ThinkPad X1 Nano: Lenovo drops the mic with its light, fast, and long-lasting ThinkPad
PCWorld|May 2021
This ThinkPad hits the sweet spot between power and battery life.
BEN PATTERSON

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano is just the kind of powerful, light, and long-lasting laptop you’ll want to take with you on post-pandemic business trips—and it’s handy even now just because it’s so easy to take all over the house.

It also performs right there in the ballpark with other 11th-gen Tiger Lake competitors, and at a hair under two pounds, it weighs less than almost all of them.

Equipped with an IR camera for facial recognition, a presence-detecting radar, a 2K display with Dolby Vision HDR, and a premium keyboard, the X1 Nano covers the most bases for corporate users, and we haven’t mentioned the superlative battery life yet. But with only two available ports (Thunderbolt 4, at least), you’ll need to invest in a USB-C hub to connect legacy accessories.

CONFIGURATION

Lenovo offers nine versions of the ThinkPad X1 Nano (go.pcworld.com/9vrs) on its retail website. The least expensive model comes with a quad-core i5-1130G7 processor, 16GB of LPDDRx RAM, integrated Iris Xe graphics, and a 512GB SSD, for a web price of $2,919 that you can slash to $1,150 using a prominently listed “eCoupon.” On the upper end is a quad-core Core i7-1180G7-powered version with the same integrated Iris Xe graphics, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. As with all the other Nano X1 SKUs listed on Lenovo.com (go.pcworld.com/9vrs), the price of the higher-end model can be substantially chopped with an eCoupon—in this case, from a lofty $3,719 to a more reasonable $2,231.

The particular X1 Nano that we’re reviewing (20UN000EUS) is sold only through third-party retail channels (such as on Amazon (go.pcworld.com/20un)), although an identical version with a different part number is on sale on Lenovo.com. At the time of publication, both models were selling for approximately $1,877 (after applying an eCoupon if you’re shopping on Lenovo’s site).

Let’s take a closer look at our X1 Nano’s specs:

CPU: Quad-core Intel Core i7-1160G7

Memory: 16GB

Graphics: Integrated Intel Xe

Storage: 512GB SSD

Display: 13-inch 2160x1350 IPS (450 nits, non-touch)

Webcam: 720p

Connectivity: Two Thunderbolt 4 ports, combo audio jack

Networking: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2

Biometrics: IR facial recognition, fingerprint reader

Battery capacity: 48 Watt-hour

Dimensions: 11.53 x 8.18 x 0.66 inches (0.55 inches at thinnest point)

Weight: 1.99 pounds (measured), 0.54 pounds (power adapter)

The X1 Nano’s quad-core CPU is the fastest of Intel’s low-power, UP4-class Tiger Lake chips, which sacrifice base clock speed (generally used for daily computing tasks, like web browsing) for the sake of greater battery life. To compensate, these chips offer boost clock speeds that offer a brief surge of power similar to what you’d get from one of Intel’s beefier UP3-class chips. If you’re going to cut corners on a CPU, dropping the base clock is a reasonable choice—there’s typically plenty of speed to spare. We’ll see how the X1 Nano’s processor fares with real-world tasks in our performance section.

The 16GB of RAM and integrated Intel Xe GPU are well suited for mobile content creators, if less so for gamers. The 512GB SSD is spacious for both apps and a modest media collection. We’re impressed that Lenovo also crammed a bright, 2K display, facial and fingerprint biometrics, Wi-Fi 6, and a mid-sized 48-Watt-hour battery into such a slender shell

DESIGN

The big story about Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Nano is something you’ll feel rather than see. At just a sliver under two pounds (Lenovo says it weights 1.99 pounds, and my own measurements confirmed it), the X1 Nano is Lenovo’s lightest ThinkPad ever. I loved toting it around from one room in my apartment to another.

As far as looks go, the ThinkPad X1 Nano follows in the footsteps of Lenovo’s other ThinkPad laptops—which is to say, it’s all business. The X1 Nano’s carbon-fiber hybrid top and magnesium-aluminum chassis are both jet-black. The lid has a slightly rubberized feel, which makes it easy to grip, but it’s also susceptible to greasy fingerprints. In a neat touch that will be familiar to ThinkPad users, the “i” in the ThinkPad logo stamped on the lid emits a pulsating glow when the laptop is in Sleep mode.

Lenovo says the X1 Nano—again, like other ThinkPads—meets MIL-STD 810G standard of toughness, making it resistant to mechanical shocks, vibrations, sand and dust, extreme temperatures, humidity, and other environmental hazards.

DISPLAY

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM PCWORLDView All

Microsoft is killing my favorite Windows 10 feature

Windows 10’s Timeline is losing its cross-device sync, a killer productivity feature, and I’m crushed.

3 mins read
PCWorld
June 2021

Samsung's new Galaxy Book Pro laptops are thin, light, and smart

AMOLED displays and intelligent settings are standout features.

5 mins read
PCWorld
June 2021

I've fallen in love with this Asus miniLED 4K panel

Take my money, Asus!

4 mins read
PCWorld
June 2021

Intel launches 11th-gen Tiger Lake-H CPUs for gaming notebooks

Intel’s latest processors for gaming PCs trim clock speeds a bit, but offer what Intel says are substantial performance improvements and lower power use.

8 mins read
PCWorld
June 2021

How to spot an online scam: Three dead giveaways

It’s easy to be fooled by scammers online. But it’s just as easy to spot those scams if you’re paying attention.

6 mins read
PCWorld
June 2021

Hands on: Xbox Cloud Gaming for the web brings Xbox gaming to your browser

Stick to slower, story-driven games for the best experience.

6 mins read
PCWorld
June 2021

Google to automatically enroll users in two-factor authentication soon

Google hates passwords, so it’s trying to replace them with 2FA.

3 mins read
PCWorld
June 2021

8BitDo Pro 2: The best ‘Pro' controller for $50

An upgrade in almost every way.

9 mins read
PCWorld
June 2021

HP Envy 14 (2021) : This budget content-creation laptop does it all

While you can find laptops that outperform the Envy 14, it’s harder to find one that can do so for the same price.

10+ mins read
PCWorld
May 2021

ThinkPad X1 Nano: Lenovo drops the mic with its light, fast, and long-lasting ThinkPad

This ThinkPad hits the sweet spot between power and battery life.

10+ mins read
PCWorld
May 2021
RELATED STORIES