Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 review: The perfect companion for professionals on the go


– Build quality and weight
– Crisp, sharp and vibrant 2K touch-enabled display
– Banging set of speakers, mics and webcam
– Performance 
– Excellent keyboard
– 5G connectivity

– Only two USB-C/Thunderbolt ports including power. 
– No SD Card slot
– Can get a little hot during resource-intensive tasks

Price: Rs 2,14,700 for the tested configuration
Rating: 4.25/5

There are several ultraportable, thin and light laptops on the market that are also capable enough to get the job done. However, finding an ultraportable laptop that weighs less than 1 kilogram, is like finding a living and breathing unicorn. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2, is that exact unicorn.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen2 Review (1)
Image Credit: Tech2 | Mehul Reuben Das

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 is a tiny workhorse of a machine that weighs just a hair over 970 grams. It has good battery life, it is built like a tank, comes with an exquisite display and has an Intel CPU that is more than powerful enough to take on whatever is thrown at it (within reason, of course). Aesthetic wise too, the ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 is sharp, sleek and understated.

Having said that, it is a bit on the pricier side. But then, the specs build and features are only half the story here. Where the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 really shows its worth is the suite of ThinkPad-specific features that it comes with. That’s what you’re actually paying for. 

Designed and meant for professionals, this is a no-nonsense work machine. We take a look at what makes the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 worth the price that Lenovo is asking for it.

Specifications and features
The ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 that we tested came with the 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1260P CPU which comes with a total of 12 cores (4 Performance cores and 8 Efficiency cores). Our unit was paired with a healthy 16GB LPDDR5 SDRAM running at 5200MHz in a quad-channel configuration, although you can spec it up to an i7-1280P and 32GB RAM. 

The CPU has a Max Turbo Frequency of 4.7 GHz on the P cores, and 3.40 GHz on the E cores. For graphics, we have Intel-integrated Iris Xe Graphics.

For the display, we get a 13-inch 2K (2160 x 1350), IPS display that has a matte anti-glare coating. The display which has been set in a 16:10 aspect ratio, uses a touch panel which supports up to 450 nits of peak brightness and has a refresh rate of 60Hz. It also supports 99 per cent of the sRGB colour range and comes with Dolby Vision. 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen2 Review (2)
Image Credit: Tech2 | Mehul Reuben Das

For storage, our unit had the top-of-the-line 1TB PCIe 4.0-based NVMe M.2 SSD. You also get a 49.5W 3-cell battery. 

For ports, you get only two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports and an audio jack. Wireless connectivity is taken care of by WiFi 6e, Bluetooth 5.2, and wireless 4G or 5G connectivity. 

Then, there is the whole suite of ThinkPad exclusive features.

There are a bunch of hardware-based security features like ThinkShutter, Privacy Guard, Match on Chip Fingerprint, IR Camera, Thunderbolt Security, Chassis Intrusion Switch, Chassis E-Lock, Smart USB Protection, and USB Secure Hard Drive SmartCard support


On the software front, you get Glance Privacy Alert, Lenovo WiFi Security, BufferZone, Intel Authenticate, Intel Software Guard Extensions, Self-healing BIOS, Secure Wipe etc.

And then, there are a few creature comforts that make the ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 the ultimate ultraportable laptop for professionals. Some of the most impressive ones are the inclusion of the Dolby Suite, and the lengths to which Lenovo went to ensure a strong built quality.

Design and Build:
To say that the ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 is built like a tank would be a gross understatement. The Nano Gen 2 is a slim device, measuring in at 0.57 X 11.5 X 8.2 inches. The chassis is made up of matte black magnesium and aluminium and has a carbon fibre hybrid lid. The laptop cleared MIL-STD 810H torture tests for road dangers such as tremors, shock, and temperature extremes.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen2 Review (4)
Image Credit: Tech2 | Mehul Reuben Das

Despite its diminutive size, you get a laptop that is seriously tough. There is no deck flex whatsoever, and the display despite being a 16:10, doesn’t wobble when you lift it up. Speaking of lifting it up, the hinges are smooth as butter and allow users to pick the lid up with just one finger, without exerting any force on the base. The hinge also allows the display to be opened at a 180-degree angle. 

