to pass the same series of MIL-STD durability tests as other ThinkPads.

Lenovo ThinkPad X13s

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

One of the key challenges of any Arm-powered laptop is compatibility with apps that were compiled for x86. Windows 11, which will come preloaded on the ThinkPad X13s, is the first to allow Arm processors to run 64-bit, x86 apps. The jury is still out on how well those apps will perform, given the chip would need to go into emulation mode. 

On the bright side, there will be a number of native apps that are guaranteed to work. Lenovo, Qualcomm and Microsoft are partnering with software vendors to certify that their apps run on Arm via the MIcrosoft App Asure program. Lenovo cited Microsoft 365, Zoom and Sophos as apps that will have native support.

The ThinkPad X13s will be available with three screen options, all of which have 1920 x 1200 resolutions but vary based on brightness and touch capability. It will have up to a 1TB PCIe SSD and up to 32GB of LPDDR4x RAM. It will have a 5-MP webcam and an IR camera. Like some other recent ThinkPads, it will also have Computer Vision for enhanced human presence detection. 

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Lenovo ThinkPad X13s Specs
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3
GraphicsQualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen Adreno GPU
Display13.3-inch 1920 x 1200 non-touch, touch or 400-nit non-touch
RAMUp to 32GB LPDDR4x
StorageUp to 1TB PCIe SSD
NetworkingWi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 6E, 5G Sub6, 5G mmWave
Ports2x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gpps), 3.5mm audio, SIM
Camera5MP camera, 5MP IR Camera with Computer Vision
Dimensions11.76 x 8.13 x 0.53 inches
Weight2.35 pounds

The ThinkPad X13s will support Wi-Fi 6 / 6E, 5G sub6 and 5G mmWave, though the cellular options may depend on the market. The laptop will have two USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports (10 Gbps).

Whether the battery life and 5G connectivity make the ThinkPad X13s worth the potential trade-offs in performance and app selection remains to be seen. One of the best ultrabooks right now, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 9) that we reviewed in 2021 lasted for more than 15 hours on our battery test and it uses a standard Intel x86 processor.  

 New ThinkPad X1 Extreme With RTX 3080 Ti 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Back at CES 2022 in January, Lenovo introduced the latest version of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, but left announcements of other ThinkPad refreshes for later. Later is now as the company is showing its latest mobile workstation, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5.

As you would expect, the latest ThinkPad X1 Extreme has the newest 12th-Gen Intel H-series CPUs. It also has the latest Nvidia GPU options, ranging from an RTX 3050 Ti all the way up to an RTX 3080 Ti. Completing the trifecta of latest-gen internal components, the laptop uses up to 64GB of DDR5, 4800 MHz RAM. A new liquid metal thermal paste and vapor chamber promise enhanced cooling that Lenovo claims will boost performance up to 10 percent (presumably over a system that didn't have those solutions).

The 4.14-pound, 0.78-inch ThinkPad X1 Extreme has four options for its 16-inch, 16:10 display, ranging from a 1920 x 1200 panel with a 165 Hz refresh rate to a  3840 x 2400 panel that promises 600 nits of brightness, HDR400 and 100 percent coverage of the Adobe RGB color gamut. The 165 Hz panel option is new for 2022. If you combine that with any of the decent graphics card options with this screen, you could use this business laptop for serious gaming. 

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 Specs
CPUUp to Intel 12th Gen Core i9 H Series
GraphicsRTX 3050 Ti, 3060, 3070 Ti or 3080 Ti
Display16-inch 1920 x 1200 (165 Hz), 2560 x 1600, 3840 x 2400 non-touch (100% Adobe RGB) or 3840 x 2400 touch (100% Adobe RGB)
RAMUp to 64GB DDR5 (4800 MHz)
StorageUp to 8TB (2x M.2 PCIe Gen 4)
NetworkingWi-Fi 6E, 5G (optional), Bluetooth 5.2
Ports2x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps), 2x Thunderbolt 4, 1x SD Card, 1x HDMI 2.1 and 1x 3.5mm
Camera1080p, optional IR camera
Dimensions14.13 x 9.99 x 0.78 inches
Weight4.14 pounds

If you need a lot of storage for your laptop, the X1 Extreme can deliver on that front, as it has two M.2 PCIe Gen 4 slots that can provide up to 8TB in total. You can also connect it to high-speed external storage, using one of its two Thunderbolt 4 ports. It also has two USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps) Type-A ports, HDMI 2.1 out, 3.5mm audio and a full-size SD card slot. You can connect it to your network wirelessly via Wi-Fi 6E or optional 5G.

