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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 – Specifications and Performance

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



Our Score:


When it comes to performance, it's pretty much what you would expect from the latest-gen Intel processors paired with adequate RAM, which means it will handle an average daily workload with consummate ease. Though you can upgrade to Core i7 for £167, for most users the 2.5GHz, dual-core Core i5-2520M should be more than adequate, especially since it includes both Turbo-clocking and hyper-threading for up to four virtual cores. Lenovo ThinkPad X1

Keep in mind that the lack of SSD in our review samples has a significant impact on performance, and in its SSD config the X1 will perform on a level with other high-end ultraportables like the VAIO Z.

As with most machines, 4GB of RAM is standard, with the option to upgrade to 8GB for a frankly ridiculous £190. Unfortunately, our review sample uses a regular 320GB hard drive rather than the standard 128GB SSD. Usually we would recommend going solid state every time, as not only will your laptop be noticeably faster, but also quieter, lighter, and it'll consume less power to boot. Unfortunately, when buying from Lenovo direct there's a £200 premium to pay for the SSD version, which is a tad steep. Still, if you have the money, you're not left wanting here. The OS of choice, meanwhile, is the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Professional.

Only graphics in the guise of Intel's integrated HD3000 are a bit of a weak point, though that's hardly surprising for a business-oriented machine. Lenovo ThinkPad X1

Light gaming shouldn't present a problem - as evidenced by this ThinkPad's 50 frames per second average in TrackMania Nations Forever at medium detail and 720p - but most GPU-accelerated applications and remotely demanding games won't be too happy, as demonstrated by the unplayable 14.35fps average in Stalker: Call of Pripyat at the same settings.


May 20, 2011, 12:29 am

The big advantage of the Air for me is the 30 days of standby time and the instant on from standby. This is the big differentiator between the Air and iPad and my somewhat aging windows laptop which I need to turn off between usages and takes around 2 minutes to turn on and about 45 seconds to switch off.

It would be great if reviews could cover this very important aspect of mobile computing usability. Makes a huge difference if you can quickly open up the laptop, check a website and put to sleep quickly with stop and start of air travel.


May 20, 2011, 2:04 am

Given the level of advance in technology, it is not very reasonable to compare a model with something (MacBook Air) which is already six months old. The new Air will be out in the next month or two. It will have Thunderbolt for fast connectivity.

While it is nice to have the possibility, it would be interesting to see the battery life with a Core i7 chip inside.


May 20, 2011, 5:01 am

If we look back to thinkpad x301, it fall short in many features - heavy, low resolution screen, no optical drive. How could Lenovo design an ultra-modern ultra-portable like that - a piece which is heavy (even without an optical drive) and low resolution especially when it's meant for business people. It is wondering why they wanted to make sure followers are able to get same pleasure as you watching movies!!! So they put some extra bricks in it!!! Slimmest and lightest thinkpad ???


May 20, 2011, 6:35 am

Looks like I'll be buying another X61s. All good things come to an end pretty much like this site.


May 20, 2011, 2:07 pm

In fairness, modern Windows laptops also offer instant-on from standby and can last for a good while in that mode. Admittedly it's not 30 days but it's still several days which is more than adequate for normal usage.


May 20, 2011, 2:54 pm

If you take the bonus points away it ends 8 each. Is it possible they were added in so the Lenovo won?


May 23, 2011, 4:15 pm

No, it's not. It's simply a fact that some aspects of the X1 are significantly better, just as the Air wins out by quite some margin in others. Don't forget that we've given the Air bonus marks for size, design and its touchpad.

As mentioned in the conclusion, if you're after design, the Air is still the way to go, but if you want power and features, it doesn't begin to match up - something Apple's iminent revision should fix :)


May 23, 2011, 7:38 pm

In every comparison with MacBooks, reviewers tend to forget that they(all Mac computers) can also run Windows. This is the single most important reason for converting users from PC to Mac because you get the best of both operating systems.


May 24, 2011, 8:04 pm

Too bad it's only a resolution of 1366x768, despite the expensive IPS screen. A bit more overview would have been nice.


May 24, 2011, 9:13 pm

Lenovo is one of the very few companies nowadays that offer some decent products to people. My opinion is that almost every other laptop or desktop computer is better than a Mac. Apple is constantly at the bottom of the technology ladder for decades.
1366x768 is high resolution for this screen size. Higher resolution than this makes things only worse.


September 15, 2011, 6:55 pm

"Last, but not least, the hinge, which allows the screen to fold all the way back till it's as flat as the laptop's base (a handy feature unique to ThinkPads)......"

handy feature unique to ThinkPads???? Certainly not...my Vaio SZ 2006 model screen can fold all the way as flat as the laptop base....and its great because it gives more angles if the neck gets tired or even let it fit right in to laptop stands such as made by logitech......in fact the inability to fold to flat level is why i resisted buying the latest mac book air 13".....

So not just ThinkPads.....but Vaio too (at least the SZ)


September 15, 2011, 7:59 pm

True, I was aware of that VAIO (as we reviewed it), but it's a very old model. I'm sure there have been a few others over the years too, but I'm not aware of any current laptops that allow it (certainly not the latest VAIOs), and not only was I comparing to machines that are actually available to buy, but aside from the ThinkPads there's no range where it's a consistent feature (as far as I'm aware - happy to be wrong here :)

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