Lenovo Thinkpad X13sSource: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

What you need to know

  • The Lenovo ThinkPad X13s is a 2.35lbs (1.06kg) 5G clamshell laptop that features the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 processor.
  • The "ultra-slim, ultra-light fan-less design" delivers up to 28 hours of battery life.
  • It's the first ThinkPad with ARM that Lenovo has worked with Microsoft on for nearly four years.
  • The ThinkPad X13s will be available starting May 2022, starting from $1099. AT&T and Verizon will also be selling it.

The first Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3-powered laptop has just been announced. The ThinkPad X13s is a brand-new clamshell PC that looks to bring Lenovo's enterprise-first security and familiar TrackPoint system to mobile workers.

Windows-on-ARM is nothing new to Lenovo, which has launched previous devices like the first mmWave 5G laptop, the 2020 Flex 5G, and the Lenovo Yoga C630 from 2018. But the X13s is the first to earn the ThinkPad badge. What that means is besides the familiar TrackPoint red dot on the keyboard, it also gets the full suite of security features that make ThinkPads, well, ThinkPads.

Lenovo told Windows Central during a briefing that this laptop has been in development for the last four years as it worked with Microsoft to bring Lenovo's security of software and tools natively over to ARM, including VPN and antivirus abilities required by companies.

Lenovo Thinkpad X13s MainSource: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

Category Lenovo ThinkPad X13s
OS Windows 11 Pro
Processor Snapdragon 8cx (Gen 3)
RAM Up to 32GB LPDDR4x
Soldered
Dual-channel
Graphics Qualcomm Adreno
Storage Up to 1TB M.2 PCIe 4.0 SSD
Display 13.3 inches
16:10 aspect ratio
1920x1200 (FHD+)
IPS, anti-glare, 300 nits, 100% sRGB
1920x1200 (FHD+)
IPS, touch, anti-glare, 300 nits, 72% NTSC
1920x1200 (FHD+)
IPS, anti-glare, low power, 400 nits, 100% sRGB, low blue light
Ports Two USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2)
3.5mm audio
SIM
Audio Top-firing
Dual Dolby speakers
Three far-field mics
Qualcomm Voice and Audio suite
Wireless Wi-Fi 6
Wi-Fi 6E
5G sub6 eSIM
5G mmWave eSIM
Camera 5MP RGB camera
5MP IR camera
Computer Vision
Keyboard Spill resistant
Backlit
Touchpad Precision
TrackPoint
Security Human Presence Detection
IR camera
Camera e-shutter
Microsoft Pluton
Battery 49.5Wh
Dimensions 11.76 x 8.13 x 0.53 inches
(298.7mm x 206.4mm x 13.4mm)
Weight 2.35 pounds (1.06kg)
Color Thunder Black
Availability May 2022
Price From $1,099

The laptop has a familiar design with a low-power 13.3-inch 16:10 1920x1200 (FHD+) display that is also anti-glare. The top and bottom covers of the X13s are made from 90% certified recycled magnesium and come in a "Thunder Black" colorway.

The rest of the specs are also impressive, especially for connectivity. There is the latest Wi-Fi 6E and, of course, 5G, including mmWave and sub6. The inclusion of mmWave, which is always challenging and still rare in laptops, is one reason Verizon (along with AT&T) will be selling this laptop later in 2022.

Lenovo Thinkpad X13sSource: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

Since mobile video conferencing is so important these days, the ThinkPad X13s has a 5MP full HD web camera with AI-based auto framing, Windows Hello IR for facial recognition, and a triple microphone array with intelligent noise suppression. There are also modern features like human presence detection, which allows hands-free logging in, locking the PC, and dimming the screen when not looking at it to save power.

Ports are kept simple with just two Type-C 3.2 (Gen 2) ports for data, display out, and charging, along with a standard 3.5mm headphone and mic jack.

However, the secret sauce for the ThinkPad X13s is that new Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 ARM processor, first announced back in December. The 8cx Gen 3 is a 5nm SoC, a massive generational shift in performance compared to the anemic Gen 2. The CPU is supposed to garner a boost of 40% for single-core, 85% for multi-core, and 60% for GPU performance over the 8cx Gen 2, making the most substantial improvement yet.

For comparison, earlier benchmarks gave the single-core GeekBench score of 1,010, which puts the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 in the range of the Lenovo Yoga C740 with an Intel Core i5-10210U CPU.

The multi-core scores of the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 look even more promising. A Geekbench 5 multi-core score of 5,355 places the processor above the HP Spectre x360 14 with an Intel Core i7-1165G7.

When combined with the 50WHr battery, Lenovo claims that the ThinkPad X13s can get 28 hours of usage (likely video streaming). While that seems absurdly high, a real-world test could land near the 17 to 20-hour mark. Indeed, Lenovo's 2020 Flex 5G hit 18 hours of usage in PCMark 10 with 20% battery left. That laptop beat the ARM-based Galaxy Book S from Samsung by 7 hours and the Surface Pro X (G1) by 10 hours.

Lenovo is also using zippy PCIe 4.0 for the SSD and LPDDR4 for the RAM, which should make this laptop easily the fastest Windows on ARM PC to date. This is the first Windows-on-ARM laptop that can be configured with up to 32GB of RAM.

We won't have to wait long to get our hands on the ThinkPad X13s, either, as Lenovo says it will begin shipping in May. Even the price is a bit fairer, starting at $1,100, which is $300 less than 2020's Lenovo Flex 5G. AT&T and Verizon are expected to carry the ThinkPad X13s a bit later in the year.