Battery Life

For some people, performance is king, and others like a great design. Some crave great displays and some love the flexibility of a convertible device. The one thing everyone can pretty much agree on is that the battery life of a mobile device is important. Over the last couple of years, the increases in battery life due to hardware and software changes has been pretty dramatic. Notebooks that used to last an hour or two can now make it a whole working day, and others have exploited new power paradigms to rule the roost. Processors, displays, storage, and wireless cards are all more efficient than before, and even battery capacity has increased quite a bit. Despite the thin and light convertible design, Lenovo has managed to squeeze a 52 Wh battery inside the X1 Yoga. Battery capacity seems to be a moving target, with every generation seemingly increasing in size.

It is worth noting that initially there were some issues testing battery life due to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. The method in which Edge was invoked in our tests raised some issues with Edge crashing. This gave me the chance to implement a new battery life test that I’ve wanted to do for a while. For now, the existing 2013 Light test will be maintained, although for 2016 it is just too light, as you’ll see. Going forward, the same test we utilize for our smartphones and tablets will be used. This test is noticeably heavier on the CPU and gives a better angle for real-world results.

2013 Battery Life Light

Battery Life 2013 - Light

Coming in at 504 minutes, or almost 8.5 hours, the X1 Yoga with the higher resolution display is middle of the road in the light test. It does outlast the 2015 X1 Carbon by about three quarters of an hour, and the specifications are pretty similar, meaning there is improvement in the design.

2016 Web Battery Life (The New Test, starting with this review)

Since this is a new test, it has only been run on the X1 Yoga, but we were able to run it on the OLED version as well. OLED has a power advantage when displaying dark images, since it only uses power to create light. In movies and such, it has proven to be a great advantage for consuming content. But there is a power penalty for OLED when doing many typical office tasks, such as spreadsheets, documents, and web browsing, since all of these activities tend to emphasize white backgrounds (in typical Windows OS environments at least). Web browsing has a pretty high average picture level (APL) for white, and as such there is a penalty for this on OLED.

Battery Life 2016 - Web

On our more difficult web browsing test, the OLED version achieved 3h39 for battery life, compared to 6h11 on the LCD model. Both have the same resolution and hardware (aside from SATA vs NVMe), so most of the delta should come down to the display. The OLED model had 41% less battery life than the LCD model in this test, which, although one of the worst case scenarios for OLED, is also something that a majority of people will use quite a bit. Although OLED has some amazing gamut and contrast, in our new test it can’t touch an LCD for power efficiency when doing typical office tasks.

Normalized Results

Removing the battery size from the equation allows an equal-footing display of platform efficiency. Some laptops have large batteries but only use that to mask power draw issues, while others can make a smaller battery last for a lot longer.

Battery Life 2013 - Light Normalized

The X1 Yoga LCD model is not the most power efficient laptop around, with a normalized result on our light test of under ten. It is a minor improvement on the X1 Carbon from 2015, but an improvement nonetheless.

Battery Life 2016 - Normalized Web

On the 2016 test since we just have the two results, it is difficult to draw much of a comparison at this time.

Charge Time

The other side of mobility is charge time. Even with a device that has a low battery life, being able to top up quickly can help mitigate that.

Battery Charge Time

Lenovo has tended to do very well on this test, and the X1 Yoga is the fastest charging laptop tested yet. Zero to 100% in less than two hours is very good. It is helped quite a bit by the inclusion of a 65-Watt AC adapter, which is quite a bit larger than what most Ultrabooks ship with.

OLED Display Analysis: Adobe RGB and Custom P3 Mode Wireless, Thermals, and Audio
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  • JoeyJoJo123 - Thursday, September 29, 2016 - link

    If it wasn't explicitly mentioned to be one, then chances are no, it's not. It's probably your run of the mill low-end webcam, with poor quality, and an integrated mic that's both too quiet and peaks too easily at the same time. Reply
  • Brett Howse - Thursday, September 29, 2016 - link

    No it has a fingerprint reader instead for Windows Hello. Reply
  • grant3 - Thursday, September 29, 2016 - link

    Not type-C port, "... but the X1 Yoga does have MicroSD support for additional storage"

    Huh?? How does MicroSD make up for the lack of type-C ports?
    Do the reviewers have the delusion that people only want type-C to plug in portable storage?

    Unsure if they're clueless, or shilling for lenovo....
    Reply
  • Brett Howse - Thursday, September 29, 2016 - link

    It doesn't make up for anything. Just pointing out what ports are there. You're reading a bit much into it. Reply
  • grant3 - Friday, September 30, 2016 - link

    The conjunction "but" implies the second statement (partially) excuses the first. My perception is that reviewers have learned to soften their criticisms of preferred vendors. Reply
  • SeannyB - Thursday, September 29, 2016 - link

    Thanks for the exhaustive display review. The lack of individual calibration is a big missed opportunity by Lenovo considering the development they did on the software side.

    I also have to wonder what the native gamut of the panel looks like. In a perfect world where Windows is fully color-managed, one would be more concerned about the panel's native gamut covering the common targets (AdobeRGB, DCI-P3, etc.) than whether it has explicit modes for them. Unfortunately the years tick by and Windows still lacks OS-wide color management. Maybe the advent of OLED consumer monitors and the "HDR" push will finally force the issue.
    Reply
  • BiggerInside - Thursday, September 29, 2016 - link

    The native primaries/gamut volume are important, and for HDR standards (which are aiming at a future with Rec2020 primaries that far exceed what we can achieve on consumer panels right now) it seems like more must be better... but for someone actually using a display, even with HDR, saturation accuracy should tell you everything for all practical purposes--that is, we are well beyond the problems of LCD panels that missed some SRGB gamut, so the real question is not "do I see all the green in fully-saturated SRGB images?" but "how accurate are the fully-saturated colors I see?"
    "99.8% of DCI-P3" looks impressive on a chart next to displays that don't have as much coverage, but if you want to use the display for real imaging, the important question is "how accurate is the display (at DCI-P3 or whatever your target is) before/after calibration?" 100% DCI-P3 is basically a worthless number (without accuracy numbers) unless the only colors you render are exactly DCI-P3 100% R/G/B.
    Reply
  • BiggerInside - Thursday, September 29, 2016 - link

    Would really, really like some details on brightness levels, too. Assuming they/intel used a 10-bit display interface, HDR should be easily supported once application software catches up--but if the peak brightness is less than 500nits the payoff is diminished. Reply
  • Brandon Chester - Thursday, September 29, 2016 - link

    It's standard 8bit per channel. Assuming 10bit color on an Intel laptop is generally going to be a losing bet :) Reply
  • Arbie - Thursday, September 29, 2016 - link

    Please state in your reviews whether the micro/SD sticks out the side of the laptop, because it's pretty much useless if so. Thanks. Reply

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