Review of the Lenovo ThinkBook 13x: Long-lasting battery

Review of the Lenovo ThinkBook 13x: Long-lasting battery

Designed to be portable, the Lenovo ThinkBook 13x (Gen 4) is a 13-inch business notebook. Lenovo’s high-end ThinkPad notebooks can be replaced at a lower cost with the ThinkBook series of laptops. However, this laptop outperforms a high-end ThinkPad not just in terms of cost but also in terms of battery life.

This is undoubtedly valuable: This ThinkBook costs $1,106, much cheaper than Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon. Although it may not have the luxurious features of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, this laptop is useful for working at your desk or while on the road.

Specs

An excellent “ultraportable” business notebook is the ThinkBook. Known as an “Intel Evo” laptop, it has an Intel Core Ultra CPU with Intel Arc graphics, based in Meteor Lake. Lenovo also offers this computer with an Intel Core Ultra 9 185H processor for an additional $432. Our evaluation model came with an Intel Core Ultra 5 125H CPU. For a laptop in this price range, the upgrade seems excessive, and Lenovo would have been better served by offering this model with an Intel Core Ultra 7 processor as an option.

16 GB of LPDDR5X RAM is soldered to the motherboard of this laptop. That works well enough for most things, but upgrading to the Intel Core Ultra 9 CPU is also necessary if you want to have 32GB of RAM. If you want or desire 32GB of RAM, this laptop is not a good fit for you.

A 512GB SSD was also included in our review device. You can upgrade that to a 1 TB SSD for an additional $89, which is reasonable, at least.

Although Intel has included a neural processing unit (NPU) in its Meteor Lake platform, the future AI features of Windows 11 will not be supported by Intel’s first-generation NPUs. The AI functions that Microsoft recently disclosed are unique to Copilot+ PCs, and this laptop will not get them. You should hold off on purchasing an Intel-powered PC until after Intel releases its Lunar Lake chipset if those characteristics are essential to you.

Design and build quality

Lenovo’s ThinkBook 13x offers a stylish all-metal appearance with silver and gray accents. To prevent sharp metal edges from cutting into your hands, the edges are gently rounded. The laptop’s lid bears the “ThinkBook” moniker, while the “Lenovo” brand name is visible on the lid and beneath the lower right portion of the keyboard.

Whether you are holding the laptop in your hand or adjusting its hinge, the build quality feels superb. The webcam and IR camera region protrude somewhat at the top of the display. This lowers the bezel surrounding the screen and provides a comfortable grip for opening the laptop.

The laptop weighs 2.7 pounds, which is fairly light for it, though not as light as a ThinkPad X1 Carbon. Because of its more rugged build, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon should perform better in harsh conditions. However, for the typical business traveler, the ThinkBook will be more than adequate.

One trick up the sleeve for the ThinkBook 13x is a “Lenovo Magic Bay” connection located behind the camera bar at the top of the lid. This allows magnetic connections between “Magic Bay” accessories. A Lenovo Magic Bay Light, intended to offer additional lighting for video calls and other recordings, was included with the package. However, Lenovo advised me that the accessories available differ by location, and I did not notice any additional Magic Bay accessories for this laptop on Lenovo’s web store.

Keyboard and trackpad

The keyboard on the ThinkBook 13x is good and enjoyable to use. I would not describe the keys as “mushy,” but they are a decent size and the key travel feels rather quick.

Nevertheless, Lenovo’s more costly ThinkPad X1 Carbon provides a snappier and more luxurious typing experience than this one. This is not the most high-end keyboard I have experienced. However, this keyboard is reliable.

To view the keys in a dark room, the keyboard also features an all-white LED keyboard backlight. Unlike ThinkPads, there is no red “nub” to control the mouse in the center of the keyboard.

The trackpad seems responsive and slick, just like the keyboard. Although it is not quite as responsive as the touchpad on that expensive Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, I could see myself using it regularly. Moreover, the click-down action seems natural.

Display and speakers

The 13.5-inch display on the Lenovo ThinkBook 13x is precisely what you want in a mobile work laptop. You will receive a 3:2 aspect ratio, 120Hz refresh rate, and 2880×1920 IPS display. With plenty of vertical areas to work with, the 3:2 aspect ratio is a great option.

It is wonderful to observe that the display has a brightness of up to 500 nits. It does feature a somewhat glossy display that is prone to reflections, as several of the review’s images show. Although the great brightness can help make up for it, it is probably not the ideal choice for usage outside in the sun.

In addition, this display has a touch screen, which is useful for navigating the Windows operating system and scrolling documents.

It is a visually appealing screen with a nice aspect ratio, touch screen, and strong resolution, refresh rate, and brightness. Granted, this ThinkBook lacks the ThinkPad X1 Carbon’s stunning OLED display, but that is perhaps partly why it outperforms it in terms of battery life.

Additionally suitable for a business laptop are the speakers. The laptop bears the Harmon Kardon branding, and Lenovo claims that the speakers are Harman Kardon. Dolby Atmos audio is also supported by it. Although this laptop will not replace your home cinema system, it does have outstanding volume and clarity. This laptop was perfect for watching films in a hotel room, which is a regular activity for any business laptop. I used it for a weekend vacation and watched some videos in the room, which had a noisy air conditioner running a few feet away.

Battery life

The 74-watt-hour battery that comes with the Lenovo ThinkBook 13x is a decent size for an ultraportable device. In practical terms, it also has a very long battery life.

We play a 4K version of Tears of Steel repeatedly in the Movies & TV app on Windows 11 with airplane mode enabled to measure the battery life until the laptop suspends itself. We calibrated the screen brightness to 250 nits for our battery benchmark. Since local video playback is so effective, this is the best-case situation for any laptop; in actual use, day-to-day battery life will always be lower than this.

The average battery life of the Lenovo ThinkBook 13x was 783 minutes. With video playing, that translates to almost 13 hours of battery life, which is significantly longer than the ThinkPad X1 Carbon.

Naturally, when utilizing web browsers, office programs, and other daily applications, the machine will not receive 13 hours of battery life under normal use. But, and this is crucial, it should consistently provide a full workday’s worth of battery life. Unfortunately, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and many other business laptops can not consistently provide it, but this particular device can.

Conclusion

The ThinkBook 13x is a fantastic ultraportable business laptop with good performance, a solid keyboard, a display, and an excellent battery life that lasts all day. It is also quite reasonably priced. For business meetings, the speakers, microphone, and webcam work well.

The ThinkBook 13x, with its all-day battery life and better performance benchmarks in a variety of scenarios, not to mention the much lower price, offers a better overall package, even though a machine like the ThinkPad X1 Carbon offers more premium touches with an OLED display and snappier keyboard.

There are still some limitations: You will have to search elsewhere if you require more connectivity than the three USB-C ports and an audio jack. You will not be able to change the CPU on your laptop for much less money if you desire more RAM than 16GB.

Even if a lighter laptop with a more attractive OLED display and a snappier keyboard may not be able to provide all-day battery life under heavy workloads, some users may still prefer it. The ThinkPad Carbon X1 remains a strong contender.

However, for the majority of users, the ThinkBook 13x is a superior ultraportable business laptop.

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