Lenovo should offer its flagship convertible ThinkPad X1 Yoga G7 with AMD Ryzen CPUs
The ThinkPad X1 Yoga is Lenovo's flagship convertible for business customers and also one of the first devices with Intel's new 28W Alder Lake mobile processors (12th generation). Lenovo introduced some major updates for the sixth generation last year including a completely new chassis and 16:10 aspect ratio screens, so the changes for this year's G7 generation are focused on the internals. However, the new processor (in our case the high-end Core i7-1270P with four performance cores and eight efficiency cores) is not performing great. The multi-core performance is much higher compared to the previous Tiger Lake chips, but the new Alder Lake CPUs also consume a lot of power, which is a big challenge for the cooling of the X1 Yoga G7. Even a supposedly slower Core i5-1240P will hit the 64W limit in multi-core scenarios, so a Core i7-1270P should consume even more (which is surprising since Intel specifies the maximum consumption at 64W). The processor also consumes a lot of power (more than 20W) in single-core scenarios and quickly reaches high core temperatures.
This results in two problems when you use the device: First, the performance is not stable (the X1 Yoga G7 levels off at ~28W and 20 minutes later at ~18W) and the single-core performance is similar to the previous model, but the bigger issue is the fan activity. The CPU quickly reaches very temperatures, so the fans kick in very quickly even during regular workloads where you would not expect them to. The battery runtime is also shorter compared to the previous X1 Yoga G6. The comparison with the rivals is also an issue; Apple is far ahead in terms of efficiency, but AMD also has an advantage with its Ryzen 5000 U-series and the new Ryzen 6000 chips will arrive in the next few weeks. Lenovo offers multiple series with AMD processors, and we do not really understand why Lenovo does not offer AMD chips for its high-end devices. We will see how the new ThinkPad X1 Carbon G10 handles the Alder Lake CPUs when we get a review unit (probably end of next week).
The ThinkPad also reveals some other weaknesses in addition to the processor. The matte FHD touchscreen is similar to the previous model in terms of specs, but the panel is from another supplier. this time, which does not reach the advertised brightness of 400 nits. Lenovo often uses multiple suppliers, so you never know which panel you will get. The subjective picture quality is okay, but business laptops are once again starting to fall behind when you compare them to modern consumer devices like Lenovo's own Yoga 9i 14 and you can expect a bit more than a brightness of 360 nits from a device that costs much more than 2000 Euros. We also found that the hinges on our review unit could be a bit stiffer.
All in all, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga G7 is still a very good business convertible with an optional LTE or 5G module, but Lenovo has to revisit some aspects so the device will still be competitive in the next couple of years. Please see our comprehensive review for more information: