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12-13-2016

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  • Message 1 of 11

First Look: ThinkPad X13 Yoga Gen 2

2021-04-10, 21:09 PM

 

First, a couple of things to get out of the way:

  1. I don’t work for Lenovo. Or anybody, for that matter :). 

  2. I’m not a professional reviewer. I’m simply a guy who spends a lot of time on computers, be it writing, working on audio or video files, doing my taxes (ugh) or surfing the web. At one time or another, I’ve likely owned a computer from every maker not named Apple. I’m probably more like you than any reviewer; I like for a computer to do what it’s supposed to do, reliably and dependably.

With that out of the way, let’s have a look at what’s new. The X13 Yoga Gen 2 has a lot of what I call “duh” features. A “duh” feature is one that’s so obviously good, you wonder why nobody thought of it before. For example, embedding the fingerprint reader into the power button. Duh. Coming up with a finish that is resistant to fingerprints and similar smudges. Duh. A computer that can lock itself when you walk away, then recognize you and unlock itself when you sit back down. Duh. There are a lot more of those bells and whistles I plan to test in this article as well as the usual nuts and bolts that have always made ThinkPads the best in the business. Pun intended.

Speaking of nuts and bolts, let’s have a look at what’s available on the Gen 2. First of all, it's a Yoga, so it has a 360-degree hinge that allows you to use the computer in standard laptop, tablet and tent modes. The body is black carbon fiber. It has a magnesium chassis.

This is straight from Lenovo’s own PDF on the X13 Yoga Gen 2:

 

MEMORY Up to 32GB LPDDR4 (4266Mhz)

WEIGHT Starting at 1.2kg/2.65lbs

STORAGE Up to 2TB PCIe SSD

KEYBOARD Backlit Keyboard

BATTERY Up to 12.31 hours', 52.8Whr battery (MM18)

COLORS Black carbon fiber hybrid

AC ADAPTER Up to Type-C 65W (supports RapidCharge)

AUDIO Dolby® Audio Speaker System

 

The test unit I received has the following specs:

CPU: Intel 11th generation I7 vPro EVO 1185G7 @ 2.3Ghz

RAM: 32GB RAM

SSD: 2TB PCIe NVMe Gen 4 Performance SSD

CAMERA: IR + HPD

DISPLAY: QHD+ display with Dolby Vision

GRAPHICS: Intel Iris Xe

WiFi: Wifi 6 Intel AX201

WWAN: CAT12 WWAN with physical or eSIM capabilities

 

Bit of a beast, huh? We’ll get to all of that shortly. I know most of these reviews come with an unboxing video. Try as I might, I can’t hold the phone while unboxing the computer and the wife’s otherwise occupied. Probably not the same box and contents that'll actually ship, either. 

 

 

The test unit arrived with a 65W USB-C power supply, which uses a three-prong plug (US) with the so-called “Mickey Mouse” adapter plug on the other end. Also included is a USB-C to DisplayPort adapter. The computer has its own, standard-size HDMI port which I’ll be using to test with a 4K HDR LG television. (A professional reviewer would have caught the upside-down adapter and turned it around so the Lenovo logo is upright)

 

I plugged it in to give it a full charge before turning it on. As is common with thin laptops, the case gets warmer near the USB-C ports where the AC adapter is connected. As you can see thanks to my wife’s food thermometer, it’s not very warm, at all. (Apologies for the rotation of this picture. I'd fix it but I think it gets the point across)

 

 

This computer supports fast charging. I was able to go from 20% to 90% in roughly half an hour. I say "roughly" because I can only sit and stare at an orange light for so long. As soon as I noticed the white light, I booted it up to see how much it'd charged. 

 

 

 

PORTS

The left side has, from the back, two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI port and a USB 3.2 Type A port. Toward the front is the space for an optional card reader.

The right side has, from the back, a Kensington Lock slot, another USB 3.2 Type A port, a SIM card tray, a 3.5mm combination headset jack and the bay for the rechargeable stylus.

 

 

KEYBOARD

The backlit keyboard is the same ThinkPad keyboard devotees know and love, Trackpoint and all. The touchpad is a bit wider than usual and has a new, low-friction surface. If you've ever hand-waxed a car and felt your finger glide across the surface after buffing it all out, then you know just how this feels.

 

SETUP

Windows 10 Pro setup was pretty easy. The only issue I ran into was setting up Windows Hello for facial recognition. The first time I tried it kept telling me to center my face and look at the camera. The grid kept moving and the progress bar that runs around the perimeter of the grid kept restarting. Given my looks, I can’t say I blame Windows’ reluctance. I stopped and restarted the Windows Hello facial recognition setup. The second time, it captured my face a little too quickly, then failed to recognize me, later. Third time was the charm. Facial recognition now works like it’s supposed to.

