Smackdown between the ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 4) and Surface Book 2

11 min read

Business-oriented convertible

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 4)

Premium 2-in-1 Ultrabook

Microsoft Surface Book 2

The fourth generation Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga offers 10th generation Intel Core processors (CPU), many security options and a wide connectivity for a business-oriented convertible. It has ink support for the touch screen and the keyboard and touch pad are some of the best out there.

Starting at $ 1,199 at Lenovo


  • Frequent sales significantly lower the price
  • 10th generation Intel hardware available
  • Many extra security functions
  • Optional LTE connectivity and better port selection
  • Excellent keyboard and precision touchpad


  • Price without deals is high
  • No special GPU option
  • Display exceeds 1440p with an aspect ratio of 16: 9

Microsoft & # 39; s Surface Book 2 is undoubtedly due for a renewal, but that doesn't mean it's still not a formidable 2-in-1 Ultrabook. Choose from 13.5 and 15-inch touch screen sizes, add a discreet GPU for extra performance and take advantage of the comfortable keyboard and touch pad for productivity work.

Starting at $ 1,129 at Amazon


  • Available in 13.5 and 15-inch sizes
  • Discrete GPU available
  • Nice touchscreen with high resolution
  • Comfortable keyboard and precision touchpad
  • Built to a premium standard


  • Port selection is limited
  • Hardware needs to be upgraded
  • Prices are rising fast

Although the size of these laptops does not really match – the X1 Yoga is 14 inches while the Surface Book 2 is 13.5 or 15 inches – they are probably still on the same shortlist for anyone who wants a device that supports ink, respectable performance and high build quality. Let us break down the differences and similarities between these laptops to help you get an idea that suits you best.

ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 4) versus Surface Book 2 technical specifications

ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 4) Surface Book 2 (13.5) Surface Book 2 (15)
processor 8th generation Intel
Core i5-8265U
Core i7-8565U
Core i7-8665U vPro
10th generation Intel
Core i7-10510U
Core i7-10710U vPro
7th generation Intel
Core i5-7300
8th generation Intel
Core i5-8350U
Core i7-8650U
8th generation Intel
Core i5-8350U
Core i7-8650U
RAM 8 GB, 16 GB
8 GB, 16 GB
16 GB
storage area 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB
256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB
256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB
Screen size 14 inches
Aspect ratio 16: 9
13.5 inches
3: 2 aspect ratio
15 inches
3: 2 aspect ratio
Screen resolution 1920 x 1080 (FHD)
2560×1440 (WQHD)
3000×2000 3240×2160
chart Intel UHD 620 graphic card
Intel UHD Graphics
Intel UHD 620 graphic card
Intel UHD 620 graphics card NVIDIA GTX 1060
ports Two Thunderbolt 3
Two USB-A 3.1
HDMI 1.4
Ethernet extension
3.5 mm audio
Two USB-A 3.1
SD card reader
Two Surface Connect
3.5 mm audio
Two USB-A 3.1
SD card reader
Two Surface Connect
3.5 mm audio
Wireless 802.11ac (wifi 5)
Bluetooth 5.0
4G LTE (optional)
802.11ac (wifi 5)
Bluetooth 4.1
802.11ac (wifi 5)
Bluetooth 4.1
Camera Front 720p Forward-facing 1080p
Backward facing 1080p
Forward-facing 1080p
Backward facing 1080p
Safety IR camera (optional)
Fingerprint reader
dTPM 2.0
Kensington lock
PrivacyGuard (optional)
PrivacyAlert (optional)
IR camera
TPM 2.0
IR camera
TPM 2.0
Battery 51Wh 70Wh 80Wh
Dimensions 12.71 x 8.58 x 0.61 inches
(323 mm x 218 mm x 15.5 mm)
12.3 x 9.14 x 0.51-0.90 inches
(312 mm x 232 mm x 13-23 mm
13.5 x 9.87 x 0.57-0.90 inches
(343 mm x 251 mm x 15-23 mm)
Weight From 2.99 pounds (1.35 kg) From 3.38 pounds (1.53 kg) 4.20 pounds (1.91 kg)

Design and functions

Both the ThinkPad X1 Yoga and both formats of the Surface Book 2 can be used as a tablet, but they take a different route to get there. The X1 Yoga is a standard convertible with hinge system that allows the lid to be folded 360 degrees for tablet mode and everything in between. The Book 2 is more of a 2-in-1, with a separate tablet attached to a keyboard and hardware base. The tablet can work on its own – and can in fact be re-attached to the base for a standard look – but when separated, you do not get the full performance or battery life.

The Book 2 will undoubtedly make a better tablet, simply because it can be removed from the base to lose most of its weight. However, disassembling the Book 2 is not as convenient as folding the cover of the X1 Yoga, and you also have a keyboard base lying around when not in use. It's a bit awkward.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 YogaSource: Windows Central

These laptops are built to a premium standard and you don't have to worry about quality either. They use magnesium to keep the weight low, although you will find that the X1 Yoga weighs considerably less than both sizes of the Book 2. This is partly due to the inclusion of an optional special GPU in the Book 2.

If you plan to take your laptop outside the usual office environment in situations, the MIL-STD 810G certification from the X1 Yoga gives you much more peace of mind. The Book 2 is not exactly soft, but it will undoubtedly go just as well as the X1 Yoga when it comes to dust and moisture.

