Laptops

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano: An ultra light business laptop for creative tasks?

Can this powerhouse keep up with the expectations of a multimedia creative?

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Since 2016, I’ve been deliberately using a MacBook for the creative tasks I do. Back then, I was just a college student who needed to work on plenty of multimedia-inclined projects and publication materials for the student council organization I belonged to. Not to mention, we’ve used iMacs for certain subjects in school. Even as I joined GadgetMatch as an intern and became a part of the team, I’ve continued to use Mac.

After almost five years, I finally have my hands on a Windows laptop again. Although Windows 10 has barely changed ever since its release back in 2015, using one after years felt different because macOS has dramatically changed the way I use a machine — whether that may be through trackpad, keyboard, and the apps I use for multimedia work.

When I was given a chance to review one, I didn’t hesitate to agree and try it. While ThinkPads aren’t aligned for the type of job I do, I came up with an idea of trying it as if it’s my daily driver for my work. But before letting you know how was my experience as a multimedia creative, I’ll introduce the ThinkPad X1 Nano first and how special this laptop is.

ThinkPads have always looked similar over the years

And that’s not a bad thing at all. If some of you can recall, Lenovo announced the ThinkPad X1 Nano last September 2020 — and it looked so much like any other ThinkPad released. The apple obviously doesn’t fall far from its tree.

While I haven’t owned one, I can still remember seeing one from the days when I was just a kid. ThinkPads displayed on magazine brochures, pamphlets, and computer store outlets in malls looked so durable and robust with that heavy “ThinkPad” text branding plastered on its lid and palm rests.


The most iconic part of any ThinkPad is that red dot (some say it’s a nub, I call it a nipple with no malice) but Lenovo’s proper term for it is the “ThinkPad TrackPoint” which actually helps in UI navigation once in a while.

Although I admit, I’d still prefer using its trackpad more especially because it’s fast, responsive, and accurate.

Surprisingly, its screen bezels are thin enough. Usual ThinkPads have thicker side screen edges.

But out of all the common ThinkPad features of this laptop, its main attraction is none other than being a featherweight machine. This slim powerhouse weighs just under 1kg — a great feat considering it’s power-packed with Intel Core i5-1130G7 processor, integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics, 8GB RAM, 512GB of SSD, and even a speedy Wi-Fi 6 modem.

How ultra featherlight and slim is this laptop?

The main highlight of the ThinkPad X1 Nano is its ultra-lightweight body and super slim form factor. For reference, I compared it to several items and devices.

How it’s like versus a 4TB external HDD…

between a thicc 25,000mAh powerbank…

and even a notebook planner.


Here’s also a thinness comparison to the 2020 M1 MacBook Air…

and a body comparison to the 2020 M1 MacBook Pro (also with a 13-inch display).

Although the MacBook Air is slimmer than the ThinkPad X1 Nano, lifting it immediately felt heavier especially because of its aluminum unibody. The less than 1-kilogram weight of the X1 Nano definitely won me over.

As a bonus, it’s a lot smaller than the work laptop I use every day (the 2019 15-inch MacBook Pro)

I was even able to lift it with my right index finger without the laptop ever falling from it.

No laptop was harmed in shooting this certain scenario

Carbon Fiber and Magnesium Alloy made it super lightweight

But it comes with a caveat…

Its ultra featherweight factor comes with a price. As seen on both photos above, it gets dirty every once in a while. Whether it’s the bottom chassis or the lid, it easily attracts fingerprint smudges.

To make it worse, it’s hard to clean with a regular microfiber cleaning cloth. To avoid any damage, I deferred from using alcohol, water, or any chemical that might ruin the overall look and feel of the device.

Why is this business laptop also a great powerhouse for creatives?

A question I always get a lot from friends, acquaintances, and even complete strangers is a “MacBook alternative” among laptops running Windows. The ThinkPad X1 Nano might just be your next best bet and here are the reasons why it’s a great machine for artists and creatives like me.

1. Lightness and portability


Now that you’ve seen that it’s somehow as thin as a regular MacBook Air but a lot lighter at under a kilogram (versus the Air’s 1.29kg overall weight), the X1 Nano is simply a great Windows laptop to consider. In fact, it holds the title of being the lightest ThinkPad ever.

Having long arms and large hands, carrying big laptops around or over 15-inches isn’t much of a big deal to me. But because the ThinkPad X1 Nano is so small and light, it felt like I was just trying to carry a thin textbook.

