EL HUB Por Beto Sanro

Inovación, mercadotecnia y transformación digital.

Road Warrior Flexibility (ThinkPad X1 Yoga Review

I got myself a ThinkPad X1 Yoga.

Which is the best laptop in the world. There are other contenders for this title. But are left behind compared to this baby. There is the now classic MacBook Pro, a good laptop but feels old and tired. It lacks a real touchscreen and has interface that it feels so 90’s. Then you got Microsoft’s new Surface Book, which is powerful, versatile and flashy, but buggy. It has problems with battery performance and software issues. 

Then you got the ThinkPad X1 Yoga, which is the flexible laptop of the business premium X1 family. This is the perfect thing. A powerful, solid and lightweight laptop. Also adapted to new portable computing reality, that is a touchscreen, a stylus and a tablet mode. 

These tree top devices are expensive. But the only one that doesn’t compromise is the X1 Yoga. Fact is, I’m super happy with this baby. And I’m gladly sharing you my review of my personal and professional use of it.

Such a simple carton box. So powerful device. (No need for unboxing theatricals)

When you unbox an Apple product, you get all these nice packages. Why they have to invest so much in a paper box. Are they charging you that expensive carton and plastic enclosure? Even if you are going to trash them anyway?

Not that with the ThinkPad X1. A super simple carton box. Inside one of the most complex and powerful devices in a laptop form. With this baby is the inside what it counts.

Carbon fiber laptop chassis. Harder than aluminum and lighter than anything else. This guy is premium. Also, the feel of the laptop surface feels much softer and warmer than aluminum.

From the Caribbean to the Desert to the Mountains and Back.

I took my new machine on a 10-day business trip. Tight schedule. But a laptop battery that lasts all day. And it adapts to any environment.

  • Ferry to Playa del Carmen.
  • Bus to Cancún.
  • Airplane to Phoenix (Fastlane Etrepreneurs Summit).
  • Bus to Mexicali (visit family and friends).
  • Airplane to Mexico City (business meeting and a MasterClass marketing seminar).
  • Airplane back to Cozumel Island.

Just a comment, American bus services (Greyhound) are SO bad compared to Mexican ones. When you travel by bus in Mexico is like flying first class. Anyway, I managed to watch a movie on the FullHD screen of the X1 Yoga in my bus trip from Phoenix to the Mexican border city of Mexicali. Which was a great experience considering this is a business laptop with stock Intel graphics.

The Fastlane Entrepreneurs Summit 2018

February is the time of the years when serious entrepreneurs around the world join together in Scottsdale, Arizona (Phoenix) to share experiences and war stories. Is impossible to not getting energized after this event organized by the Fastlane Forum.

Apart from networking with world-class entrepreneurs one of the highlights was MJ de Marco‘s talk about the “F*ck You Equation”. It happens that ANY business is a casino with different probabilistic outcomes. So, as an entrepreneur, YOU choose and build the casino you want to play your life in. If you write down the equation of potential outcomes for each entrepreneurial option, you’ll choose the better one and probabilities will work on your side. Mindblowing presentation of course.

Taking notes standing and seated.

The conference was two days of continuous talks with 16 entrepreneur war stories. Being seated for eight hours each day is a tough one for me. So I like to stand up for some time and then get back to my seat. All this taking super-important notes.

Cool thing is that the X1 Yoga is up to the task. When I’m seated I use it as a traditional laptop and type on the keyboard. And when I stand up, I can get this machine to transform and adapt. I rotate the screen and use the ThinkPad as a tablet and pull out the stylus from the side. It just works.

But it’s not just the hardware but also the software. To do this kind of stuff you’ll also need a software that adapts to the situation. And Microsoft’s OneNote works perfectly. I remember I first started to use OneNote in 2009 when I was living in Berlin. My first thought was: Why I haven’t been using this application before?

OneNote is by far the most capable note-taking application out there. You can sync notes for free in Microsoft’s OneDrive and it works on any platform. That includes Windows and Mac PC’s. Android, iOS, Windows mobile and of course the web. The Windows app is responsive so it adapts to the situation on hand.  I highly recommend you this app if you don’t already use it. Did I say it’s free?

After the Arizona summit, I traveled to the also desert city of Mexicali, Baja California (my hometown) to visit friends and family. I spent two days there, eating the best Chinese food in the world. Yes, even better than the one you find in China. I think is because Mexicali has been founded by Chinese people a long time ago. And you mix it with Mexican and American ingredients and there you have it.

Then after a brief time with my parents I went ahead to my next destination: Mexico City. I took this flight that takes three hours from the desert lands of Baja California to the 2,250 meters elevated capital of Mexico. 

Since I was flying for three hours, I decided to work on a presentation for a marketing masterclass that I would be giving next day. Is at those kinds of times that I love to have the touchscreen for broad movements and the TrackPoint for fine ones. As you might know, it’s impossible to use a trackpad on an airplane, not to mention using a mouse. This is something important for road warriors. When I am working on a desktop I use a mouse. You can’t get more precise than that. BUT, when you are on the road, you don’t have a big table. I have been working for years now with a touchscreen and TrackPoint in my travels. And it’s lightyears ahead in functionality compared to a trackpad.

Uups. I got so much into my new presentation deck that I spilled some coffee on the keyboard. Thank god is a ThinkPad and as you know, they are spill resistant.

Now to Mexico City for a Business Meeting

This time I was trying to find my traditional notebook, which I didn’t pack in my bag, because of airplane weight restrictions. Then I remember that I can write on my X1 Yoga. I just had to flip the laptop to “tent mode” and voilá, I had this working interactive whiteboard. It’s safe to say that my clients where impressed. I think I’m going to pull this trick a lot on future meetings.

Now I don’t need a portable projector for small meetings. Especially if these meetings often happen in small rooms or restaurants. Is good to have a whiteboard with you at all times.

Was my business trip a success?

Bottom line yes it was. And I can thank my X1 Yoga for that. I know we have many years ahead of us. Creating stuff. Solving problems. Watching movies at night. She is my new beloved companion.

Have you any question about the ThinkPad X1 Yoga?

I will gladly answer any question about it.