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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga review: A first-class 2-in-1 for business travelers

If size and weight in a work laptop matter most to you, the X1 Titanium Yoga is great, if not entirely perfect.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Gen 1
Josh Goldman/CNET

The X1 Titanium Yoga is the thinnest ThinkPad ever. At 11.5 millimeters (0.45 inch) and with a 13.5-inch 2K-resolution 450-nit display with a 3:2 aspect ratio, it doesn't take up much more space in a backpack than a spiral-bound single-subject notebook. It also weighs just 2.5 pounds (1.1 kilograms), which is barely more than the X1 Nano, Lenovo's lightest ThinkPad to date at 2 pounds (907 grams). Despite the thin-and-light frame, though, the X1 feels solid enough to hold up to being banged around on flights or an everyday transit commute. And that tall screen means you're getting more vertical space to work but the laptop is no wider than a 13.3-inch laptop. My point is, this is a great design for frequent business travelers and I didn't even mention all the privacy and security features yet. The X1 Titanium Yoga is a first-gen model, however, and while it's good, there's some room for improvement.

8.0

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga Gen 1

Like

  • Thin, strong 2-in-1 body
  • High-quality 3:2 display
  • Lots of security and privacy features
  • Lenovo Precision Pen included

Don't Like

  • Performance, battery life are nothing special for the price

Prices for the ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga currently start at $1,355, £1,670 in the UK and AU$2,949 in Australia. The configuration I tested, which you can see in the chart below, is $1,440, which is more than reasonable for what you're getting. But that's the price as I'm writing this. A few days ago it was $2,147, making this a much more difficult laptop to recommend. Needless to say, if you're interested in buying this laptop, you'll want to look for a sale or contact Lenovo directly to get the best pricing.  

Business laptops are typically more expensive than consumer models, though, because of things like better security and remote IT features, repairability and greater durability. For the X1 Titanium Yoga that means a Mil-Spec-tested chassis constructed of titanium and carbon fiber for the lid and magnesium-aluminum alloy on the bottom; a match-on-chip fingerprint reader (the biometric info is stored on the reader, not the computer) with anti-spoofing technology; and an IR camera for facial recognition. The BIOS is self-healing, too, meaning it can repair itself from a backup in case of a malicious attack or a failed or interrupted update. 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Gen 1

The titanium lid is new to ThinkPads. 

Josh Goldman/CNET

The X1 Titanium Yoga also has an ultrawideband radar sensor that can tell when you walk away from it and quickly lock the laptop. It can also sense when you return and automatically wake and unlock it. Called Human-Presence Detection, it's simultaneously awesome and a tad creepy. This setting and many more can be controlled through the laptop's Commercial Vantage app. 

In the app, you'll find everything from battery and power settings to audio tweaks for its mics and speakers to turning on and off the keyboard's various hotkeys. As you might expect, the controls are designed to improve your work experience, such as setting the laptop's mics -- there are four of them -- and speakers to improve your VoIP call quality while also suppressing keyboard noise. 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga

Price as reviewed $1,440
Display size/resolution 13.5-inch 2,256x1,504-pixel touch display
CPU 2.1GHz Intel Core i7-1160G7
Memory 16GB 4267MHz LPDDR4X (onboard)
Graphics 128MB Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Storage 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Networking 802.11ax wireless, Bluetooth 5.1
Connections Thunderbolt 4 USB-C (x2), 3.5mm audio jack
Operating system Windows 10 Pro (2H02)

There are always trade-offs when you make a laptop this thin and light but Lenovo manages to keep things comfortable. For instance, it has a 13.5-inch display that gives you some extra vertical room to work compared to a 16:9 display. Also, its 2K resolution is a fair compromise between full HD and 4K, and it can hit a 450-nit brightness level (for working in bright conditions) and covers 100% of the sRGB color gamut. The display looks good right out of the box. 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Gen 1

The keyboard is good, but the haptic touchpad needed some adjustment.

Josh Goldman/CNET

Also, despite its thinness, the keyboard is comfortable. I've seen user complaints about how this model's keyboard isn't as good as past ThinkPads and to some extent that's true. However, those better keyboards were in far thicker bodies. Again, given what Lenovo was working with here, it's a good keyboard. 

The touchpad, on the other hand, could be better. It's small, partly because this model has the familiar ThinkPad TrackPoint nub and its associated mouse buttons above the touchpad. It also matches the display ratio, so it's simply not that wide. Lenovo also used a haptic touchpad made by Sensel that eliminates moving parts but also means the click is simulated. The out-of-the-box settings caused me some frustration with tracking and click detection. But the touchpad has its own control panel, and once I adjusted it some, it worked just fine. 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Gen 1

The laptop's body is barely thicker than the included active pen. 

Josh Goldman/CNET

The port assortment on the X1 Titanium Yoga is limited to two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports and a 3.5mm headset jack -- though Thunderbolt 4 handles all your connection needs and power with a single cable and the right USB-C hub. Plus, it charges fast using Thunderbolt 4, too, but I wish the two ports were split up so you could charge from the left or right. Speaking of charging, battery life is a little disappointing at 9 hours, 29 minutes on our streaming video test. 

This laptop isn't quite the workhorse you might expect for a premium device either -- a cost of being so thin, perhaps -- but it is snappy for typical office productivity. Like the X1 Nano, the value in the X1 Titanium Yoga is in its durable lightweight design, high-quality display and all those extra features that make it easier to pick up and start using fast. Not to mention the security and privacy options. Also, the two-in-one design gives it an edge over the Nano, in my opinion, so if you're choosing between the two, the Yoga wins. 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Gen 1

The X1 Titanium Yoga stays thin even in tablet mode. 

Josh Goldman/CNET