 

Tip: The better the lighting, the better Windows’ Facial Recognition will work. Try to avoid a situation where the lighting behind you is brighter than what’s hitting your face. Make sure you’re well-lit when setting up facial recognition. In my experience, the better the photo it starts with, the more accurate it is at logging you in. Once set up, you'll can go back at anytime and select “Improve Recognition.” The more you do that, the better it'll work.

 

After setup, with the screen set at 75% brightness, the battery indicator showed 93% power remaining with a guestimate of 11.5 hours. As I write this, following 90 minutes of video editing and re-encoding, light web surfing and a couple of YouTube videos, it’s showing 14 hours remaining. That’s without battery calibration.

Update: Ran the battery calibration which reported 54.13Whr which is above the listed spec of 52.8Whr

 

This is the first computer I’ve used that had a privacy shutter for the camera. The shutter has a dot of red paint on it so it’s obvious when the shutter’s closed. Judging from the number of posts I’ve seen from users of other models who simply never noticed the shutter was closed, this tiny detail is a very good thing, likely saving many users hours of frustration trying to figure out why the camera isn’t working.

 

POWERING UP

If you have Windows Hello set up for a fingerprint login, the power button will capture that when you first press it, then pass that along to Windows when it hits the login screen. If you don’t hit the power button squarely or used a different finger than the one in the system, you’ll get the familiar “try another finger” message or, if you have Facial Recognition set up, Windows will “look for you.” I will say this fingerprint reader performs better than some others I have where I wind up having to enter my PIN, instead. All in all, this means the X13 Yoga Gen 2 has a cold boot-up time – from power button press to desktop displayed – of 19:78 seconds.

 

HUMAN PRESENCE DETECTION

This may be the coolest feature of all time. When I first heard about this feature, I envisioned a computer that would lock itself when you walk away from it, then wake up when you sat back down in front of it. That’s exactly what the X13 Yoga Gen 2 does. In fact, it does this so well, it can be a little jarring (in a good way) at first. When I stood up and started toward the door, the X13 Yoga’s screen went dark. When I sat back down, it woke up, recognized me and logged me back in, all in about two seconds. With facial recognition deactivated, or if FR can’t recognize you, for some reason, the LED on the power button will turn green, meaning it needs your fingerprint. Of course, you still have password or PIN if that fails. This is so scary good, I’m actually worried I’m going to occasionally sit down in front of one of my other computers and wonder why it doesn’t spring to life like the X13 Yoga does. Here’s a short video as I walk up to the X13 Yoga and it logs me back in.

 

 

In today’s work-from-home world, this is extremely handy. I know I don’t always think to lock down the computer when the doorbell rings, only to come back and find my pet’s jumped all over the keyboard, messing up what I was doing. This could also stop your kids from wrecking a spreadsheet just because you had to step away for a minute. For more on this, see “Mirametrix Glance,” below.

 

WIFI

Solid performance in my casual testing. I'm working with an Asus AC 3100 router on 5Ghz. The AX201 is pretty impressive, so far. The X13 Yoga was able to transfer a 11.8GB file from an Ethernet-connected Windows 7 shared drive in less than five minutes on 5Ghz, hitting a top speed of around 60MB/s in the process. This wasn’t in a controlled environment. Everything usually connected to my router was still connected. You can tell by the drops in the screenshot, below. As I said, I like real-world testing and reviews as they’re more likely to reflect an actual user experience. At least I hope this does. Windows reports the linkspeed (Receive/Transmit) as 780/866 at about 25 yards from the router. I’m unable to test the Intel AX201’s WiFi 6 capabilities as I have yet to upgrade to a WiFi 6 router. I'll update once I do that.

 

 

WWAN

I was able to test the X13 Yoga’s WWAN capabilities. Using AT&T’s 4G LTE network, I was able to get 40Mbps down, 8Mbps up with 3 out of 5 bars of signal. I’m fairly certain that’ll be much better with more bars of signal and I plan to test that for a future update. Once I put in the SIM, Windows offered to set up a wireless data account. I just skipped that as I knew once it communicated with AT&T and authenticated my account, I’d be up and running, automatically. That’s exactly what happened.

 

 

DISPLAY

QHD+ display with Dolby Vision. The resolution is 2560 X 1600, making the aspect ratio 16:10. It really sings with Netflix, especially titles that have Dolby Vision. Bright vivid colors and deep blacks. I tried to capture a picture, but cell phone camera doesn't do it any justice and the picture might have run afoul of copyright laws, anyway. You can definitely notice the difference when you stop the movie and Netflix goes back to its SDR menus.

