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This week we spent some time testing Lenovo’s Thinkpad X1 Nano — the company’s thinnest and lightest ThinkPad at under two pounds. As usual, slimming things down comes with some trade-offs, and Cherlynn Low tells us where the X1 Nano might leave you hanging. We also played around with the Poly Effects Beebo, an ambitious virtual modular synth in a guitar-pedal form that Terrence O’Brien says is no more difficult to use than a smartphone. And Nicole Lee let the Amazon Echo Show 10’s rotating display follow her around her kitchen to find out if that new (and somewhat creepy) feature is worth paying $250 for.
Lenovo’s Thinkpad line is known for reliable performance, excellent keyboards, and long-lasting batteries. The company’s new X1 Nano, which has a refreshed design and improved display, is noteworthy for weighing less than two pounds and being one of the first laptops to meet Intel’s Evo certification. Cherlynn Low found a lot to like about the $1,399 laptop, namely its 11th-generation, 2.1GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, physical webcam shutter, and 16:10 display.
The X1 Nano is nearly identical to the X1 Carbon, and like all Thinkpad laptops, it meets military spec standards (MIL-STD-810H), making it quite durable. The display is a 2K panel that supports Dolby Vision and tops out at 450 nits of brightness but doesn’t have touchscreen capabilities. It also has Dolby Atmos speakers, which Cherlynn found surprisingly loud, and four 360-degree microphones intended to improve audio quality during video conferences. However, in this case, the trade-off for getting light and thin laptop is battery life: Cherlynn could eek just about 9 hours out of this machine.
Poly Effects released the Beebo earlier this year but recently merged the firmware with its other modular pedal, the Digit. According to Terrence O’Brien, this has created one super pedal: a virtual modular synthesizer in a guitar-pedal format. The Beebo has a 5-inch touchscreen, which puts it on the smaller side, and Terrence said if you can use a smartphone, you’ll likely be able to figure out this device.
In testing, Terrence said it was a versatile and complex touchscreen guitar pedal that’s easy to navigate with a bright interface and small, attractive icons. However, he found that some of the modules were a bit inconsistent, and he ended up using the amp sim, cab sim, and convolution reverb modules the most. The one glaring hole in the lineup is the lack of a looper. That being said, he found joy in experimenting with the Beebo and, despite its bugs, found it a wholly unique and powerful piece of gear.