Home / Computing / Laptop / Lenovo ThinkPad X220 Tablet (X220T) / Keyboard, TrackPad and TrackPoint

Lenovo ThinkPad X220 Tablet (X220T) - Keyboard, TrackPad and TrackPoint

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



  • Recommended by TR
Lenovo ThinkPad X220 Tablet (X220T)


Our Score:


As well as build quality and durability, ThinkPads have an impeccable reputation for their keyboards, which tend to be without exaggeration the best to be found on laptops. There's nothing 'chiclet' about this affair, and it's all the better for it.

The full-size keys offer superb feedback that's crisp yet springy, with a pleasantly audible click. There's just enough matt palm-rest for your hands to rest comfortably while typing, and the touchpad never gets in the way. Basically, this is as close as you can get to the typing experience of the classic IBM Model-M keyboards of yore on a mobile machine.

Layout is pretty much spot-on, though as ever the blue Enter key is US style and – our only complaint – Fn is still to the outside of Ctrl. Lenovo is one of the few manufacturers that still cling to this archaic convention and we really wish it wouldn't, but at least you can swap the functionality of these two keys around in the BIOS.

A small panel set into the keyboard area along the top-right contains the ThinkVantage button (which gives access to ThinkPad-specific utilities) and a set of volume controls, which thankfully aren't unnecessarily replicated on the keyboard. Volume up and down is set to a responsive rocker switch, while both volume- and microphone-mute buttons have indicator LEDs.

Of course, no ThinkPad would ever be complete without its signature TrackPoint, a tiny, red rubber-topped joystick in the centre of the keyboard operated with the tip of a finger. While it does take a little getting used to, after a while it's quite easy to operate and even beats the touchpad in some situations, and its three buttons are very responsive.

However, while on the older X200t this was the only means of input, on the X220 Lenovo hasn't just added a touchpad, it has added a brand-new model that integrates its buttons into its touch surface. With a very mildly dimpled surface, the pad provides a pleasant tactile surface and, without needing to make room for separate buttons, offers enough space for multi-touch gestures.

For those afraid that the button integration might have led to something as unwieldy as the infamous ClickPad on the HP tm2, we have good news: Lenovo's implementation works. Not only does the pad rarely mistake a click for a touch, but the 'buttons' offer deep, positive feedback with a distinct click and – surprisingly - no dead zone.

We would have preferred it if this touchpad had run all the way to the front as on the X220, since the ridge in front of it occasionally makes the 'buttons' a bit harder to press. However, this is a very minor niggle and, overall, the X220 Tablet offers one of the best ergonomic experiences going.

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/la...



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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