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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 3rd Gen review: A speedy, premium 2-in-1 with a lofty price tag

Tough, fast, and generous with battery life, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga has a lot going for it, but a bargain price isn’t one of them. We certainly admire the ThinkPad’s top-notch construction, impressive performance and clever touches, like its retractable keys, built-in pen charger and privacy-minded webcam shutter. That said, expect to pay up for the ThinkPad X1 Yoga’s premium features.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga price and specifications

We tested the ThinkPad X1 Yoga model 20LD0015US ($1,673.10 from Lenovo), which packs in an quad-core 8th-gen i5-8250U processor, 8GB of LPDDR3 RAM, a 14-inch 1920-by-1080 touch display, a 512GB solid-state drive, integrated Intel UHD 620 graphics, and a Bluetooth-enabled ThinkPad Pen Pro.

One of the first things we should flag about the X1 Yoga’s specs is its $1,673 price tag (as of this writing, anyway). For comparison’s sake, our current editor’s choice for 2-in-1 laptops, the HP Spectre x360, packs in a more powerful i7-8550U CPU, a 13.3-inch touch display, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD for $1,270, while a version with a roomier 512GB drive goes for $1,430—still $200 less than the X1 Yoga. Granted, specs don’t tell the whole story and prices change, but for now, this particular ThinkPad comes with a somewhat hefty price tag.

There are other available SKUs for the ThinkPad X1 Yoga, of course, including a $1,484 version with a smaller 256GB SSD and no pen. On the other end of the spectrum, the top-of-the-line $2,465 model of the ThinkPad boasts an i7-8650U CPU, 16GB of RAM, 1 TB of solid-state storage, and a 14-inch 2560-by-1440 display with Dolby Vision HDR support.

Measuring 13.1 by 9 by 0.7 inches and weighing a little over three pounds (or three pounds and 12 ounces once you toss in the AC charging brick), the ThinkPad X1 Yoga is a tad thicker and heavier than some of the recent 2-in-1 laptops we’ve tested, and like ThinkPads of yore, it lacks the snazzy design details you’ll see in systems like the Asus ZenBook 13 (with its shiny, eye-popping shell) or Lenovo’s own Yoga 920 (with its elegant watchband hinge).

lenovo thinkpad x1 yoga 3rd gen black lid Adam Patrick Murray

The ThinkPad X1 Yoga’s may look a tad dull, but it’s also tough, with a fingerprint-resistant lid. (Watch out for oily hand smudges, though.)

Dull though it may look, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga’s slightly rubberized exterior feels reassuringly tough, and like other systems in the ThinkPad line, the X1 Yoga boasts military-grade protection against shock, vibration, dust, and even fungus. The ThinkPad’s black shell is also fingerprint-proof, although it does have an annoying tendency to pick up oily hand smudges.

Being the convertible laptop that it is, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga’s display can be swiveled a full 360 degrees, meaning you can tilt it all the way around for use as a (fairly heavy) tablet, tent it in a “V” shape, or sit the laptop keyboard-down with the display angled back.

lenovo thinkpad x1 yoga 3rd gen black tent mode1 Adam Patrick Murray

As with other 2-in-1 laptops, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga’s display can swivel all the way back for tablet use, or you can tent it in a “V” shape.

Particularly impressive is the fact that whenever you close the lid or swivel its display more than 180 degrees, the ThinkPad automatically retracts its keyboard keys and locks them securely into place.

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