Lenovo ThinkPad Nano Gen 2 review: a tiny shock

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 review: this tiny ThinkPad continues to be nice

MSRP $2,300.00

“The ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 is surprisingly quick for such a tiny laptop, and it enjoys a strong construct high quality that is a match for mainstream or enterprise customers.”

Professionals

  • Quick productiveness efficiency
  • Strong construct high quality
  • Superb IPS show
  • 1080p webcam
  • Intensive privateness options

Cons

  • Battery life took a step again
  • Keyboard is just a little harsh
  • Costly

The ThinkPad X1 Nano is plenty of laptop in a really tiny shell. Lenovo simply launched the laptop’s second technology, which options an replace to Intel Twelfth-gen CPUs however in any other case maintains primarily the identical design.

That’s OK, although, as a result of the ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 didn’t want a lot enchancment. The brand new model is solely a a lot quicker laptop that’s a fair higher instrument for demanding productiveness staff whereas sustaining the tiny kind issue that made the earlier technology so nice. Whereas Lenovo goals the ThinkPad at enterprise customers, that is one mannequin that has mainstream enchantment.

Specs

  Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2
Dimensions 11.55 inches x 8.19 inches x 0.58 inches
Weight 2.13 kilos
Processor Core i5-1240P
Core i5-1250P vPro
Core i7-1260P
Core i7-1270P vPro
Core i7-1280P vPro
Graphics Intel Iris Xe
RAM 16GB LPDDR5 RAM
32GB LPDDR5 RAM
Show 13.0-inch 16:10 2K (2,160 x 1,350) IPS low-power
13.0-inch 16:10 2K IPS contact low-power
Storage 256GB PCIe Gen4 SSD
512GB PCIe Gen4 SSD
1TB PCIe Gen4 SSD
Contact Optionally available
Ports 2 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
1 x Optionally available Nano-SIM slot
Wi-fi Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2
Possibility 5G or LTE WWAN
Webcam 1080p
1080p with IR camera for facial recognition and Pc Imaginative and prescient
Working system Home windows 11
Battery 49.5 watt-hours
Value $1,572+

A variety of configurations can be found with the ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2. The $1,572 entry-level mannequin incorporates a Core i5-1240P CPU, 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM, a 256GB PCIe Gen4 SSD, and a 13.0-inch 16:10 2K low-power IPS show. Notably, even this mannequin has 16GB of RAM as a substitute of 8GB. On the excessive finish is a $2,527 configuration with a Core i7-1280P CPU, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, a brighter show, and 5G WWAN assist.

My review unit, which lacked the 5G connectivity and used the lower-end show, got here in at $2,300.

The vPro CPU affords entry to enterprise safety and manageability and is well worth the funding for enterprise customers. All fashions have the identical One-year guarantee, which is disappointing for such an costly laptop — though it’s the business commonplace.

It’s as small as a ThinkPad might be

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 rear view showing lid and logo.Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

The ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 is sort of precisely the identical measurement as its predecessor and weighs nearly as little. It’s gained a number of ounces, now weighing 2.13 kilos versus 1.99 kilos, however after all, that’s not sufficient to note. What’s noticeable is simply how gentle the laptop actually is. The place different 13-inch laptops just like the Dell XPS 13 and XPS 13 Plus really feel fairly dense, the ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 feels gentle and ethereal. It’s superb what might be performed with supplies like carbon fiber and magnesium-aluminum. And the laptop isn’t simply gentle; it’s skinny as nicely at 0.58 inches.

The one dimensions the place the ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 isn’t significantly spectacular is in width and depth. Regardless of its 13.0-inch 16:10 show that’s barely smaller than the XPS 13 Plus’ 13.3-inch 16:10 panel, the ThinkPad is sort of as vast and barely deeper. That’s as a consequence of show bezels that aren’t as small as on the XPS 13 Plus. There’s nothing to complain about right here, after all, however it’s essential to notice that Dell nonetheless wins out on the subject of tiny bezels.

The ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 feels surprisingly strong for a laptop of its measurement.

If the ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 had been flimsy, then all that gentle weight and thinness could be wasted. Amazingly, it’s fairly inflexible, with a lid that doesn’t bend even underneath excessive stress and a keyboard deck and chassis backside that resist flexing. It’s as strong as one of the best 13-inch laptops round, a powerful feat contemplating that the supplies used very often end in laptops that bend, flex, and twist.

Take a look at the ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 from a distance and also you’ll have a tricky time distinguishing it from its bigger siblings. It sports activities the identical black-on-black aesthetic with purple accents within the emblem on the lid and keyboard deck, the purple TrackPoint nubbin in the course of the keyboard, and the highest edges of the TrackPoint buttons. Some configurations have a carbon fiber weave on the lid, however in any other case, the design is minimalistic and adheres to the ThinkPad feel and look. That extends to the soft-touch floor that’s snug to carry and for typing.