The X1 Yoga is also equipped with additional security functions thanks to its business look. A fingerprint reader is standard, you can add an IR camera for face recognition, there is a webcam shutter and optional privacy screen cover and the usual TPM 2.0 chip, optional FIDO authentication and Kensington lock. The Book 2 comes with a TPM 2.0 chip and IR camera, but lacks some of the advanced features that are common in a ThinkPad.

Surface Book 2

Surface Book 2Source: Windows Central

Port selection has never really been a strong point for Surface devices and the insidious era of the Book 2 does not help. It has two USB-A, one USB-C, two Surface Connect ports, 3.5 mm audio and an SD card reader. Compared to the X1 Yoga, with its two Thunderbolt 3, two USB-A, HDMI, Ethernet extension and 3.5 mm audio, the Book 2 does not last. At least it offers an SD card reader that lacks the X1 Yoga. Scoring a point for the Lenovo laptop is optional 4G LTE connectivity. If you have to stay connected everywhere, Wi-Fi or not, it will make a much better choice.

Both laptops offer a stellar keyboard and Precision touch pads, and a final decision must come down to personal preference. If you type a lot, one of the two options should suit you. An area where the Book 2 models stand out is their cameras. While the X1 Yoga has a single forward-facing 720p camera, the Book 2 offers 1080p cameras on the front and rear that provide a much clearer image.

Display and inks

Choosing a laptop in terms of display, at least between these options, should come down to the question of whether you prefer color accuracy and clarity (X1 Yoga) or an aspect ratio of 3: 2 and a higher resolution (book 2).

The 13.5-inch Surface Book 2 has a resolution of 3000 x 2000, while the 15-inch Book 2 has a resolution of 3240 x 2160. Both use a 3: 2 aspect ratio for a boxier look that ultimately offers more screen real estate. These screens are sRGB color accurate and both reach almost 100% range. Both work with the powerful Surface pen and Surface Dial that together provide a satisfying ink experience designed for professionals.

The X1 Yoga has four different 16: 9 screens to choose from. The first has a standard resolution of 1920×1080 and can achieve a brightness of around 380 nit. One step higher is essentially the same, but it contains a Privacy Guard that allows only those who look directly at the screen to see what is being displayed. The third option is almost the same as the standard FHD screen, but it has a low power to suck up the least amount of battery. Finally, the 2560×1440 option has a higher resolution, but only has a brightness of around 280 nits. A ThinkPad Pen Pro is included with all models and has a special silo built into the laptop.

If you value privacy or really want to extend the battery life, you will find suitable options with the X1 Yoga, but otherwise the Book 2 options look a lot better and, in addition to the 3: 2 aspect ratio, they deliver that much is better suited for life because of a tablet.

Price and performance

If we compare the performance, it is clear that the Book 2 models with special GPUs will deliver much more graphics power. The X1 Yoga only has special graphics and although the GPUs in the Book 2 show their age, they still win easily. In terms of processing power, thanks to the option of 10th generation Intel Core chips in the X1 Yoga, it is at the top of the 8th generation Intel chips of the Book 2. The Surface Book 3 is expected to have newer hardware, but until then the X1 Yoga win. Another important note are DIY upgrades after purchase. The Book 2 is a closed system, while you can open the X1 Yoga and replace the fast SSD. The Book 2 is stuck with relatively slow storage.

The battery life in these laptops will be comparable. The Book 2 can push for approximately 10 hours when the GPU does not become strong, but falls when all systems are switched off. The X1 Yoga lasts an average of around eight hours, but the low power FHD display option will undoubtedly give it a boost. You would expect to endure a standard working day with both laptops.

Microsoft Surface Book 2

Microsoft Surface Book 2Source: Windows Central

Regarding pricing, Lenovo & # 39; s setup can, as usual, make things a little confusing. Introductory X1 yoga models sell for around $ 2,329, but a coupon that is automatically applied reduces it to around 1,199. That's for a model with 8th-generation Intel Core i5 CPU. If you want a 10th-generation Intel, look at a starting price of around $ 1,638 after the coupon is applied.

The 13.5-inch Book 2 starts at around $ 1,129 and comes with a 7th generation Intel Core i5 CPU, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD and no special GPU. Amazon has a lot on a 13.5-inch model with a special NVIDIA GTX 1050 GPU, 8th generation Intel Core i7 CPU, 8 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD that will only bring you around $ 1,099. As for the 15-inch model, prices start at around $ 1,845 and only go up from there. A configuration with Intel Core i7 CPU, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD and NVIDIA GTX 1060 GPU costs around $ 2,430.

Go with the ThinkPad X1 Yoga for a more modern device

Modern ports, 10th generation Intel Core CPUs, many security functions and a durable construction that is designed to withstand punishment make the ThinkPad X1 Yoga quite attractive. It does not have such a nice display and does not offer the same ink experience – especially with the modular design of the Book 2 – but it is still the right choice for most people who need a new business partner.

Business-oriented convertible

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 4)

Convertible ThinkPad goodness

Get the look and functions that come with a ThinkPad and pack them all in a convertible chassis. The X1 Yoga fits both in a cafe and in a boardroom.

Stay with the Surface Book 2 for extra performance

The Surface Book 2 certainly shows its age, but it's the right choice if you prefer a screen with a higher resolution, superior ink experience and special GPU options. It does not have many ports and it lacks some of the security features of the X1 Yoga, but it is extremely well built and can be purchased at a reduced price due to its age.

Premium 2-in-1 Ultrabook

Microsoft Surface Book 2

Modular high-end surface

The Surface Book 2, available in two sizes, offers a special high resolution GPU touchscreen with ink and premium build quality that is hard to find elsewhere.

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Written by

Emily Parker

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