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The ThinkPad X13s could be the first ARM laptop worth buying — here's why

ThinkPad X13s
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Lenovo ThinkPad X13s was unveiled during Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2022.  The $1,099 thin-and-light laptop arrives May 2022 and is powered by the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 SoC (system-on-chip). Qualcomm announced that chipset in December, and as the chip maker's first 5-nanometer silicon for Windows PCs, we're expecting it to deliver a big boost in speed and power efficiency.

The Windows on ARM component of the ThinkPad X13s is what makes this laptop interesting. As Lenovo detailed to us during a recent press event in New York City, the ThinkPad X13s can last up to 28 hours on a single charge because of the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 chip powering it. This, along with Windows 11 compatibility can potentially make Lenovo’s upcoming device a suitable business laptop.

Here’s why we think the ThinkPad X13s could be the first ARM laptop worth buying.

28-hour battery life 

If you frequently travel for work, the last thing you need is to have your laptop’s battery run out when you’re in the middle of an important project or business meeting. If the ThinkPad X13s can deliver on its advertised 28-hour battery life, you'll rarely have to worry about the laptop dying on you at an inopportune time.

A Lenovo PR rep I spoke with during the company’s NYC event provided a real-world example. He used the Thinkpad X13s during his trip from the West Coast to New York City. During the subsequent three days, he claims to have never once had to recharge the laptop. That's the kind of battery efficiency we usually only see in tablets and e-readers, which isn't so far-fetched when you consider this is a Windows PC running on mobile hardware. Of course, we're excited to put one to the test ourselves.

Windows 11 compatibility 

Lenovo ThinkPad X13s

The Lenovo ThinkPad X13s comes with Windows 11 Pro pre-installed. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The ThinkPad X13s is the first laptop to have ARM processors that can run 64-bit, x86 apps. As such, the laptop comes pre-installed with Windows 11 Pro.

Lenovo, along with Qualcomm and Microsoft, is partnering with ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) to make sure apps run on ARM through the Microsoft App Assure Program. Apps like Zoom, Sophos, and Microsoft 365 will have native support.

Windows 10 on ARM didn’t have 64-bit, x86 support so it’s good to see the ThinkPad X13s support it right out of the box. Because of this compatibility, Lenovo’s device seems like it will be a well-supported Windows 11 laptop. We’ll have to wait and see how well Windows runs on the ThinkPad X13s, but the possibilities are exciting.

Ideal for hybrid work 

ThinkPad X13s

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Lenovo recognizes that we live in a world where folks work from both home and the office. The ThinkPad X13s has a number of features that make it suitable for hybrid work.

The laptop has connected standby and instant-on features so you can quickly resume work from wherever you left off. Its upgraded processor should facilitate higher-quality video conferencing with lower latency. The 5MP camera has always-on user presence detection that keeps you in frame, so you can worry less about looking out of place during meetings.

At 11.76 x 8.13 x 0.53 inches and a weight 2.3 pounds the laptop should be ideal for carrying around your home, office or favorite cafe. The full keyboard should also provide plenty of space to comfortably type.

There's even a digital wellness feature that includes posture and screen time awareness, as well as visual health notifications. These features seem interesting; if you're sitting in front of a laptop all day, having something tell you to correct your posture sounds like a good thing.

Lenovo ThinkPad X13s sitting on a desk.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Windows laptops powered by ARM processors like Snapdragon have always come up short in the past. The ThinkPad X13s seems to fix many of the previous issues. As such, it should be a solid Windows 11 laptop. Windows 11 compatibility, along with impressive 28-hour battery life and hybrid work features make this laptop worth keeping an eye on.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X13s will launch in May of this year. Expect a full review from us where we’ll put the laptop through its paces. If it’s all Lenovo touts it to be, the ThinkPad X13s may earn a spot on our best laptops list. 

Tony Polanco
Computing Writer

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.