The keyboard and touchpad of the ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2.

The keyboard can be the ThinkPad commonplace, albeit with much less key spacing and barely smaller, but simply as sculpted keycaps. The format is similar, all the way down to the left Fn and Ctrl keys which can be reversed from the business commonplace (and might be swapped within the BIOS). I discovered the mechanism a bit stiff, with loads of journey however an abrupt bottoming motion.

It wasn’t probably the most snug keyboard I’ve used, with HP’s Spectre and Dell’s XPS keyboards being a lot better. Lenovo has you lined on the subject of controlling the cursor, with each the TrackPoint nubbin and a small but serviceable touchpad. Each work nicely. My review unit didn’t embrace a contact show, however the higher-end show does.

Understandably given the small chassis, the ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2’s connectivity is proscribed. There are two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4, a 3.5mm audio jack, and an optionally available Nano-SIM slot for 5G or LTE WWAN. Wi-fi connectivity additionally consists of the newest requirements with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2.

A conveyable powerhouse?

The ports shown on the ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2.

Sure, I do know, the ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 can’t presumably be as quick as bigger and thicker laptops. That’s fully cheap. And it’s not, with some apparent thermal throttling given the 28-watt 14-core/20-thread Core i7-1280P squeezed inside. Besides, it supplied spectacular efficiency contemplating how skinny and lightweight it’s and thus how straightforward it’s to hold round. I’ve reported each balanced and efficiency mode leads to the desk beneath, which was configurable through the use of an integration Lenovo constructed with the Home windows 11 efficiency tuner.

The most effective comparability is the Dell XPS 13 Plus, which we reviewed with the identical CPU. It’s additionally a skinny machine, though not practically as gentle, and surprisingly, the ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 was the quicker performer in most of our benchmarks. The Dell took the lead in our Handbrake take a look at that encodes a 420MB video as H.265, however in any other case, the ThinkPad got here out forward. It was slower than the diminutive Asus ZenBook S 13 OLED working the AMD Ryzen 7 6800U, and it fell behind the Lenovo Slim 9i that’s significantly bigger and thicker.

In comparison with the earlier model, the Gen 2 mannequin is in a unique league fully. The unique ThinkPad X1 Nano used a low-power 15-watt quad-core CPU, and in order that is smart. However selecting a ThinkPad X1 Nano in the present day requires far much less of a efficiency compromise than earlier than. You’ll discover the brand new mannequin quick sufficient for demanding productiveness workflows, however not one of the best for artistic purposes. With built-in Intel Iris Xe graphics, it’s additionally not a gaming machine.

Geekbench
(single / multi)
Handbrake
(seconds)
Cinebench R23
(single / multi)
PCMark 10
Full
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2
(Core i7-1280P)
Bal: 1,493 / 8,668
Perf: 1,711 / 9,730
Bal: 126
Perf: 131
Bal: 1,575 / 7,595
Perf: 1,580 / 7,780
5,094
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 1
(Core i7-1160G7)
Bal: 1,466 / 5,139
Perf: N/A
Bal: 180
Perf: 188
Bal: 1,377 / 4,550
Perf: 1,382 / 4,562
4,600
Dell XPS 13 Plus
(Core i7-1280P)
Bal: 1,316 / 8,207
Perf: N/A
Bal: 127
Perf: 94
Bal: 1,311 / 6,308
Perf: 1,650 / 7,530
4,309
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
(Ryzen 7 6800U)
Bal: 1,417 / 6,854
Perf: 1,404 / 7,223
Bal: 112
Perf: 111
Bal: 1,402 / 8,682
Perf: 1,409 / 8,860
5,647
Lenovo Slim 9i
(Core i7-1280P)
Bal: 1,720 / 10,115
Perf: 1,726 / 11,074
Bal: 114
Perf: 95
Bal: 1,795 / 9,467
Perf: 1,824 / 11,301
5,442
Apple MacBook Air M2
(Apple M2)
Bal: 1,925/ 8,973
Perf: N/A
Bal: 151
Perf: N/A
Bal: 1,600 / 7,938
Perf: N/A
N/A

Battery life is one other high quality that may endure from a small chassis. The ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 has 49.5 watt-hours of battery capability stuffed inside, which is a good quantity for a laptop with a smaller low-power show. However physics issues, and there’s solely a lot longevity you possibly can squeeze out. The ThinkPad did nicely in our video take a look at and within the PCMark 10 Functions battery take a look at that’s one of the best indication of productiveness battery life, however it was just a little weak in our web-browsing take a look at. General, you’ll strategy a full day’s work with a light-weight productiveness load, however should you’re pushing issues laborious, you’ll need to ensure to have your charger close by.

