A new generation of laptops is starting to make its way into the market, and among them is the new Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7. This convertible business laptop brings some major upgrades over its predecessor, most notably in the performance department thanks to the addition of 28W P-series processors from Intel. But that begs the question – is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7 a better choice than another laptop you might already be considering, such as the MacBook Pro from Apple?
In this article, we’ll pit these two laptops against each other in a handful of categories to help you decide exactly that. Now, it’s important to remember that there are two very distinct versions of the MacBook Pro – the 13-inch model with the Apple M1 processor, or the 14/16-inch MacBook Pro with the Apple M1 Pro or M1 Max. Frankly speaking, it probably doesn’t make a ton of sense to bring the latter into this comparison, because it’s a much more powerful and expensive machine, and it hardly competes in the same category. As such, we’ll be focusing on comparing the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7 to the 13-inch MacBook Pro powered by the Apple M1 chipset.
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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7 vs MacBook Pro: Specs
|Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7||MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1)|
|Dimensions||Starts at 1.38kg (3 lbs)||Starts at 1.4kg (3 lbs)|
|Price||Starting at $1,749||Starting at $1,299|
It should be obvious right away that there are some major differences between these two laptops, but they also have a lot in common. Let’s take a closer look at why you might prefer one over the other.
We have to get this out of the way first because there’s a very good chance this is the biggest deciding factor for almost everyone. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga and the MacBook Air run completely different operating systems, and that alone can make the decision for you.
For the ThinkPad X1 Yoga, the most popular choice will likely be Windows 11, and that’s the operating system most people are comfortable with. Most apps and software out there is designed for Windows, or Windows is often the priority for developers because of its sheer popularity. Plus, Windows 11 brings about some changes from previous versions that make the OS more visually appealing and easier to navigate for less experienced users. If you don’t want Windows, you also get the option to get the laptop with Ubuntu, which is one of the most popular Linux distributions out there. You might prefer this if you’re a developer or you prefer to rely on open-source software that isn’t tied to a Microsoft account.
On the other hand, the MacBook Pro runs macOS, with the latest version available being macOS Monterey. This is generally considered by many to be a more user-friendly operating system, but its biggest claim to fame is its popularity among content creators. Apple develops Final Cut Pro, which is one of the most popular and capable video editing tools for professionals. And if you’re not into spending money, the inclusion of iMovie is also very welcome if you want to edit some videos for free. macOS is also the only way you can develop apps for iPhone and iPad, so that’s another reason you might prefer it.
At the end of the day, this parties entirely up to you, your needs, and what you’re familiar with. Both operating systems have their strengths and weaknesses, and some will prefer one option while others prefer the other.
Performance: Intel’s 12th-gen processors bring the heat to Apple M1
When Apple first introduced the M1 processor in late 2020, it was a big deal. It delivered far more performance per watt than anything Intel was offering at the time, making the MacBook Pro and other Apple products both powerful and efficient. Now, though, Intel has its 12th-generation processors, and with it also comes the new P series with a 28W TDP, which is even more powerful.
These processors are interesting for two reasons. For one thing, they have a hybrid architecture, similar to what’s found in the Apple M1, promising more performance and efficiency. But they’re also interesting because of that 28W TDP. Intel’s 28W processors aren’t completely new, but until 2020, they were exclusive to Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Pro – you never saw them in Windows laptops. With Apple replacing Intel CPUs with its own in-house chips, Intel has now brought those 28W models to Windows, making this matchup all the more appropriate.
|Intel Core i5-1250P
|Intel Core i7-1280P
|Geekbench 5 (single-core/multi-core)||1,500 / 9,241||1,679 / 11620||1,707 / 7,394|
We’re still in the early days of Intel’s 12th-generation processors, so we don’t yet have aggregate benchmark scores to compare the performance against Apple’s MacBook Pro, but we can use the early results we do have to draw up a comparison. It’s not a completely fair comparison, but you get an idea of what to expect. And from what we see above, Intel’s processors promise to be significantly faster in the CPU department, especially when it comes to multi-core performance.
However, it’s important to remember that there’s much more to performance than the CPU. The integrated graphics in Intel’s 12th-generation processors haven’t changed all that much, and that means you’re still likely to get better GPU performance from the GPU inside the Apple M1. You also have to pay attention to the performance per watt. Apple’s M1 processor isn’t just fast, it can achieve those speeds while using less power and generating less heat. That means you’re likely to get much better battery life from the MacBook Pro compared to the ThinkPad X1 Yoga.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga also comes with new and faster LPDDR5 RAM, and it can be configured with up to 32GB. Meanwhile, the MacBook Pro maxes out at 16GB, but it does benefit from the unified architecture of its chipset. The RAM is built into the Apple M1 chip, so it’s fast, there’s less latency, and the memory can be accessed by the CPU and GPU equally, resulting in better performance. For storage, both laptops can be had with up to a 2TB SSD.
Display and sound: The ThinkPad X1 Yoga has an OLED display
Moving on to the viewing and media experience, both of these laptops have something going for them. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga comes with a 14-inch display and a 16:10 aspect ratio, which is great to see on a business laptop. Taller displays are generally better for productivity because of the extra vertical space and larger surface area overall. That means you can read more of a webpage without scrolling, or see more UI elements in an app like Adobe Premiere.
The base model comes in Full HD+ resolution (1920 x 1200), and you have the option to add an anti-reflective coating and a privacy guard to keep information safe from prying eyes while you’re working. However, the biggest upgrade is the Ultra HD+ (3840 x 2400) OLED panel. Not only is this an incredibly sharp display for its size, an OLED panel means you get true blacks, vivid colors, and a very high contrast ratio, making for a fantastic visual experience. Because it’s a convertible, all the configurations also include touch and pen support, and then pen is even included and stored inside the laptop so you never lose it.
