ThinkPad X1 Nano: I've Been Waiting for This!

This article is a transcript of a video that you can watch by clicking the thumbnail below. Hence, certain statements may not make sense in this text form, and watching the video instead is recommended.


I’ve always found the X1 Nano interesting since it was announced. Now that we are two generations ahead, the first gen started to get approachable, and that is at less than half the price it was sold for back when it was introduced. And… this means that I get to be fortunate enough to finally get my hands on one.

Story Until Now…

X1 is the lineup with which I started my ThinkPad adventures if you do not count my two ThinkPads at work. But back then I was only looking for an all-rounder ThinkPad that was both: powerful, and premium enough to replace my 2016 Apple MacBook Pro. Fast forward to today, I’ve handled 32 ThinkPads to be precise, which includes the 2 at my work before I was into ThinkPads. So I’ve had the chance to experience 24 unique models across many series and genres, of which 15 have made it to my personal fleet of daily drivers. With this kind of experience working with ThinkPads, I think it would be safe to say that I now have a far better understanding of all the different kinds of ThinkPads one could buy, at least from among the models released during the last two decades.

Initial Impressions

Alright, so talking about the X1 Nano, there isn’t much going on from the outside. Leaving out the fact that this machine is slightly smaller than an A4 sheet of paper, and weighs less than a kilogram, it mostly resembles its brothers and sisters from the X1 Carbon family. I haven’t had a chance to try out the recent ones, but I’m sure it's easy to confuse it for one of those. You get a bright, beautiful, and almost bezel-less screen, a glass trackpad, a set of four speakers, and most of the other good things you get with a ThinkPad. This magical size though, comes with a few caveats that we’ll talk about soon.

Comparison with the Legends

In terms of how the X1 Nano compares to the models we love, it’s obviously lighter than any other ThinkPad I’ve tried, smaller than most, or probably all, at least in most dimensions. You’d find this information in all the reviews you read or watch on the internet, but still, when you get to hold one in person, you’d be more than amazed.

I remember getting access to an X220 for the first time after years of reading about it on the web, and that was an experience. Then I had another big moment when I experienced an X61s, in fact, several moments. I’d say this is very similar to those. As someone who has dealt with notebook computers from back in the early 2000s, a machine this size and weight with so much computing power is a marvel of its own!

Back to Dongles

So about those caveats, it started for me right during the first ritual I perform on all computers I plan to use even for a week: wiping off factory-installed Windows. This is one of those machines where I’d still like to keep Windows around for firmware updates, and needing an adapter for the first step reminded me of my MacBook Pro from 2016. Frankly, I do not mind it this time, especially for what I plan to do with this machine, which isn’t trying to cover all my computing needs.

I needed an adapter once more to set it up with Void Linux as the primary OS. Once I have it all set up, I don’t think I’ll need an adapter at all, at least for a while.

My Conventional Setup

So I wasn’t getting a computer from Lenovo this time and I didn’t have the luxury to get picky over the specifications, except 16GBs of RAM, which is my base criteria these days. This one came with 256 GBs of storage, and sharing two operating systems in that small space was a challenge.

One unusual thing I found while setting up Windows was that neither the touchpad nor the touchscreen worked before the process was complete. Thankfully for most ThinkPad users like myself, we can live with the red TrackPoint that all ThinkPads (thankfully) come equipped with, at least till today.

Once I was through with all that, we became good friends!


I’ve been looking for a compact carry-case for this tiny machine given how most notebook sleeves are too big for it and contradict the reason for having a machine this small. Even with the 13” screen, this notebook (or rather subnotebook) is even smaller than the Apple MacBook Air from 2020 in terms of dimensions, but you need to be reasonable or else you will end up with a tablet sleeve that just misses the dimensions by a few millimeters. I guess I’ll have to keep looking until I can reproduce the infamous ad commercial of the original Apple MacBook Air, and then probably that of the ThinkPad X300.


So if you could ignore a couple of small nitpicks like the keys not being as deep as your regular ThinkPad, or the keyboard itself compressed to fit the smaller chassis, or having just two USB-C ports, there’s a lot of potential here. An ultra-compact sub-notebook (which is smaller and lighter than the Apple MacBook Air) with a gorgeous screen that is 16:10, and an exceptional battery life, with a reasonably powerful CPU and GPU for its size, paired with a set of four speakers, it all sounds like the next classic ThinkPad to me. Let me know what you think.


That's all that I have for this video. Thanks for watching it till the end, may the maker watch over you, see you in the next video! And yes, "Free Palestine!".