The ThinkPad has been my personal go-to laptop brand for over a decade. I really dig the comfy keyboards (of course) and the low-key aesthetics. The last one I purchased was the first-gen ThinkPad X1 Nano, the smallest and lightest one Lenovo has designed yet. Frankly it’s a bit overpriced, and in 2023, it’s two years behind the curve. But I waited until it had a significant discount and was happy with my buy. Today you can get almost exactly the same laptop I bought, at an even better price.
AntOnline’s official eBay portal has the gen 1 ThinkPad X1 Nano on sale for just $600. It’s a tiny fraction of the original price…but to be honest, Lenovo’s “retail” prices are all over the place. Just know that it’s a damn good price for a teeny-tiny, 13-inch ThinkPad that weighs just 2.5 pounds. It also comes standard with 16GB of RAM, which I think is the minimum for running Windows in 2023, and makes it a much better buy than the Dell XPS 13 with 8GB from yesterday. (It’s fifty bucks cheaper, too!) Both laptops can be upgraded in terms of storage (512GB on this model), but not RAM, so more is definitely better.
With an 11th-gen Core i5 processor and integrated Xe graphics, this machine will handle just about anything you can throw at it in terms of web browsing, video, or productivity. It’s no gaming powerhouse, but basic or older titles are more than playable, and the 2160×1350 IPS screen is much better than most at this size and price range. There are only two things I don’t like about it. One, this particular model doesn’t have a touchscreen…which probably isn’t a big deal if you want an ultraportable that excels at typing. And two, both its USB-C ports (which double as power input) are on the same side, the left. That makes it a bit awkward if you can’t get the right spot in a coffee shop or airport lounge.
In all other respects, this little machine has been a great companion for me. It’s smaller and lighter than an iPad + keyboard combo, making it an ideal tool for throwing in a bag and getting some writing done. And I usually don’t even have to remember the charger, since it lasts 8-10 hours depending on exactly what I’m doing. Later models of the Thinkpad X1 Nano notably suffered in battery life.
Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.