Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 5 hands on review

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CES 2020 is jam-packed with potential best laptops and what better way to start off the New Year than by unveiling Lenovo’s latest iteration of its best 2-in-1 business notebook: The ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 5. We got some hands-on time with the product, and can tell you it’ll likely once again make it one our best business laptops page.

The ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 5 is slated to launch sometime in 2020 (no exact month has been detailed just yet), and will start at $1,599.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 5 design

Those who love the ThinkPad X1 Yoga line will be happy to see the slick CNC Iron Gray aluminum design once again on the Gen 5. It still gives off that premium vibe, as if I’m a CEO walking into a business meeting.

(Image credit: Future)

The interior is more gray surrounding a black keyboard with red accents on the pointing stick buttons. It’s exactly what you’d think a ThinkPad would look like, except gray. While the side bezels are pleasantly narrow, the top bezel could use a trim. Above the keyboard is a small speaker vent in line with the hinge.

Obviously, as a Yoga, it sports a 2-in-1 design, so you can flip and rotate this baby 360 degrees. The one noticeable design change was moving the X1 logo from the bottom right corner to the top left corner under the ThinkPad logo on the lid.

At 3 pounds and 12.7 x 8.6 x 0.6 inches, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 5 is incredibly light and slim, making it a perfect companion for business users who are always on the go.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 5 ports

Despite being slim, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 5 has a decent number of ports. It offers two Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB 3.1 ports, an HDMI port, a headphone jack and a security lock slot. it also has a little garage just for the included stylus.

If you need more ports, take a look at our best USB Type-C hubs and best laptop docking stations pages to properly expand.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 5 display

The ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 5 boasts a 14-inch display that can be configured with multiple panels.

(Image credit: Future)

There are two 1920 x 1080 displays. One is a basic 400 nit panel and the other is a privacy screen rated at 500 nits of brightness. You can bump up to a 2560 x 1440 panel, which will be sharper but net you a lower 300 nits of brightness (which is still pretty bright). Finally, you can go all out and get the 3840 x 2160 Dolby Vision display, which goes up to 500 nits and offers HDR400 compatibility.

I got to see the X1 Yoga’s display up close, and was blown away by how bright and colorful it was. The white balance looked perfect, while the reds and blues on the screen popped. I can’t wait to get this baby through our lab to see what kind of numbers it hits.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 5 keyboard and touchpad

While we haven’t tested the ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 5’s keyboard just yet, we suspect it’ll be has good as the one on the ThinkPad X1 Yoga (4th Gen, 2019), which we adored.

(Image credit: Future)

We said that the previous generation keyboard’s curved keys conformed to your fingers, offered a surprising amount of key travel, and had just the right amount of resistance that rewarded you with a hardy click when you pressed down on them.

Lenovo stated that this keyboard will offer backlighting once again and have 1.5 millimeters of key travel, which is in-line with what we generally prefer (1.5 to 2.0 mm). 

When I got my hands on the keyboard, it’s exactly what I expected from a ThinkPad keyboard: pleasantly clicky keys with the perfect amount of key travel. It had just enough bounce and a smooth actuation force.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 5 specs

The ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 5 can be configured with up to a 10th Gen Core i7 Comet Lake processor, 16GB of RAM, a 2TB PCIe SSD, Intel UHD Graphics and a 4K display. So yeah, this thing is kind of a beast, but it doesn’t have discrete graphics, which would have been a nice touch.

It’s also MIL-SPEC tested, like the previous version, so business users that frequently travel, especially by air, won’t have to worry about your new laptop getting damaged. And as far as security is concerned, you can configure the Yoga Gen 5 with vPro for remote management as well as an IR webcam and fingerprint reader for Windows Hello. The system also comes with a privacy shutter for the webcam and a dTPM 2.0 security chip.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 5 battery life

Lenovo is packing a 51Wh battery in the ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 5, which the company rated for 10 to 15 hours of battery life. That’s impressive and not unrealistic, as the previous model lasted 10 hours and 18 minutes on our battery test. We’re looking forward to similar, if not better, endurance.

Bottom line

We loved what we saw of the ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 5 in person, from the sleek aluminum design to the superbright display. We’re even more excited to put it to the test in our lab. Stay tuned to our upcoming full review and benchmarks later this year. For more news on laptops, tablets and more, check out our CES 2020 hub page.

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