During the MWC 2022 trade show in Barcelona, Lenovo unveiled the first laptop powered by Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 chip, the ThinkPad X13s. Using a passively-cooled design, Lenovo is claiming that the ThinkPad X13s has a long battery life with up to 28 hours of video playback, as well as boasting plenty of wireless connectivity, including support for 5G mmWave, Wi-Fi 6E, and is all housed in a 90% recycled magnesium chassis.

Over the last couple of months, we've dedicated a number of column inches to Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3. It uses four Arm Cortex-X1 prime cores at 3.0 GHz, four smaller A78 efficiency cores operating at 2.4 GHz, and it also includes the company's latest Adreno graphics.

The biggest challenge for Qualcomm with the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and the Windows on Arm project has been application compatibility. Qualcomm has been working closely with Microsoft and software vendors to allow its Arm-based processors to work with x86 apps, and last year's launch of Windows 11 added x86-64 application compatibility as well. So these days it's less a matter of what will work on WoA laptops, and more about how quickly x86 applications will run.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 SoC Marketing from Snapdragon Tech Summit Dec 2021

For more details on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 processor, as well as our interviews with Qualcomm SVP Alex Katouzian and VP For Windows and Chrome PCs at Qualcomm, Miguel Nunes, check out the links below:

Focusing on Lenovo's big announcement at MWC 2022, it has launched several new notebooks for 2022, but all eyes are on the ThinkPad X13s. Lenovo, of course, is a large and respected name in the productivity laptop space, so their willingness (or unwillingness) to adopt new CPUs/SoCs is often a good barometer of overall OEM interest in new chips.

Aside from being the first consumer-based notebook powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 processor, the ThinkPad X13s has a wide variety of features for users on the go, both focusing on productivity and longevity, all housed inside a 0.53-inch thick frame.

A big talking point surrounds the battery life of the ThinkPad X13s, with Lenovo claiming an impressive 28-hours of usage between charges. While this sounds impressive on paper, the onus is on the types of workloads being used, with Lenovo quoting video playback figures with its 49.5-Wh Li-ion Polymer battery. It has dimensions of 11.76 x 13 x 0.53-inches (WxDxH), is constructed from 90% certified recycled magnesium, and weighs just 2.35 lbs making it ultra-portable and lightweight.

Lenovo offers the ThinkPad X13s with three different display types: an IPS AG 300-nit panel, an IPS touch AG 300-nit panel, and a low-power IPS AG display with 400-nits of brightness. All three display types include a 13.3-inch screen with an aspect ratio of 16:10 and an output resolution of 1920 x 1200p. 

Housing within the central section of the top bezel, the Lenovo ThinkPad X13s can be equipped with two different webcams, one of which has 5MP RGB, while the other is a 5MP IR camera with support for Computer Vision presence detection. In terms of connectivity, the ThinkPad X13s has two USB 3.2 G2 Type-C ports, with one 3.5 mm audio jack and a SIM card slot. The SIM card slot allows users to access either 5G sub6 or 5G mmWave depending on the configuration. At the same time, Lenovo also offers users the choice of Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E wireless networking.

Lenovo ThinkPad X13s Specifications
Component Surface Laptop Studio
CPU Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3
GPU Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 Adreno
Display 13.3" WUXGA (16:10) 300-nit IPS AG
13.3" WUXGA (16:10) 300-nit IPS Touch AG
13.3" WUXGA (16:10) Low Power 400-nit IPS AG
RAM Up to 32 GB LPDDR4x (soldered) Dual-Channel
Storage Up to 1 TB PCIe SSD
Networking Wi-Fi 6/6E
5G sub6 eSIM
5G mmWave eSIM
I/O 2 x USB Gen 3.2 Type-C
1 x Audio Jack
SIM Card Slot
Battery Up to 28 hours
49.5 Wh Li-ion Polymer Battery
Camera 5MP RGB Camera
5MP IR Camera /w Computer Vision
Operating System Windows 11
Dimensions (inches) 11.76 x 13 x 0.53
Weight 2.35 lbs
Starting Price (USD) $1,099

Lenovo has stated that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 powered ThinkPad X13s will be available in May, with prices starting at $1099. It also states that in the US, the ThinkPad X13s will be available on carriers including AT&T and Verizon sometime in 2022.

Source: Lenovo

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  • syadnom - Sunday, June 12, 2022 - link

    agreed, the screen sucks. A friend of mine picked one up. I really wish PC makers would figure this out, there are so few bright PC laptop screens vs my MBP that is a full 1000 nits and is clear and clean in broad daylight. This is maybe THE reason I wouldn't pick one of these up. My MBA and MBP (M1, M1Pro) are not just fast, but faster than I really need so I could afford a small loss in general performance but I can't live with a dim screen :/
  • headeffects - Tuesday, March 1, 2022 - link

    You just really have to hate Apple to not just get an M1 MacBook Air.
  • meacupla - Tuesday, March 1, 2022 - link

    does M1 MBA come in a configuration with 1TB SSD, 32GB RAM and touch screen?
  • NextGen_Gamer - Tuesday, March 1, 2022 - link

    I would also point out the (add-on) integrated 5G as being a big reason as well. That being said - Lenovo/Qualcomm are being really bold with those prices. At $1,099 starting, or $100 above the M1 MacBook Air, nearly every aspect is the same or worse. I feel like the base config 8GB/256GB SSD/No 5G model should be more like $799...
  • skavi - Tuesday, March 1, 2022 - link

    Apple's iPhone to Mac tethering is as seamless as it gets. If you have an iPhone, I really do not understand why you'd want integrated 5G in your Mac.
  • neggles - Wednesday, March 2, 2022 - link

    Wireless tethering puts a massive drain on the phone’s battery (less of an issue than with Android, but still an issue), is significantly slower due to the wireless link, and means I’m stuck using the same service my phone uses - work pays for the SIM that’s in my laptop and work Android phone, not my personal iPhone
  • mode_13h - Monday, March 28, 2022 - link

    You can plug your phone into the laptop, and take advantage of its battery.

    I guess, if you're planning on spending lots of time using 5G, it makes sense for the laptop to have it built-in. I doubt that will be true for many, however.
  • htcfan - Friday, April 15, 2022 - link

    I would also add that this 8cx gen 3 SoC also has faster AI hardware over Apple's M1. The AI hardware on this 8cx gen 3 is rated at 29 TOPS. The M1 AI hardware is rated at 15 TOPS.
  • syadnom - Sunday, June 12, 2022 - link

    Sure, but do we see this AI hardware being put to work well? Apple is just now adding 'real' use cases with MacOS 16. I'm really not seeing anything useful in the PC landscape right now.
  • headeffects - Tuesday, March 1, 2022 - link

    1TB yes, even 2TB. 32GB no. Touch screen, of course not, thankfully. None of those are worth the performance hit from that mediocre Qualcomm chip.

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