Despite the pandemic, there are several instances where creatives have to go to and forth in several locations. Whether that may be for a documentary, wedding coverage, travel vlog, out-of-town projects, or even for shootings on-the-go, this is actually a great investment as you can carry it around no matter where you are.

2. Bright and crisp display


On paper, Lenovo offers two display variants for the ThinkPad X1 Nano. However, the unit I have here has a non-touch 2K display with Dolby Vision. I actually am glad that it wasn’t a touchscreen. Regardless, the first time I’ve seen the display, I was honestly stunned.

It has a matte, anti-glare coating — which is different from the usual glossy screens of MacBooks and any other Windows laptops. That particular material makes it hard for me to work outdoors.

Other than that, the display is bright and crisp. I don’t want to get too technical but its 2K screen resolution and 450 nits of brightness paired with a color accurate panel just makes the creative experience a whole lot better.

One thing that got me confused is the ability of the laptop to lay down its screen as low as 90-degrees — especially that this is the non-touch variant. I’m guessing that it might still be helpful for those who’ll have client meetings and presentations where everyone is required to stand.

3. Excellent audio quality


Usual problems I encounter among any Windows laptop are bad speakers. To my surprise, the ThinkPad X1 Nano was able to make my jaw drop by how great its speakers sound. Upon seeing how they paired it with Dolby’s Atmos sound technology, that made me geek out.

If most of you weren’t aware, the Dolby Atmos system offers loud, full, crystal clear, and immersive audio experience whenever you watch films in select prestige cinemas and theaters. To see such a feature in a small device is a great win for creatives who may rely on speakers — either when watching something or editing videos.

Identical port selection to M1 MacBook Air and Pro

While I have said several times that I completely transitioned to using wireless earbuds and headphones, the inclusion of an audio jack besides its two USB-C ports is a great feat considering most editors and sound engineers who rely on wired ear/headphones to avoid the latency when playing audio in the long run.

Also, if you’re concerned about mic quality, the X1 Nano has four 360-degree microphones so you don’t have to worry when presenting your work during Zoom or Meet calls.

4. Speedy performance

As mentioned, the ThinkPad X1 Nano packs the latest generation of Intel Core i5 under the “Evo” platform meant for ultrabooks like this. It promises improvements in speed while being able to keep the battery running for longer periods than the usual Windows power-hogs.

I’ll admit that whenever I edit videos for GadgetMatch’s YouTube channel, I use the one and only Final Cut Pro — which is the exclusive video editor only for the Mac. While I barely use Adobe Premiere Pro anymore, the layout was still familiar like how I used it in 2013 (yes, back when I was in high school).

I was able to export a 1-minute Full HD/120p video in just under a minute. That took longer to export because of its frame rate. Usual clips run in either native 23 or 29.97fps.

For motion graphics, I use Adobe’s After Effects. This one requires more processing and graphic power than usual video footages in Premiere Pro. In my test, rendering a 30-second 120p MoGraph with several high-resolution assets took almost a minute to render.

For every article I write or the spec sheet comparisons and other graphics needed for all the YouTube videos I edit, I always rely on the one and only Adobe Photoshop. Opening the app was instant. Of course, the layout will be similar. Shortcuts were kinda different (Mac uses Command or ‘cmd‘ and not ‘ctrl’) but I adapted quickly.

For post-processing photos, I usually rely on Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop’s built-in Camera Raw feature. Performing these tasks was a breeze because Intel’s latest processor and its new built-in Iris Xe graphics are powerful enough. As seen above, I was able to hold the laptop one-handed while trying to adjust settings using my other hand.

5. Sufficient battery life

Lenovo promises of up to 13 hours of usage in a single charge. That always has a disclaimer and I wasn’t able to max it that long, the ThinkPad X1 Nano has a decent battery despite its size and ultra-portability.

As usual, there are several power saving modes to preserve your machine’s battery life. With a moderate usage between using those power-intensive Adobe apps and casual browser sessions, it was able to last me around five to six hours — better than the three-hour battery life of my MacBook Pro even if I only use it for apps that has light power consumption.

While we were shooting this outdoors, there was no available charging socket around. Instead, I tried using my 25,000mAh powerbank. Such large capacity powerbanks are capable of charging bigger devices like MacBooks and Nintendo Switches through USB-C Power Delivery that usual powerbanks don’t support. I hooked it up to the X1 Nano and it was able to detect it and even supports fast charging.

While it might be another pricey investment, if you’re the type of creative who’s required to go out every now and then, having a powerbank that supports USB-C PD is very helpful especially if you’re in a middle of a shoot and there are no outlets around your location.

