With the ThinkPad X1 pill, Lenovo made a stable try at constructing a surface-like tool for businessusers. it’s no longer without a doubt stylish, but it is one of the few hybrid tablets/laptops that’ll getwork completed. alas, negative battery lifestyles and a sloppy keyboard keep it from being a surely must-have tool.
when you have a gentle spot in your coronary heart for the iconic ThinkPad design, the X1 will probablestrike your fancy at the same time as it’s in pc mode. It has a minimalist black steel case, a reasonablyspacious keyboard and heck, there’s even the love-it-or-hate-it bright crimson TrackPoint. it is a subdueddesign that reminds me of a conventional, enterprise–orientated windows laptop.
but of direction, it is lots extra than that: Its keyboard is ultrathin and absolutely detachable. there may be additionally a kickstand at the returned of the tablet. And, lest you neglect, it is as a lot a pill as it’s fara pc. It doesn’t look as ultramodern as the surface devices, but it’s no less superb. Toeing the roadbetween respecting ThinkPad culture and pushing absolutely new form elements is difficult, but the X1tablet manages it nicely.
thanks to its 12-inch screen, it’s fairly hefty for a pill, clocking in at 1.7 kilos. together with the keyboard case, it weighs 2.35 kilos. that’s nearly exactly similar to the floor pro four (a part of me wonders if Lenovo is trying to prove it may go toe-to-toe with Microsoft). it is extensively heavier than standalone 10-inch tablets like the iPad Air, but it’s most effective around 0.1 pounds heavier than the 12.9-inch iPadseasoned. In a way, the X1 is the antithesis than the iPad seasoned: it is able to be a pill while you needit, but the majority might be shopping for it as an ultraportable pc.
The real tablet portion of the X1 isn’t a good deal to study. Its chassis is mostly product of magnesium (with a bit of plastic thrown in), and it measures an excellent 8.6 millimeters thin. It feels simply as robustas other metallic ThinkPad instances, which computer customers have lengthy praised for his or hercapacity to take a licking. Lenovo says the X1 passes 10 military certification checks, which are a big deal for authorities clients, and it’s capable of going for walks among -20 levels Celsius (-four Fahrenheit) and 60 stages Celsius (one hundred forty Fahrenheit).
From the front, there’s a widespread amount of bezel across the show, a 2-megapixel webcam uppinnacle and a fingerprint reader on the proper facet. From the lower back, it is a bit greater thrilling: A small latch opens up the kickstand, which folds out from the bottom of the pill (the surface‘s stand comes out from the pinnacle). at the same time as that orientation seems a bit odd in the beginning, it makes the X1far simpler to keep in your lap than the floor pills, for the reason that there’s more than just a singleedge of the stand digging into you.
there may be an 8-megapixel digicam on the returned of the X1, and across the sides you will find aUSB three.0 port, a USB-C connector, a unmarried Mini DisplayPort and a aggregateheadphone/microphone jack. The USB-C port is also used to fee the X1, some thing that is fast turning into the norm for skinny tablets and laptops in recent times. in addition, there may be a microSD card slot underneath the kickstand for extra storage.
The X1’s keyboard comes bundled with the tablet (something i’ve long argued that wishes to take placewith the surface) and it’s pretty thin, measuring at simply 4.6 millimeters thick. It has a e4028a5c6dae3ad5086501ec6f3534d0 array of chiclet keys, and as I noted above, there’s the usualThinkPad TrackPoint nub. underneath that, there are two physical mouse buttons, a scrolling button and alarge multitouch Mylar trackpad. It snaps onto the X1 without difficulty via a magnet, and — like the floor — that connection is powerful enough to keep up the whole tablet by using the keyboard (just do not shake it an excessive amount of).
One interesting aspect of the X1 is its expandability, way to some optionally available modules that plug into the bottom of the tablet. Lenovo’s $150 productivity module, as an example, provides an HDMI and a few greater USB ports, in conjunction with 5 extra hours of battery life. There are also modules for taking3-D pix and projecting photographs onto walls. Lenovo did not have any of these growth offeringsavailable to check at the time of this evaluate, however we’re going to update as soon as we get somefingers-on time with them.
show and pen input
The ThinkPad X1’s 12-inch display screen packs in a 2,a hundred and sixty–by way of-1,440-pixelresolution, that’s respectable for its size, however not pretty as sharp because the surface seasoned4‘s 2,736-by means of-1,824 pixel show. nonetheless, it looks exact, with accurate colors and extra thanenough brightness (I typically stored it round 50 percent indoors). exterior, the X1 become usable in direct daylight; it’s far less difficult to look than my 2014-era MacBook Air, even even as carrying sun shades. however as with each tool with a glass–included screen, you have to expect a bit of glare.