Meanwhile, the MacBook Pro 13-inch has a slightly smaller display at 13.3 inches, though it still benefits from that tall 16:10 aspect ratio, meaning it’s still great for productivity. It doesn’t offer any configuration options, but the base model comes with Quad HD+ resolution (2560 x 1600), so it’s really good enough for just about anyone. Plus, with 500 nits of peak brightness and P3 wide color, it’s going to look great outdoors and it also works well for creative professionals.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga can offer a better experience, but it’ll cost you a pretty penny to get that OLED panel, and the MacBook Pro already has a much lower starting price. If you want a great experience without spending an obscene amount of money, the MacBook Pro may actually be the better choice here. However, if you want touch support at all, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga is your only option.
Above the display, Lenovo also pulls ahead thanks to the new and improved webcam. Most models include a new Full HD sensor, and you even get the option for a MIPI camera that supports “computer vision” so it can tell when you’re approaching the laptop and when you’re walking away from it. It also has optional support for Windows Hello facial recognition – which is the most convenient way to unlock your PC – in addition to a fingerprint reader.
Meanwhile, the MacBook Pro has a 720p FaceTime HD camera, so it’s not as impressive, but Apple is leveraging the Neural Engine inside the Apple M1 processor to enhance image quality too. There’s no sort of facial recognition on the MacBook Pro, but you can use the Touch ID sensor built into the power button if you want an easier way to unlock your laptop.
As for sound, both laptops have a stereo sound system with support for Dolby Atmos, and both should give you a solid experience overall. MacBooks are generally known for their great sound, and while this won’t be as good as the larger MacBook Pro models, it should still be great. As for audio recording, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7 has a quad-microphone array, while the MacBook Pro uses three microphones. The experiences shouldn’t be too far off between the two.
Design: Two somewhat boring, but sleek laptops
As far as looks go, neither of this laptops is particularly exciting, but that might not be what you’re looking for anyway. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga carried the lineage of the ThinkPad family, but wrapped in a slightly more modern package. You get the iconic red accents and features like the TrackPoint, though instead of black, the chassis is silver-colored. It’s also a convertible, which adds to the feeling that this is a more modern device, but it still feels like a ThinkPad through and through, and it caters mostly to existing fans of the brand.
Meanwhile, the MacBook Pro is a more modern-looking laptop, but it’s not overly interesting to look at, either. It comes in either silver or space grey colorways, and there isn’t anything too noteworthy about the way it looks aside from the fact that it’s very clean and it’s iconic in its own right. This model is also potentially the last to feature Apple’s Touch Bar in place of the physical function row at the top of the keyboard.
On the more technical side, both laptops have a similar thickness (roughly 0.61 inches) and weight (3 lbs), so portability shouldn’t be a huge deciding factor between the two. Of course, because of the larger display, the ThinkPad is bigger in width and height, but that’s to be expected. It’s actually worth noting that despite being smaller, having a more efficient processor, and not having a convertible design, the MacBook Pro is still as heavy as the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga. Apple’s design isn’t as light as it could be, but in the end it won’t make a huge difference.
Ports and connectivity: The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga is far more versatile
Rounding things out with ports, this is one area where the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga pulls a very convincing victory over the MacBook Pro. As you might expect of a business laptop, this one is very versatile, and you get two Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI, a headphone jack, and a nano-SIM slot if you opt for the cellular model (more on that in a bit). Not only is that a solid collection of ports already, but Thunderbolt support also means you can connect even more peripherals like a Thunderbolt dock, external monitors, or even an external GPU for when you need extra graphics power.
The MacBook Pro, for its part, comes with two Thunderbolt 3 ports and a headphone jack, and that’s it. The setup is very limited out of the box, and while you can use a Thunderbolt dock to connect extra peripherals, the ports on the MacBook Pro only support one external display. Plus, there’s no external GPU support because of the Apple Silicon architecture.
Aside from ports, the ThinkPad also wins out in wireless connectivity, mostly because it gives you the option for 4G LTE or 5G support. Cellular network support is fairly common in business laptops, and it allows you to connect to the internet from anywhere, without having to resort to insecure Wi-Fi networks in public spaces. When you do use Wi-Fi, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga also supports the newer Wi-Fi 6E standard compared to Wi-Fi 6 on the MacBook Pro. Both laptops also support Bluetooth 5.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7 vs MacBook Pro: Final thoughts
With all of this in mind, which laptop should you buy? Well, as we’ve mentioned, there’s a very good chance the decision will fall on the operating system. If you like Windows, you’ll prefer the ThinkPad, and if you prefer macOS, the MacBook Pro is the obvious choice.
In other aspects, the laptops trade blows. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga may offer better CPU performance, in addition to having more RAM, a convertible design, and a far more versatile port setup. Plus, you can configure it with a phenomenal Ultra HD+ OLED display which is well ahead of the experience you get on the MacBook Pro.
But all of that comes at a price, and even the base configuration with a slower processor, a more basic display, and similar specs otherwise costs significantly more than the base price of the MacBook Pro. If you want to add things like cellular connectivity and the OLED display, you’ll likely be spending well over $2,000 on the ThinkPad.
The MacBook Pro may not have all the bells and whistles business users might appreciate, but it offers a lot for its base price, and it’s much cheaper to boot. You get a super-sharp display in every configuration, a very efficient processor with a more powerful GPU, and all the basics are still there. You miss out on cellular support and ports, but it’s up to you how much that matters.
At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with either of these laptops, and if you think one of them will give you a good experience, it probably will. You can buy your preferred one below, but if you’re not convinced by either one, maybe check out our roundup of the best laptops overall, or the best ThinkPads if you want to see what else Lenovo has to offer. We also have a roundup of the best Macs if you’re more interested in macOS.