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 will be available in June with a starting price of $2049.

 Refreshed ThinkPad T-Series Laptops 

Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Gen 3

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

 

Lenovo is also releasing three new ThinkPad T-Series laptops, specifically updated versions of the 14-inch ThinkPad T14 and T14s, along with a new 16-inch ThinkPad T16. All three laptops will have 16:10 displays and be available with a choice of Intel 12th Gen processors or AMD Ryzen Pro 6000 series CPUs.

The lightest and slimmest of the series, the ThinkPad T14s starts at 2.7 pounds with an Intel CPU inside, but a slightly-heavier 2.84 pounds when powered by AMD. The AMD version is just 0.62 inches thick while the Intel model is a similar 0.65 inches thick. Both models have a range of screen choices, with a base resolution of 1920 x 1200, but only the AMD units can go up to 3840 x 2400 while the Intel one caps out at 2880 x 1800. The AMD-powered T14s has a single USB 4 port for high-speed transfers while the Intel model has dual Thunderbolt 4 ports.

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Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Specs
Header Cell - Column 0 ThinkPad T14s (AMD)ThinkPad T14s (Intel)
CPUAMD Ryzen 6000 ProIntel 12th Gen CPUS (up to Core i7)
GraphicsAMD Radeon 600M, Intel Iris X Graphics
Display14-inch 1920 x 1200 (non-touch), 1920 x 1200 (touch), 1920 x 1200 (anti-glare), 1920 x 1200 (Privacy Guard), 2240 x 1400, 3840 x 2400 touch14-inch 1920 x 1200 (non-touch), 1920 x 1200 (touch), 1920 x 1200 (anti-glare), 1920 x 1200 (Privacy Guard), 2240 x 1400, 3840 x 2400 touch
RAMUp to 32GB LPDDR5Up to 32GB LPDDR5
StorageUp to 2TB PCIe Gen 4Up to 2TB PCIe Gen 4
NetworkingWi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, optional 5G or LTEWi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, optional 5G or LTE
Ports2x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, 1x USB-C 4, 2x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps), HDMI 2.0b, 3.5mm2x Thunderbolt 4, 2x USB Type-A 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps), HDMI 2.0b, 3.5mm
Camera720p, 1080p, or 1080p + IR720p, 1080p, or 1080p + IR
Dimensions12.50 x 8.93 x 0.62 inches12.50 x 8.93 x 0.65 inches
Weight2.84 pounds2.70 pounds

The slightly-heavier and thicker ThinkPad T14 will start at less than 3 pounds and will be 0.7 inches thick. It will have two battery options, a lighter-weight 39.3 Whr battery and a heavier 52.5 Whr unit for extended longevity. The screen options are similar to those on the ThinkPad T14s, though both the Intel and AMD versions of the T14 will have a 3840 x 2400 resolution option.

