Skip to navigation

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 review

Verdict

Sterling build and stunning performance, but the ThinkPad X1 is far from perfection

Review Date: 23 Jun 2011

Reviewed By: Sasha Muller

Price when reviewed: £1,379 (£1,655 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
4 stars out of 6

Features & Design
4 stars out of 6

Value for Money
2 stars out of 6

Performance
5 stars out of 6

The ThinkPad X1 has landed. Aiming to bring a slice of thin and light loveliness to a boardroom near you, Lenovo's latest laptop isn't just a ThinkPad-branded Macbook Air-wannabe; it’s a no-compromise business ultraportable.

It looks every inch the archetypal ThinkPad. The classic design remains in full effect: a sea of soft-touch matte black plastic stretches inside and out, the red trackpoint set afloat in the middle of a backlit keyboard. Lenovo has brought it subtly up to date, though, with every last spare gram of plastic shaved off, and its chamfered edges lend it a subtly sporty edge.

A tough nut

Surprisingly, it isn’t quite as light as Lenovo’s previous 13.3in ultraportable, the X301, but the 1.71kg X1 is still highly portable. Crucially, the build quality is top-notch too. Grappling with the X1 reveals precious little flex for such a slimline figure, and a closer look reveals a laptop designed to survive tougher environments than the average office.

Keyboard drain holes allow the X1 to shrug off liquid spills, while the sheet of Gorilla Glass across the 13.3in display promises to resist more violent assaults. We can certainly see why Lenovo’s marketing materials describe it as “MILSPEC-level rugged”.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 - front

Yet, sat next to the razor-thin likes of Samsung's 9003XA or Apple's Macbook Air, the X1 begins to look a bit thick around the middle. It's all a question of priorities: while those ultraportables sacrifice power for attention-seeking slenderness, the X1 houses a speedy Core i5 CPU. This, the pricier of the two available models, partners a 2.5Ghz Core i5-2520M with 8GB of RAM and a 160GB SSD. That combination makes for a seriously quick laptop: the ThinkPad X1 scored 0.7 overall in our benchmarks – blindingly fast for a sub-2kg ultraportable.

As you'd rightfully hope, this power goes hand-in-hand with business-friendly features. On the software side, Lenovo’s suite of ThinkVantage applications prove genuinely useful. The decision to push most of the connectivity to the rear makes for neat cabling on a desk, and while we're pleased to see eSATA, USB 3 and mini-DisplayPort, among others, the only disappointment is the absence of a docking connector – a silly oversight.

Still, Intel's vPro platform promises to make the IT department’s job a little easier, and in tandem with a fingerprint reader should help keep passwords and the like under lock and key. There's no shortage of network connectivity, either, and dual-band 802.11n, an unlocked Ericsson 3G modem and Gigabit Ethernet cover all the bases.

1 2
Subscribe to PC Pro magazine. We'll give you 3 issues for £1 plus a free gift - click here
User comments

Sony VAIO S Series link broken

The link has a synthax problem and needs correction.

By McDragonSI on 23 Jun 2011

Link fixed!

Thanks for the heads-up, McDragon.

By SashaMuller on 23 Jun 2011

Leave a comment

You need to Login or Register to comment.

(optional)

Latest Category Reviews
Apple iPad Air 2 review

Apple iPad Air 2

Category: Tablets
Rating: 5 out of 6
Price: £399
Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro review

Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro

Category: Laptops
Rating: 3 out of 6
Price: £1,300
Asus Transformer Book T200TA review

Asus Transformer Book T200TA

Category: Laptops
Rating: 5 out of 6
Price: £350
Fujitsu Stylistic Q704 review

Fujitsu Stylistic Q704

Category: Tablets
Rating: 4 out of 6
Price: £1,771
Hands on: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro review

Hands on: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro

Rating: 4 out of 6
Price: £1,771
Compare reviews: Laptops

advertisement

Most Commented Reviews
Latest News Stories Subscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest Blog Posts Subscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest Features
Latest Real World Computing

advertisement

Sponsored Links
 

 
SEARCH
Loading
WEB ID
SIGN UP

Your email:

Your password:

remember me

advertisement


Hitwise Top 10 Website 2010
 
 

PCPro-Computing in the Real World Printed from www.pcpro.co.uk

Register to receive our regular email newsletter at http://www.pcpro.co.uk/registration.

The newsletter contains links to our latest PC news, product reviews, features and how-to guides, plus special offers and competitions.