6. Security and Privacy

Finally, one of the most important features in any device nowadays is the ability to have decent security and privacy features.

While having a fingerprint scanner in laptops this 2021 isn’t a new thing anymore, it’s still a great addition if you want it fast and dislike typing passwords or PINs every time you unlock your laptop.

Now you see it, now you don’t

The thing that MacBooks still lack is the ability to unlock it with your face. But with the ThinkPad X1 Nano, you’ll be able to do it with ease.

One dumb experience of mine: I thought the camera was broken as it won’t detect my face through Windows Hello. I completely forgot that it has a built-in switch or a privacy cover on its webcam.

If I had been attentive enough, the light indicator should light up if the webcam is in use. The webcam is covered if it doesn’t light up and the red dot is displayed instead of the camera sensor inside. But hey, at least I felt like I was safe when browsing websites.

What else can you do with the ThinkPad X1 Nano?

Productivity

My usual work routine includes the access of Google services such as Drive and Docs via web browsers.

Sorry not sorry, but Microsoft Edge >>>>>>>>>> Google Chrome

While it may not be as shallow as MacBook’s butterfly and Magic keyboards, typing on the ThinkPad X1 Nano was still satisfying for my liking. It’s not hard to press yet not to sticky nor mushy when hitting the keys.

The smooth trackpad was also helpful for navigating and scrolling in group chats in Telegram as well as threads in Slack.

2K resolution on a 13.3-inch display was honestly an overkill that’s why most apps display texts smaller than other 13-inchers. But because of the screen’s crispiness (and me having a clearer eyesight than rest of the population), I barely managed to change and overscale these apps.

Entertainment

Rosé can step on me while I’m ‘On The Ground’

While we’re on the topic of its display, I was mesmerized by how great the color reproduction is. As promised on paper, this laptop supports Dolby Vision and has 100% sRGB color accuracy that’s helpful not just for creative tasks, but also great when watching music videos, TV series, and films.

Why does IU look so beautiful even if she has a ‘Flu’?

The combination of Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision is a gift from the gods especially if you’re the type who loves to consume a lot of content in Netflix. Most titles support HDR10+ and Dolby Vision natively so you don’t have to worry at all.

Kim So-hyun honestly hasn’t aged a bit ever since her entrance on the K-Drama scene

If the black bars are bothering you, that’s because its display has a 16:10 aspect ratio, very unusual to the regular 16:9 widescreen. I’m being technical here again but geeks and creatives like me would know that some shows are displayed in an ultra-wide 21:9 aspect ratio to make way for smartphones with unusual ratios like 18:9, 19.5:9, so on and so forth so that they can zoom in and crop the video being played.

Brave Girls’ Rollin’ has always been this catchy since 2017 #Deserve

To further test out the power of its Dolby Atmos speakers, I tried opening Spotify to play one of my favorite underrated K-Pop songs from four years ago that became Korea’s most-played song today. Upon the first second of the song, I already felt how loud and strong the bass was. Even if we were outside, the song is audible enough even when you stand a few meters away.

Casual gaming

While I wasn’t able to try hardcore Windows titles (as this isn’t a gaming laptop at all), I still tried pushing it to its limits.

With the help of the PC-Android emulator Gameloop, I was able to run Call of Duty Mobile (CoDM) without any lags and hiccups. Shooting and aiming with a trackpad and keyboard was kind of weird but looking at its great-looking display made it a great playing experience.

26 kills and an MVP? Well it is what it is 🤷🏻‍♂️

I barely play this game because of work but when I do, I try my best to shoot as much as I can to release stress.

Another game I tried is the ever-popular racing game Asphalt 9. Again, running it on a larger screen felt unusual versus when you play it with a smaller smartphone you hold with your hands.

But because of the immersiveness and control substitutions, I was able to ace the game again. While I’m not a full-blown gamer, I’ve enjoyed playing these games on days when I feel like I need it.

Is this your GadgetMatch?


Priced at PhP 101,999, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano simply isn’t light in the pocket. Although there are other “better” offerings in that price range, one thing you really pay for other than its quality-tested ThinkPad branding are the speedy specs, featherweight build, and slim form factor.

If you care more about premium looks and heavily rely on the Apple and macOS ecosystem, the M1 MacBook Air is just there in the corner with a cheaper price tag and faster M1 chipset. But if you’re that someone who’s used to the Windows 10 system, wants a laptop that’s looks and feels solid, and at the same time, ultra-portable and lightweight, and has several extra features such as Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, webcam privacy cover, and more, then the ThinkPad X1 Nano is your best pick.