We also love the act that Lenovo has gone for very minimal branding on the laptop. You get just one Lenovo badge on the laptop, and a couple of ThinkPad badges. The title of the ‘i’ in ThinkPad acts as a tiny LED indicator, which, is a neat little touch.

On the left, you get both the USB-C / Thunderbolt ports and a 3.5mm jack. Those are all the ports that you get, which is a shame. While the fact that both the ports are Thunderbolt certified is a nice touch, you are seriously limited if you want to use a host of devices and want to charge the laptop at the same time. 

What is even worrying is that this, despite being a professional-grade laptop, does not come with an HDMI port or a card reader. At the very least, it should have had at least one USB-A or another USB-C port on the right-hand side.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen2 Review (7)
Image Credit: Tech2 | Mehul Reuben Das

Speaking of the right-hand side, you get another the power button port and a couple of vents, which have an aggressive, but understated design. The fingerprint scanner is under the keyboard, right beside the trackpad. You also get the Evo badging on the left-hand side, so that means the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 meets all the standards set by Intel

The Keyboard and trackpad 
The keyboard on the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 is one of the highlights of the device. Typing on it is truly a blissful experience, Very rarely do we come across a keyboard that is as inviting and as cajoling as the one found on the ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2. 

During our thorough testing, not once did we feel that the typing experience on the keyboard was lacking in any way. Lenovo really knows how to nail the keyboard. All the laptops that we have tested from Lenovo, have been nothing short of exquisite. 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen2 Review (11)
Image Credit: Tech2 | Mehul Reuben Das

Furthermore, the keyboard is backlit. The layout is simple and well-spaced, and it does not have any idiosyncrasy that a user might need to adjust to – it simply works. We also love the fact that we have dedicated arrow keys, and separate Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down keys. 

The function keys double up as keys to start and end video calls. They also get the usual volume up and down, and brightness adjustment keys. To adjust the brightness of the keyboard’s backlight though, you will have to use the spacebar, which seems slightly odd, but is actually the most logical place if you think about it.

Then there is the trackpad. It is a small one, given the diminutive size of the laptop but nonetheless, it is great to use. The trackpad could have been slightly bigger, had it not been for the three switches at the top of it, but then, those three switches, the left, right and centre click, is quintessential to a ThinkPad.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen2 Review (3)
Image Credit: Tech2 | Mehul Reuben Das

Another quintessential ThinkPad feature is the red nubbin that you get right in the middle of the keyboard. Depending on your use case scenario, you’ll either hate it or love it so much that you actually start missing it on other laptops. I, for one, can’t have enough of it. It helps in editing Word documents and Excel spreadsheets in a way that only longtime ThinkPad users can understand. 


The Webcam, mic and speakers
One of the standards that Intel set for their Evo badges recently, is the inclusion of a 1080p, FHD webcam, and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 gets that. You also get IR functionalities which means that you can log in using Windows Hello facial recognition. The camera and the IR also support the User Presence Sensing feature and offer Zero Touch Login and Lock which lets you lock and unlock the device as you approach or walk away from your desk.

The images and the video that the webcam takes are well-lit and vibrant, with excellent clarity, and is just perfect for all your work needs. You also get a privacy shutter on the webcam.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen2 Review (5)
Image Credit: Tech2 | Mehul Reuben Das

As for the speakers, you get two 2-watt woofers and two 1-watt tweeters, tuned and certified by Dolby Atmos. Overall, the laptop gets pretty loud, but they don’t have a punchy bass. Having said that, there is no distortion even at full volume, and the speakers are more than enough for your conference calls or to consume content on YouTube or Netflix. These speakers are really good considering that this is ultraportable. 

You also get four array microphones, 360-degree far-field pickup and Dolby Voice, which just enhances the quality of your voice by using a bunch of different features. We really loved how the voice separation, dynamic levelling and noise reduction worked on the laptop. 

The Display
Lenovo is really pushing the 16:10 aspect ratio in its laptops for a while now. The ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 is no different. The taller aspect ratio makes working on documents and spreadsheets a joy – other productivity tasks, especially photo editing on Lightroom also take advantage of the taller screen.

Our test unit came with a 13-inch 2K (2160 x 1350), IPS touchscreen display, which was very responsive. There is a variant without a touchscreen panel, which will be a lot more budget-friendly, so do check that out if you’re considering the X1 Nano. 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen2 Review (6)
Image Credit: Tech2 | Mehul Reuben Das

While the display is not as impressive as an OLED panel would have been, nevertheless, it is impressive. The ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 has a refresh rate of 60Hz. The display is surrounded by pretty thin bezels which makes using it a very immersive experience. 

