Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano features lower powered Tiger Lake UP4 CPUs & 1.35mm travel keyboard
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When Lenovo announced the new 13 inch 16:10 flagship ThinkPad X1 Nano in late September 2020, a few things were left in the dark. For example, the exact release date. In the press-release, Lenovo did not give us a release date beyond the 4th quarter 2020, which by now would mean December. Depending on the locale, even an early 2021 looks increasingly likely. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 1 is not listed in Lenovo's PSREF database yet, which is an indicator that availability is more than a few weeks away.
Availability was not the only question we had about the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano 2021. For example: Which CPUs are used in the ThinkPad laptop? The spec-sheet only mentions "Intel 11th Gen Core i CPUs", meaning Tiger Lake. Reminder: There are actually two kinds of Tiger Lake U processors, UP3 and UP4. The UP3 CPUs have a TDP of 12 to 28 W, while the UP4 processors can consume 7 to 15 W.
Another interesting area for us was the key travel of the vaunted ThinkPad keyboard. Lenovo ThinkPad laptops originally had a key travel of 2.5 mm. Over the last decade, Lenovo has reduced it to 1.8 mm on most models. The current Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, bigger brother of the X1 Nano, goes a stop further down to 1.5 mm. But the X1 Nano is even thinner and much lighter and the competing Dell XPS 13 9310 only offers 1 mm of key travel.
We have reached out to Lenovo about both topics and got a clear answer: As for the processor, the X1 Nano features the lower-powered UP4 Tiger Lake variant, possibly with the Intel Core i7-1180G7 as the fastest chip. It can reach the maximum TDP of 15 W. This is an interesting choice and the X1 Nano is seemingly one of the first laptops with these processors. Also, it might provide a differentiation compared with the upcoming Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2021 if that uses UP3 Tiger Lake.
The key travel of the 95 % keyboard is meanwhile also reduced to 1.35 mm - the lowest amount for any Lenovo ThinkPad laptop yet, though of course still more than what Dell's XPS 13 offers.