Gaming

ASUS ROG launches new gaming laptop in tandem with SCAR Runner

Announced at For Those Who Dare: Boundless event

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During their For Those Who Dare: Boundless event, ASUS ROG announced the launch of their latest gaming laptops, accessories, and SCAR Runner for the ROG Citadel Game on Steam.

The launch covers the following:

  • ROG Strix SCAR 17 Special Edition
  • ROG Flow X16
  • SCAR Runner first-person parkour game
  • Expanded ROG Slash Fashion Line
  • Team ROG partnerships

Pricing and availability of the models announced during the event are yet to be known.

ROG Strix SCAR 17 Special Edition

With more powerful specs than its predecessor, the Strix SCAR 17 SE is poised to be a class-leading gaming laptop.

It is powered by the new Intel Core i9-12950HX processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti GPU, on top of advanced features such as:

  • Maximum GPU TGP of 175W with Dynamic Boost
  • Maximum CPU TDP of 65W
  • Boost frequency of 5.2GHz
  • Up to 64GB DDR5 memory and PCIe Gen 4 storage
  • ROG’s Conductonaut Extreme liquid metal

SCAR Runner: Vault to new heights

Available as an expansion of the ROG Citadel XV game, SCAR Runner is a first-person parkour game set in the world of ROG SAGA.

The protagonist, X, is in a race against time in Goemon City and needs to recover critical information while solving puzzles and challenges.

It’s no coincidence that the new Strix SCAR laptop and new game have same name, as they were released as a tandem.

Gamers can in fact find clues hidden on the laptop chassis itself, that will allow them to solve in-game puzzles.

SCAR Runner is launching with a giveaway campaign with over US$ 20,000 worth of prizes to be won from May 17 to June 30, 2022.

ROG Flow X16

In addition to the Strix SCAR 17 SE, the Flow X16 has been added to the ROG Flow series, the most powerful yet from the line.

It has a Ryzen 9 6900HS processor and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti GPU. It likewise supports up to 64GB of memory and up to 2TB of SSD storage.

The Flow X16 features ROG’s Nebula HDR Display, a 165Hz Mini LED panel with 1100 nits peak brightness and 100 percent DCI-P3 gamut.

These are all complemented by Frost Force Technology and Pulsar Heatsink to ensure high performance but low temperatures.

ROG Slash accessories

Aside from the two new gaming laptops, ROG also introduced new apparels:

  • Crossbody Bag
  • Backpack
  • Hip Bag
  • Protective Laptop Bag
  • Cobra Buckle Cap
  • Bucket Hat

All these items are built with durable quality and have features like adjustable straps, multiple compartments, and water-repellent TPU materials.

Some of these items are also included in the SCAR Runner giveaway campaign.

The Team ROG initiative

Lastly, Team ROG is expanding its 2022 roster, pairing high-end ROG products with influencers, professional gamers, content creators, and athletes around the world.

A new partnership with ReKT Gaming has been announced while the current partnership with esports team Misfits Gaming has likewise been extended.

 

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Gaming

Lenovo Legion Gen 7 laptops lineup now official

Powered by 12th Gen Intel Core

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Legion Gen 7

Lenovo has released its latest generation gaming devices in the Philippines, which are custom-built for top-notch performance. The new Lenovo Legion Gen 7 lineup includes six new battle-ready computers:

  • Legion 5i and 5i Pro
  • Legion 7i
  • IdeaPad Gaming 3i
  • Legion Slim 7i
  • Legion Tower 7i

Depending on the model, the new gaming devices all come with these latest features:

  • 12th Gen Intel Core (up to i9) processors
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX laptop GPUs (up to 3080Ti)
  • Memory up to 32GB DDR5 and storage up to 2TB SSD Gen 4
  • Adaptive refresh rate up to 240Hz 
  • IPS display up to 2960 x 1600 

And thanks to gamer research, the laptops also come with the next-level Legion Coldfront 4.0, Legion TrueStrike keyboard, and Lenovo Vantage for gaming.

Pricing, specs, availability

All new Lenovo Legion Gen 7devices will be available in all Legion Exclusive Stores, as well as Lenovo Experience stores, authorized resellers, and the Legion Flagship Store in Lazada.

For the prices and basic specs of each laptop, check the table below.

