amazon Lenovo ThinkPad L13 Yoga reviews
Lenovo has an important position as a chess piece on the chessboard in the laptop market. The ThinkPad L13 Yoga on the segment above the Yoga 2-in-1 convertible but below the ThinkPad X1 Yoga — replaces the ThinkPad L390 Yoga as a choice for business executives, people who want the high-end keyboard and sturdy MIL-STD 810G typical of ThinkPad but are also looking at their budget. The L13 is a reliable performance device with top-quality finishes; With a standard stylus (and stowed by hand), it’s possibly the best sub-$1,000 convertible laptop you can buy. It succeeds another older Yoga, the 2018 Yoga 730.
Everything is good except Thunderbolt.
The ThinkPad X1 Yoga, the L13, offers a 13.3-inch screen instead of 14 inches, limited to full HD resolution, not 4K. Its two USB 3.1 Type-C ports don’t support Thunderbolt 3, which we don’t consider a negative in a sub-$1,000 laptop.
Lenovo’s website offers other configurations, from the $677 Core i3 stripped-down model to the $1,403 Core i7-10510U Windows 10 Pro model with twice the memory and storage of my test device. All but the base model part offer a backlit keyboard with a fingerprint reader and Lenovo’s TrackPoint pointer controller, which has its own set of three mouse buttons above the trackpad.
At 3.17 pounds, the ThinkPad isn’t good for anyone who intends to hold it with one hand in tablet mode, though it’s fine on a lap or desk or in a briefcase. At 0.69 x 12.3 x 8.6 inches, it’s slightly taller than the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (0.51 x 11.7 x 8.2 inches) or the HP Specter x360 13 (0. .67 x 12.1 x 7.7 inches), weighs 2.9 pounds.
The two USB mentioned above Type-C ports — one for the AC adapter — are on the laptop’s left side, along with a USB 3.1 Type-A port, a connector for a proprietary Ethernet dongle (not included), and an audio jack. On the right, you’ll find another USB-A port, a microSD card slot, an HDMI port, and the power button, along with a security lock slot. There is no volume rocker to use in tablet mode. A SmartCard card slot decorates the front edge.
Built for the long run
Covered in classic ThinkPad matte black (silver option), the L13 combines an aluminum/magnesium alloy lid with a fiberglass-reinforced plastic bottom. The screen wobbles a bit to the touch in laptop mode, but there’s almost no flex when you grip the corners of the screen or press the keyboard. The system has passed dozens of MIL-STD 810G tests against shock, vibration, and extreme environmental conditions such as high temperatures and wet or dusty conditions.
The sliding shutter disables the 720p webcam, which helps capture slightly blurry and lightly in-focus photos, but is extremely clear and colorful. The bottom speakers produce a rather loud, slightly hollow sound; there’s not much bass, but the highs and mids are solid, and it’s easy to distinguish overlapping tracks. Dolby Audio Premium software lets you switch between dynamic presets, music, movies, games, and voices, or edit with the equalizer.
I’m a bit disappointed that, unlike previous ThinkPads I’ve tested, the Lenovo Vantage utility doesn’t let me swap the Fn and Ctrl keys, which are located in each other’s lower left. Otherwise, the keyboard is faultless — silent and snappy, with dedicated Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down keys and convenient system controls along the top row. If you don’t like the buttonless touchpad, you can use the TrackPoint buttons above the trackpad, but I found it to glide and type smoothly.
The 1,920 x 1,080-pixel IPS touchscreen is acceptably bright (300 nits), with good contrast and sharp details; beautiful screen elements look pixelated. Colors are rich and well saturated. The 5-inch, two-button ThinkPad Pen Pro is rechargeable when parked in its recess in the front right corner of the convertible; it offers 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity (but no tilt) and is kept up with my fastest scribbles and scribbles while providing good palm rejection.
To compare our performance, I compared the ThinkPad L13 Yoga with four other convertibles. The Dell Latitude 5300 2-in-1 is perhaps the best fit, occupying the affordable ground in Dell’s business lineup. The HP Specter x360 13 and the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, with their 10th Gen Core i7 CPUs, hold the upper hand, costing $400 and $700 more than the Lenovo. The LG Gram 14 2-in-1 has a larger 14-inch display and an 8th Gen Core i7 chip.