 

AUDIO

The sound from the speakers is what you'd expect. The Dolby Audio™ gives a pretty good Surround Sound experience when viewing Netflix (which is all I tested it with)

 

As for the built-in microphone array, you can hear for yourself. If you play this back through your home speaker setup, you'll hear the frequency range of the microphones which is quite impressive:

 

 

BENCHMARKS

I'm not a benchmark guy, but here are the results from Novabench:

 

 

I did remux a two-hour H.265 video file using VideoReDo. The process usually takes 2-3 minutes on my i7 Yoga 910. The whole thing was done in under a minute on the X13 Yoga. I still plan to do a side-by-side recode with Handbrake.

 

OTHER STUFF

This computer has Hyper-V capabilities, which I plan to activate and use so that Microsoft's Edge browser runs in its own virtual machine. I'll update that later.

A lot of Lenovo computers come bundled with Mirametrix's Glance software. Here's a good review on all of the security features Glance adds.

 

Lenovo's IR Camera Software: Glance by Mirametrix - Tech Reviewed

 

I like Glance's ability to alert you when someone behind you is looking at your screen. I'm sure the idea is to prevent someone in, say, a coffee shop from seeing emailsor other sensitive work information. It's also very handy if you're trying to sneak in some sports betting when you're supposed to be working or doing some online shopping for the spouse's birthday when she walks into the room.

Grace also has features that'll help focus your attention while making sure you aren't sitting too close and it'll prompt you to look at something else every 20 seconds to reduce eyestrain. I'll continue to fool with Grace and report back.

 

UPDATE: This is rather amusing. Watching sports on my television with the X13 Yoga just to my left on an eye-level table. Glance's "Smart Screen" is enabled, which blurs the screen when you're not looking at it. As I focus on the sports for a minute, the X13 Yoga's screen dutifully goes to sleep. As soon as I simply look at the laptop, it wakes up; I didn't touch anything. I tried this again to be sure and it repeated. I think you'll find that's a very cool capability. It seems like a little thing, but it would have taken a long reach or fetching the BT mouse off the coffee table to wake my other computers up. Just look at the X13 Yoga and it responds. That's really cool.

 

UPDATE: 5/03/2021 I had the opportunity to put Human Presence Detection and Glance's Smart Screen in a real world test. Typical conference room with one long oval table that six of us were seated around. Behind me and to my left was seated a seventh person. I had the X13 Yoga just slightly to the left of straight in front of me. During the meeting, whenever I wasn't looking at the screen, Glance would blur it. Looking back at the X13 Yoga did not always unblur the screen (Alt+F2 will unblur the screen in these instances). I wear glasses to read and with those on, I had to widen my eyes as if to say, "Well..?" Without my glasses, Glance caught my gaze without any need for silly facial expressions. With the computer repositioned directly in front of me, Glance unblurred the screen a little more quickly, though not as quickly as with my glasses off. As it never fails at home, I'm assuming a reflection or glare on my glasses was interfering. The X13 Yoga did catch the person seated behind me looking at my screen numerous times. Each time, if the screen wasn't blurred, the warning icon would appear. The icon appeared on the left side of the screen to indicate that's where the wandering eyes were. (Potentially amusing sidebar: I have an Amazon parrot who will sit on my shoulder as I work. Whenever he turns his head so that one eye or the other is perpendicular to the screen, the warning icon comes up)

 

SOFTWARE

This X13 Yoga also comes with the Commercial version of Lenovo Vantage as well as the usual trial versions of Office 365.

Xbox Game Bar and Xbox Companion are built it. I don't game, but the Companion will record your gaming starting with a simple Windows+G to start it. Interestingly, Windows detected my audio software as a game and brought up the recording option. I thought “What the heck,” and launched it as I did my microphone testing, above. As a video of a waveform can be boring, I replaced it with the slideshow you see in the video, above.

 

Also included:

  • Dolby Access
  • Groove Music
  • Microsoft's Solitaire Collection (Face it, all the usual stuff that comes with Windows is on here, so you can guess the rest of that list)
  • Snip n Sketch that allows you to work with screenshots. Easier than Paint, which is also included.

(Disclaimer: This is a pre-release review unit, so the stuff bundled on yours may be different)

 

CONCLUSION

All in all, a very solidly-built machine that blends great security features for work with a beautiful display for recreation. Really long battery life means you can get a lot done (or watch a lot of video) on long plane rides or while sitting out flight delays.

I'm happy to answer questions or perform tests you'd like me to do. Check back often as I plan to update this post as I continue to work with this ThinkPad.

 

Thanks for reading.