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Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Specs
Header Cell - Column 0 ThinkPad T14 (AMD)ThinkPad T14 (Intel)
CPUAMD Ryzen 6000 ProIntel 12th Gen U or P Series (Up to Core i7)
GraphicsAMD Radeon 600M (integrated)Intel UHD, Intel Iris X, Nvidia MX550 or Nvidia RTX 2050
Display14-inch 1920 x 1200 (non-touch), 1920 x 1200 (touch), 1920 x 1200 (anti-glare), 1920 x 1200 (Privacy Guard), 2240 x 1400, 3840 x 2400 touch14-inch 1920 x 1200 (non-touch), 1920 x 1200 (touch), 1920 x 1200 (anti-glare), 1920 x 1200 (Privacy Guard), 2240 x 1400, 3840 x 2400 touch
RAMUp to 32GB LPDDR5Up to 48GB LPDDR5
StorageUp to 2TB PCIe Gen 4Up to 2TB PCIe Gen 4
NetworkingWi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, Ethernet, Optional LTEWi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, Optional LTE, Ethernet
Ports2x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, 2x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps), HDMI 2.0b, 3.5mm, RJ45, SIM2x Thunderbolt 4, 2x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps), HDMI 2.0b, 3.5mm, RJ45, SIM
Camera720p, 1080p, or 1080p + IR720p, 1080p, or 1080p + IR
Dimensions12.51 x 8.93 x 0.70 inches12.51 x 8.93 x 0.70 inches
WeightLess than 3 poundsLess than 3 pounds

Interestingly, the Intel version of the ThinkPad T14 will have optional RTX 2050 graphics, so there's the possibility of running some apps that use ray tracing on it. The Intel version will have two Thunderbolt 4 ports, but the AMD's ports cap out at USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps). Both models support Wi-Fi 6E.

The ThinkPad T16 is the replacement for the company's T15, 15-inch ThinkPad T-Series. It sports a 16-inch display that goes up to 3840 x 2400 resolution with a starting weight of 3.72 pounds for the AMD version, a bit less than the 3.9-pound Intel model. 

As with the T14, the ThinkPad T16's Intel-powered model will have optional RTX 2050 graphics. Both models will have a choice of 52.5 Whr or 85 Whr batteries.

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Lenovo ThinkPad T16 Specs
Header Cell - Column 0 ThinkPad T16 (AMD)ThinkPad T16 (Intel)
CPUAMD Ryzen 6000 ProIntel 12th Gen U or P Series (Up to Core i7)
GraphicsAMD Radeon 600MIntel Iris X, Nvidia MX550 or Nvidia RTX 2050
Display16-inch 1920 x 1200 (non-touch), 1920 x 1200 (touch), 1920 x 1200 (anti-glare), 1920 x 1200 (Privacy Guard), 2240 x 1400, 3840 x 2400 touch16-inch 1920 x 1200 (non-touch), 1920 x 1200 (touch), 1920 x 1200 (anti-glare), 1920 x 1200 (Privacy Guard), 2240 x 1400, 3840 x 2400 touch
RAMUp to 32GB LPDDR5Up to 48GB LPDDR5
StorageUp to 2TB PCIe Gen 4Up to 2TB PCIe Gen 4
NetworkingWi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, Ethernet, Optional LTEWi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, Ethernet, Optional LTE
Ports2x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, 2x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps), HDMI 2.0b, 3.5mm, RJ45, SIM2x Thunderbolt 4, 2x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps), HDMI 2.0b, 3.5mm, RJ45, SIM
Camera720p, 1080p, or 1080p + IR720p, 1080p, or 1080p + IR
Dimensions14.25 x 10.06 x 0.77 inches14.25 x 10.06 x 0.81 inches
Weight3.72 poundsLess than 3.9 pounds

The Intel versions of the ThinkPad T16 and T14 will be available starting in April with starting prices of $1,419 and $1399 respectively. In May, the AMD-powered ThinkPad T14s will ship with a starting price of $1399. Finally, June will see the launch of the Intel-powered T14s, the AMD-powered T16 and the AMD-powered T14 with starting prices of $1,529, $1,299 and $,1299 respectively.

Avram Piltch is Tom's Hardware's editor-in-chief. When he's not playing with the latest gadgets at work or putting on VR helmets at trade shows, you'll find him rooting his phone, taking apart his PC or coding plugins. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram developed many real-world benchmarks, including our laptop battery test.
  • BillyBuerger
    Nice to see 16:10 screens on everything here. About time we move on from 16:9.
    Reply
  • excalibur1814
    OMG! Thank you Lenovo. Thank you. All reviewers and web sites can now stop going on and on and on about the M1.
    Reply