A ThinkPad that turns into a tablet – what more would one want? That would be a very relevant question if it wasn’t for the $1200+ price tag. With that said, let us present you the Lenovo ThinkPad X390 Yoga, which is one of the more expensive 13-inch convertibles on the market but also aims to be one of the most versatile and durable ones.
Hardware-wise it packs the Whiskey Lake Intel ULVs and tops out with the vPro Intel Core i7-8665U. Additionally, you get a ThinkPad Pen Pro stylus that has its proprietary place inside the laptop’s chassis. Sometimes manufacturers include a dedicated stylus with the convertible laptops they sell, but it is usually found inside the box… very rarely inside the notebook, itself.
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-thinkpad-x390-yoga/
Lenovo ThinkPad X390 Yoga technical specifications table
What’s in the box?
Inside the box you, apart from the laptop yourself you are going to find some paper manuals and 65Wh power brick, that according to Lenovo is capable of charging your laptop from 0-80% in just an hour.
Design and construction
ThinkPad X390 Yoga’s body is made out of metal and has a matte finish to it, vastly reducing the number of fingerprints on the material. In addition to that, the laptop is super light at 1.29 kg (2.85 lbs) and has a profile of just under 16mm.
As a convertible, its lid is impossible to get opened with a single hand, however, it can go all the way to the back of the device. Its touchscreen itself is very accurate and the palm rejection is on point. As we mentioned the laptop comes with a ThinkPad Pen Pro that charges directly from the slot that is meant for it.
Onto the base of the device, you can see the typical ThinkPad keyboard with U-shaped keys and the red “nipple” in the middle. It has a rather long key travel and clicky feedback, which makes it super comfortable to type on. On the touchpad side, we were not 100% with the device. Although it is fairly accurate we found it to be slightly irresponsive. However, you still have the dedicated buttons on top that are best paired with the “nipple” itself.
Just on the right of the touchpad, you are going to see the fingerprint reader. Props to Lenovo for installing a such, especially given the fact that it is blazingly quick – just tap it with your finger and it is going to read it.
Lastly, there is the bottom of the laptop, where you’ll see the ventilation grills as well as the speaker cut-outs, while hot air comes out from the back of the device.
ThinkPad X390 Yoga is equipped with a USB Type-C charging plug, followed by a Thunderbolt 3 connector and an Ethernet extension, USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1) with Sleep and Charge, a headphone jack and an optional Smartcard reader. On the right, you’ll see an HDMI connector, a USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1) port, a microSD card reader, the power On/Off switch (that is pretty hard to distinguish on touch) and at the edge of the laptop is where the stylus resides.
Disassembly and upgrade options
Lenovo ThinkPad X390 Yoga’s backplate is held in place by 8 Phillips-head screws. It’s good that the screws themselves stay attached to the plate even when you unscrew them. This makes it extremely harder to lose them. After you undo them, just pop the plate with a plastic pry tool and you are inside the device.
Its cooling solution is super simple – there is a single heat pipe cooling the processor. Then the heat is transferred to the heatsink, and dissipated by the little fan.
Sadly but inevitably, the RAM chips are soldered onto the motherboard and are hidden beneath the black protective plastic material. Make sure you pick the configuration you want to get responsibly since you will not be able to upgrade your memory. On the bright side, there is an M.2 slot that supports NVMe drives.
Lenovo has equipped the laptop with a 51Wh battery pack. We are happy that they have made use of the free space inside, maximizing the battery capacity.
Lenovo ThinkPad X390 Yoga has a Full HD touchscreen IPS panel, AUO B133HAN05.9. Its diagonal is 13.3-inch (33.78 cm), and the resolution – 1920 х 1080p. Additionally, the screen ratio is 16:9, the pixel density – 166 ppi, their pitch – 0.153 х 0.153 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 53 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).
Viewing angles are excellent on this device. We offer images at different angles to evaluate the quality.
The maximum measured brightness is 317 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and 303 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 9%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 6850K – slightly colder than the 6500K temperature for sRGB. The average color temperature through the grey scale before profiling is 7040K.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from uniformity perspective. The illustration below shows how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 72% Brightness (White level = 143 cd/m2, Black level = 0.086 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 excellent – 1650:1 (1540:1 after profiling).
To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction of 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 in 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 X390 Yoga’s color gamut coverage.
Its display covers 97% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976, which is a prerequisite for a punchy 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 X390 Yoga 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 = 25 ms.
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 X390 Yoga doesn’t use PWM to adjust the brightness of its screen at any level. This makes it particularly comfortable for extended periods of use 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 X390 Yoga has a touchscreen panel with a Full HD resolution, a very good contrast ratio, and comfortable viewing angles. Moreover, it has a wide color coverage (97% of sRGB) and its backlight doesn’t flicker. Although the colors are not very accurate, as soon as you apply our Gaming and Web design profile, they get into Web design standard territory.
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 x390 Yoga configurations with 13.3″ AUO B133HAN05.9 (FHD, 1920 × 1080) 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.
THealth-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 X390 Yoga has a relatively good quality, rather loud sound, coming from its speakers. Its low and mid tones have deviations, while the highs are clear.
You can download all of the drivers and utilities you need on Lenovo’s support page: https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/bg/en/products/laptops-and-netbooks/thinkpad-x-series-laptops/thinkpad-x390-yoga/downloads
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 laptop has a 50Wh battery pack.
