As of this week the ThinkPad X1 Fold goes on sale but what is it capable of and what kind of performance can you expect?
The CPU and Memory specifications on all Models of the X1 Fold appear to include 8GB (LPDDR4X-4266) RAM and a Intel Core i5-L16G7 CPU. This should mean that performance of the device should be very consistent for all users. But what will performance be like and how could it be used?
8GB RAM is the new normal base line for memory in PCs and suggesting a capable level for general tasks. The Intel Core i5-L16G7 CPU is very new (released Summer 2020) and not many devices are coming equipped with it yet so real world reviewed experience seems limited. So it might be useful to draw comparison with another device.
I personally make use of the very compact and flexible Lenovo YogaBook C930. My model is equipped with 4GB RAM and an Intel Core m3-7Y30. My device has half the memory of the Fold and a CPU that was first launched 4 years ago. Looking at comparative performance review information the CPU in my YogaBook is capable of about 65% of the performance the newer CPU in the Fold. I believe its fair to assess my YogaBook as having about 60 to 65% of the performance capabilities of the Fold.
My YogaBook is a companion device I use for note taking and also regularly used for email, basic admin tasks, 6 to 8 browser tabs open at the same time, Remote access to systems for support, Teams / Video conferencing and some basic photo editing. While the YogaBook isn't a power house, it does have enough performance to perform average tasks. Given the Fold's potential additional 40% of power I believe I could easily see this as someone's more regular machine easily up to normal day to day tasks without any issues.
From a form factor and usability point of view the Fold has many of the benefits of the YogaBook I enjoy and more. The YogaBook is very compact and and easy to carry meaning its very convenient to carry and be there when needed. A big advantage the Fold has is that while its compact it can be arranged to have not only a small compact 10" display, it can unfold into a very advantageous 13" display when more screen space is needed.