That is the one space the place the second technology falls behind. The low-power CPU within the earlier technology supplied considerably extra longevity. And the Apple MacBook Air M2 supplies one more stage of battery life.

Internet shopping Video
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2
(Core i7-1280P
6 hours, 13 minutes 13 hours, 38 minutes
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 1
(Core i7-1160G7)
10 hours, quarter-hour 18 hours, 2 minutes
 Dell XPS 13 Plus
(Core i7-1280P)
8 hours, 0 minutes 9 hours, 20 minutes
 Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
(Ryzen 7 6800U)
8 hours, 4 minutes 13 hours, 13 minutes
Apple MacBook Air M2
(Apple M2)
17 hours, 59 minutes 21 hours, 9 minutes

Tiny however nonetheless snug

Small laptops just like the ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 typically include compromises. Low-resolution shows of suspect high quality, cramped keyboards, and tiny touchpads are just some. Thankfully, Lenovo averted these pitfalls.

To start with, the keyboard is the ThinkPad commonplace, albeit with rather less key spacing and barely smaller but simply as sculpted keycaps. The format is similar, all the way down to the left Fn and Ctl keys which can be reversed from the business commonplace (and might be swapped within the BIOS). I discovered the mechanism a bit stiff, with loads of journey however an abrupt bottoming motion. It wasn’t probably the most snug keyboard I’ve used, with HP’s Spectre and Dell’s XPS keyboards being a lot better. I maintained my ordinary typing pace and didn’t really feel like I used to be typing on a very small keyboard.

The show is greater than adequate for handing the typical spreadsheet, video, or web site.

Lenovo has you lined on the subject of controlling the cursor, with each the TrackPoint nubbin and a smaller but serviceable touchpad. Each labored nicely. My review unit didn’t embrace a contact show, however the higher-end show is touch-enabled.

Two show choices can be found with the ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2, each low-power 13.0 inch 2K 16:10 shows. One is touch-enabled with the next brightness ranking and the opposite, my review unit, is non-touch and with a barely decrease brightness ranking.

The screen of the ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2.

The earlier mannequin additionally outfitted an analogous IPS show, with the identical decision. In accordance with my colorimeter, the show has roughly the identical premium-display common shade gamut because the earlier technology, with improved accuracy. Brightness is increased and distinction has been dramatically improved. General, the show is greater than adequate for productiveness staff and media customers, whereas creators will discover the colours too slender for critical work.

Brightness
(nits)
Distinction sRGB gamut AdobeRGB gamut Accuracy DeltaE
(decrease is best)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2
(IPS)
446 1,460:1 99% 76% 1.21
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 1
(IPS)
414 980:1 98% 74% 1.73
 Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
(OLED)
366 25,560:1 100% 96% 1.0
Lenovo ThinkBook 13x
(IPS)
417 1,430:1 100% 76% 0.97
Dell XPS 13
(IPS)
420 1,360:1 100% 79% 1.21

Two upward-firing audio system present the audio, and I discovered the sound to be simply OK. The amount wasn’t very excessive, and there was some distortion when taking part in at 100%. Mids and highs had been fantastic however there was zero bass. Hold some headphones helpful.

Lenovo builds in a number of creature comforts that improve the ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2’s privateness in addition to its enchantment to hybrid staff. The webcam is 1080p and supplies an in depth picture in all lighting circumstances, and the IR camera helps Home windows 11 Hiya passwordless login. There’s additionally a fingerprint reader on the palm relaxation to the proper of the touchpad.

An ultra-wideband radar sensor supplies enhanced assist for Lenovo’s consumer presence-sensing technology, offering for Zero Contact Lock that places the laptop to sleep when the consumer leaves and Zero Contact Login that wakes the laptop up and routinely logs in when the consumer returns. The show additionally dims when the consumer is trying in a unique route. Lastly, there’s a bodily shutter for blocking the webcam for added privateness.

The smallest ThinkPad is likely one of the finest

The ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 is a small laptop with a strong construct high quality and quick productiveness efficiency. It’s a big enchancment over the primary technology, with a greater show to go along with the rise in pace. There’s a big drop in battery life, although, which could matter to some customers.

It’s a 13-inch laptop that competes strongly in opposition to others in its class just like the Dell XPS 13 Plus and the Asus ZenBook S 13 OLED. It’s costly, however should you’re searching for a laptop that’s extremely straightforward to hold round, the ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 suits the invoice.

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