Lenovo’s new ThinkPads offer better screens and Ryzen 5000 CPUs

Lenovo’s new ThinkPad lineup is downright trendy, offering both the latest in display technology as well as a choice between Intel’s 11th-gen Core or AMD Ryzen 5000 CPUs. Announced Tuesday, the various laptops in the lineup will roll out at different times over the coming months, as detailed below.

The most noticeable change will be in the display for the ThinkPad X13 clamshell and Yoga (360-degree convertible) models: Both variations will have screens with an aspect ratio of 16:10. Taller aspect ratios like 16:10, 4:3, and 3:2 are believed to be a better fit for productivity work than wider ratios like 16:9, which has been the dominant option for many years.

The other big change is inside, where Lenovo will offer the choice of Intel or AMD CPUs in this and other ThinkPad lines. In a name designation doomed to be misspelled, the Intel versions of the laptops will be called ThinkPad X13 Gen 2 i (yes, a space and then an italic ‘i’) and offer the newest 11th-gen Core i7 chips with vPro support to make your IT department happy. The AMD-based models, for which full specs aren’t yet available, will offer AMD’s newest Ryzen 5000 chips, providing more cores than the four in the Intel options. If you go with AMD, note that you won’t get Thunderbolt 4—just plain old USB-C. 

The ThinkPad X13 Gen 2 i will weigh a dainty 2.6 pounds and offer a healthy serving of ports including two USB-A, two Thunderbolt 4, a full-size HDMI, and analog audio port. Wi-Fi options will range from Wi-Fi 6 to the new Wi-Fi 6E (a version of Wi-Fi 6 with more bandwidth), as well as LTE 4G and 5G modems.

Lenovo is also taking a step forward in an area few people prioritized a scant year ago: webcams. The 720p models residing in the vast majority of laptops showed their limitation in a year’s worth of intensive videoconferencing. A 1080p webcam is an option on the ThinkPad X13 Gen 2/2 i, along with Windows Hello biometric support. Battery options include two sizes: 54.7Wh or 41Wh. The ThinkPad X13 Gen 2 i (the Intel version) will go on sale in March with a price starting at $1,299. The ThinkPad X13 Gen 2 (AMD version) will hit the streets in May, with a price starting at $1,139.

ThinkPad X13 Yoga

Like its ThinkPad X13 clamshell cousin, the X13 Yoga gets the taller 16:10 screen with a resolution of 2560×1600. Four touchscreen options will be offered: a low power, low-blue screen at 400 nits, a 500 nit version with privacy guard, and two 300-nit versions.

The ThinkPad X13 Yoga will come with up to 32GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 2TB of storage. Lenovo said the laptop can hit 12.3 hours of run time on its 53Wh battery.

Ports include two Thunderbolt 4, one USB-A, HDMI 2.0, and analog audio combo jack. Networking options include Wi-Fi 6 as well as LTE support. The laptop will go on sale in April starting at $1,379.

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