(Disclaimer: Lenovo graciously provided the hardware. All thoughts, words and pictures are mine.)
It's always a treat to receive a box from Lenovo. Sometimes I know what will be in it. Other times, it's a surprise. This time, I knew what was coming... A 4th generation X1 Yoga!
The packaging for ThinkPads has evolved over time, and now, the X1 first impressions are second-to-none! The inner box is sleek and classy, just like its contents. ThinkPads, and especially the X1 line, exude the long-standing product family ethos.
The logos on the laptop have evolved over time, also. From the black ThinkPad marque to the subtle red & black X1, it's clear that serious business is done within.
Shortly after powering this Yoga up, and discovering that it was equipped with the 4K UHD IPS HDR400 panel, I had to give it a test. YouTube has a good number of 4K videos, and I found an excellent fly-through video of the International Space Station, published by NASA. Check it out, and see how many ThinkPads you can spot. There are many!
The fit and finish of this 4th generation X1 Yoga are incredible. The CNC aluminum really shows off the precision workmanship. It's like that feeling when you close the door of a new, high-end luxury car and everything fits and aligns perfectly. It's subliminally very satisfying.
On the left side, from front to back, are: 1) Combo headphone/microphone jack, 2) full-size HDMI 1.4, 3) USB-A 3.1, 4) Ethernet, 5) USB-C Thunderbolt 3 w/power delivery, and 6) USB-C Thunderbolt 3 w/power delivery. Ports 4 and 5, together, mate up with the side mechanical dock. The dongle for the wired Ethernet port was supplied with my review unit.
On the right side, from front to back, are: 1) Pen Pro, siloed, 2) Power button, 3) USB-A 3.1 w/Always-on capability, 4) Exhaust vent, and 5) Kensington lock slot.
Along the top edge of the top cover there are four 360-degree microphones.
The rear of the laptop is nicely finished, smooth and rounded.
As this is a Yoga, and in my humble opinion it is THE Yoga, it sports the four operational modes that define the device category that Lenovo pioneered.
Traditional Clamshell Mode & Tent Mode
The siloed pen is quite convenient for casual use, and it's nice to have it neatly tucked away inside the laptop, always charged and ready for use. In addition, another pen I have, supplied with a Gen3 X1 Tablet, also works perfectly with this Yoga in my quick tests. It's a bit larger, so it might be more useful for critical inking tasks.
Back to the display... It's very difficult to describe just how eye-poppingly beautiful 4K (3840x2160) is in a 14-inch panel. Many may feel that it is overkill, but I'm extremely sensitive seeing pixel structure. With this display, I cannot. Simply put, this is as close to perfect as I've yet seen on any laptop. As a bonus, the panel has great brightness, and the viewing angle is very wide, as expected. Below is a 4K/60FPS video I made of a slideshow of my desktop wallpapers, but it really must be seen in person for the full WOW effect.
The sound system on the new X1 Yoga is also a major step up from past generations. In fact, since my venerable A31P, I've never been satisfied with the on-board sound of any laptop. It has never been a deal-breaker for me, though, since I use nice IEMs for real listening. Still, the Dolby ATMOS speaker system on this laptop is a very pleasant surprise. The upper range audio is delivered through a top-mounted grille that runs most of the length between the hinges. The lower range audio comes from two bottom-firing speakers.
Bottom line... I really like everything about this laptop!
This review unit is top-spec'ed in virtually every aspect.