This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
After announcing the world's first foldable screen PC, the ThinkPad X1 Fold, Lenovo had yet another hidden ball in the works. It's a mobile laptop that weighs less than 1 kg and offers a high level of performance, something that ThinkPad fans have been waiting for.
It's called the ThinkPad X1 Nano. It is scheduled to go on sale "in the fourth quarter of 2020," which is a slightly broader description, with prices starting at $1,599 in the US.
There is currently no mention of sales in Japan (but given the previous development of the X1 series, the possibility of a release should be significant).
The Nano name may give the impression of a small screen, but the model has a 13-inch screen size with a 16:10 aspect ratio, so the name gives a slightly different impression (especially when compared to the current X1 Carbon).
However, its weight starts at 907 grams, which is quite light even by Japanese mobile PC standards.
Despite this, ThinkPad X1 Nano's screen has a resolution of 2160 x 1350, with 100% sRGB coverage and support for Dolby Vision HDR. The CPU (SoC) is powered by an Intel 11th generation Core i, aka Tiger Lake, with a battery capacity of 48 Wh and a nominal life of up to 17.3 hours, with an optional 5G modem available.
It also supports Intel's latest PC specification, Evo, and is as heavily equipped as the upper-end X1 Carbon models.
ThinkPad X1 Nano measures 292.8 x 207.7 x 13.87 mm. The current ThinkPad X1 Carbon (14-inch screen model) is 323 x 217 x 14.95 mm and weighs 1.09 kg, which is a considerable decrease of about 180g compared to this, the weight has been reduced by about 180g, but the size of this model seems to be "slightly more compact".
This may give you a slightly different impression from the word "Nano".
However, on the other hand, the input devices such as the keyboard, TrackPoint (a stick-based pointing device), and touchpad are largely the same as the X1 Carbon. In other words, it's a very attractive replacement for X1 Carbon users, as although the screen is smaller (but in some cases with improved resolution - especially in the vertical direction), but can be lighter while still retaining most of the keystroke and feel of the device.
Of course, it passes the various "torture tests" that are common to ThinkPads in terms of ruggedness.
The key points of interest are the screen, which has a 16:10 aspect ratio, a new feature for clamshell ThinkPads, and a four-sided narrow bezel design (although it looks like it's on the edge of being called this). Options include non-touch and 10-point touch versions.
In terms of image quality and resolution, both touch and non-touch versions are the same, one grade. The resolution is 2160 x 1350, the maximum brightness is 450 nits, the HDR video source is Dolby Vision compatible, and the color gamut covers 100% of sRGB, which is a high standard for a current mobile PC that is rapidly becoming more high-brightness and wider color gamut these days.
The next CPU of note is Intel's 11th generation Core i (Tiger Lake), as we mentioned at the beginning of this article. The top of the line is "powered by Core i7," although details are unclear. The merits of this CPU include increased processing speed due to increased cache memory and other factors, and significantly faster 3D rendering performance thanks to Xe graphics.
Meanwhile, a version of the Tiger Lake with vPro, a management function for large companies, is yet to be released, which makes this machine a rare ThinkPad high-end model, as this feature is basically the basis for choosing a CPU (although the X1 Fold was announced at the same time).
The ThinkPad X1 Nano has up to 16GB of LPDDR4X RAM and up to 1TB of NVMe (PCI Express-connected) SSD storage, which is also at the level of today's high-end mobile PCs (although we'd like to see a 32GB RAM configuration).
On the other hand, it is the expansion terminal that we feel the limitation of the miniaturization. For better or worse, we can't believe that this is a high-end ThinkPad today, with only two Thunderbolt 4 ports and a 3.5mm headset jack.
With the adoption of the Tiger Lake, the Thunderbolt technology has reached the fourth generation, and this may mean that users are expected to provide docking stations and other devices on their own.
Another unique feature is the optional cellular modem that can be selected for 5G (Cat.20 compatible). The X1 Fold is the first ThinkPad model to support 5G, and this device will be the next one to do so. You can also choose the LTE (Cat. 9 compatible) version of the modem.
The other wireless communications are of course current as well, with Wi-Fi using Intel's latest AX201 module, with Wi-Fi 6 support and Bluetooth 5.0 support.
The biometric authentication is also fingerprint and face recognition, a convenient feature unique to high-end ThinkPad models. The specifications are also inherited from the X1 Carbon, with speakers that support Dolby Atmos and four 360-degree microphones.
The exterior is the familiar ThinkPad Black, but as the current X1 Carbon, we can choose a carbon fiber top panel as an option. The details are unclear at this point, but we think that, just like the X1 Carbon, this will be a pattern that will be available in a higher configuration.
In addition to Windows 10 as a pre-installed operating system, Ubuntu Linux will be available as an option, although this is only a worldwide specification.
The basic specifications can be summarized as follows
CPU: Up to 11th generation " Tiger Lake" Intel Core i7 processors
GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics (built-in CPU)
RAM: Up to 16GB LPDDR4x
Storage: Up to 1TB PCIe-NVMe M.2 SSD
Battery: Up to 17.3hrs, 48Wh
I/O: 2x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports and 1x Audio (headphone and microphone combo jack)
Wi-Fi: WiFi 6 (Intel AX201)
Biometric feature: Windows Hello face and fingerprint recognition
Installed OS: Windows 10, Ubuntu Linux
AC adapter: USB Type-C 65W
As you can see, ThinkPad X1 Nano is not only a much-anticipated ThinkPad with a keyboard that weighs less than 1kg, but it also has a 16:10 screen and narrow bezel design that are favored by heavy users, as well as the earliest installation of Intel's latest Tiger Lake CPU. This model has a lot of appeals.
The starting price is similar to other high-end ThinkPad top-end models and other companies' high-end mobile laptops, so we can expect it to be a good value for money.
This is a model that will undoubtedly be a hot mobile device at the end of 2020, so we're looking forward to seeing it released in Japan - preferably with a 5G modem and other options available - as well.
The following is an aside for ThinkPad fans.
The lightest model in the conventional ThinkPad series with an integrated keyboard was the ThinkPad 220, released in 1993.
In terms of non-ThinkPad models, there is the PalmTop PC 110, which officially weighs about 630 grams, and the 8-inch tablet ThinkPad 8, which weighs about 410 grams without a keyboard. The first-generation Surface Pro-type tablet, the ThinkPad X1 Tablet, weighed in at about 767 grams, but in terms of the ThinkPad series' all-in-one design, the 220 was still the king of the series in terms of the keyboard included.
In contrast, this device finally surpassed the 220 in nominal terms, starting at 907 grams with the battery included, and it was also the lightest updated at nearly 100 grams. For users who are familiar with ThinkPad's history, this is the first model to take the throne in 27 years - and a major record-breaker. For fans, this is another "commemorative" model alongside the ThinkPad X1 Fold.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.