Lenovo ThinkPad X13s Review: A Top Arm-based Windows PC

The world’s largest PC maker finds beauty in balance with its lightweight, powerful machine with excellent battery life—and it may just be the best Windows Arm-based Windows laptop for the modern worker yet.


The ThinkPad X13s packs a couple of firsts into its sleek package.

Lenovo’s newer lightweight offering shows off the company’s first attempt at an ARM chip-based machine and is the first to offer Microsoft’s Pluton security.

The svelte 2.3-pound machine is just over 13mm thin and is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 chipset, which is the very first Arm chip used in a ThinkPad. That powerful but efficient chipset delivers plenty of performance capabilities. And impressively, the laptop offers up to 28 hours of battery life.

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We spent a week working with the X13s and were surprised by its nimble performance. Even though it comes under benchmarks set by Apple’s M1 series of chips, it does a great job with multitasking. And starting at $1,100, users get that Arm performance without spending and arm and leg on a top-tier MacBook. (Or, if users want to get the machine through Verizon, they can spend $40.28 per month and take advantage of the 5G connectivity.)

Display And Appearance

The X13s sports a low-power 13.3-inch anti-glare display at 1,920 x 1,200 pixels with a 16:10 aspect ratio. The light body of the computer is a real wonder, constructed using 90 percent recycled magnesium and aluminum on top and a glass fiber-reinforced polymer on the bottom. This material combination makes for a lightweight machine that feels more luxurious than simple plastic.

The anti-glare matte finish on the screen works fantastically (are you listening, Apple?) and still gives plenty of contrast and brightness even if set up directly behind an open window (see pictures). It may seem like a small thing, but this is really helpful to a worker on the go who cannot always find the perfect lighting scenario (like a hotel lobby).


The X13s offers the latest Wi-Fi 6E and 5G WWAN support, meaning users can always be connected with quick download times in or out of the office. Two 5G options will give users the best choices for what is available locally, with 5G-enabled sub-6GHz or 5G mmWave connectivity. The former is currently more widely available.


Data and device are both protected by a host of built-in security choices. The machine’s E-Camera Shutter switch allows users to block the camera by cutting power altogether (though we would also love to see a manual shutter block that has been provided on other ThinkPads) as a first line of protection. An optional IR camera allows for Windows Hello facial recognition logins, as well as Computer Vision-based User Presence Sensing recognition. The Match-on-Chip fingerprint reader is integrated into the power button, making secure logins and power-ups a breeze. Lastly, the computer offers the new Microsoft Pluton security processor that is embedded in the CPU and helps to eliminate exposure to threats and prevent physical attacks. The feature must be enabled by the user. The jury is still out on how Pluton stacks up against legacy security like Intel’s vPro.

Bottom Line

The Lenovo ThinkPad X13s Gen 1 is everything users could want in a business-class laptop. It has all the latest features and some really interesting options that make it a stand-out option for enterprise customers. We do wish there were a few more accessory ports—the machine only offers two USB-C port—but we love the portability and compact design that leaves enough room for impressive performance and jaw-dropping battery life.

Availability: Available Now

Price: From $1,099