Lenovo ThinkPad X13s: Release date, price, and everything you need to know

Lenovo ThinkPad X13s: Release date, price, and everything you need to know

Lenovo recently announced the ThinkPad X13s, the first ThinkPad ever to feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. Indeed, while Qualcomm has been making chips for PCs for a few years now, they haven’t truly caught on. The initial release of the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 1 was quite good, but only a handful of devices used it, and then the Gen 2 model was essentially a slightly faster version of the same hardware.

Now, we have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, and it’s promising a big step forward for Windows Arm PCs. The Lenovo ThinkPad X13s is one of the first laptops to launch with this new chipset, and if you’ve been waiting for a great business laptop powered by Snapdragon, this might be the one for you. Here’s everything you need to know about ThinkPad X13s.

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Specs

Lenovo ThinkPad X13s Specs

Lenovo ThinkPad X13s
Operating system(s)
  • Windows 11 Pro
Processor
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 Compute Platform
Graphics
  • Qualcomm Adreno GPU for Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3
RAM
  • Up to 32GB LPDDR4 RAM (dual-channel, soldered)
Storage
  • Up to 1TB PCIe SSD
Display
  • 13.3-inch IPS, 16:10 aspect ratio
    • Full HD+ (1920 x 1200), 300 nits, 100% sRGB
    • Full HD+ (1920 x 1200), 300 nits, 72% NTSC, touch
    • Full HD+ (1920 x 1200), 400 nits, 100% sRGB, low blue light
Audio
  • Two speakers with Dolby audio
  • Three far-field microphones
  • Qualcomm Voice and Audio Suite
Webcam
  • 5MP camera with Computer Vision
Biometric authentication
  • IR camera
Battery
  • 49.5Whr battery (up to 28 hours video playback)
Ports
  • 2 USB Type-C (3.2 Gen 2)
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • SIM card slot
Connectivity
  • Intel Wi-Fi 6E (2×2)
  • 5G (mmWave + sub6)
Colors
  • Thunder Black
Size (WxDxH) 298.7 x 206.4 x 13.4 mm (11.76 x 8.13 x 0.53 in)
Weight 1.06kg (2.35 lb)
Starting price $1,099

When will the ThinkPad X13s be released?

Lenovo announced the ThinkPad X13s at MWC 2022, right at the end of February, but if you want to buy it, you’ll have to wait a little longer. Lenovo’s current plan is to launch the laptop sometime in May, so you’ll only have to wait a couple of months from the announcement.

The good news is there’s only one processor configuration available, so some of the issues with the supply chain won’t be as problematic as they could be. With other laptops, you might have to worry about specific processors or graphics cards being available for the configuration you want, but here, it’ll always be the same processor, so you shouldn’t have to wait for all the configurations to roll out over time or anything. Once the laptop is available, all the configurations should be.

Of course, this is all referring to availability from Lenovo directly, or its network of resellers. Since it supports 5G, you’ll also be able to buy the ThinkPad X13s from AT&T and Verizon at some point in 2022.

What is the price of the Lenovo ThinkPad X13s?

Pricing information is also not overly specific at this time. Lenovo has announced that the ThinkPad X13s will start at $1,099, but there’s no indication as to what that configuration will include in terms of specs. Presumably, it will include the lower-tier non-touch display, and we’d also bet on something like 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage, but that’s speculation on our part.

We also don’t know the price of upgrades from that base configuration, but you can expect to go up a bit. Since you can only upgrade the display, RAM, and storage, though, we wouldn’t expect prices to go as high as laptops that have different processors and GPUs.

What’s special about the Lenovo ThinkPad X13s?

Usually, this is where we’d say “what’s new” if this were a successor to a previously existing laptop, Since it’s a brand-new device, let’s take a look at some of the things you may like about it.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3

As we mentioned at the top, this is one of the very first laptops to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 Compute Platform. This is an Arm-based chipset, and it has eight cores, four for higher performance (based on Arm’s Cortex-X1 cores), and four more efficient cores (based on Cortex-A78). This architecture, mixing more powerful and more efficient cores, allows this processor to offer an exceptional balance of performance of battery life. Plus, this is the first 5nm Windows chipset, aiding its power efficiency even further.

In fact, Lenovo promises a whopping 28 hours of battery life from a 49.5Whr battery, which is something you’d never see even on the best laptops powered by Intel or AMD. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to get those numbers in real life, but that’s still incredible compared to what Intel-based devices promise (and those rarely live up to official numbers, too).

Performance should also be on par with other modern PCs, as long as apps are designed for Arm processors or easier to emulate. We covered this in our hands-on with the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 reference design, but since many apps are still designed for x86 processors (such as Intel and AMD), they won’t run at full performance. However, many apps are in the process of being converted, and things should only get better in the future.

5MP webcam and computer vision

Another great thing about the Lenovo ThinkPad X13s is the built-in 5MP webcam. For years, laptops have been stuck with subpar 720p cameras that just aren’t great, but after remote work became much more prevalent in the past two years, that’s finally changing. This 5MP should get you far better quality for video calls and meetings, making remote work more viable.

On top of that, there’s an IR camera with human presence detection, and it’s also enhanced by computer vision now. This means the camera is smarter about detecting users in front of it. Human presence detection allows the computer to lock itself automatically when you walk away, and then it can wake up when you approach it so you don’t have to touch it to sign in. With computer vision, the laptop can distinguish when someone is walking in front of the camera for a brief moment and when someone is actually walking up to the laptop to use it. This way, it only wakes up when it makes sense.

5G and mmWave support

Another big selling point of this laptop is the support for 5G cellular networks, which are becoming more prominent around the world. The ThinkPad X13s isn’t the first laptop to support 5G, but it does have something many others don’t, which is support for mmWave 5G. mmWave is a subset of 5G that uses very high frequencies to transmit data at much higher rates. That means internet speeds can be much faster – as long as you’re very close to a mmWave antenna and there are no obstructions, at least. It’s not something you’ll be using a lot right now, but it may be useful if you happen to be in a spot where it’s available.

Aside from mmWave, of course, you also get support for sub-6GHz 5G, which is a bit more common in laptops and more widely available. That means you’ll be future-proofed as far as connectivity goes, which is always a good thing.

A 16:10 display

Like many other laptops from Lenovo’s ThinkPad X series, the X13s has a tall display with a 16:10 aspect ratio, which is ideal for productivity. This isn’t exactly uncommon anymore, but it’s still worth highlighting because tall screens are great to have. The display only comes in Full HD+ resolution, but that should be more than good enough for a 13.3-inch laptop.

Where can I buy the Lenovo ThinkPad X13s?

As we’ve mentioned, the ThinkPad X13s isn’t available to buy just yet, but once it launches in May, the best place to buy it may be Lenovo’s website. Many ThinkPads aren’t usually available at traditional retailers, and when they are, you only get one or two configurations at most. Buying from Lenovo directly will allow you to get the specific configuration you want much more easily.

Alternatively, you should also be able to buy the laptop from AT&T and Verizon later in 2022. Similar to other retailers, you probably won’t get a ton of configuration options when buying from a carrier, but it may make more sense for you so you can get a data plan along with the laptop. We’ll be sure to have purchase links below once they’re available. For now, why not check out the best ThinkPads you can buy today?

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Editor at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.

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