Foldables and Dual Screens
CES 2023 saw the introduction of the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i which has got a lot of people talking. There is clear DNA being shared between it and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 Gen 1. In fact, one of the patents that I thought would end up belonging to the Fold line-up actually appears to belong to the Yoga Book. Regardless, if you are making the choice between these two machines, you are likely in a niche bracket with some unique demands for your computing needs.
While both devices have a similar form factor initially there are a lot of differences between the two that make choosing between them relatively easy. For example, both have keyboards and pens and can be used without them. Both have a stand to help utilize them in a variety of configurations.
However, the keyboard accessory for the Yoga Book does not have a TrackPad or physical mouse input of any kind, meaning you are going to have to rely on the touch interface, pen or virtual TrackPad that appears on the bottom half of the screen and that might take some getting used to for many. One thing to note is it would appear the Yoga Book comes with all of the accessories in the box whereas the X1 Fold may ship with a version without the keyboard and pen. The Yoga Book also is designed to have its own unique style which will be appreciated by some, but not everyone. I suppose the problem with picking a colour that isn’t black is it doesn’t please everyone. We currently do not know if other colours will be available.
If you are curious, you can see the specifications of both devices below compared where relevant. Some notable pieces are the Yoga shipping with 13th Gen CPUs versus the X1 Fold 16 Gen 1 currently shipping with 12th Gen CPUs. The Yoga also sports a larger battery but the reported battery life is actually similar to the X1 Fold with its dual battery system when both screens are in use.
|Yoga Book 9i||ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 Gen 1|
|Processor(s)||13th Gen Intel Core i7-U15||Up to Intel vPro with 12th Gen Intel® Core™ U9 i5 and i7 Processors|
|Operating System||Windows 11 Home
Windows 11 Pro
|Up to Windows 11 Pro|
|Graphics||Intel Iris® Xe||Intel® Iris® Xe|
|Memory||LPDDR5X 16G||Up to 32GB LPDDR5|
|Storage||PCle SSD Gen4: 512G/1T||Up to 1TB PCIe Gen 4 SSD|
|Display||13.3” 2.8K, 400 nits, OLED/DCI-P3 100%, 60Hz, 16:10
4-side narrow bezel (91% AAR) HDR, PureSight, Dolby Vision
16.3-inch (2024×2560) foldable OLED 600nit HDR/400nit SDR, DCI-P3 100%,
Dolby Vision, On-cell Touch with Pen support
16.3-inch when open / 12-inch when folded
|Audio||2 x 2W
2 x 1W
Bowers & Wilkins speakers, Dolby Atmos
|Dolby Atmos 3-speaker system (2 speakers work at any one time)
Dolby Voice enabled – 4x microphones (2x mics work at any one time)
|Camera||FHD IR+RGB (5M USB) Webcam with Privacy Shutter||5MP RGB+IR with Intel VSC option|
|Battery||80WHr||48Whr (optional additional 16 Whr based on configuration)65W AC Rapid Charge|
(mm) 299.1 x 203.9 x 15.95
(inches) 11.78 x 8.03 x 0.63
|Unfolded: 276.1 x 345.7 x 8.6mm (10.87in x 13.6in x 0.34in)
Folded: 176.4 x 276.2 x 17.4mm (6.9in x 10.87 x 0.68in)
|Weight||1.38kg||System: 1.28kg / 2.82 lbsSystem with Keyboard and stand: 1.9kg / 4.19lbs|
|Ports||3 x USB Type-C (all full function and Thunderbolt™4.0)||
2 x Intel Thunderbolt 4
1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
Nano-SIM card tray
HW Support Bluetooth 5.2 OS Just support Bluetooth 5.1
Wi-Fi 6E 802.11 AX (2×2)
Optional 5G Sub 6 (LTE supported) Bluetooth® 5.2
The Yoga Book 9i (13”, 8) will start at $2,099.99 and is expected to be available starting June 2023.
The ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 Gen 1 was expected to be available from Q4 starting at $2,499. Whether this price is still accurate, we will need to wait until the launch window and configurations are confirmed.
Ultimately, the device you choose will depend on a few simple choices.
- Do you trust the Foldable OLED screen on the X1 Fold 16 Gen 1? If not, the point goes to Yoga Book with two physical screens.
- Do you prefer 4:3 16″ or 13.3″ 16:10? If you prefer 4:3, then the point goes to X1 Fold 16.
- Do you want a TrackPoint on your keyboard? I know I would. If so, point to the X1 Fold 16.
- Do you want a larger battery and potentially more battery life in some situations? If so, point to the Yoga Book.
- Do you need 5G connectivity? Then the X1 Fold 16 takes it.
- Do you need more than 16GB of RAM? Then the X1 Fold 16 will win that too.
- Want to spend less money? Then the Yoga Book wins points in that category from what we know right now.
- Do you need vPro? Think about the X1 Fold 16 Gen 1 then.
- Black? ThinkPad, Blue? Yoga Book.
Some things that are likely not going to be factored in your decision as the specifications are more or less the same are:
- Wireless and Bluetooth configurations.
- Ports (The Yoga Book has one more Thunderbolt 4 port, but realistically, it won’t be a deal breaker for most.)
- Weight, dimensions. (The colour and looks WILL matter though.)
- Camera setup (The specs are the same, the Yoga Book sports a privacy shutter.)
- Integrated Graphics
- CPU (It is a bit too early to say how these two will compare in real-world use.)
Personally, for me, I think the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 Gen 1 takes it but that is because I really enjoy my ThinkPad experience, TrackPoint and all as well as the aesthetic that the design team has come up with to make the X1 Fold look like a really nice journal. That to me is right at home. My gut also says the ThinkPad will be more durable than the Yoga Book but the proof will be in the real-world experience of those that buy them. The other specifications are nice too but for me, sight unseen compared to the Yoga Book, that sleek black wins me over more than the crisp blue. However, I do realize that the slim and sleek nature of the Yoga Book is going to win many people over and rightfully so. Perhaps the Yoga Book 9i is designed to be more accessible X1 Fold 16 for everyone, but that will again be determined by those people that buy them.
Overall, it is great to have the choice between these two devices and I think Lenovo is trying to show this market they are trying to create is for everyone, not just business customers. Time will tell if people are ready for this emerging form factor. Feel free to let me know which machine you prefer wherever you saw this article posted and let’s have a conversation.