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Lenovo ThinkPad X220 Tablet (X220T) - Specifications, Performance and Connectivity

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers


  • Recommended by TR
Lenovo ThinkPad X220 Tablet (X220T)


Our Score


Review Price £1,027.86

Specifications are pretty darn good, with the highlight being Intel's brand-new mobile Sandy Bridge architecture, which we've already encountered on the MSI GT680. Our test sample might not sport the mighty quad-core Core i7 2630QM of that beast, but its dual-core Core i5-2520M runs at a speedy 2.5GHz as standard and can Turbo clock up to 3.2GHz (on a single core, 3GHz on two), with Hyperthreading allowing up to four virtual cores, all within a 25W thermal envelope.

Powerful yet efficient, this CPU will handle anything but the most intensively multi-threaded applications with consummate ease. If you don't need as much power you can downgrade to a Core i3-2310M, or conversely up to a quad-core Core i7-2620M for heavy duties like HD video encoding.

The X220T doesn't offer dedicated graphics so you're stuck with Intel's integrated effort. Thankfully, the new HD 3000-series graphics, which are integrated into the CPU, are significantly superior to earlier Intel solutions. In fact, you might now even risk the odd game or two, provided you're happy dropping the detail and resolution down a lot on even remotely demanding titles. Intel's new graphics also offer dedicated hardware video processing acceleration, though this requires compatible software.

Intel's new 3000-series integrated graphics even manage to beat the discrete AMD Mobility Radeon HD4550 card found on the tm2, an impressive indication of how far they have progressed.

These are backed by 4GB of DDR3 RAM, though this is of course expandable to 8GB. For permanent storage there's a speedy 7,200rpm, 320GB hard drive, again with various other options being available, including SSDs up to 160GB. Running it all is the usual ThinkPad minimum of Windows 7 Professional in its 64-bit flavour as standard, though you can also get Home Premium 64-bit or Home Basic 32-bit.

Unfortunately, connectivity is where we hit our first snag. Oddly enough, though the 'vanilla' X220 comes with USB 3.0, Lenovo has chosen to omit this altogether on its tablet. We really can't think of a good reason for this, and it's a genuine potential issue as eSATA isn't on the cards either. There is, however, a way to still hook up fast external storage: using the 54mm ExpressCard slot, you can add a dual-port eSATA or USB 3.0 adapter (as seen on the second page of our article, USB 3.0: What Is It and Do You Want It?).

This niggle aside, we have no complaints. With ThinkPads as recent as the X100e eschewing digital video outputs, we're relieved to finally see a full-size DisplayPort connector on hand here, which can also output to HDMI or DVI using adapters. Don't worry though, business users, VGA is also present and accounted for.

There's a memory card reader, three USB 2.0 ports (one of which is coloured yellow to mark its always-on status) and Gigabit Ethernet. On the audio front everything is handled by a single 3.5mm combi jack, as also found on the X100e and HP TouchSmart tm2.

There's no integrated optical drive, but this is becoming less necessary and external models are cheap and plentiful. You can even order a matching one from Lenovo, and the optional docking base has one integrated. There's a small physical wireless switch on the left that can control both the X220T's Bluetooth and Wi-Fi N, while a fingerprint reader can be found in the screen's bezel. 3G, meanwhile, is an optional extra.

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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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