It was enough for 10 hours of web browsing and around 11 hours of video playback, which is pretty good – it is going to last a full work day only on battery power.
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.
As of the writing of this review, this laptop has a couple of processor options. Apart from the quad-core Core i5-8265U and Core i7-8565U, Lenovo is offering the device with the vPro version of the latter – the Core i7-8665U.
Results are from the Cinebench 15 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)
Intel UHD Graphics 620 is a refresh of the HD Graphics 620 found as an integrated solution in many ULV Kaby Lake processors. UHD Graphics 620 is codenamed “Kaby Lake R U GT2” and it’s a part of the Gen 9.5 generation.
Intel UHD Graphics 620 has roughly the same performance as HD Graphics 620, depending on the other components in the system. UHD Graphics 620’s performance is similar to AMD Radeon R5 M420X and NVIDIA GeForce 910M/920M.
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||32 fps||– fps||– fps|
|DOTA 2||HD 1080p, Low (Check settings)||HD 1080p, Normal (Check settings)||HD 1080p, High (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||53 fps||27 fps||– fps|
|Grand Theft Auto V (GTA 5)||HD 768p, Normal (Check settings)||HD 768p, High (Check settings)||HD 768p, Very High (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||26 fps||– fps||– 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 temperature (base frequency + X); CPU temp.
|Intel Core i5-8265U (15W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X390 Yoga||2.97 GHz (B+86%)@ 93°C||2.40 GHz (B+50%)@ 97°C||1.71 GHz (B+7%)@ 79°C|
|ASUS ZenBook Flip 13 UX362||2.92 GHz (B+83%)@ 82°C||2.53 GHz (B+58%)@ 97°C||1.26 GHz @ 63°C|
|ASUS ZenBook 13 UX333||3.12 GHz (B+95%)@ 89°C||2.50 GHz (B+56%)@ 95°C||2.27 GHz (B+42%)@ 83°C|
|HP ProBook 440 G6||2.55 GHz (B+59%)@ 59°C||2.56 GHz (B+60%)@ 67°C||2.09 GHz (B+31%)@ 67°C|
|Acer Swift 3 (SF314-56G)||2.67 GHz (B+67%)@ 93°C||2.16 GHz (B+35%)@ 86°C||1.66 GHz (B+4%)@ 71°C|
We are not going to hide our frustration with how hot the CPU was running during the torture test. However, we can forgive the ThinkPad X390 Yoga, since it is a rather thin device and its cooling potential is greatly reduced by that. In fact, the stress test started off great, with the laptop being able to achieve 2.97 GHz. Expectedly, in the minutes to follow, the clock speed dropped gradually and reached 1.71 GHz (still above the base frequency).
Comfort during full load
ThinkPad X390 Yoga gets pretty hot on the outside. We measured a maximum temperature of 48C, as the hotspot was between the “R” and “T” keys. On the bright side, the palm-rest area was relatively cool.
No matter whether you are looking at this device as a convertible or as a business solution, in both ways it is going to satisfy your needs perfectly. It is as reliable as a ThinkPad and as versatile as a Yoga. This sounds like a sacred combination and it certainly feels as such – the laptop is crazy fast (even when paired with only a SATA SSD).
One of the most impressive features of the ThinkPad X390 Yoga is its keyboard – despite the thin profile of the laptop, Lenovo managed to put a keyboard with a decent amount of travel and maintaining a clicky enough feel. However, in contrast to the ThinkPad Yoga X1 Carbon, the keyboard doesn’t detract inside the chassis, when you turn the laptop in tablet mode.
Performance-wise there is nothing to complain about – the Core i5-8265U in our unit was utilized at a sufficient level, although we noticed a little higher than normal temperatures, both inside and out. On the bright side, the efficient processor results in relatively good battery life – 10 hours of web browsing and a little bit more when playing videos. Additionally, the 65W charging brick can charge the 50Wh battery pack from 0 to 80%.
As a half-laptop-half-tablet device, the ThinkPad X390 Yoga relies most dearly on its display. Being both an input and an output peripheral, the screen needs to be on a high level. This is exactly what happens here as the AUO B133HAN05.9 panel is fairly bright, has very good contrast and covers 97% of sRGB. Its default color settings are a bit inaccurate, although when our Gaming and Web design profile is applied, the color accuracy improves by a ton. More specifically, we see a drop in the average dE from 5.7 down to 0.8 (the standard for Web design is 2.0).
Ultimately, this is one of the best options if you are keen on giving away a lot of money for your hardware – Type-C charging and Thunderbolt connectivity are just some of the features that might convince you in buying this laptop. However, if you prefer something a little less harsh on your budget – the Lenovo Yoga 730 (13″) is a very good option.
- Industrial sturdy build
- Thin and light
- Versatile and secure
- Touchscreen is accurate, while palm rejection is on point
- Good battery life
- Screen doesn’t use PWM to adjust brightness levels
- Has a very high contrast ratio and a pretty wide color coverage
- Our Gaming and Web design profile makes the laptop perfect for Web designers
- Type-C charging and Thunderbolt connectivity
- Priced rather high
- Gets a little warm under the bonnet
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/lenovo-thinkpad-x390-yoga/