Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet: Unique design and boosted performance

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The Lenovo ThinkPad X1, when it first came out was one of the best machines you could buy. Despite a few shortcomings, the machine was overall good. Lenovo has stepped it up a notch by coming up with a third-generation ThinkPad X1 that looks to right the wrongs of its predecessor. Is the laptop the right one for you? Read this review and find out:

Design

There were a few complaints about the design last time around especially the kickstand. A lot of changes to the design have been made including a change to the kickstand which makes it much better than it was before. The newer kickstand flips out from the device and provides a wide range of viewing angles, making your laptop really flexible.

Image: Lenovo

Lenovo has also darkened the shade of black they’re using for the laptop which actually works. They’ve also gotten rid of the Lenovo logo and introduced an X1 logo at the back alongside the ThinkPad logo which also sees a change from a grayish color to glossy black.

As far as the ports go, the biggest change you’ll find is the two Thunderbolt 3 ports on the right, both of which can be used for charging. The two new ports are a welcome addition to the already existing USB type-C and type-A ports. You’ll also find a slot for a MicroSD card and Nano SIMs alongside the USB ports.

However, the problem with the SD card slot is that both the SIM card and the SD cards have the same slot as phones usually do. Like you do for most phones, you’ll need to remove the tray first before putting the SD card in which can be really annoying. There’s no model of the ThinkPad that comes without the sim card tray so nothing can be done about this for now.

Keyboard

There hasn’t been much change from the predecessor’s keyboard to the newer keyboard, simply because you don’t fix what isn’t broken. The keyboard is one of the best things about this laptop and arguably the best tablet keyboard out there.

Image: Lenovo

The keyboard is surprisingly sturdy for a tablet keyboard and overall, it gives a nice feel when you type. One can use this keyboard for long writing sessions without getting frustrated, there are only a few keyboards capable of this. Moreover, the keys themselves don’t make that much noise when pressed, which is great because noisy keys can be really annoying, especially when writing for long periods.

The keyboard has other features typical of ThinkPads such as the trackpad and Trackpoint between different keys. The keyboard cover also attaches magnetically to the device which means that it stays on after you open the lid, which is convenient and something you don’t really find in other devices. Overall, the keyboard of the X1 is definitely a win for Lenovo.

Display

The Thinkpad X1 comes with a 13″ display which is larger than before and it also comes with a higher pixel density alongside a 3000×2000 resolution. It also comes with a 3:2 aspect ratio which might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it makes the most sense for a tablet because people will likely use the screen in many different ways, especially in portrait form.

Image: Lenovo

The screen is much sharper this time around and it also has HDR which makes it so much better. Since it’s a tablet, it also has multi-touch which can support up to 10 touches at a time, and it also supports the standard pen that comes with ThinkPad devices. Overall, the screen is a better version of the previous one with HDR incorporated into it.

Performance

Although the X1 has made some great improvements in other areas, performance was one area where there was a lot of room to improve, and Lenovo has done exactly that. The device uses Intel’s 15W U-series processors this time around, which, in comparison terms takes the laptop to the level of an ultrabook.

While the previous generations featured dual-core processors, the tablet takes it up a notch and uses quad-core processors this time around which results in a whopping 30-45% increase in performance. The new processor lineup inside the device also means that the ThinkPad X1 is now far above the Surface Pro which still uses a dual-core setup.

Image: Lenovo

Tablets are not really gaming devices so you shouldn’t expect any dedicated graphics card. The X1 comes with the standard Intel UHD graphics 620 which shares system memory instead of having its own, which is not uncommon for tablets.

The ThinkPad is made for people who typically use their machines for web-browsing, Microsoft Office or programming type of work, things that don’t require that much computational power, rather it’s all about some neat optimizations and good utility features. The ThinkPad  X1 delivers on all of those fronts.

Verdict

The previous ThinkPad X1 was pretty good, Lenovo has somehow found a way to make this one even better. They’ve addressed concerns regarding the kickstand and have drastically improved the performance by adding a decent CPU into the machine.

The only real competitors in the tablet market for Windows 10 is perhaps the Microsoft Surface Pro and the ThinkPad X1 blows it away with its latest version. You can’t go wrong with this machine, it’s a recipe for success. If you want to purchase the ThinkPad X1 and check out its overall tech specs, you can do so by clicking here. You can also check out the pricing on Amazon as well.

 

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