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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6 Review: Long Screen, Extra Long Battery Life

Lenovo’s high-end, business 2-in-1 lasts over 14 hours on a charge.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Our Verdict

Combining excellent usability with long battery life and great looks, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) is the business 2-in-1 to beat.

For

  • Long battery life
  • + Responsive keyboard
  • + 16:10 Display
  • + Accurate stylus, stores in garage
  • + Good port selection

Against

  • - RAM not upgradeable
  • - Expensive

Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Yoga has long been one of the leaders in the business 2-in-1 space, thanks to its great build quality, snappy keyboard and helpful stylus. Designed to compete with the best ultrabooks, the Gen 6 model ups the ante with a productivity-friendly 16:10 display, an 11th Gen Intel Core processor and epic battery life of more than 14 hours. Starting at $1,319 ($2,111 as tested), the ThinkPad X1 Yoga is pricier than consumer 2-in-1s like the HP Spectre x360 14, but is a great choice for businesses or anyone who places a premium on productivity. 

ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) Specs 

CPUIntel Core i7-1165G7
GraphicsIntel Iris Xe
Memory16GB LPDDR4X 4266MHz
Storage512GB NVMe SSD
Display14-inch, 1920 x 1200 touch
NetworkingIntel AX201 WiFi 6 802.11AX, Bluetooth 5.1
Ports2x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 2x Thunderbolt 4, 3.5mm audio, HDMI 2.0 
Camera720p
Battery57 WHr
Power Adapter65W
Operating SystemWindows 10 Pro
Dimensions (W x D x H)12.3 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches
Weight3 pounds
Price (as configured)$1,304

Design of ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) 

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6

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The ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) has many of the common design elements that are common on high-end Lenovo business laptops: the red TrackPoint pointing stick, the power light that sits above the i in the ThinkPad logo and the gently-recessed keyboard tray. However, the 2-in-1’s chassis is made of “storm gray” aluminum rather than black magnesium and carbon fiber you find on ThinkPads like the X1 Carbon. Unlike on some previous models, the keyboard’s keys match the gray colorway.

As you might expect from a 2-in-1, the display uses a pair of small hinges to bend back 180 degrees. The feel is really tight and sturdy and made me feel like I could do this thousands of times, without loosening it. The X1 Yoga comes with a small stylus that lives in a tiny “garage” on the right side of the laptop when you’re not using it. Most other 2-in-1s use larger stylii that look and feel more like traditional pens, but have to be stored less elegantly. The HP Spectre x360’s stylus, for example, attaches to its side via magnets, which makes it a bit easier to knock off and lose. 

In addition to the stylus garage, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) has plenty of ports adorning its chassis. On the left side, you’ll find two Thunderbolt 4 ports, one of which you use to charge the laptop via USB-C, a USB 3.2 Type-A port (5 Gbps) and an HDMI port. The right side houses a Kensington lock slot, a second USB 3.2 port and a 3.5mm audio jack. While some previous ThinkPads had tiny power buttons on the side, this one has it in the more traditional location: above the right side of the keyboard, where it doubles as a fingerprint reader.

At 3 pounds and 12.3 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) is a little thinner but about the same weight as the HP Spectre x360 14 (2.95 pounds, 11.75 x 8.7 x 0.7 inches). The HP Elite Dragonfly Max (2.49 pounds, 12 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches) is noticeably more compact thanks to its smaller, 13.3-inch display and weighs half a pound less. The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2.9 pounds / 11.69 x 8.15 x 0.56 inches), despite its smaller display, was only 0.1 pound lighter.

It’s also important to note that, unlike consumer-focused rivals, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga is designed to take some punishment. Like other ThinkPads, it is designed to pass 12 different MIL-SPEC tests including those for extreme temperatures, shocks and vibrations. The apparent build quality reflects this as the laptop feels very solid with no creaks, flex or air gaps anywhere. 

Performance of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) 

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6

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With a Core i7-1165G7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD, our review configuration of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) was more than powerful enough for any productivity task. Even with more than two dozen tabs open and a video playing on the computer, I noticed no lag at all. 

