Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Gen1 Assessment

The Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Gen1 is the successor of the ThinkPad X1 pill that got here out in 2016 (!). The chassis design makes it a Floor Professional-like cellular laptop, however Lenovo has pushed that form-factor to new heights with this newest iteration.

This type-factor idea works effectively and could be very widespread. Once I was in Japan, I noticed an abnormally excessive variety of these laptops, and there’s definitely a marketplace for ultra-light PCs like this.

At 1.67 Lbs with out the keyboard, it’s a very compact Home windows laptop computer. But, its {hardware} is quick sufficient to carry out any productiveness duties you throw at it as its capabilities are corresponding to the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 nano we reviewed in April.

Specs Highlights

The ThinkPad X12 Gen1 is constructed round an ultra-low voltage Intel Gen11 processor, and you may select between 5 choices: i3-1110G4, i5-1130G7 (as examined), i5-1140G7, i7-1160G7, and i7-1180G7. For most individuals, the i5-1130G7 might be the most effective efficiency for the worth.

The costlier Core i7 SKUs are solely obtainable with 16GB of RAM (which I like to recommend), however others could be ordered with solely 8GB if that’s a greater match in your funds and use case. There may be an intensive selection of NVME SSD storage capacities, going from 128GB to 1TB (+$283).

Our check unit has the Core i5-1130G7 CPU, a 512GB SSD, 16GB, has 4G, and runs on Home windows 10 Professional. It prices $1407.60 (keyboard and pen included) on on the time of publishing.

A comparably quick model with 128GB, 8GB, Home windows 10 House, and no 4G, would value $1189.2, and that’s the baseline value we’ll use within the perf/worth charts.

Industrial Design

The ThinkPad X12 Gen1 industrial design is basic for this class of gadgets. It has all of the hallmarks of a Floor Professional competitor, with the addition of typical ThinkPad finishes just like the magnesium chassis, stable hinges, and a resistant soft-black end.

With the keyboard cowl defending the show, I wouldn’t fear a lot concerning the basic sturdiness of this laptop computer, and this can be a good computing companion in cramped areas akin to planes or trains.

The chassis design is inherently much less “lappable” when in comparison with clamshell laptops, so that you want to concentrate on that, however it’s good to make use of on a desk or tray.

General, the X12+keyboard thickness could be very corresponding to the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 nano, which is barely larger as a result of it has a bigger display screen dimension. The principle distinction is that the ThinkPad X12 Gen1 is healthier in case you intend to use it as a full-on pill (with out the keyboard) usually.

The chassis quantity of the ThinkPad X12 (no keyboard) is about half of the ThinkPad X1 nano. The X12 can be 22{9e1da16bad3afc7a5f40b72bc8a74962aa496be5d80d3159b9e2870e6dd27062} lighter between these two, and that’s a giant distinction if you maintain it with one hand.

The ThinkPad X12 Gen1 has a superior design in comparison with the Microsoft Floor Professional 7 due to its sturdiness and safety choices, such because the Kensington lock and ThinkShutter. Nonetheless, the Floor Professional 7 has a full-size USB port, which could possibly be a giant deal for some customers.

Keyboard and Trackpad

The ThinkPad X12 keyboard is another excuse why Lenovo is taking the lead on this type issue. It is vitally agreeable to make use of, could be very stiff, and has a built-in backlight (2 brightness ranges).

The important thing journey is about 1mm, and the entire expertise is as shut as you will get from the basic ThinkPad keyboard with a removable keyboard. For safety functions, there’s a fingerprint reader.

The keyboard attaches to the chassis through sturdy magnets and makes use of a wired knowledge reference to the laptop computer, so there received’t be any BT pairing mishaps, lifeless battery, or enter lag. However, you could connect the keyboard to make use of it.


General, that is the most effective removable keyboard I’ve examined, and it feels unbelievable. This important piece of the puzzle places Lenovo effectively forward of the Floor Professional, particularly in case you take into account that the keyboard is included within the buy.

The Trackpad’s floor is first rate however may use a glass improve. Nonetheless, the bodily trackpad buttons make click on & drag operations rather more exact as you may click on with out transferring the cursor in any respect. For ThinkPad followers, the basic red-colored TrackPoint controller is current as effectively.


There are solely two USB-C knowledge ports, however one in every of them is suitable with Thunderbolt 4, which opens a universe of high-speed connections to exterior storage, shows, and even GPUs! You possibly can have a one-cable docking answer if join it to one thing just like the Sabrent Thunderbolt docking station.

For enterprise customers, a Kensington safety connector could possibly be important for stopping theft (and knowledge loss), and our unit has a SIM slot for the non-obligatory 4G connectivity. Sadly, there’s no SD/microSD connector, which might have been nice for photographers on the go.


