During the MWC 2022 trade show in Barcelona, Lenovo unveiled the first laptop powered by Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 chip, the ThinkPad X13s. Using a passively-cooled design, Lenovo is claiming that the ThinkPad X13s has a long battery life with up to 28 hours of video playback, as well as boasting plenty of wireless connectivity, including support for 5G mmWave, Wi-Fi 6E, and is all housed in a 90% recycled magnesium chassis.

Over the last couple of months, we've dedicated a number of column inches to Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3. It uses four Arm Cortex-X1 prime cores at 3.0 GHz, four smaller A78 efficiency cores operating at 2.4 GHz, and it also includes the company's latest Adreno graphics.

The biggest challenge for Qualcomm with the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and the Windows on Arm project has been application compatibility. Qualcomm has been working closely with Microsoft and software vendors to allow its Arm-based processors to work with x86 apps, and last year's launch of Windows 11 added x86-64 application compatibility as well. So these days it's less a matter of what will work on WoA laptops, and more about how quickly x86 applications will run.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 SoC Marketing from Snapdragon Tech Summit Dec 2021

For more details on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 processor, as well as our interviews with Qualcomm SVP Alex Katouzian and VP For Windows and Chrome PCs at Qualcomm, Miguel Nunes, check out the links below:

Focusing on Lenovo's big announcement at MWC 2022, it has launched several new notebooks for 2022, but all eyes are on the ThinkPad X13s. Lenovo, of course, is a large and respected name in the productivity laptop space, so their willingness (or unwillingness) to adopt new CPUs/SoCs is often a good barometer of overall OEM interest in new chips.

Aside from being the first consumer-based notebook powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 processor, the ThinkPad X13s has a wide variety of features for users on the go, both focusing on productivity and longevity, all housed inside a 0.53-inch thick frame.

A big talking point surrounds the battery life of the ThinkPad X13s, with Lenovo claiming an impressive 28-hours of usage between charges. While this sounds impressive on paper, the onus is on the types of workloads being used, with Lenovo quoting video playback figures with its 49.5-Wh Li-ion Polymer battery. It has dimensions of 11.76 x 13 x 0.53-inches (WxDxH), is constructed from 90% certified recycled magnesium, and weighs just 2.35 lbs making it ultra-portable and lightweight.

Lenovo offers the ThinkPad X13s with three different display types: an IPS AG 300-nit panel, an IPS touch AG 300-nit panel, and a low-power IPS AG display with 400-nits of brightness. All three display types include a 13.3-inch screen with an aspect ratio of 16:10 and an output resolution of 1920 x 1200p. 

Housing within the central section of the top bezel, the Lenovo ThinkPad X13s can be equipped with two different webcams, one of which has 5MP RGB, while the other is a 5MP IR camera with support for Computer Vision presence detection. In terms of connectivity, the ThinkPad X13s has two USB 3.2 G2 Type-C ports, with one 3.5 mm audio jack and a SIM card slot. The SIM card slot allows users to access either 5G sub6 or 5G mmWave depending on the configuration. At the same time, Lenovo also offers users the choice of Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E wireless networking.

Lenovo ThinkPad X13s Specifications
Component Surface Laptop Studio
CPU Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3
GPU Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 Adreno
Display 13.3" WUXGA (16:10) 300-nit IPS AG
13.3" WUXGA (16:10) 300-nit IPS Touch AG
13.3" WUXGA (16:10) Low Power 400-nit IPS AG
RAM Up to 32 GB LPDDR4x (soldered) Dual-Channel
Storage Up to 1 TB PCIe SSD
Networking Wi-Fi 6/6E
5G sub6 eSIM
5G mmWave eSIM
I/O 2 x USB Gen 3.2 Type-C
1 x Audio Jack
SIM Card Slot
Battery Up to 28 hours
49.5 Wh Li-ion Polymer Battery
Camera 5MP RGB Camera
5MP IR Camera /w Computer Vision
Operating System Windows 11
Dimensions (inches) 11.76 x 13 x 0.53
Weight 2.35 lbs
Starting Price (USD) $1,099

Lenovo has stated that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 powered ThinkPad X13s will be available in May, with prices starting at $1099. It also states that in the US, the ThinkPad X13s will be available on carriers including AT&T and Verizon sometime in 2022.

Source: Lenovo

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  • meacupla - Tuesday, March 1, 2022 - link

    Your graph has a typo. It's listed as WUXGA (16:10), but you then have it listed as 1920x1080, when it should be 1920x1200
  • James5mith - Tuesday, March 1, 2022 - link

    yeah, it's either 16:9 1920x1080, or 16:10 or 1920x1200.
  • yetanotherhuman - Wednesday, March 2, 2022 - link

    There's a possibility it has non-square pixels. Or -almost infinitely more likely- the spec sheet is just wrong.
  • meacupla - Tuesday, March 1, 2022 - link

    This looks really good on paper, minus the screen. 300~400 nits is unusable to barely usable in daylight.
    With a claim of 28hrs battery life, I would want to take that everywhere I go, and then being disappointed at the brightness.

    Presumably, the USB-C ports do PD, but does it also do alt mode DP? on both ports?
  • skavi - Tuesday, March 1, 2022 - link

    Honestly, even 500 nits is barely usable in daylight.
  • Dolda2000 - Friday, March 4, 2022 - link

    Honestly, the few times I actually work in active daylight, I tend to just turn the backlight off completely and work with transmitted light. Sure, it doesn't do color reproduction any favors, but that doesn't matter a whole lot for what I do anyway, and it does do wonders for battery life.
  • damianrobertjones - Monday, April 4, 2022 - link

    Honestly, something, something honest and true.
  • Prestissimo - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    400 nits is the minimum in SDR for indoors near-window, and 600 nits is the minimum for outdoors. However ideally you want over 800 nits to see anything under direct sunlight.
  • CSMR - Thursday, March 24, 2022 - link

    Use of a laptop in direct sunlight is a really specialist purpose. 300-400nits is a good range, catering to indoors use (100-150nits https://www.eizoglobal.com/library/basics/10_ways_... ) and you can up the brightness 2-3x for more difficult conditions.
  • syadnom - Sunday, June 12, 2022 - link

    @CSMR, I argue this point of 'specialist purpose'. I think maybe because people have just learned that they can't so they don't. I'm a so-called 'mobile entrepreneur' and I can and do work anywhere. Since I picked up my MBP 16 and have that 1000-1600 nits brightness, it's opened up tons of 'normal' places to work that I really never comfortable could before. I used to run a panasonic toughbook JUST for the bright screen, but otherwise I hated it. The MBP 16 as an 'ultrabook' if we were talking PC with >=1000 and that fantastic battery just means freedom.

    I'm OS agnostic really, I'm rockin' the MBP16 specifically for the screen and battery life (and no lap heat, no fan) and could easily use something like the Lenovo but it would be really really hard to give up the bright screen even if every other box is checked.

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