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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  • htcfan - Friday, April 15, 2022 - link

    This 8cx gen 3 SoC embedded AI hardware is rated at 29 TOPS. Apple's M1 AI hardware is rated at 15 TOPS. Reply
  • syadnom - Sunday, June 12, 2022 - link

    plenty of software that is just a real challenge to use on Mac. Crossover or Parallels are options but there's always a compromise with them. Reply
  • ikjadoon - Tuesday, March 1, 2022 - link

    Great to see 5MP cameras included as standard. I wonder why this isn't common on their other laptops. Reply
  • timecop1818 - Wednesday, March 2, 2022 - link

    because most laptop cameras are usb2.0 which limits the sensor choice and quality while Qualcomm has MIPI-CSI camera input most likely which would allow using standard smartphone camera sensors. the only way to get high quality camera into a laptop is csi to USB3 bridge, and I've personally have never seen a laptop with usb3.0 webcam built in Reply
  • syadnom - Sunday, June 12, 2022 - link

    "cameras are usb2.0"
    Nah, USB2.0 can do 480Mbps, there is no issue running a 4k+ 60fps USB2 camera, they are just being cheap.
    Reply
  • brucethemoose - Wednesday, March 2, 2022 - link

    49.5-Wh / 28 hours is 1.77 Watts.

    ... You *may* get that in a deep idle, with the internal display off. There's no way you get even half that actually using the thing.
    Reply
  • erinadreno - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    Most manufacturers quote their numbers based on a mixture of sleep/work time. Maybe 70/30 if I'd guess. The only anomaly I can recall rn is actually Apple which they quote continuous video playback time and such. Reply
  • Prestissimo - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    No. ~10 hrs is much more likely, assuming 5W power draw for very light use (50Wh / 5W). "28 hrs" quote from Lenovo likely includes sleep (modern standby) times as well as regular usage.

    Lower quality hardware - lack of PCIe Gen 4 SSD, high-resolution display, and high-wattage speakers - are also big factors that makes this laptop "seemingly" more efficient. In other words, it is NOT the Qualcomm chip alone that contributes to the 10hr battery life.
    Reply
  • Dolda2000 - Friday, March 4, 2022 - link

    My cheapo ThinkPad E495 with a Ryzen 3500U running Linux without any kind of driver power tuning is capable of getting to just under 2 W when idle and the internal display off, so I'd fully expect this to do significantly better than that under those conditions, not just "may". (Otherwise, I'd be extremely disappointed.)

    What that means for more active scenarios is a good question, but given that the X13s is significantly more expensive, I'd expect it to use a more power-efficient backlight, and I'd also expect it to be built more with power efficiency in mind in general. During light use, my E495 uses anywhere between 5-10 W. I'd agree that 1.77 W sounds a bit optimistic during light use, but I should hope that it isn't significantly worse. If there isn't at least a couple of factors between a mid-range Qualcomm laptop and an absolutely entry-level laptop on an early Ryzen platform, there'd arguably be no point whatsoever to Qualcomm chips.
    Reply
  • Prestissimo - Saturday, March 5, 2022 - link

    Even Macbook Air uses 4W during light use. If anything a 8cx3 laptop is going to be higher. Reply

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