Lenovo’s ThinkPad X13s is the world’s first PC with a 5nm System-on-Chip

The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 marks another step towards an ARM master race.

by Justin Choo

Designed in collaboration with Qualcomm and Microsoft, the new ThinkPad X13s is the world’s first laptop powered by the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3.

The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is the world’s first 5nm platform for Windows PCs. Lenovo claims system-level performance boosts of up to 57 per cent and faster multi-tasking (up to 85 per cent faster) than its predecessor. Featuring a fanless design and a silent, always-on and always-connected experience, we’re one step closer to a world where mobile phones and laptops will practically be on the same platform.

Surprisingly, the 13.3" laptop weighs 1.06kg – I thought it might be a tad lighter given the fact that ultralight laptops using conventional processors are already clearing the 1kg mark. But the idea of a one-kilogram laptop with fanless internals sounds promising enough.

Much like its counterparts in the mobile realm the ThinkPad X13s features AI accelerated audio and camera capabilities (auto-framing, intelligent noise suppression) for its communications bar, which is a fancy name for the webcam array comprising of a 5-megapixel camera, IR camera (optional) and triple-array microphone.

The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 also introduces a Computer Vision processor that enables subtle user experience improvements, such as smarter human presence detection for a more convenient user authentication experience and saving power by automatically turning off or dimming the display when the user looks away.

Lenovo says that even with AI-accelerated features, constant connectivity (4G LTE, mmWave and Sub-6Ghz (5G), Wi-Fi 6) the battery life is rated for up to a whopping 28 hours of video playback.

With any new tech, especially for business-oriented use, there’s always the worry that they may not support existing processes and may not be perfectly compatible. The jury is out there on how well the new platform will perform in this regard, but at the very least, the Microsoft App Assure program for Windows on ARM supports native compatibility of business-critical applications such as Microsoft 365, Zoom, and Sophos, just to name a few.

The ThinkPad X13s looks set to arrive in May 2022. Local prices have yet to be announced, but it’s in the region of €1399 ($2,106).