Lenovo unveils the Snapdragon-powered ThinkPad X13s, claims 28-hour battery life

midian182

Posts: 7,902   +82
Staff member
Forward-looking: Lenovo has unveiled a slew of products at MWC, including some interesting ThinkPad laptops. One of these has a claimed 28-hour battery life thanks to its Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 chip, marking the first time the SoC has appeared in a PC.

Qualcomm lifted the lid off its latest SoC for Windows laptops in December. The company says the new chipset, built on the 5nm process, offers up to 80% faster CPU performance and up to 60 percent faster GPU performance when compared to its predecessor. It also boasts a 40% boost in single-threaded workloads and an 85% increase in multi-threaded workloads compared to the 8cx Gen 2 SoC.

The ThinkPad X13s features a 9W TDP, a 13.3-inch WUXGA 16:10 display, and the familiar ThinkPad design, including a TrackPoint center button. There’s also up to 32GB of LPDDR4x RAM, up to 1TB of PCIe SSD storage, a 5MP webcam and IR Camera with Computer Vision, and dual front-facing Dolby speakers, all packed into a 2.35-pound chassis, much of which is made from recycled magnesium.

Qualcomm previously made a big deal about the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3’s connectivity, and you can see why in the ThinkPad X13s: there’s the option to add 5G—both mmWave and Sub-6. The laptop also features Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E.

Port-wise, the laptop comes with two USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) inputs, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a SIM card slot. It ships with Windows 11 preloaded, and buyers should notice that it's completely silent thanks to the lack of a fan.

The ThinkPad X13s will arrive in May, starting at $1,099. It will also be available at AT&T and Verizon later this year.

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Dimitriid

Posts: 2,210   +4,248
1100 USD for a laptop that will give you trouble for many apps that are just not native ARM is asking too much if you have to do it all on Windows 11.

On Linux however, arm support is more robust but that doesn't means this particular hardware will be well supported on Linux and in fact it probably won't be.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,980
Will be interested to see benchmarks comparing it to Ryzen 6000, Intel 12000 and Apple M1... If the base price is $1100, it better be VERY competitive...
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,364   +5,591
It's an interesting concept. The total lack of type A ports is a bit of a bugbear though. 99.999999% of wireless mice and keyboards you see used in offic eenviroments still use type A dongles, same with flash drives and gigabit ethernet adapters.
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 529   +677
1100 USD for a laptop that will give you trouble for many apps that are just not native ARM is asking too much if you have to do it all on Windows 11.

On Linux however, arm support is more robust but that doesn't means this particular hardware will be well supported on Linux and in fact it probably won't be.

X86 apps works just fine, and if you've been following the recent update allowing 64bit apps to work. It actually isn't so bad. You can also play a lot of X86-64 games on the devices now.

The biggest problem with past Arm windows laptops has largely been Performance related, the ARM cares were just not at the performance levels they needed to be at. The new X1 core will help quite a bit. It will be a lot closer to the M1 than Snapdragon chips have been in a very long time.

Windows on ARM is actually pretty decent. But is lacking on native executables. Linux can be ran on top of windows with a high number of apps working just fine.
 

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 1,218   +1,113
Will be interested to see benchmarks comparing it to Ryzen 6000, Intel 12000 and Apple M1... If the base price is $1100, it better be VERY competitive...

This is iPad Pro 12.9 money, that should be in the benchmarks too. I'd take this over the iPad if performance is up there. Having the 5G built-in is exactly what I need.
 

arrowflash

Posts: 516   +592
For crying out loud. I would never pay more than $500 for an ARM laptop, even then, only if I really really needed that battery life.
Looks like companies have really been testing the waters on how high they can push consumer hardware prices, now that they are finding out there are people out there willing to mortgage their homes to purchase the latest disposable gadget.
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 529   +677
For crying out loud. I would never pay more than $500 for an ARM laptop, even then, only if I really really needed that battery life.
Looks like companies have really been testing the waters on how high they can push consumer hardware prices, now that they are finding out there are people out there willing to mortgage their homes to purchase the latest disposable gadget.
A Quality Laptop has nearly always been around $1000, and apple has always been pretty competitive with their competition in regards to that space.

$500 laptops screams 200nit screen, cheap feeling, poor battery life, Budget SSD.

Performance wise ARM is fully capable of being faster than X86 counterparts, Apple already does it in regards to lower TDP chips. You simply can't get a sub 25watt Intel chip to outperform the M1. The X1 core is going to be a massive step forward for general reference ARM designs for higher powered devices. Don't expect a i5 to outclass it in this power range.


As someone that values battery life the most in a general use laptop, the Macbook Air is still the best laptop for your money.

Gaming laptops only make sense if you are going to game on it, otherwise they make for crappy laptops.

Workstation laptops are great for work, not for general use. My Work Laptop is a Dell Precision 7740, and even with its massive 97wh battery the battery life sucks. Not sure if it is because nvidia cards suck at low idle power when intel graphics should be preferred, or Dell's power management firmware just sucks on workstations. (My guess is little of both). I have to force windows to limit CPU to maximum of 35% when on battery to get any decent amount of battery life out of it. And god forbid you put it to sleep and not turn it off.

While my old surface laptop can go weeks in standby and still wake up with plenty of battery life.
 
The 8cx gen 3 is in a weird place. In this specific model, it goes straight against the M1 MacBook Air with an asking price of 1000 USD, and it'd be a straight up slaughter.

