Lenovo X1 Yoga

Lenovo is kicking off CES with a storm of new products starting tonight with their refreshed ThinkPad line of laptops and accessories. The real highlight, however, has to be their new X1 Yoga. Lenovo is taking cues from their best product lines and mixing and matching where it makes sense — the X1 Yoga is proof of that.

The X1 Yoga is nearly identical to the X1 Carbon (also refreshed), but it differs in some significant ways, including:

  • Available with a touch display (Carbon is now non-touch only)
  • Hinges that let the screen rotate around to become a tablet
  • Active stylus support
  • Optional OLED display

Like the Carbon, the X1 Yoga is configurable through Lenovo's site, letting you pick from the 6th generation of Intel processors from Core i5 to Core i7, different amounts of RAM (up to 16GB) and up to and up to 1TB of PCIe NVMe SSD storage.

You also get a new touch fingerprint reader that is analogous to the one found in the new Surface Type Cover. That change means no more swiping as you can just touch the reader for instant access through Windows Hello.

The best feature, however, may be the optional glossy WQHD OLED display, which is just jaw dropping gorgeous. I like the X1 line for the 14-inch screens, but they have never been amazing looking. They were more functional, that wow-worthy. With the OLED option now available, not only are the colors super saturated with deep blacks and punchy colors, but it cuts 0.2 pounds off of the X1 Yoga's weight due to the lack of a backlight component. That translates into a 2.8lb (1.27 kg) versus 3lb (1.36 kg) difference between the two models.

Nothing is free, however, and OLED does sap the battery a bit bringing estimates down to just 9 hours from the non-OLED variant (that's about 2 hours less). However, with Lenovo's quick charge technology you can add 50% capacity with just 30 minutes of charging, somewhat mitigating the problem. It's worth noting that just a few years ago we would have considered a 9-hour battery life to be extraordinary.

Oh yeah, and the typical power brick with this system now fits in the palm of your hand (with space). It's beyond tiny.

Don't like OLED? No worries as you can still get the X1 Yoga in Full HD and QWHD IPS display variants including with a matte screen.

Perhaps my other favorite feature was the active stylus. Not so much because the X1 Yoga supports it, but rather because you can store – and recharge – the pen within the laptop's chassis. In fact, just 15 seconds of charging gives you 90 minutes of pen usage. Combined with Lenovo's WRITEit software that lets you use pen input anywhere in Windows and the Yoga's ability to transform and you have a very versatile machine.

Finally, you also get that microSD support (awkwardly in the back) and an optional LTE modem, which is always a fantastic feature.

My one disappointment was that the OLED version of the X1 Yoga won't be available until April (it means I have to wait). The traditional IPS display versions go on sale much sooner in January starting at $1449.

Watch our hands-on video and tour to see the Lenovo X1 Yoga in action. Needless to say, I'm very excited about the OLED version and can't wait to get my hands on it.

More hands-on at CES