Usually, when we were talking about lightweight notebooks, we refer to the Acer Swift 5, or the LG Gram. However, there is a new contender on the horizon. And this time, it is from Lenovo. Say hello to one of the lightest laptops on the market – the ThinkPad X1 Nano.
However, they are not boasting only the portability of the device. Actually, they made the bold claim that this laptop is a “lightweight powerhouse”, and that it is a “heavyweight performer”. We are surely going to check if that claim holds true, but before we do that, let’s take a quick look at the specs.
This device comes equipped with Tiger Lake processors, although their TDP is only 9W. And since this is the first time we are testing them, it will be interesting how they fare against their “beefier” brothers.
As for the screen, Lenovo has gone for a 16:10 aspect ratio and a 2160×1350 resolution, which brings slightly more pixels to the table, than the FullHD+ one. Also, you get a fingerprint reader, and an IR face recognition scanner, which actually wakes the laptop when you sit in front of it, and locks it down, as soon as you get away from the computer. Needless to say, this can be both very useful, and extremely annoying.
In addition to that, you get Wi-Fi 6 support, as well as LTE connectivity (or 5G on some units).
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-thinkpad-x1-nano/
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano - Specs
All Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano configurations
What’s in the box?
Inside the package, we found the laptop, itself, some paper manuals, and a 65W USB Type-C power brick.
Design and construction
As expected, from a laptop that is pretty expensive in the first place, it uses pretty high-quality materials for its build. More specifically, the lid cover is made out of carbon fiber, while the chassis is crafted from magnesium alloy. Also, you will find the traditional rubberized finish on top, while the rigidity seems very solid. Especially, considering that this notebook has a profile of 13.9-16.7mm and weighs 907-1001 grams, depending on the touchscreen support, and the WWAN card availability.
Moving on, you can open the lid with a single hand, which is great. And the bezels around the matter (in the non-touch model) display are very thin. Thankfully, the HD camera is placed in its traditional position and has a ThinkShutter on top of it. Next to it, though, is where the fun starts…or ends. Although it is a great feature, when it comes to security and privacy, we found it too annoying for our use scenarios. Yes, the way it turns its screen off and then logs you back in after it sees you, without the need to press anything is spectacular. But it is not a whole lot faster than just closing your laptop and opening it up back again.
Next, we go to the keyboard. And this is where we were very surprised. Even though the notebook has an extremely thin form factor, the key travel on this thing is great. Also, the feedback is clicky, and overall – this backlit, spill-resistant keyboard stands true to the ThinkPad tradition. Also, it has the Red Nipple, which features a set of buttons above the touchpad.
Speaking of which, the touchpad actually feels really responsive. Both the gliding and the tracking are excellent, and this makes using it a pleasure. By the way, on its right, is where you will find the fingerprint reader.
If you look closer, you will see that there are two speaker grills just above the keyboard. They are the two 1W tweeters, while the 2W (woofers) are placed on the bottom. Also on the bottom, you will see the ventilation grill, located just beneath the fan. As for the heat exhaust, it happens through a slot on the right side of the notebook.
Unfortunately, the ThinkPad X1 Nano only has two Thunderbolt 4 connectors, and one Audio jack on the left. This is all of the I/O you are getting to deal with. Also, there is a SIM card tray on the back of the device. This means that you will definitely need a dongle for pretty much everything you need to connect to the notebook.
Disassembly, upgrade options, and maintenance
Only 5 captive Phillips-head screws are keeping this notebook’s bottom panel in place. After you undo them, pry the panel and lift it away.
Considering the 9W TDP of the processor, we feel that the single heat pipe is going to provide good-enough cooling.
In terms of memory, you get two configurations – one with 8, and one with 16GB of LPDDR4x memory. Unfortunately, all of it is soldered to the motherboard, and you won’t be able to upgrade it post-purchase. Storage-wise, though, there is one M.2 PCIe x4 drive, that supports 42mm drives.
The 48Wh battery pack here also seems to be in check with the power efficiency of the CPU.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano is equipped with an IPS touchscreen panel, MND007ZA1-2 (LEN4076). Its diagonal is 13-inch (33 cm), and the resolution – 2160 х 1350p. Additionally, the screen ratio is 16:10, the pixel density – 196 ppi, their pitch – 0.13 х 0.13 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 46 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).
Viewing angles are comfortable. We offer images at different angles to evaluate the quality.
The maximum measured brightness is 460 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and 429 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 11%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 6470K – pretty much matching the 6500K temperature for sRGB.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. The illustration below shows how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 62% Brightness (White level = 143 cd/m2, Black level = 0.09 cd/m2).
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio is very good – 1560:1.
To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.
Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people on HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.
Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.
The yellow dotted line shows Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano’s color gamut coverage.
Its display covers 96% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976, providing a punchy and vibrant image.
Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.
We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.
Below you can compare the scores of Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).
The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.
The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale, and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.
Response time (Gaming capabilities)
We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.
We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 28 ms.
After that, we test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “Gray-to-Gray” method from 50% White to 80% White and vice versa between 10% and 90% of the amplitude.
Health impact – PWM / Blue Light
PWM (Screen flickering)
Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano’s backlight doesn’t use PWM for brightness adjustment at any level. This makes it comfortable for long periods of use while being safe for your eyes in this aspect.
