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Lenovo ThinkPad X220 Tablet (X220T) - Battery Life, Value and Verdict

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



  • Recommended by TR
Lenovo ThinkPad X220 Tablet (X220T)


Our Score:


The high-capacity six-cell, 5,600mAh/63Wh battery that came with our review sample powered the X220T through no less than six hours and 41mins of MobileMark's Productivity test, with wireless turned off and screen brightness at 40 percent. This is an excellent result considering there are no compromises regarding CPU performance here, and with careful use this convertible tablet laptop should last you through the working day.

If you do need more time away from a socket, Lenovo's optional battery slice adds a second 5,800mAh/65Wh battery, almost doubling the above figure to a whopping 13 hours! Mind you, this does increase the X220T's weight from 1.89kg (or 1.76kg with the standard six-cell battery, the nine-cell is a £102 option) to 2.6kg and increases thickness from 31.3mm to 40mm. However, for many the trade-off will be worth it. The slice is very easy to attach, and plugging the charger into it will charge both it and the laptop's own battery.

When it comes to value, high-end ThinkPads have never been particularly affordable but arguably have been worth every penny. Unfortunately, the very reasonable $1,200 (£740) US starting price will see an almost direct translation to £1,147 excluding VAT (around £1,377 for the average consumer) on this side of the Atlantic - and that's configured with 2GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive and the six-cell battery.

However, this is not actually as poor value as it might at first appear. As already mentioned, there's not much competition in the convertible laptop tablet market. The X220T's closest rival is probably HP's EliteBook 2740p, which starts at £1,107 ex. VAT. But then you're stuck with an older generation processor, smaller, slower hard drive, no digital video output, shorter battery life and, most importantly, the HP won't come close to the quality of the ThinkPad's IPS display no matter how good its TN-based screen is.


Is Lenovo's ThinkPad X220T the perfect tablet laptop? Not really, but it's as close as it gets. Sure, it's not cheap, its industrial aesthetic won't appeal to everyone, it lacks USB 3.0 and eSATA, and we would have liked a few more vertical pixels on the screen. However, with the excellent quality of its class-leading IPS display, amazing battery life, superb build quality and ergonomics, high-end specifications and ThinkPad reputation, this is the best convertible tablet laptop currently on the market.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Battery Life 8
  • Design 9
  • Features 8
  • Performance 9
  • Value 8

Andy Vandervell

March 24, 2011, 2:15 pm

A UK exclusive surely, not a worldwide one. ;)

Andy Vandervell

March 24, 2011, 2:16 pm

Ah, of the tablet version. My mistake.


March 24, 2011, 2:38 pm

I really, really wish manufacturers would listen and provide more appropriate screen ratios. 16x9 isn't easy to work with and 16x10 isn't _that_ much better. This is a BUSINESS laptop after all, not some cheap, consumer 'media machine'.

I'm dreading having to replace my aged Thinkpad T60p with it's 14.1", 4x3, 1400x1050 screen. It's an almost perfect combination of size, ratio and resolution! And it's an IPS panel...

With panel makers dictating the ratio it's like the tail wagging the dog. :-(

Chris Hamer

March 24, 2011, 4:19 pm

I wish my Thinkpad T410s had an IPS panel, better battery life and a 54mm Express Card slot :/


March 24, 2011, 4:22 pm

I've tested a couple of older laptop/tablet hybrids at work - nice concept and great for short-term novelty factor, but I've always found them too heavy and clunky (mainly due to Windows poor pen/finger control integration) for serious use as a tablet.

Ultimately, we found it hard to justify the extra cost to kit our engineers with tablets, when few ofmour test subjects were able to tolerate the weight and goofy input method - instead preferring to use the device in it's laptop guise sat down at a desk!

This does look nicer - but weight and Window's clunky touch support are likely to still cause issues for many users.


March 24, 2011, 4:57 pm

@NorthernSands: Amen brother. I recently bought a refurbished X61s as a future replacement for my X32. Although I have to argue with you over whether 14.1" is an ideal screen size.


March 24, 2011, 5:46 pm

Very informative review! The one thing I missed was availability: do you have any information about release dates in the UK and continental Europe?

Arctic Fox

March 25, 2011, 7:04 am

Nice try but I am still going to wait until Win 8 is launched before I get a tablet. The Asus eee (the qwerty slider tab running Android) is also another example of things moving in the right direction. However, I am still going to keep my legs crossed for a year of so! When I see the right combination of os and hardware I will be willing to part with some serious wonga - but it is still to early in the development of these devices IMHO.

Michael G

March 25, 2011, 3:01 pm

You're going to wait for Windows 8? The rumours are for a 2012 release, which we all know means it probably won't be released until late 2013. You might as well just forget about tablets altogether.


March 25, 2011, 3:43 pm

Amen, but unfortunately that's the way it's going.

Glad you liked it! Regarding availability, we should be seeing the X220 series here in the UK from April on.

@Arctic Fox:
I'm with Michael G on that one - still, can't hurt to wait :)

Arctic Fox

March 25, 2011, 4:34 pm


Basically what I am interested in is a tablet that is a replacement for my lappie rather than a supplement. Ie a genuine workhorse tab rather than primarily a content consumption device. As I said in my posting I think that Asus' qwerty slider tab looks promising and indicates that what *I* am looking for will, eventually (!), become available.




March 29, 2011, 3:18 am

Still enjoying my X61 Tablet three and a half years after I bought it.. This looks awesome though.


March 29, 2011, 11:50 am


Can you please clarify the battery situation? Lenovo's datasheets and system references list only a 3 cell, 6 cell, and 6 cell slice. Which battery did your system ship with?

Also, are you able to check the DPC latency? Preferably with http://www.resplendence.com...



March 30, 2011, 11:10 am

Hi, Ardjuna:

I love your review!

Would you please clarify for me the meaning of "5 finger gesture" written in the official X220 Tablet Specification document.

Also, can you please review the new X220 tablet sleeve as well? Thank you in advance!

Best regards,


April 11, 2011, 3:56 pm


The problem I have with 16:9 or 16:10 on a tablet, is that they aren't very good for viewing websites, or using a lot of software, in portrait. Very few websites are now easily accessible at 800 pixels across, never mind 768 (take this very site)!

The perfect package for a tablet, IMHO, would be the high resolution Thinkpad X61T, with a faster platform inside. It has a 12.1" 4:3, IPS, 1400 x 1050 screen. OK, text might be a tad small, and Windows is hopeless at handling DPI changes, but you tend to hold tablets closer to you, and the 1050 pixel width in portrait is perfect for reading websites and using Word or whatever.

Manufacturers are NOT seeing the light; they are accepting what the panel makers insist on making, not what we, the end user, actually want! Bring back 4:3 on business machines!


March 6, 2012, 10:00 pm

great review, thanks a lot. one thing i'd like to add is that "ThinkLight" is mysteriously missing on this device


March 16, 2012, 7:58 pm

Thanks for commenting, glad you like it!
Also cheers for the input.


December 31, 2013, 4:54 pm

i bought this laptop now i need to register it.... how to find its model no n serial no... how to find it

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