On Geekbench 5, a synthetic test that measures overall performance, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga returned a solid 5,447 multi-core score and a single-core score of 1,519. That’s slightly ahead of the Intel Core i7-1185G7-powered HP Elite Dragonfly Max (5,195 / 1,514) and comfortably ahead of the Intel Core i7-1165G7-powered HP Spectre x360 14 (4,904 / 1,462). However, the Core i7-1165G7-powered Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (5,639 / 1,532) fared slightly better.

The 512GB SSD copied 25GB of files in 51 seconds for a rate of 531.3 MBps. That’s about on par with the Dragonfly Max (558.6 MBps), the Spectre x360 (533.6 MBps), but noticeably better than the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (405.6 MBps)

It took the X1 Yoga 13 minutes and 50 seconds to transcode a 4K video to 1080p. That’s noticeably faster than the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (15:52) and way ahead of the HP Dragonfly Max (19:44) and HP Spectre x360 14 (18:05). 

To see how well the X1 Yoga performs over time, we ran Cinebench (version R23) 20 times while recording the CPU temperature and clock speed. The system averaged a score of 5362 with a clock speed of 3,289 MHz and a temperature of 93 degrees Celsiuis. However, the Yoga started much stronger than it finished, achieving scores above 5,500 for the first six runs or 23 minutes. The score dropped dramatically down to 5,013 for run 10, which occurred at about 31 minutes into the test, but recovered thereafter settling into the 5,200 - 5,300 range .

Display on the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) 

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New for Gen 6, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga has a 16:10 display, which means that the base resolution is 1920 x 1200.That  gives you 11% more vertical screen real estate than on the more common, 1920 x 1080 resolution. You can also opt for a 3840 x 2400 panel if you want to pay extra.

Our review unit had the 1920 x 1200, anti-glare, screen which was pretty bright and sharp, but not especially colorful. When I watched a trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, fine details such as the stubble on actor Simu Liu’s face and the engraving patterns on some bracelets were sharp and prominent. However, colors like the red in a sports car or the green in some trees weren’t very vibrant. 

The ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6)’s display measured 351 nits on our light meter, which is a little brighter than the HP Spectre x360 14 (339 nits) but comfortably behind the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1’s 1080p display (488 nits) However, the HP Elite Dragonfly Max blew away the field with a luminous 707 nits of brightness. The good news is that the display is matte,) so we never saw our own reflection when looking at the display and it was a little more visible with bright light streaming through the window. If you want a brighter display, which might work outdoors, you can configure the Yoga with a 500-nit panel.

The screen reproduced a modest 71.1 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut. That’s pretty much identical to the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (70 percent), but significantly less than the HP Elite Dragonfly Max and its 1920 x 1080 display. The HP Spectre x360 14, which we tested with its OLED display option, went all the way to 139.7 percent.

Keyboard and Touchpad on the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) 

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The ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6)’s keyboard features the same, wonderful key feel that we’ve experienced on most ThinkPads. The keys feel snappy and provide a solid 1.5mm of travel, along with a pleasant curved shape that makes it easy to feel your way around. I got a modest 91 words per minute on the 10fastfingers.com typing test, a few points below my typical 95 wpm, but the experience was very comfortable. 

Like other ThinkPads, the X1 Yoga (Gen 6) has both a TrackPoint pointing stick and a buttonless touchpad. Whether you’re a TrackPoint fan or just open to the possibility of using a pointing stick, you’ll appreciate the nub’s precision. I particularly enjoyed being able to quickly and easily navigate around the desktop, without having to lift my hands off of the home row.

For those who don’t like nubs, the 4.3 x 2.2-inch touchpad is more than adequate. Using Windows Precision drivers, it accurately responded to all the traditional multitouch gestures, including pinch-to-zoom, three-finger swipe and two-finger scroll.

Touchscreen and Pen Experience on the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) 

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6

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The 14-inch capacitive touchscreen on the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) worked flawlessly, both with finger input and with the stylus, which Lenovo calls the ThinkPad Pen Pro. The 4.5 x 0.2-inch active stylus is pressure sensitive; I noticed much thicker lines when I pressed down harder while drawing in Fresh Paint. The pen also has two buttons, which you can configure to launch apps or perform actions of your choice using the preloaded Lenovo Pen Settings app.

