The brand-new ThinkPad X1 Nano only tips the scale at little more than 900 grams. But it is not only the lightest ThinkPad, it is also the first model to return to 16:10 panels. However, Lenovo had to make some compromises to realize such a compact device, which is apparent by the limited number of ports and the reduced key travel.
The ThinkPad X1 series represents Lenovo’s premium business laptops and the new X1 Nano is an extremely mobile and lightweight addition. The notebook left a very good impression in many categories during our comprehensive review; we especially liked the case and the display. The new 16:10 panel is very good: Bright, matte, high contrast ratio, accurate colors, full sRGB gamut, and no PWM flickering. The 2K resolution is also a good fit for productive tasks.
We were also positively surprised by the performance, because the Tiger Lake UP4 chip can easily keep up with “regular” UP3 models in this case, but the chip needs less space inside the chassis at the same time. Both the battery runtime as well as the speakers are good and you can get the X1 Nano with 4G or 5G connectivity from the factory (but WWAN is not upgradeable).
Lenovo did have to make some compromises to realize such a compact and lightweight device, which includes the port situation: 2x Thunderbolt 4 is very versatile, but one of the connectors is often blocked by the power adapter and you will probably need adapters in practice.
The second compromise is the keyboard. Lenovo had to reduce the size to fit into the narrower chassis, but we believe you will get used to it after a little adjustment period. Lenovo also reduced the key travel from 1.5 mm on the X1 Carbon to 1.35 mm, which is unfortunately very noticeable when you type. The keyboard is still very good overall and competitive compared to other manufacturers, but it is the worst ThinkPad keyboard.
We have talked with Lenovo about this point in an interview and the manufacturer accepted this particular compromise to make the ThinkPad X1 Nano as compact and lightweight as possible. The manufacturer also confirmed that devices like the X1 Carbon and X1 Yoga will keep 1.5 mm key travel (except for the upper row with function keys), while other models (like ThinkPad T-series) keep 1.8 mm travel. The full interview with additional background information on the X1 Nano and the ThinkPad X1 series in general will be published in a couple of days.
All in all, the new ThinkPad X1 Nano is an interesting device if you are looking for an extremely lightweight and compact device for the road. If you can, however, live with a slightly larger footprint, we recommend you wait for the upcoming X1 Carbon G9, which will also offer a 16:10 panel, but does not have to make compromises in terms of ports or keyboard.
Please see our full review for more information about the ThinkPad X1 Nano: