In recent years, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon computing (PC) platform has gained more traction. Today is a milestone: The ThinkPad X13s is Lenovo’s first Snapdragon-powered ThinkPad, which is quite an endorsement.

The ThinkPad X13s is an ultra-light, always-on, always-connected laptop weighing a mere 2.35 Lbs. It has a clamshell chassis which is appropriate for higher productivity than a tablet-style one, in my opinion.

From the outside, the ThinkPad X13s has all the hallmarks of a ThinkPad design. Due to the thinness of the chassis, I expect it to feel different than “classic” ThinkPads like the X1 Yoga, but I imagine it being like the ThinkPad X1 nano, which is also a super-light.

Although this is a new product, Lenovo worked with Qualcomm for four years on this design. Keep in mind that both companies had cooperated before and showed the first 5G laptop at Computex 2019, so it’s been a long and fruitful relationship.

With such a thin (13.4mm) chassis, there’s only room for two USB-C ports, and unfortunately, they are not Thunderbolt because that’s an Intel technology. Instead, USB 3.2 Gen2 is supported.

The speakers on either side of the laptop are an exquisite detail as it’s the best location (short of a soundbar) to place speakers on a computer. If Lenovo delivers on sound quality, this could be an excellent multimedia laptop.

The 13.3-inch display has a 1920×1200 resolution with an anti-glare treatment. Lenovo has three options with various color accuracy and brightness specifications to address different needs (industrial, creative, office).

I’m curious to see how the 5MP webcam compares to regular laptops’ typical 0.7MP to 1MP ones. If it were the equivalent of an average selfie smartphone camera, that would be a significant leap for a laptop.

The Qualcomm camera software is very performant, and this ThinkPad could be a high-quality video-conference device.

Inside, the computer is powered by the Snapdragon 8cx gen 3 and backed by 32GB of RAM (soldered), which I find pretty generous, so kudos to Lenovo for that.

There’s up to 1TB of SSD storage connected to a PCIe 4.0 bus, so I expect the performance to be comparable to your typical Intel laptop.

The connectivity is excellent as it supports 5G (Sub6 and mmWave) and WiFi-6E. Having native internal 5G indeed provides the best and most convenient 5G, especially when compared to a phone tether.

The 49.5Wh battery capacity is comparable to many Intel-based thin & light, but the Snapdragon power efficiency can push battery life to ~28 hours, according to Lenovo. Under the best conditions, this seems technically possible.

This exciting laptop won’t ship right now, but past experiences tell us that March or April of 2022 might see it appear in retail. At least, we know it’ll cost $1099+.

ThinkPad X13s
Processor Snapdragon® 8cx Gen 3 compute platform
Operating System Up to Windows 11 Pro
Memory Up to 32GB LPDDR4x
Storage Up to 1TB PCIe SSD
Graphics Snapdragon® 8cx Gen 3 compute platform with Qualcomm® Adreno™ GPU
Display 13.3-inch 16:10
-WUXGA IPS 300nit
-WUXGA IPS 300nit on-cell touch
-WUXGA IPS 400nit, Low Power, Low Blue Light
Audio User-facing Dolby® Audio speaker system
Qualcomm® Voice and Audio Communications Suite
Camera -5.0MP camera, optional IR sensor, optional Computer Vision
-5.0MP RGB camera
Battery 49.5Whr, (video playback up to 28 hours)
Security Qualcomm® Secure Processing Unit with Microsoft Pluton, dTPM, Fingerprint Reader, Windows Hello (IR camera), Camera shutter, Kensington Lock
Ports 2 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, Audio, SIM
Keyboard ThinkPad TrackPoint keyboard, backlit
Glass-like 3-button TrackPad
Wireless LAN Qualcomm® FastConnect™ 6900 Subsystem
Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth® 5.2
Wireless WAN Optional Snapdragon® X55 5G Modem-RF system
5G mmWave and sub-6 eSIM and Nano SIM
Colors/Materials Thunder Black, Certified 90% recycled magnesium on A and C covers
Dimensions 298.7 x 206.4 x 13.4mm
11.76 x 8.13 x 0.53in
Weight 1.06kg – 2.35 lbs

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