Battery life better with Intel: ThinkPad X13 AMD shows a Renoir weakness
AMD Ryzen 4000 is exciting: The first half of 2020 was clearly won by AMD, at least when it comes to CPUs. Intel's CPUs appear old and outdated in almost every aspect, like the CPU multicore performance or GPU performance.
Still: Intel has a firm grip on the premium segment. But AMD does make inroads into the market, with more attractive AMD laptop designs arriving onto the scene. One example is the Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 with Renoir U.
In our comprehensive review, the compact and lightweight ThinkPad subnotebook shows a level of performance that is far beyond any older ThinkPad laptops of this class, easily beating out the Intel model of the X13. Combined with the well-built chassis, many ports and the ThinkPad input devices, the ThinkPad X13 AMD is a well rounded package. We did not find many big problems.
One clear disadvantage: The Lenovo X13 with AMD does not have Thunderbolt 3. This probably will only affect a minority of users, though it can be a deal-breaker for those who need it. A problem of different nature is the battery life of the ThinkPad X13 Gen 1, which is worse than it was with last year's ThinkPad X395 and also the X13 Intel. Especially with a subnotebook, the battery life affects all users.
Certainly, this should not be overly dramaticized: The difference between the Intel and AMD models is not huge. But it still shows a small weakness of AMD Renoir, at least for the octacore variation. The X13 is not the only AMD ThinkPad laptop that has a comparably bad efficiency: The Lenovo ThinkPad T14s AMD with the same CPU also has a pretty high power consumption.