Benchmarks And Conclusions
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga is an ultrabook, so the benchmarks we'll run aren't as demanding as the treatment given to gaming laptops. The test methodology we used can be found here.
The X1 Yoga will be compared to previously tested ultrabooks. The Lenovo Yoga 900, contains the same Intel Core i7-6500U, 16GB of DDR3L 1600MHz memory and 512GB of storage. Additionally, the X1 Yoga will take on the Razer Blade Stealth, which also contains an i7-6500U, 8GB of LPDDR3 1800MHz memory and 256GB of storage.
Synthetic Benchmark - PCMark 8
Unfortunately, the X1 Yoga doesn't fare all too well during our PCMark 8 test. This is both odd and disappointing considering that all three of these laptops contain the i7-6500U and near identical specifications. In real world usage, this might amount to a couple seconds of your time wasted, but it's still a disappointment nonetheless.
Synthetic Benchmark - 3DMark Fire Strike
Contrary to our PCMark 8 scores, the X1 Yoga pulls a slight win against its similarly equipped rivals in the 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark. The differences don't amount to much, however, as these Fire Strike scores illustrate that neither the X1 Yoga, the Yoga 900 or the Blade Stealth are up to snuff for modern games.
Synthetic Benchmark - Unigine Valley Advanced
The Valley score paints a similar picture; although the X1 Yoga takes a slight lead, it doesn't matter much when it can't even maintain frame rates above 30 FPS, which many accept as the bare minimum for an enjoyable gaming experience.
Gaming Benchmark - Bioshock Infinite
Dialing down the resolution tells a different story, however, and during our Bioshock Infinite test, the X1 Yoga proves capable of at least maintaining playable frame rates. In all likelihood, users would play less demanding games such as Starcraft 2 or League of Legends on a system such as this. Furthermore, ambitious users may tweak settings one way or another to gain every last ounce of performance the X1 Yoga has to offer. Or they may not play games at all.
Battery Benchmark - GFXBench Battery
Our estimated run time reached nearly 3 hours. It doesn't beat the Yoga 900’s 4+ hours, but 3 hours of heavy usage is already a lot to ask from an ultrabook. Most users will likely stick to web browsing and word processing.
Lenovo clearly intends to offer a peerless user experience with the ThinkPad X1 Yoga, and in many ways, it delivered. The ThinkPad X1 Yoga's strengths lie in the integration of its input devices: the ClickPad, TrackPoint, keyboard, touchscreen display and ThinkPad Pen Pro.
While the input devices all deliver a polished experience, the experience that stands out is the ThinkPad Pen Pro. I was pleasantly surprised with how well the pressure sensitive stylus mimics a bonafide writing experience with pen and paper. The stylus has niche uses, however; I found it most useful when the X1 Yoga was in tablet mode or propped up as a tent. Other positions feel unwieldy with the stylus.
Crafting an ergonomic experience is hard enough for a laptop, but to succeed on a 2-in-1 system is different. Lenovo would have succeeded if not for the poorly faced speakers on the bottom the the system. Only in one position (an uncommon one) did the X1 Yoga provide a relatively unobstructed experience.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga had a notable lead in gaming performance over the Yoga 900 and Razer Blade Stealth. While the X1 Yoga wasn't intended to play games, it manages to maintain respectable framerates of over 30 FPS while on lower quality presets and resolutions. The games we use as benchmarks aren't ultrabook friendly either. Less intensive games should run smoothly on the X1 Yoga.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga delivers, but at hefty price. As of this writing, the X1 Yoga is $1,934 as configured. Both the Yoga 900 and Blade Stealth cost $1,400 in comparison. For similar performance and an additional $500, we wonder whether the experience enhancements are worth it. Lenovo regularly runs deals on these systems, so if the experience matters, hold out for a price reduction.
Alexander Quejado is an Associate Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware and Tom’s IT Pro. Follow Alexander Quejado on Twitter.