Blue light emissions
Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano’s IPS panel has a high resolution and maximum brightness, a good contrast ratio, comfortable viewing angles, and wide color coverage (96% of sRGB). Its backlight doesn’t flicker at any brightness level. Thankfully, with the help of our Gaming and Web design profile, the color accuracy sufficiently matches the standards for Web design, which will make professionals happy.
Buy our profiles
Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano configurations with 13″ MND007ZA1-2 (LEN4076) (FHD, 2160 x 1350) IPS panel.
*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]
Read more about the profiles HERE.
In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.
Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.
Design and Gaming
This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.
Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano’s Dolby Atmos quad-speaker setup produces a sound of very good quality. Moreover, its low, mid, and high tones are clear of deviations.
All of the drivers and utilities for this notebook can be found here: https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/en/products/laptops-and-netbooks/thinkpad-x-series-laptops/thinkpad-x1-nano-gen-1-type-20un-20uq/downloads/driver-list
Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. This device’s battery pack delivers 13 hours and 47 minutes of Web browsing, and 9 hours and 20 minutes of video playback.
In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.
For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.
We use F1 2017’s built-in benchmark on loop in order to simulate real-life gaming.
This notebook can be found with a plethora of quad-core Tiger Lake processors, including the Core i5-1130G7, Core i5-1140G7, Core i7-1160G7, and the Core i7-1180G7. Interestingly, all of them have a 9W TDP.
Results are from the Cinebench 20 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)
Respectively, the Core i5s come equipped with an 80EU Iris Xe Graphics G7, while the Core i7s feature the 96EU version of the same iGPU.
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Superposition benchmark (higher the score, the better)
|CS:GO||HD 1080p, Low (Check settings)||HD 1080p, Medium (Check settings)||HD 1080p, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||117 fps||116 fps||57 fps|
|DOTA 2||HD 1080p, Low (Check settings)||HD 1080p, Normal (Check settings)||HD 1080p, High (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||132 fps||80 fps||60 fps|
Temperatures and comfort
Max CPU load
In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.
Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.
|Intel Core i7-1160G7 (9W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano||3.25 GHz (B+55%) @ 75°C @ 40W||3.04 GHz (B+45%) @ 97°C @ 34W||2.35 GHz (B+12%) @ 94°C @ 21W|
Now that’s interesting. Here, we have a 9W TDP, that is pretty stretched out. Thus, the processor delivers a very good performance.
Comfort during full load
The laptop is very quiet, even under extreme load. And although the keyboard doesn’t heat up too much, the bottom panel remains pretty hot.
Let’s wrap up by saying that the ThinkPad X1 Nano is something spectacular. Its quality of build and the incredibly thin and light chassis result in a laptop that is extremely comfortable to carry. In fact, you barely feel it in your hand. And interestingly, despite its low TDP, we found it to work at a power limit, way higher than expected. This, on the other hand, resulted in high temperatures, but thankfully, you can choose between a couple of performance options, through the Vantage app.
It is impressive, that even in the “Extreme performance” setup, the laptop remains relatively quiet during heavy workloads. And the gaming experience? Well, the Evo platform does its job, and we get about 60 fps in DOTA 2 and CS:GO on very high settings. But of course, this device is far from a gaming laptop. How about its more common use cases?
Well, it packs a ton of security features, some of which include a TPM chip, camera shutter, dual biometric authentication (a fingerprint reader and an IR face recognition system), and a sensor that turns the display off when you leave your chair. As we said, this is as much a blessing, as it’s a burden, since it can be very annoying, if you are frequently running away from your device. By the way, the battery life here is very good, as we got almost 13 hours and a half of Web browsing and 9 hours and 20 minutes of video playback.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano’s IPS panel (MND007ZA1-2 (LEN4076)) has a high resolution and maximum brightness, a good contrast ratio, comfortable viewing angles, and wide color coverage (96% of sRGB). Its backlight doesn’t flicker at any brightness level. Thankfully, with the help of our Gaming and Web design profile, the color accuracy sufficiently matches the standards for Web design, which will make professionals happy.
Unfortunately, there are some disadvantages. One of them is the lack of RAM upgradeability. The laptop can be configured with either 8GB or 16GB of LPDDR4x memory, but you can forget about expanding it in the future, as there are no slots. At least on the storage side, you can put a larger, or faster M.2 2242 SSD.
The next thing we didn’t particularly like, is the I/O. Apart from the two Thunderbolt 4 connectors, the Audio jack, and the optional SIM card tray, there is nothing to talk about. Well, yes, two Thunderbolt 4 connectors and USB Type-C charging sound good, but there is a constant need for dongles, should you try connecting an accessory.
We can think of one other laptop that has only two Thunderbolt connectors and nothing more… However, it brings even more power to the table, it is practically silent, packs an arguably better display, and weirdly enough – is less expensive. Yep, we’re talking about the MacBook Air (M1, Late 2020).
- Sub 1 kilogram body made out of carbon fiber and magnesium alloy
- Surprisingly good performance
- Covers 99.5% of the sRGB color gamut, has high maximum brightness, and the color representation is accurate with our Gaming and Web design profile (MND007ZA1-2)
- Doesn’t use PWM for brightness adjustment (MND007ZA1-2)
- Good battery life
- Very good input devices
- Two Thunderbolt 4 connectors, Wi-Fi 6, and optional 5G support
- Poor upgradeability
- Limited I/O, making dongles and adapters mandatory
- Tends to get pretty warm under extreme workloads
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-thinkpad-x1-nano/