The 1.6GHz Core i5-10210U (4.2GHz turbo) isn’t a record-setting device, but the Yoga feels pleasant in everyday multitasking and when switching between browser tabs. Like its peers, its integrated graphics silicon means hardcore gamers don’t need to adapt, but it’s a capable productivity partner.
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Productivity and media
PCMark 10 and 8 are overall performance suites developed by the PC standards experts at UL (formerly Futuremark). The PCMark 10 test we run simulates various real-world productivity and content creation workflows. We use it to evaluate the system’s overall performance for office-focused tasks such as word processing, spreadsheet work, web browsing, and video conferencing. Meanwhile, PCMark 8 has a storage sub-test to gauge the system’s boot drive speed. Both yield an exclusive score; a higher number is better.
Lenovo combined with LG, falling a millimeter out of 4,000 that we consider excellent in PCMark 10. All five of the five hybrids’ fast SSDs passed the PCMark 8 storage sub-test.
Next is Maxon’s CPU-powered Cinebench R15 test, fully threaded to take advantage of all available cores and threads. Cinebench emphasizes CPU rather than GPU to render a complex image. The result is an exclusive score that shows the PC is suitable for processor-intensive workloads.
In this test, Lenovo landed in the middle of the pack, showing its suitability for complex spreadsheets and light media processing work, if not workstation-style data set manipulation or results in 3D export.
In our Handbrake video-editing benchmark, we set a timer on the systems as they transcode a short from 4K to 1080p. It is also a tough test for multi-core, multi-threaded CPUs; Lower time is better.
Latitude works pretty well against Core i5; Yoga is not. Video editing is not its forte.
We also run a custom Adobe Photoshop image-editing standard. Using the early 2018 version of Photoshop Creative Cloud, we apply a complex series of 10 filters and effects to a standard JPEG test image. We time each activity and add up the total (the lower, the better). The Photoshop test emphasizes the CPU, storage subsystem, and RAM, but it can also use most GPUs to speed up the filter application process.
L13’s timing is still alive but has moved to a different final location. The sleek display and microSD card slot make it a decent choice for light touch-ups but not ambitious imaging work.
UL’s 3DMark measures relative graphics engine by rendering sequences of highly detailed gaming-style 3D graphics with an emphasis on particles and light. We ran two different 3DMark subtests, Sky Diver and Fire Strike. Both are DirectX 11 benchmarks, but the Sky Diver is more suitable for mid-range laptops and PCs, while Fire Strike is more demanding and allows high-end PCs and gaming devices to enhance their quality.
The two machines with Iris Plus graphics (Dell XPS, HP Specter), thanks to 10th-gen “Ice Lake” CPUs, are a clear step up from the rest here. However, none of the convertibles is a true gamer, and neither are they. Casual or browser-based games, not the latest fast-twitch titles, join video and audio streaming as their most relevant entertainment goal.
Next up is another synthetic graphics test, this time from Unigine Corp. Like 3DMark, the Superposition test renders and scans a detailed 3D scene, which is rendered in the Unigine engine of the same name to get a second opinion of the machine’s graphical prowess. We present two Superposition results, running at the Low 720p and High 1080p presets. Maintaining at least 30 fps is a realistic goal for lower-end systems, while more powerful computers should hit at least 60 fps at the test resolution.
You can see the difference here again between the flagship UHD Graphics and the Iris Plus. Fast-paced gaming becomes a slideshow on Lenovo. As a gamer, that’s great for Microsoft Office and Google Docs.
After fully charging the laptop, we set it up in power-saving mode (instead of balanced or high-performance mode) if available. We made some other battery-saving tweaks to prepare for the check of our unplugged video recap. (We also turned off Wi-Fi, putting the laptop on airplane mode.) In this test, we looped a video — a locally stored 720p file of the Blender Foundation’s Tears of Steel short film — with screen brightness is set at 50 percent and volume at 100 percent until the system exits.
The ThinkPad is the short-lived contender here, but it still shows enough stamina to get through a workday plus an evening of Netflix—not a stellar performance, but a solid one perfectly good performance.
Not too bad for a 2-in-1 device
The ThinkPad L13 Yoga didn’t set up our benchmark charts, but that doesn’t diminish its status as a desirable convertible laptop. Its size and weight make it very portable, and it comes with a stylus that many 2-in-1 models omit or charge extra. Both its keyboard and display are above average, and its build quality is solid and elegant.
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