Hands on with the Lenovo ThinkPad X13s: A delicious temptation

Lenovo ThinkPad X13s
(Image credit: Future)

Lenovo has lifted the lid on the latest addition to its portfolio of ThinkPad business laptops, the X13s.

Launched at MWC 2022, the ThinkPad X13s is the first ever laptop powered by Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 chipset - and also the first ever ThinkPad powered by an Arm-based chip.

The new laptop supposedly offers a whopping 28-hour battery life, courtesy of a few clever optimizations at the SoC level, and also benefits from 5G mmWave connectivity for rapid speeds when working on the move.

Lenovo doesn’t have a presence at MWC this year due to the pandemic, but we got hands on with the new machine at the Qualcomm booth.

Lenovo ThinkPad X13s

(Image credit: Future)

First impressions: Lenovo ThinkPad X13s

We only had a few minutes with the ThinkPad X13s, so bear that in mind. But that said, it didn’t take long for the quality of the device to become apparent.

This laptop is extremely light and thin, weighing in at just over 1kg, but at the same time feels sturdy in the hands. It’s also fanless, which means the machine should be practically silent, even under load.

Almost everything about the build feels premium, from the recycled magnesium shell to the matt finish that prevents the hands slipping as you type. And although the keyboard is perhaps no nicer than any other, the touchpad is lovely and smooth and the mouse buttons deliver a satisfying thunk.


Display: 13.3-inch 1920 x 1200 IPS
Screen brightness: 300 nits
Processor: Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3
Memory: Up to 32GB LPDDR4x RAM
Storage: Up to 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD
Battery life: Up to 28 hours (of 1080p video playback)
I/O: 2x USB-C 3.2, headphone jack, SIM slot
Webcam: 5MP RGB
Weight: 1.06kg
Dimensions: 13.4mm x 298.7mm x 206.4mm

Long-time ThinkPad fans will be relieved to hear the TrackPoint nipple has made it into the X13s, so look forward to using that once for the novelty and never again.

The so-called communications bar protrudes slightly at the top of the screen, but not in an unattractive way, housing a 5MP webcam that supports Windows Hello and intelligent framing.

And the low-power screen seemed plenty bright too, even in the harsh lighting conditions of the Fira exhibition center in Barcelona.

Naturally, the small footprint necessitates compromises, particularly from a ports perspective. The X13s features two USB-C ports, a SIM slot and a headphone jack, but nothing else; there’s no USB-A, HDMI, or storage expansion ports. It’s clearly designed to be used in combination with a docking station, and without any peripherals when on the move, so maybe the lack of ports will only be an issue for some.

Long story short, we wouldn’t mind one ourselves. For anyone that can convince their IT department to shell out, the X13s will no doubt be an attractive option.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X13s will hit the shelves in May, starting at $1,100/€1,399, and TechRadar Pro will publish a full review at a later date.

MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world's largest showcase for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting on the show all week. Follow our MWC 2022 live blog for the very latest news as it happens and visit our dedicated MWC 2022 hub for a round-up of the biggest announcements.

Disclaimer: Our flights and accommodation for MWC 2022 were funded by Huawei, but the organization had no editorial control over the content of this article.

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.