It seems that PC manufacturers are finally starting to take ARM seriously. Lenovo just announced its ThinkPad X13s laptop, the very first ThinkPad to run on a Snapdragon chipset. While the ThinkPad X13x won’t crush any of Lenovo’s high-end machines, it packs some impressive specs and (supposedly) packs a 28-hour battery life.
Lenovo teamed up with Microsoft and Qualcomm to develop this machine, which runs the latest Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 chipset. Leaked Geekbench scores indicate that this chipset is quite respectable, with single and multi-core performance that’s comparable to Intel’s 11th gen Core i5 CPU. (In case you’re wondering, Apple’s M1 chip is nearly twice as fast as the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3.)
Of course, that’s all the horsepower most people need. It’s certainly enough for business customers, who will spend most of their time browsing the web, filling out documents, and nodding off during video calls. The advertised 28-hour battery life is the big selling point here.
To be clear, I don’t think customers will get a 28-hour battery life from the ThinkPad X13s. Lenovo tested the laptop’s battery by playing local video files, which isn’t the best test when you’re dealing with a Windows 11 on ARM machine, as many applications are still x86-based and need to run through a power-intensive compatibility layer. (Maybe I’m wrong—either way, even a 15-hour battery life would be amazing.)
There are some other major perks to this laptop, including a fan-less design, 13.3-inch 16:10 display, and optional mmWave 5G support. And because it’s a ThinkPad, it features a solid 8MP webcam and tri-microphone array for video calls, plus optional Windows Hello support.
The ThinkPad X13s arrives this May and starts at $1,099. Models with 5G modems will launch later this year. I think that this pricing is appropriate for those who want a Windows 11 laptop with a crazy battery life, though to be clear, you’ll get a lot more power from Intel-based PCs at the same price.