Device Specs Price
Legion 5i

 

  • Storm Grey
  • Comes with a choice of 4-Zone RGB or white backlighting via Legion Spectrum RGB Lighting solution built into the Legion TrueStrike keyboard
  • 12th Gen Intel Core 17-12700H
  • Up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 with 140W maximum TGP
  • Up to 15-inch QHD (2560 x 1440) IPS 16:9 display
  • 165Hz refresh rate
  • Improved stealth cooling system
Starts at PhP 89,995
Legion 5i Pro

  • Storm Grey
  • Features Legion Spectrum RGB Lighting
  • 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070Ti with 150W maximum TGP
  • 2960 x 1600 IPS 16:10 display
  • 100 percent RGB color gamut
  • Supported by Dolby Vision, NVIDIA G-SYNC
  • 4800Mhz DDR5 memory, 1TB
  • PCle SSD (Gen4)​ storage
  • 80Whr battery capacity with Super Rapid Charge
Starts at PhP 119,995
Legion 7i

  • Storm Grey
  • 16-inch WQHD+ Mini LED display
  • 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900HX processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080Ti
  • 165Hz refresh rate
  • Up to 2TB SSD Gen 4 storage, 32GB DDR5 memory
Starts at PhP 179,995
Legion Slim 7i

  • Onyx Grey
  • 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900H processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 graphics
  • 165Hz refresh rate
  • Up to 1TB SSD Gen4 storage, 24GB DDR5 memory
Starts at PhP 124,995
Legion Tower 7i
  • 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900K
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080Ti LHR
  • Up to 2TB SSD Gen 4 storage, 32GB DDR5 memory
Starts at PhP 159,995
IdeaPad Gaming 3

  • 15.6-inch model (Onyx Grey)
  • 16-inch model (Onyx Grey)
  • Option between 12th Gen Intel Core i7 and i5 H-Series processors
  • Option between NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 or NVIDIA GeForce RTX3050Ti
  • Dolby Audio speakers
  • 165Hz refresh rate 
Starts at PhP 69,995

More benefits

Additionally, all Legion and IdeaPad Gaming laptops also come with the following benefits and standard warranties:

  • Free Microsoft Office Home & student 2021 Lifetime License
  • Lenovo’s 3-Year accidental Damage Protection
  • 3-Year Legion Ultimate Support
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Laptops

ASUS Zenbook 14X OLED Space Edition: Price, availability in the Philippines

Ready for space travel!

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Back in CES 2022, ASUS delivered its latest lineup of laptops. The Zenbook 14X OLED Space Edition garnered attention, standing out among the rest. Consequently, the esteemed laptop is now finding its way to the Philippines.

Built and designed for space travel

The Zenbook 14X OLED Space Edition is an exclusive, special edition laptop. It commemorates the 25th anniversary of the ASUS P6300 laptop’s 600-day space mission. The prestigious laptop features unique space-themed design details finished in an exceptional Zero-G Titanium color.

Photo by MJ Jucutan/GadgetMatch

Furthermore, ASUS ensured its space grade is compliant with the US Space Systems Command Standard SMC-S-016A testing protocols.

The device is reportedly capable of withstanding extreme temperatures between -24 to 61° C and intense vibrations ranging from 20 to 2000 Hz. To put it simply, it’s ready for space travel.

Photo by MJ Jucutan/GadgetMatch

Impressive in and out

The Space Edition comes with quirky features. Taking center stage is its ZenVision, a 3.5-inch OLED display mounted on its lid. The small display shows off customizable messages and animations. In addition, its main screen exhibits an expansive PANTONE-validated 16:10 2.8k OLED display.

Photo by MJ Jucutan/GadgetMatch

Moreover, the Space Edition is equipped with powerhouse internals. For instance, it’s powered by up to 12th-generation Intel Core i9 H-Series processors, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 32GB RAM, a PCIe 4.0 x4 SSD, and Intel WiFi 6E.

Reusable packaging

The Space Edition isn’t your typical special edition package. Its accessories box doubles up as a laptop stand, lifting the laptop at 23-degrees — the ideal angle for comfortable typing.

Photo by MJ Jucutan/GadgetMatch

The initiative aims to reduce packaging waste through an innovative sustainable design.

Price and availability

The ASUS Zenbook 14X OLED Space Edition will come to ASUS’s official stores and authorized retailers. Its price varies depending on its specifications.

UX5401ZAS-KN072WS — PHP 84,995

  • Intel Core i5-12500H
  • 16GB LPDDR5 RAM
  • 512GB PCIe 4.0 SSD

UX5401ZAS-KN016W — PHP 99,995

  • Intel Core i7-12700H
  • 16GB LPDDR5 RAM
  • 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD
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