Today we’re looking at Lenovo’s 2nd generation of the ThinkBook X1 Nano. It’s super small and super light while keeping all of the same specs and features as their X1 Carbon Gen 10, which has always maintained its spot as business laptop royalty. But pack those same specs into a smaller chassis and that’s gonna cost you a bit more. The i5 version starts at about $1,500 at Lenovo with various sales and discounts at the moment, and the review model we’re looking at is $2,147 with the same discounts. Here’s what that gets you:
- OS: Windows 11 Pro
- Proc: 12 Generation Intel Core i7-1280P Processor with vPro (E-Core Max 3.60 GHz, P-Core Max 4.80 GHz with Turbo Boost, 14 Cores, 20 Threads, 24 MB Cache)
- Memory: 32GB 52000Mhz LPDDR5 soldered
- Graphics: Integrated Intel Iris Xe
- Screen: 13.0″ 2K (2160 x 1350) IPS, anti-glare with Dolby Vision™, 450 nits, 100% sRGB [Touchscreen available]
- Storage: 1TB PCIe SSD
- Connectivity: WiFi 6E 802.11AX (2 x 2), Bluetooth 5.2, optional WWAN Fibocom L860-GL-16 4G CAT16 or Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 5G Sub-6 GHz Modem-RF System
- Other: Discrete Trusted Platform Module 2.0, Match-on-chip (MoC) fingerprint reader, FHD webcam with privacy shutter [IR and Computer Vision available]
Specs and Design
Lenovo’s second outing for the X1 Nano keeps the same philosophy – keep it as small and light as possible. It’s a smaller and lighter option even to the 14″ X1 Carbon Gen 10, while keeping the same level of performance and spec, as well as business features like dTPM 2.0 and an MoC fingerprint reader. The Nano and its 13″ frame weighs in at 2.14lbs, over 10% lighter than its 14″ cousin. Measuring in at 0.57″ x 11.5″ x 8.19″ it’s a bit thinner as well. We stacked the Nano on top of our X1 Carbon we use here at the office, and that difference is indeed noticeable. If size and weight is a decision driver, The Nano is lighter than Apple’s M2 Macbook Air at 2.7lbs
We don’t have to go too deep into the design – it’s a smaller version of the Carbon, Lenovo’s business king. It’s got the same great keyboard, sturdy carbon fiber and magnesium construction, and bright 450 nit screen. If you go with the touchscreen edition, you can even get the same carbon fiber weave lid, which is a very pretty feature.
Ports-wise a small laptop is going to have a small port array. The Nano has 2 USB-4 Thunderbolt ports on the left, which are also used for power in. That’s flanked by the mic/headphone jack. If you’re running this laptop as your daily driver you’re living the bluetooth life anyway, so this shouldn’t be a huge issue. Thunderbolt dock options are also out there.
Like the Carbon, we did not expect this to be a gaming powerhouse with integrated Iris Xe graphics, but we still ran it through our battery of tests:
PCMark 10: Our office benchmark gave us a 5,406 (Essentials 9,770, Productivity 6,782, Digital Content Creation 6,471), in line, as expected, with the X1 Carbon Gen 10.
3DMark Time Spy: The DirectX12 test gave us a 1,915 – again, identical Carbon scores.
3DMark Night Raid: Night Raid gave us 16,720 – one more time echoing its 14″ cousin on scores.
Procyon Office Productivity: UL’s newest benchmark for office productivity gave us a 6,710. This test more directly tries to tax your Microsoft 365 apps. On this one the Nano slightly outpaced the Carbon, but our test Nano is running a slightly better processor with the 1280P.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider: We were able to push the Iris Xe up to 45 fps, but that did mean using the lowest possible settings at 1280×800. at FHD we didn’t get up to 30 fps, but hey – it’s still playable.
- 1280×800 / lowest: 45 fps
- 1280×800 / medium: 24 fps
- 1920×1200 / lowest: 27 fps
- 1920×1200 / medium: 22 fps
Final Fantasy XV: Can you play it? Sure. But you will have to turn everything allllll the way down to base. Standard graphics aren’t an option for the Iris Xe, but you can hang out with Noctis at the lowest res with the settings tuned to low.
- FHD / standard graphics: 1,672 – insufficient
- 1280×720 / standard graphics: 2,661 – slightly low
As expected, the Nano mirrored the Carbon’s performance shot for shot, making it more than a solid choice for mobile business performance and easy travel as well.
Real World Battery Test
Since this entire time we’ve been drawing comparisons between this and the Carbon, our biggest concern going in was that the battery performance would also be the same. We found the Carbon to only get us about 7.5 hours or battery life, so we were very curious to see how the Nano fared. With the screen brightness at 60% and battery mode in balanced, we began.
We kicked it off with some streaming, picking Netflix’s new Tekken: Bloodline series based on Bandai Namco’s games. After a couple hours of that we shifted into work mode doing all the standard boring stuff – emails, work, writing, and poking around the internet to find some deals on cables and parts and whatnot. After spending the next couple of hours on remote client sessions, we ended up with 5.5 hours of life, which was disappointing. Lenovo advertises 14 for the Nano Gen 2, which may be possible on the lowest-end configurations with the lowest power draws, but the topline specs will come with a battery tradeoff. It was only about half the time we got on their 1st generation model, which we took for a test drive last year.
The second outing for Lenovo’s ThinkPad Nano delivers on the highest levels of business performance in the smallest possible high-grade chassis. Slightly north of 2lbs and lighter than the new MacBook Air, this is a prime choice for business travelers that prefer Windows or are part of a Microsoft business enterprise. That does come with a battery tradeoff though, and we’re looking at roughly half the battery life of the Nano’s first outing.
If the X1 Carbon is the business king, we can call the Nano the young prince.