Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon vs ThinkPad X1 Yoga: Clamshell or convertible?

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon vs ThinkPad X1 Yoga: Clamshell or convertible?

Lenovo updated its entire ThinkPad range earlier this year, bringing new hardware to its popular business notebook lineup. We recently reviewed the new ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9, which managed to impress us with its consistent rock-solid design, great performance capabilities, and of course, some new upgrades, including a bigger trackpad, taller display, etc. At the end of the day, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon continues to be a highly recommended clamshell business notebook. But what if you want a bit more flexibility? That’s where the ThinkPad X1 Yoga comes in. The new 6th-generation model also received some nifty updates this year, and since it has ‘Yoga’ in its name, it also means it’s a convertible notebook. Essentially both notebooks feature very similar specs, but there are some obvious differences.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon and ThinkPad X1 Yoga: Specifications

ThinkPad X1 CarbonThinkPad X1 Yoga
CPUUp to 11th-Gen Intel Core i7-1185G7 Processor
with vPro (3.00 GHz, up to 4.80 GHz with Turbo Boost,
4 Cores, 8 Threads, 12 MB Cache)
Up to 11th-Gen Intel Core i7-1185G7 Processor
with vPro (3.00 GHz, up to 4.80 GHz with Turbo Boost,
4 Cores, 8 Threads, 12 MB Cache)
GraphicsIntel Iris XeIntel Iris Xe
Body
  • 314.5×221.6×14.9mm (12.38×8.72×0.59 inches)
  • Starts at 1.13kg (2.49 pounds)
  • 313×223×14.9mm (12.32× 8.77 × 0.59 inches)
  • Starts at 1.35kg (3 pounds)
Display
  • 14″ FHD+ (1920 x 1200) IPS, anti-glare, touchscreen, low-power, 400 nits
  • 14.0″ FHD+ (1920 x 1200) IPS, anti-glare, low-power, 400 nits
  • 14″ FHD+ (1920 x 1200) IPS, anti-glare, touchscreen, PrivacyGuard, 500 nits
  • 14.0″ UHD+ (3840 x 2400) IPS, glossy, 500 nits
  • 14″ UHD+ 4K (3840 x 2400) IPS, touchscreen with Dolby Vision, HDR, 500 nits, 90% DCI P3 Color Gamut, TÜV Rheinland certification
  • 14″ FHD+ (1920 x 1200) IPS, anti-glare, touchscreen with Privacy Guard, 500 nits
  • 14″ FHD+ (1920 x 1200) IPS, anti-glare, touchscreen, 400 nits, TÜV Rheinland certification
  • 14″ FHD+ (1920 x 1200) IPS, anti-reflective, anti-smudge, touchscreen, low power, 400 nits
Ports
  • 2 x USB 4 Type-C with Thunderbolt 4 (DisplayPort / Data Transfer / Power Delivery)
  • 2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
  • Headphone / mic combo
  • HDMI 2.0
  • Optional: Nano-SIM slot
  • 2 x USB 4 Type-C with Thunderbolt 4 (DisplayPort / Power Delivery / Data Transfer)
  • 2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 (One always on)
  • Headphone / mic combo
  • HDMI 2.0
  • Optional: Nano-SIM slot
StorageUp to 1TB PCIe SSDUp to 1TB PCIe SSD
RAMUp to 32GB LPDDR4x 4266MHz (Soldered)Up to 32GB LPDDR4x 4266MHz (Soldered)
Battery
  • Up to 16.7 hours 57Whr (MM18)
  • Rapid Charge (requires 65W PSU or higher)
  • Up to 16.1 hours 57Whr (MM18)
  • Rapid Charge (requires 65W PSU or higher)
Audio
  • Dolby Atmos Speaker System
  • 4 x 360-degree far-field microphones
  • Dolby Voice professional conferencing solution
  • Dolby Atmos Speaker System
  • 4 x 360-degree far-field mics
  • Dolby Voice professional conferencing solution
Security
  • Discrete Trusted Platform Module (dTPM) 2.0
  • Optional: Human-presence detection sensor with IR camera
  • Smart Power On fingerprint reader integrated with the power button (match-on-chip)
  • Webcam privacy shutter
  • Kensington lock slot
  • Discrete Trusted Platform Module (dTPM) 2.0
  • Optional: Human-presence detection sensor with IR camera
  • Smart Power On fingerprint reader integrated with the power button (match-on-chip)
  • Webcam privacy shutter
  • Kensington lock slot
Camera
  • 720p HD with webcam privacy shutter
  • Optional: Hybrid infrared (IR) / 720p HD with webcam privacy shutter
  • 720p HD with webcam privacy shutter
  • Optional: Hybrid infrared (IR) / 720p HD with webcam privacy shutter
Connectivity
  • Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6  802.11AX (2 x 2) & Bluetooth 5.2
  • Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6  802.11AX (2 x 2) & Bluetooth 5.2 with vPro
  • Optional: WWAN 4×4 MIMO 5G (LTE CAT20) / 4G (LTE CAT12)
  • Optional: WWAN Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System
  • Optional: WWAN Quectel EM120R-GL 4G LTE CAT12
  • WLAN: Up to Intel AX201 WiFi 6 802.11AX (2 x 2) with vPro
  • Bluetooth 5.1
Color
  • Black
  • Optional: Carbon-Fiber Weave on top cover
  • Storm Gray

