Lenovo’s ThinkPad X13 gets an update with a 5G, 1080p webcam

Lenovo ThinkPad X13

Picture: Lenovo

Lenovo has just refreshed several of its more budget-friendly ThinkPad models, and one, in particular, is worth watching closely.

Cheaper than many of its business laptop siblings, the ThinkPad X13 and X13 Yoga are ultraportable laptops with everything you’d expect from a ThinkPad. This includes distinctive styling consisting of an all-black chassis with red trim, a red rubber pointing stick tucked into the keyboard, and an illuminated “i” in the ThinkPad logo.

The success of these business laptops can be attributed to the consistent look and feel that Lenovo has maintained for over a decade. That hasn’t changed much with these new entries, although the company is, for better or worse, starting to come out of its black/red shell. To that end, the X13 is also available in Storm Grey, a dark silver tone that contrasts sharply with the other traditional color option. These may look similar to previous versions, but Lenovo claims the touchpad is now 15% larger.

Lenovo ThinkPad X13

Lenovo ThinkPad X13
Picture: Lenovo

The X13 is more of a portable, budget laptop than a 13-inch version of the X1 Carbon (which is where the X1Nano between), so its 0.7-inch, 2.6-pound chassis isn’t as sleek or slim as the more expensive model. However, the extra space leads to a generous selection of ports, which includes two Thunderbolt 4 ports (AMD doesn’t have USB-C Thunderbolt), two USB Type-A 3.2 inputs, an HDMI 2.0, headphone jack, and a SIM slot for 5G (sub-6Ghz over eSIM) or 4G LTE connectivity. The old connectivity option is joined by Wi-Fi 6E to make these new ThinkPads upgradeable.

One of the few complaints I had with previous models was that the screens were dim, dull, or both. Hopefully the 13.3-inch, 2560×1600 pixel (16:10) display on the new X13 models fixes those past flaws. These are Dolby Vision certified and get up to 400 nits of brightness, which should be fine even in brighter environments. Lenovo also makes claims about “narrow bezels”, although it seems to think we’re in another decade, as the thick bezel lining the X13’s display reminds me of Ralphie’s glasses in A Christmas Story.

Moving on to performance, the X13 is available in both Intel and AMD flavors. CPU options include up to a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 vPro chip for the Yoga, while the clamshell model gets AMD Ryzen Pro 6000 processors. PCIe SSD storage. As expected, the X13 relies solely on integrated graphics, so you’re looking at Iris Xe or Radeon 600M.

Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Yoga

Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Yoga
Picture: Lenovo

The X13 and X13 Yoga are direct updates from previous models, but there are a few hybrid-friendly enhancements beyond improved wireless support. Both of these laptops now come with an “up to” 1080p webcam with IR, and while the increased resolution doesn’t guarantee good image quality, it should mean an improvement over most 720p cameras.

Also new this year is Dolby Voice for better microphone performance and a larger 54.7Wh battery option in addition to a stock 41Wh battery. Lenovo hasn’t made any battery life claims for the X13, but it says the X13 Yoga’s 57Whr cell gives it up to 13.6 hours of battery life.

The Lenovo X13 Gen 3 and X13 Yoga Gen 3 will go on sale in June starting at $1,369 and $1,179, respectively, for Intel models. The X13 with AMD will launch alongside the others but will cost a little less at $1,119. Lenovo has also refreshed its ThinkPad L13, L14, L15 and L13 Yoga laptops, which will go on sale in April and May.

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