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2629 Posts

01-08-2021

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  • Message 2 of 11

Re:First Look: ThinkPad X13 Yoga Gen 2

2021-04-12, 17:45 PM

Hello Doctordon,

Thank you for sharing this

 

 

Regards,

Lorenzo_Lenovo



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Re:First Look: ThinkPad X13 Yoga Gen 2

2021-04-12, 17:57 PM

You're most welcome. I'll keep adding to the above as I continue to put it through the paces. 

 

Doc


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Re:First Look: ThinkPad X13 Yoga Gen 2

2021-05-08, 15:03 PM

@Doctordon 

 

Is human presence detection included automatically when you get an IR camera?  OR you have to order IR camera and something else?  How did you turn human presence feature on?  Is it in Commercial Vantage or only Consumer Vantage or both?

 

thanks for the review!

 


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 I do not work for, nor do I speak for Lenovo. I will not respond to unsolicited private messages. Questions belong in the forum so it may   help other forum members as well.
T14s Gen 2, T14 Gen 1, T490, TP 25 Retro, X1 Yoga 3rd Gen, W510 850 EVO
 Retired 385D, A20p, A21p,A30p


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Re:First Look: ThinkPad X13 Yoga Gen 2

2021-05-09, 14:15 PM

@ green5178 wrote:

 

Is human presence detection included automatically when you get an IR camera?  OR you have to order IR camera and something else?  How did you turn human presence feature on?  Is it in Commercial Vantage or only Consumer Vantage or both?

 

thanks for the review!

 

You're most welcome. I'm going to say HPD comes with an IR camera, assuming IR is optional. Until this shows up in the Shop section, I can't say if an IR camera is an option or standard. 

 

HPD was enabled by default on the review unit I received. Settings were accessible from the included Commercial Vantage. The KB on HPD doesn't make a distinction of which Vantage.  

 

 

It's my understanding HPD settings will be available from within Windows starting with 21H2. Until that version is released, I can't say if the Windows settings will supplant Vantage, or co-exist as the privacy settings do.

 

Doc


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Re:First Look: ThinkPad X13 Yoga Gen 2

2021-05-09, 23:25 PM

@Doctordon

 

Thanks.  I have a T14s Gen 2 which came with a IR camera but  did not seem to come with HPD.  Trying to figure out if it does not come with it or if I need to do something to activate it.

Mine has no "intelligent security" section.  Thats why i was asking if it was on Vantage or Commercial Vantage.  I have Commercial Vantage installed.

 

thanks for taking time to answer the questions and posting screen shots.

 


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 I do not work for, nor do I speak for Lenovo. I will not respond to unsolicited private messages. Questions belong in the forum so it may   help other forum members as well.
T14s Gen 2, T14 Gen 1, T490, TP 25 Retro, X1 Yoga 3rd Gen, W510 850 EVO
 Retired 385D, A20p, A21p,A30p


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  • Message 7 of 11

Re:First Look: ThinkPad X13 Yoga Gen 2

2021-05-10, 13:36 PM

Do you have the Intel variant? The T14s i should have HPD from what I read.

 

Doc


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Re:First Look: ThinkPad X13 Yoga Gen 2

2021-05-10, 14:40 PM

@Doctordon 

 

Yes I have the Intel version.  Thats why I thought it should come with it....  But there was nothing in the BIOS either.  With that being said looking at the X1 Carbon ordering page it seems like HPD is an option AFTER you add 720p camera and IR.  So IR does not add HPD automatically.

 

thanks for your help!

 

 


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 I do not work for, nor do I speak for Lenovo. I will not respond to unsolicited private messages. Questions belong in the forum so it may   help other forum members as well.
T14s Gen 2, T14 Gen 1, T490, TP 25 Retro, X1 Yoga 3rd Gen, W510 850 EVO
 Retired 385D, A20p, A21p,A30p


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  • Message 9 of 11

Re:First Look: ThinkPad X13 Yoga Gen 2

2021-05-20, 20:37 PM

Can the ssd be replaced in the future or is it welded onto the motherboard?  Thank you!

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Re:First Look: ThinkPad X13 Yoga Gen 2

2021-05-20, 20:50 PM

@ KevSun wrote:

Can the ssd be replaced in the future or is it welded onto the motherboard?  Thank you!

 

I still have some disassembly photos to take. I have an aversion disassembling a computer that's working perfectly. I would bet, given the nature of SSDs, it's replaceable and upgradable. Can't imagine it wouldn't be. Stay on me. If I get a slow day, I'll put it on the bench and have a go at what's inside. 

 

Doc


____________________________________
I do not respond to requests for private, one-on-one help. Your questions should be posted in the appropriate forum where they may help others as well.

If a response answers your question, please mark it as the accepted solution.

I am not an employee or agent of Lenovo. I love beer.

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