Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Review

Pros

  • Durable and rugged
  • Gorilla glass screen protection
  • Spillproof, backlit keyboard
  • Excellent connectivity

Cons

  • Not the slimmest or lightest
  • Weak battery life
  • No IPS screen option
  • Reflective screen

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £1170.92
  • Slim (16mm-21mm) and light (1.7kg)
  • 13.3in screen with Gorilla glass
  • Up to Sandy Bridge Core i7 and 8GB RAM
  • USB 3.0, eSATA, DisplayPort, HDMI 1.4
  • Shockproof, dustproof, spill-proof


There has been a massive increase in the number of thin and
light 13.3in ultraportables coming onto the market recently. We’ve seen the
likes of the VAIO Z and S, the Samsung Series 9 and of course the 13in MacBook Air to name but a few, not to mention all the new models we saw
at IFA. But these have been completely consumer-focused machines, and the Dell Vostro 3350 we looked at was too thick and heavy to truly fit the
ultraportable moniker. So what about those who want rugged, classy and thin,
with possibly some TPM or other business features thrown in? Well, Lenovo has a
solution in the form of its ThinkPad X1.




The snazzily-named X1 comes with the classic soft-touch yet
hard-wearing ThinkPad finish, a carbon-fibre rollcage, Gorilla Glass screen
protection and more, adding up to military spec ruggedness! Then there’s oodles
of connectivity (including eSATA, USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4 and DisplayPort), plenty of
power under the hood with up to Core i7 CPUs, a backlit and spill-resistant
keyboard, rapid-charge 30-minute-to-80-percent battery, and more. Does this
make it the ultimate laptop? Join us as we find out.




First, let’s talk design and build. Though it’s relatively sleek
and the thinnest ThinkPad ever, the X1 doesn’t look or feel particularly thin, despite
its 17mm front tapering to a still svelte 21mm at the rear. Perhaps it’s the
lack of curved edges or the overbearing, top heavy shape where its sides slope
to a narrower base. It’s not as light as many rivals either, though its 1.75kg
weight (1.71kg with an SSD rather than the hard drive in our review sample) is
light enough to carry it around all day without significant strain.




To be honest we don’t really see the somewhat industrial
design appealing to the fashion-conscious, though for ThinkPad adherents and
those into executive styling, this is just the ticket. Where the X1 also wins
hearts is in its feel. Though not quite as nice in the hand as the Lenovo IdeaPad U260, its rounded edges, lack of exposed connectors at its
sides and soft-touch finish make this laptop a delight to carry around, and
there’s no risk of unsightly fingerprints. The ThinkPad coating is also very
scratch-resistant, ensuring this machine should look as good a few months down
the line as when you bought it.




Build quality is another area where the ThinkPad name is
legendary, and deservedly so. Every single part of the X1 feels like it can
survive the abuse of the most fanatic road-warrior. Plastics are strong and
solid, panels are beautifully fitted with no gaps for dirt to get into, and of
course the Gorilla Glass protecting the screen means this is one of the few
laptops on which you can poke at the display with a biro without any unfortunate
consequences.




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), is sturdy enough that its stays in the exact position you
put it in without any wobble. Basically, it’s not hard to see how the X1 earned
its MILSPEC (US
military ruggedness) qualifications.

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