As a tablet, the X1’s display screen is at its first-class when you‘re viewing films and digital comics. it’s a3:2 component ratio panel, so you‘ll get black bars with widescreen videos, however it made movies andtv shows look amazing. the ones proportions have been additionally well–perfect to comics, due to the fact they might replenish the screen without problems with no need to zoom in. I nonetheless feel a chunk cramped operating on a 12-inch display, mainly after developing used to the 13-inch MacBook Air and my 24-inch desktop monitors. it’s also a bit too heavy to preserve with one hand for extendeddurations, but it is excellent for the occasional comedian or news article.
Lenovo additionally packs in a stylus, called the ThinkPad Pen pro. It makes use of Wacom’s activeelectrostatic (AES) technology to supply 2,048 levels of stress sensitivity — twice as a lot because thestate-of-the-art surface Pen. The Pen pro is powered by a unmarried AAAA battery, which fortunatelycomes within the container. alas, although, there is no area to stow the pen at the X1 itself. Lenovoincludes a plastic holster that plugs into a USB port, but it really is now not sincerely beneficial in case you want to use the tablet‘s simplest USB connection. (It additionally just appears weird having the stylus cling off the side.)
In Lenovo’s WriteIt app, which comes preloaded at the X1, the Pen seasoned felt quite correct. The pen had no hassle figuring out one-of-a-kind tiers of stress, and it captured my scribbles without any massivedelays. sadly, it’s a chunk too slippery on the screen for taking notes or for extended use. Microsoft mostlyprevented that trouble with the surface pro four, which feels greater like setting pen to paper (and you can customise it in addition with replaceable stylus suggestions).
The ThinkPad X1 is a piece misleading on the keyboard the front. It looks like a typicale4028a5c6dae3ad5086501ec6f3534d0 ThinkPad keyboard, but its buttons don’t have the identical amountof depth as Lenovo’s conventional laptops. i used to be nevertheless able to kind fairly speedy, but theactual act of pressing down on keys felt tender and not very pleasurable. perhaps i’m just too stressfulas a heavy typer (I make quite a few noise!), but I predicted a piece greater from Lenovo, particularlyconsidering the fact that Microsoft was able to supply a surely wonderful keyboard with the present dayfloor type cowl.
With the kickstand folding down from the lowest of the X1, I had no trouble balancing it on my lap, bed and in a diffusion of other scenarios. it is a smart trade from Microsoft’s floor hinge: In traditional computermode, it creates a flat surface that makes the X1 experience extra like a laptop and not a tablet being held precariously. it is also extra at ease on bare legs, which is a superb component in case you‘re carryingshorts.
while I were given used to the texture of the X1’s keyboard finally, I in no way quite got the grasp of its Mylar trackpad. It usually felt a bit too stiff and jerky; it’s nowhere near as clean as glass trackpads like we see on the MacBooks and the floor kind cover. It ended up being a trouble navigating menus and optionsin our ancient CMS and windows apps like Evernote, which have way too many small buttons to click onon.
i have in no way been a big fan of the ThinkPad TrackPoint nub, but I found out to understand it on theX1, as i used to be caught on a flight subsequent to a specially inconsiderate seat neighbor. in view thatI did not have sufficient elbow room to apply the trackpad, i was pressured to get the cling of the TrackPoint, which requires best gently moving a finger around. It took me longer than regular, however i was capable of cope with my e-mail backlog and write a few posts without constantly elbowing the man or woman next to me. this is all to mention: I subsequently get it, ThinkPad nerds!
performance and battery existence
PCMARK 7 PCMARK eight (creative accelerated) 3DMARK 11 3DMARK (SKY DIVER) ATTO (pinnacleREADS/WRITES)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 tablet (1.2 GHz center M7-6Y75, Intel HD 515) 4,951 3,433 E1,866 / P1,112 2,462 298 MB/s / 545 MB/s
Samsung pocket book nine (2.5GHz middle i7-6500U, Intel HD 520) five,309 three,705 E2,567 / P1,541 / X416 three,518 539 MB/s / 299 MB/s
Dell XPS 13 (2.3GHz core i5-6200U, Intel portraits 520) 4,954 three,499 E2,610 / P1,531 three,335 1.6GB/s / 307 MB/s
HP Spectre x360 15t (2.4GHz center i5-6200U, Intel HD 520) 5,040 3,458 E2,672 / P1,526 / X420 three,542 561 MB/s / 284 MB/s
Razer Blade Stealth (2.5GHz Intel core i7-6500U, Intel HD 520) 5,131 3,445 E2,788 / P1,599 / X426 3,442 1.five GB/s / 307 MB/s
Toshiba Radius 12 (2.5GHz Intel core i7-6500U, Intel HD 520) five,458 3,684 E2,865 / P1,622 three,605 552 MB/s / 489 MB/s
Microsoft surface pro four (2.4GHz core i5-6300U, Intel HD 520) 5,403 3,602
E2,697/ P1,556/ X422
three,614 1.6 GB/s / 529 MB/s
Lenovo Yoga 900 (2.5GHz middle i7-6500U, Intel HD 520) five,368 3,448
E2,707 / P1,581
three,161 556 MB/s / 511 MB/s
Microsoft surface ebook (2.4GHz center i5-6300U, Intel HD 520) five,412 3,610
E2,758 / P1,578 / X429
three,623 1.6 GB/s / 571 MB/s
I examined the best-spec X1 pill (which comes with a center M7 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD) formore than a week with my everyday workflow. That normally consists of getting numerous programs andhome windows open straight away, along with Slack to talk with co-employees, more than one browsers and dozens of tabs open for studies and writing, Evernote for be aware-taking and Spotify for some tunes.notwithstanding being a lower-powered core M CPU, the X1 had no hassle preserving up with mydemanding ordinary.