The ThinkPad X12 Gen1 audio system are small and crammed right into a tiny area. Because of this, they aren’t very highly effective and lack bass. Luckily, the Dolby Premium software program helps give the sound rather more “physique” than it could in any other case have.

This is perhaps the ThinkPad X12’s Achilles heel in comparison with potential rivals. Nonetheless, the physics of sound is such that it’s difficult for this way issue to have unbelievable audio.

With the quantity at 100{9e1da16bad3afc7a5f40b72bc8a74962aa496be5d80d3159b9e2870e6dd27062}, the sound did have a little bit of distortion, and whereas it is perhaps wonderful for a video name, it’s not the most effective audio expertise for a film. I might as an alternative use headphones at that time.


There’s just one show possibility which is a 12.3” FHD (1920×1080) IPS-LCD. It has a shiny anti-reflective end which does effectively with smudges as effectively. No glass floor is smudge-free, however the coating Lenovo is utilizing appears to assist.

The brightness specs point out 400 NITs, however in actuality, it’s just a little increased than that, nearer to 440 NITs. Pair that with the 100{9e1da16bad3afc7a5f40b72bc8a74962aa496be5d80d3159b9e2870e6dd27062} sRGB shade gamut, and you’ve got a really succesful show that’s effectively fitted to working “within the area,” together with open air.

The 16:10 side ratio helps with productiveness apps the place extra vertical area is required, and now I’m wondering how a 3:2 model can be like.


The 5MP entrance digital camera is positioned on the prime of the show and includes a privateness shutter, one more distinction from potential rivals, particularly in company environments.

This digital camera’s high quality is noticeably higher than nearly all of the laptops we’ve examined prior to now yr and may higher cope with HDR in case your lighting will not be good. There’s a secondary IR digital camera that makes safe face unlock doable with Home windows Howdy.

An 8MP rear digital camera can be obtainable with barely increased high quality. It is a welcome addition and could possibly be very helpful to anybody who must take area pictures immediately from a reporting app. The standard is inferior to smartphones or an iPad Professional (removed from it), nevertheless it’s among the many finest you’ll get from a PC laptop computer.


A Lenovo Digital Pen is included within the field. It’s an Lively Pen powered with one AAAA battery and depends on the Wacom AES customary. I’m no designer, nevertheless it appears adequate for sketching. I imagine that the unique intent was to allow glorious note-taking, and that could be a success.


Because of Intel’s eleventh era of ultra-low-voltage processors, the efficiency of this ultra-compact laptop is nice, and our Geekbench exams present it outpaces even the X1 nano for “efficiency per Lbs,” a essential mobility metric. And that’s not even with the costliest processor possibility!

Even the graphics efficiency could be very first rate, with increased numbers than acclaimed laptops such because the 2020 Dell XPS 13 9000 (i7-1065G), so it’s a laptop computer able to the occasional Photoshop session.

The storage efficiency will not be notably spectacular, and with a most of 16GB of RAM, I wouldn’t use this laptop for video modifying or any app that requires huge quantities of knowledge and disk I/O, however you may if it’s worthwhile to.

Because of the low-power nature of this {hardware} platform, it is usually very quiet. The followers don’t activate fairly often except you retain a gazillion browser tabs open or play 3D video games.

Battery Life

Having a 42Wh battery capability for such a small machine is affordable. In our workplace productiveness exams, we have been in a position to get about 8 hours of steady workplace app utilization at a brightness of 110 NIT.

You possibly can count on to go from zero to 80{9e1da16bad3afc7a5f40b72bc8a74962aa496be5d80d3159b9e2870e6dd27062} in a single hour, which is customary when it’s worthwhile to cost. Lenovo has laptops that may cost quicker, as proven within the chart under. Luckily, Lenovo’s new 65W charger is rather more compact and simpler to hold, so in case you have an outlet close by, you’ll be good to go.


The Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Gen1 is a superb various to the Microsoft Floor 7 Professional. In some ways, it’s a Floor 7 Professional Killer, and it’s powerful to search out an goal motive to not choose the X12 if I had to decide on between these two.

The fee between the 2 can be almost an identical for a comparable configuration, however Lenovo’s keyboard design is so significantly better, and the X12’s chassis appears further sturdy. The person inputs can be my #1 precedence right here due to their huge person expertise contribution.


The shortage of a full-size USB-A port on the X12 is regrettable, nevertheless it’s now not a sway issue for most individuals. Lastly, companies is perhaps swayed by the vPro {hardware}, the ThinkShutter webcam, and the safety lock options.

This new ThinkPad X12 Gen1 is a good pill PC with a unbelievable efficiency/weight ratio and construct high quality, and Lenovo has made the correct selection by together with the keyboard and pen.

Filed in Computer systems. Learn extra about Editorspick, Laptop computer Critiques, Lenovo, Lenovo evaluations and Lenovo ThinkPad.

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