Comparing it to x86 laptops is a bit tricky as there aren't a lot of native Arm applications on Windows.

It'd somewhat match an i5 1135G7 in CPU tests if optimized for Arm while falling behind in GPU tests. If it's running 64 bit x86 emulation, there is nothing to even talk about. Yeah, it'd need more power but also you have a lot of models to choose from and much better compatibility. And remember – the 1135G7 is a generation old.

Then there are the Ryzen 5000 series chips which work much better in the lower power ranges. And, if we consider something upcoming like the Ryzen 6600U or 6800U, it should be able to perform much better in the same or slightly higher power envelope.
 

Puiu

Posts: 5,552   +4,519
TechSpot Elite
A Quality Laptop has nearly always been around $1000, and apple has always been pretty competitive with their competition in regards to that space.

$500 laptops screams 200nit screen, cheap feeling, poor battery life, Budget SSD.

Performance wise ARM is fully capable of being faster than X86 counterparts, Apple already does it in regards to lower TDP chips. You simply can't get a sub 25watt Intel chip to outperform the M1. The X1 core is going to be a massive step forward for general reference ARM designs for higher powered devices. Don't expect a i5 to outclass it in this power range.


As someone that values battery life the most in a general use laptop, the Macbook Air is still the best laptop for your money.

Gaming laptops only make sense if you are going to game on it, otherwise they make for crappy laptops.

Workstation laptops are great for work, not for general use. My Work Laptop is a Dell Precision 7740, and even with its massive 97wh battery the battery life sucks. Not sure if it is because nvidia cards suck at low idle power when intel graphics should be preferred, or Dell's power management firmware just sucks on workstations. (My guess is little of both). I have to force windows to limit CPU to maximum of 35% when on battery to get any decent amount of battery life out of it. And god forbid you put it to sleep and not turn it off.

While my old surface laptop can go weeks in standby and still wake up with plenty of battery life.

But the performance should also be a big factor. I doubt that you'll do more than just watching videos on this thing (maybe some android games).
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 529   +677
But the performance should also be a big factor. I doubt that you'll do more than just watching videos on this thing (maybe some android games).
An Arm X1 Core should be just as fast as a modern i5 locked to 25-30watts. It honestly should be pretty close to what the M1's performance cores provide. M1 should still perform better as it still has the massive Node advantage.

Performance is pretty much there for every task. The Snapdragon graphics are pretty decent as well, should have no issues playing x86-64 games off steam... Granted mostly older or lighter titles. Same goes for any ultrabook level of device.

What kind of performance do you need? These devices should do everything quickly. You'd also have no problem encoding video on these thing as well, just not as quickly as more powerful devices. There isn't any type of standard workload where you'd be lacking in processing power... If gaming power is what you are looking for, it is the wrong device for you.
 
An Arm X1 Core should be just as fast as a modern i5 locked to 25-30watts. It honestly should be pretty close to what the M1's performance cores provide. M1 should still perform better as it still has the massive Node advantage.

Performance is pretty much there for every task. The Snapdragon graphics are pretty decent as well, should have no issues playing x86-64 games off steam... Granted mostly older or lighter titles. Same goes for any ultrabook level of device.

What kind of performance do you need? These devices should do everything quickly. You'd also have no problem encoding video on these thing as well, just not as quickly as more powerful devices. There isn't any type of standard workload where you'd be lacking in processing power... If gaming power is what you are looking for, it is the wrong device for you.
In CPU performance, a 1135G7 would be able to match or beat the 8cx gen 3 running Arm binaries in a lot of workloads. Don't even think about 64 bit x86 emulation. 1135G7 should also have a better GPU. Of course it would use more power but you'll also have a lot of other options and better compatibility.

Then we have to consider that the 8cx gen 3 will go against 6600U and 6800U, both of which have much stronger CPU and GPU. These would offer significantly better performance than 8cx gen 3 at similar power levels.

At best 8cx gen 3 would be good for entertainment and casual use.
 
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Nicoboy

Posts: 7   +3
An Arm X1 Core should be just as fast as a modern i5 locked to 25-30watts. It honestly should be pretty close to what the M1's performance cores provide. M1 should still perform better as it still has the massive Node advantage.

This Snapdragon is also fabricated on 5nm. No node process advantage here. Any M1 Air performance advantage or disadvantage will be IPC, cache, components and integration on motherboard/SOC, OS and app/dev support. So very simple matter.
 

Puiu

Posts: 5,552   +4,519
TechSpot Elite
An Arm X1 Core should be just as fast as a modern i5 locked to 25-30watts. It honestly should be pretty close to what the M1's performance cores provide. M1 should still perform better as it still has the massive Node advantage.

Performance is pretty much there for every task. The Snapdragon graphics are pretty decent as well, should have no issues playing x86-64 games off steam... Granted mostly older or lighter titles. Same goes for any ultrabook level of device.

What kind of performance do you need? These devices should do everything quickly. You'd also have no problem encoding video on these thing as well, just not as quickly as more powerful devices. There isn't any type of standard workload where you'd be lacking in processing power... If gaming power is what you are looking for, it is the wrong device for you.
This isn't an Apple made OS with optimizations specific to that particular CPU. It's just your regular ARM Windows which never worked well. The CPU may have the raw power to be similar to an i3 CPU (or maybe better), but you won't see the full power in this system. All it has is battery life (albeit claimed, not tested).

You are better off buying a much cheaper chromebook for the same experience.