These days, it seems we're hearing more and more about tablets eating away at market share
that was once ruled by netbooks and notebooks. Netbooks we can believe -- we haven't seen a compelling wave of new netbooks in months -- but are people really choosing tablets with limited functionality over full-scale laptops? That argument is expected to hit an even higher note once Windows 8
launches this autumn, bringing a full "desktop operating system" to a tablet form factor. But for now, there's Windows 7, and that's exactly what's onboard Lenovo's newest convertible tablet, the ThinkPad X230T.
ThinkPad historians may recall the X220 (laptop) and X220T (convertible tablet / notebook)
from last year. Both were formidable machines, but Intel's 3rd-gen series of Core processors weren't out yet. Turns out, that kind of horsepower was missing in certain models. Now, however, the company's dual-core Ivy Bridge CPUs are out in full force, bringing a nice boost in computing throughput as well as energy efficiency to a space that's begging for both.
The X230T is a netvertible in its truest sense. Open it up, and it's a 12.5-inch ultraportable notebook that seems a bit heftier than the competition. This is a machine that will have additional value proposition down the road, however, when Windows 8 is released. Spin the reversible IPS panel around and fold it down, and you've got yourself an extremely spacious touchscreen tablet (albeit one with Windows 7 instead of the more common Android or iOS tablet operating systems).
That two-faced nature is just the start; let's take a look at what's under the hood.
|Lenovo ThinkPad X230T Convertible Tablet
|Specifications & Features
||Intel Core i5 3320M (1.80GHz, 1600Mhz front-side bus, 3MB L3 cache)
Intel Core i7 3520M Dual Core (2.90GHz, 1600Mhz front-side bus, 4MB L3 cache)
||Height: 1.06" - 1.23" / Width: 12" / Depth 9"
|Starting at Weight
||Starting at 3.67lbs
||12.5" Multitouch IPS 300-nit wide-viewing panel (1366x768); Outdoor (pen-only) variant optional
||Up to 16GB dual channel DDR3 1600MHz; 2 DIMM Slots (ours configured with single channel)
||Intel HD 4000 graphics
||63WHr battery (8 hours claimed life); optional external pack extends to 18 hours
|Hard Drive Options
||320GB or 500GB 5400/7200RPM HDD options or 256GB SSD
||Intel Centrino Advanced-N 802.11 a/g/n | Bluetooth 4.0 | Intel Wireless Display (optional)
Optional 3G: Gobi 3K 14.4Mbps/HSPA | Ericsson HSPA+ WWAN Minicard (H5321gw)
||Dolby Advanced Audio 2.0
||720p front-facing webcam (low-light capable with Face Tracking)
|Ports and Connectors
||USB 3.0 (2); VGA (1); DisplayPort (1); Always-on USB 2.0 (1); 4-in-1 Card Reader (1); 54mm ExpressCard Slot; 3.5mm Headphone Jack
|Productivity & Entertainment Software
• NortonTM Internet Security 2012
• Microsoft® Office 2010
• Adobe® Acrobat® Reader®
• Microsoft® Windows Live Essentials 2011
• Lenovo Cloud Storage by Sugarsync
• Symantec VIP (Verisgn Identify Protection)
• Power Manager 6.0
• Access Connections 5.9
• Active Protective SystemTM • Password Manager 4.0
|Operating System Options
||• Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64 bit
• Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 32 bit
• Genuine Windows® 7 Professional 64 bit (as tested)
• Genuine Windows® 7 Professional 32 bit
• Genuine Windows® 7 Ultimate 64 bit
|$1249 as tested - Core i5-3320M, 4GB DDR3, 320GB HDD
Our test unit hits right in the middle of what's offered, boasting a Core i5 CPU, 4GB of RAM and a 320GB (5400RPM) hard drive. The slightly lower-end specs enable a price point below $1300, but that's still quite lofty given the fierce competition these days in the Ultrabook and tablet space. In fact, $1300 will grab you quite a nice tablet and
Ultrabook together these days, but is the price premium here worthwhile? Are the compromises made to shove two products into one too much? Join us in the pages ahead as we explore these questions and the requisite performance profile of the Lenovo ThinkPad X230T.