Audio on the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6)

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For a business laptop, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) offers really solid sound that’s good enough to dance to or fill a conference room with. When I played AC/DC’s "Back in Black" at maximum volume, the drums were just a little harsh, but not annoyingly so and the sound was loud enough to fill my dining room and be heard clearly in the adjacent living room. Earth Wind and Fire’s bass-heavy "September" was richer, with different instruments appearing to come from different sides of the laptop.

Both in the Lenovo Commercial Vantage utility and in the Dolby Access software, you can choose from different audio profiles such as Music, Voice, Gaming or Dynamic. There’s also an automatic setting that chooses for you. I found that there was little difference between the modes, though Dynamic made the music sound a little louder and harsher.

Upgradeability of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) 

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To access the guts of the ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6), all we needed to do was unscrew five captive Philips head screws on the bottom surface and then pry the bottom cover off. The good news is that, if you want to replace the NVMe SSD that comes with the laptop, you can. The bad news is that you can’t replace anything else, including the RAM, which is soldered on.

Battery Life on the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6)

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The ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) can last all day on a charge and then some. On our battery test, which involves continuous web surfing, video streaming and OpenGL tests over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness, Lenovo’s 2-in-1 endured for an impressive 14 hours and 45 minutes. That’s even longer than the HP Elite Dragonfly Max (13:09) and more than double the time of the HP Spectre x360 14 (7:14), though we tested the latter with a more power-hungry 3000 x 2000 OLED screen. The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 lasted for 10:52.

Heat on ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) 

The ThinkPad X1 Yoga stayed pleasantly cool throughout our tests. After streaming a video for 15 minutes, the keyboard measured a modest 85.5 degrees Fahrenheit while the touchpad topped out at 81 degrees and the middle bottom hit just 91.5 degrees. I never noticed any heat while using the system.

Webcam on the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The 720p webcam on the ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) captured reasonably detailed images with somewhat muted color. When I took a selfie at mid-day with some natural light coming into my office, details like the hairs in my beard and the lines in my forehead were pretty sharp but some colors like the red in my shirt were a little dull.

Software and Warranty on the LenovoThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) 

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6

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The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) comes with a couple of useful utilities and a bare minimum of bloatware. As always on ThinkPads, there’s Lenovo Commercial Vantage, which is the main control panel where you can change settings for everything from your keyboard to your cooling system.  Lenovo Pen settings lets you control what the top and bottom do on the stylus and Dolby Access lets you change sound profiles. 

Our unit came surprisingly free of promotional apps in the Start menu. In fact, the only one we noticed was a trial of Microsoft Office, which comes preloaded on every Windows 10 PC.

Lenovo backs the ThinkPad X1 Yoga with a standard one year warranty on parts and labor. You can pay extra to extend the warranty up to five years and add extras such as on-site support.

Configurations of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) 

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The ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) is available with a choice of Core i5 or Core i7 CPUs, 8 or 16GB of LPDDR4X RAM, up to 1TB of NVMe SSD storage, and four different screen choices. You can opt for a 1920 x 1200 that goes up to 400 nits, an anti-glare model, a model with Privacy Guard (which limits viewing angles on demand) and 500 nits or a 3840 x 2400 resolution unit that does up to 500 nits and 90 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut.

The base model currently goes for $1,319 and comes with a Core i5-1135G7 CPU, a 1920 x 1200 display, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. At press time, our review configuration, which had a Core i7-1165G7, an anti-glare screen, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, was going for $2,111.40.

Bottom Line

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The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) has just about everything a professional would want from a 2-in-1. Its 11th Gen CPU provides strong productivity performance, mixed with epic battery life and a slew of helpful creature comforts that range from an excellent ThinkPad keyboard to a full suite of ports to a helpful pointing stick and an accurate stylus that’s hard to lose. The display, while not particularly colorful if you don’t get the 4K option, offers plenty of screen real estate and a matte surface that won’t turn into a mirror in sunny rooms. And all of this is packaged together in an attractive aluminum chassis that’s made to stand up to some punishment.

If you don’t need the business-friendly durability and security features, consider the HP Spectre x360 14, which currently costs $500 less for a similar configuration to our review unit. And, if you must have a lighter laptop, the HP EliteBook Dragonfly Max, which weighs 0.5 pounds less but has a smaller screen, could be for you. However, if you want the best combination of endurance and usability in a professional laptop, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga should be at the top of your list. 

Avram Piltch
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.