Design: Similar footprint, different form factor

Both the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and the ThinkPad X1 Yoga are more or less identical when it comes to the design aspect. The most obvious difference is that the ThinkPad X1 Yoga features a convertible design, so it includes a hinge that lets the display fold all the way back. Despite that, it maintains its thickness at 14.9mm and is identical when comparing the overall size and dimensions with the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. It’s a few grams heavier though, at 1.35kg compared to 1.13kg on the X1 Carbon, as it is made out of aluminum while the ThinkPad X1 Carbon makes use of magnesium and carbon fiber. In terms of the color and finish, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is available in either black or a carbon fiber weave finish on the lid. The X1 Yoga, on the other hand, is only available in a gray color finish.

Other than that, the port selection is exactly the same with two USB Type-A ports, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a headphone and mic combo, HDMI, and an optional SIM slot. In addition, there’s a slot on the right side of the Yoga X1 that houses a stylus pen (more on that later). In short, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and the ThinkPad X1 Yoga aren’t very different when it comes to the overall footprint. But the most crucial difference is whether you want a regular clamshell design or want a display that can be flipped around.

Display: Convertible vs. Clamshell

As mentioned, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon has a regular clamshell design, while the display on the ThinkPad X1 Yoga is mounted on a 360-degree hinge. The X1 Yoga offers a wider range of angle adjustment and the option of using the notebook in tablet mode, tent mode, and so on.

You get similar display options on the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and the ThinkPad X1 Yoga. Both feature 16:10 ratio 14-inch displays available in either full-HD 1920 x 1200 or UHD 3840 x 2400 resolutions going up to 500-nits of brightness with HDR and Dolby Vision. The only exception here is the base model of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon comes with a non-touch display while all four option on the ThinkPad X1 Yoga is offered with touch.

Speaking of which, the X1 Yoga also comes with its own stylus that can be stored right into the laptop, so you don’t end up losing it. This is an additional input method that’s offered on the ThinkPad X1 Yoga allowing users to scribble notes quickly or indulge in some doodling.

Performance: Neck to neck

Both laptops come with the latest Intel 11th-gen Tiger Lake processor options with vPro enhancements. Lenovo offers both laptops with up to a Core i7-1185G7 processor with 32GB of memory and 1TB SSD, which means you shouldn’t see any difference in terms of performance. In our testing the Thinkpad X1 Yoga scored 5,258 on PCMark 10 while the ThinkPad X1 Cabon scored 5,268, both running on the Core i7-1185G7 and 16GB RAM. In fact, even the battery size and connectivity options are also similar, so you’re getting a similar performance package regardless of which notebook you choose.

Conclusion: Which one should you buy?

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon and the ThinkPad X1 Yoga are both competent machines and are nearly identical on paper and in terms of performance capabilities. The primary difference between the two is the convertible design, where the ThinkPad X1 Yoga has a convertible form factor, while the ThinkPad X1 Carbon has a clamshell design. The 360-degree hinge on the former lets you flip the display around for the perfect angle or use the notebook in different modes.

Another notable difference is the finish. The ThinkPad X1 Yoga doesn’t come with the distinguished black finish as seen on the X1 Carbon, although it comes with the same robust build quality seen on ThinkPads through the ages.

    Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9
    The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is one of the finest ultra-light ThinkPad notebooks you can buy today.

The convertible design also demands extra money. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is available at a starting price of $1,458, while the ThinkPad X1 Yoga starts at $1,795.

    Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga gen 6
    A premium ThinkPad notebook that comes with a convertible design with a 360-degree hinge and excellent performance courtesy Intel's latest 11th-gen processor.

About author

Kunal Khullar
Kunal Khullar

PC building enthusiast currently exploring the gaming industry. My love for tech began at an early age and I also have a keen interest in photography, music, PUBG Mobile, automobiles and a knack for keeping things clean. Email: [email protected]