At CES 2022, Lenovo announced updates to three of its most premium laptops on the market: the ThinkPad X1 Carbon 10th-gen (that’s right, this is the tenth one), the ThinkPad X1 Yoga seventh-gen, and the ThinkPad X1 Nano second-gen. The Carbon and the Yoga will be available in March (starting at $1,639 and $1,749, respectively), and the Nano is coming in April (starting at $1,659).
These are some heavy hitters. The X1 Carbon and the X1 Yoga are two of the most established and beloved laptops in the business sphere. The X1 Nano is newer to the scene but was one of our favorite laptops that we reviewed last year — it’s the lightest ThinkPad ever made, and it packs impressive power into that chassis.
I’ve spent a brief amount of time with each of these devices, and I also reviewed all three of their predecessors. They all look and feel pretty dang similar to last year’s models. That’s totally fine by me — ThinkPads have an established aesthetic, and any big changes would likely make some X1 fans very unhappy. If you are looking for something new and different, you’re better off looking at the brand-new ThinkPad Z-Series. (The comments section on that video has been somewhat... heated.)
But tweaks have certainly been made, largely targeting remote employees. The new ThinkPads are “optimized for hybrid workers and professionals who seek higher levels of performance, better camera and audio capabilities for more immersive collaboration, and a more secure laptop to protect them from the daily demands of hybrid working,” Lenovo wrote in its blog post.
There’s a “newly designed communications bar” housing an upgraded webcam with a 1.4μm sensor (which is welcome — the sixth-gen Yoga’s camera was particularly bad) and 360-degree far-field microphones. The internals have been bumped up to Intel’s 12th Gen Core processors, LPDDR5 memory, PCIe Gen 4 storage, and all of the models come with Windows 11 Pro. And the Yoga and the Carbon both have OLED display options this year — 4K for the Yoga, 2.8K for the Carbon — while the Nano has new AI noise cancellation technology.
Finally, Lenovo’s Human Presence Detection (available in “select models” across the line) has gotten smarter thanks to a new neural processing unit. Previously, the AI recognize when “a person” was leaving or approaching its screen. Now, it’s able to recognize when you specifically approach the screen (as opposed to a colleague or potential snoop) and wake or lock accordingly. Lenovo’s Computer Vision technology can also dim or turn off the display when you’re looking away, as an energy saver.
While ThinkPad X1 users of five years ago might never have expected that webcams and speakers would ever be areas where Lenovo focused its energy, it’s clear that those features have become a priority for Lenovo’s target audience. The company is combining the exceptional build quality the X1 line is known for with innovations targeting on-the-go hybrid work. It’s a choice that makes complete sense — which, during a CES where some other established lines appear to have undergone some controversial changes, is refreshing to see.
Photography by Monica Chin / The Verge