It became also my only computer on an intense paintings ride to Austin, which worried protecting a chief NVIDIA press occasion. I wasn’t to start with making plans to use the X1 in the sort of high–stressenvironment, but I managed to get a lengthy article out and a few photos even as balancing it on my lap in a crowded auditorium.
As you could see from the benchmarks above, the X1 I tested lands somewhere between the surface pro3 with a center i5 4300U processor and the surface seasoned four with a center i5 6300U chip. that’sdecent, for the reason that Lenovo’s pill was running at a paltry 1.2GHz clock pace, even as the surfaceprofessionals have been going for walks between 1.9GHz and a pair of.4GHz. It additionally controlledto circulate 4K videos from YouTube with out skipping, and it kept up with my workflow even when Ineeded to begin photo modifying and moving massive photographs around. No, it may not damageany velocity records, however it’s enough to be efficient at the same time as slightly breaking a sweat.
The X1’s biggest problem is battery existence. In my usual utilization, it lasted for mere 4-and-a-halfhours. Our battery check, which entails viewing an HD video on repeat till it runs down, became a piecegreater promising, yielding round seven hours of runtime. it is able to simply be that it’s very green atplaying video (I tried to turn off all the energy optimizations I may want to), however the X1’s subparperformance in different eventualities is worrisome. On the brilliant facet, the X1 took only round an hour to fee over USB-C. in case you‘re considering it, i’d severely suggest the optional $one hundred fiftyproductiveness module for additional battery existence. (however remember the fact that‘ll make the X1 heavier.)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 pill 7:05
surface book (center i5, integrated photos) thirteen:54 / three:20 (tablet handiest)
MacBook Air (thirteen-inch, 2013) 12:51
HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, 2015) eleven:34
floor e-book (center i7, discrete images) eleven:31 / three:02 (tablet only)
Apple MacBook seasoned with Retina show (thirteen-inch, 2015) 11:23
iPad pro 10:47
HP Spectre x360 15t 10:17
Chromebook Pixel (2015) 10:01
Lenovo Yoga 900 nine:36
Microsoft floor 3 9:eleven
Samsung notebook nine eight:sixteen
Apple MacBook (2015) 7:47
Dell XPS 13 (2015) 7:36
Microsoft surface seasoned 4 7:15
Microsoft surface pro three 7:08
HP Spectre x2 6:43
Razer Blade Stealth 5:forty eight
Dell XPS 15 (2016) five:25 (7:forty with the cellular charger)
Toshiba Radius 12 five:12
Configuration alternatives and the competition
when the X1 was initially introduced at CES, Lenovo stated it’d begin at $899 with its keyboard. howeverit appears the fee has been bumped up over the last few months. The entry–degree X1, which comes with acenter M3-6Y30 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, now begins at $1,029. Coincidentally (orpossibly not so much), it’s the identical price as the most inexpensive surface pro four ($899) plus the $a hundred thirty type cowl. Lenovo in all likelihood thinks it could justify the higher rate due to the factMicrosoft is doing the equal aspect, but that also undercuts one of its initial benefits over the surface.
For $1,349, you may snag the X1 with a middle M5-6Y57 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. And on the pinnacle quit, there is the $1,649 version i’m trying out, which adds the middle M7-6Y75 processor.that is a rather extensive pricing spread, but for the maximum part, I suppose maximum consumerscould be higher off with the $1,349 version. it really is if you may get over the X1’s smooth keyboard andquick battery lifestyles, although.
if you‘re searching out a modern-day hybrid pill/computer, the surface pro four remains a higheralternative, even though you have to shell out extra cash for its keyboard. It has quicker hardware, ahigher keyboard (and trackpad), as well as far extra reliable battery lifestyles.
nonetheless, I apprehend that some organizations are dedicated to the ThinkPad logo, and mostcompany workers do not have a choice in relation to selecting what sort of pc they can use. If that’syour scenario and portability is your predominant situation, then the X1 stays a solid alternative.
we’ve visible Lenovo dabble with hybrid ThinkPad designs with its Helix collection over the past few years,but the X1 tablet is its first without a doubt a success hybrid. No, it is no longer best: i might love to peer higher battery existence and an improved keyboard. however it does a decent task of bringing a number of the maximum intriguing factors of Microsoft’s floor lineup to business users.