With a peak brightness of 450 nits, the display is surprisingly bright for an IPS panel. Furthermore, it is vibrant enough and is very accurate in reproducing colours, as it covers 99 per cent of the sRGB colour space.

The panel is certified by Dolby Vision, which means that the dynamic range on the device is phenomenal and it shows. Thanks to the capabilities of the display with colours, and content consumption. You can even play light, indie games on the laptop and still enjoy them to the fullest. We wouldn’t hesitate to colour-grade videos or work on high res photos on this display for professional use, although rendering them to a file might be a slight issue in certain scenarios. 

As far as ultraportable laptops are concerned the ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 is in a league of its own when it comes to performance. Our test unit came with a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1260P CPU, with a Max Turbo Frequency of 4.7 GHz on the P cores, 3.40 GHz on the E cores, and 16 threads. It also came with 16GB LPDDR5 SDRAM, rated at 5200Mhz. If you’re looking for more oomph, you can spec your Xi Nano to include an i7-1280P and 32GB RAM. 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen2 Review Benchmarks

On paper, the Intel Core i7-1260P may look a little underwhelming to some, but this 28W beast is more than capable of pulling its punches. The Core i7-1260P does pretty well is most synthetic benchmarks and scores respectfully. 

All of this comes down to Intel’s thread director and the hybrid performance that comes with the splitting up of E-cores and P-cores. As expected, the Core i7-1260P does phenomenally well in light, single-threaded tasks, but what is really surprising is its performance in heavier multi-threaded tasks as well.

This isn’t a gaming laptop and doesn’t come with a GPU. Still, we were able to play light games like Rocket League, at 1920×1200, at the highest visual setting at some pretty playable framerates. Furthermore, we were able to batch-process a ton of images in Lightroom while colour-correcting them, without any issues.

There is one issue though. Like all ultraportables, the ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 does heat up a little, especially under consistent heavy load. This happened to us when we were benchmarking the laptops, and once during an extended period of colour-correcting images. 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen2 Review (8)
Image Credit: Tech2 | Mehul Reuben Das

The laptop gets a little toasty under such circumstances, but not to the extent where it should be alarming. But even during the thermal peaks, there’s no sign of thermal throttling. This is thanks to Lenovo’s cooling design for the ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 and the generously sized vents and heat pipes in the laptop. 

Battery Life
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 comes with a 49.5W 3-cell battery, which comes with a rather nifty 65W charging brick. Despite its diminutive size, the ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 has a fairly decent battery life. Intel’s power efficiency really comes to life here. 

With that notwithstanding, in an average working day which involved a ton of writing, some photo editing, a whole lot of browsing, and quite a bit of content consumption on YouTube and Netflix, we got about 7-8 hours at about 60 per cent screen brightness, which is great.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen2 Review (9)
Image Credit: Tech2 | Mehul Reuben Das

During our thorough battery testing though, which basically is replaying a 4K video on the loop, again and again, the laptop conked out in just under 4 hours or so. 

While Intel’s 12th-gen P-series processors do take a toll on battery life we get to see a significant boost in power. Also, you have to consider the fact that you’re driving a 2K display that is vibrant and sharp. Yes, there are other ultraportables out there that have better battery life. Are they as capable as the ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2? Not by a mile. 

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 strikes a great balance between performance, portability and productivity. There were days when I just tossed the laptop in my backpack and forgot if it was in there or not – you really don’t feel its weight when you’re carrying it in your backpack.

Yes, there are some shortcomings. We would have loved to see some more ports on the laptop, at least a USB-A or an additional USB-C port on the right-hand side, and maybe the heat dissipation could have been better.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen2 Review (10)
Image Credit: Tech2 | Mehul Reuben Das

And, yes an SD card slot has become an essential in laptops, especially for one that costs as much as the X1 Nano does. The performance and feature sets that are exclusive to ThinkPads, however, do make up for some of the shortcomings. As a pure work-specific ultraportable laptop, though, there’s hardly anything out there that beats the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2, especially when you consider that gorgeous screen, and that awesome keyboard.