Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Ultralight Laptop Review - HotHardware

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Ultralight Laptop Review

16 thumbs up

Here we have the X1's right-hand side. From the left, there's the wireless radio switch, stereo speaker output, and a 4-in-1 card reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC, and MMC are all supported). The manual states that the CPRM (Content Protection for Recordable Media) standard is not supported.




The system, from its left-hand side is pictured here. Starting at the left, there are the fan louvers (aka air intakes), a latched door that hides both a combo audio jack and a generic USB 2.0 port, and another built-in stereo speaker. The user-guide notes that a conventional microphone won't function in the combination jack.



Most of the system ports are mounted at the back. Ethernet is at the far left, followed by room for a SIM card (behind the sliding panel), a single USB 3.0 port, an HDMI connector, mini Display Port, combination eSATA/USB port, the power jack, and the Kensington lock. The combination eSATA/USB port is designated as 'Always On,' the manual defines this as: "By default, even if your computer is in sleep mode, the Always On USB connector still enables you to charge some devices, such as [an] iPod, iPhone, and Blackberry." The system can also be configured to charge devices even when in hibernation mode or when completely powered off.

 
 

Here we'd like to take a moment and examine the keyboard, TouchPad, and Trackpoint. This is the only area where Lenovo, in it's zeal to appeal to everyone, may have overthought the solution a bit. The Trackpoint (occasionally known by other names) is a Thinkpad staple hearkening back to the brand's days at IBM. The X1 retains the Thinkpoint+classic mouse button design and includes the TouchPad for users who prefer it. The TouchPad, however, isn't just a trackpad—it handles both multi-touch gestures and left-or-right mouse clicks depending on which side of the pad is pushed. By default, all of these devices are on. Configuration information and various options can be fine-tuned within the 'UltraNav' tab embedded in the 'Mouse' section of Windows 7's Control Panel.  



There's nothing wrong with either control system per se, but users who aren't accustomed to a clickable trackpad  may find themselves reaching up and clicking a physical button at the same time they click the trackpad, thus launching inadvertent programs or flipping context menus on and off. The various control systems could easily be explained by short tutorials or a configuration wizard, but either way it's not a huge deal--just something to be aware of.

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Certainly not a gaming/design laptop but effective HotHardware for lower end-users, good review on it's features.

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Smaller and more capable as seems to be the general case year to year. The only thing personally especially for this market is what is the need really in many cases. I could grab a smart phone, and a table or a current netbook for less and do pretty much all of the same things for less, with greater mobility, and longer operation generally.

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They still have that iconic ThinkPad eraser head mouse. Nice looking machine though still not as sexy as the Macbook Air (not that I would ever spend the money on one of those)

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the trackpoint brings back memories :D. Back when i was in like elementary school :) lol.

Thanks for the review.

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Ha, I've been waiting for this review since that cheesy video. I thought for sure that dude was looking up weird porn or something. @rapid1 I agree, ultra portable seems to be the trend for this year. I'm a bit disappointed with the price for what you get, but you have to pay for quality in a small package. I guess when I think ultra portable my number one concern is battery life, I don't want to be worried about finding an outlet when I'm on the go. Great review Joel

Did you guys dump any liquids on it?

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Nah, no liquids dumped but we may get evil on it yet. :)

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Hi Folks, We had a production problem with the video this morning but a full video review is now up on the first page of the article.

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I just cannot get any real positive vibe going on with this offering from Lenovo this time. Too many negatives for me. short battery life high price and what's up with the chassis flex ? on a laptop that's t about 1500.00 ?

maybe it's too thin. I dunno . just do not think i would enjoy typing on it anyhow..and in the vid was able to see Dave hands pretty close to the keys. A bit cramped I think.Seems like there are better choices avail that are bit bulkier and more powerful would def do quite a bit more multimedia wise for about the same $$

 

EDIT  just saw your post re: Video review

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rrplay, As Editor in Chief here, I just made an edit to that section of the article. I think the wording was vague to a degree. Joel flexed the chassis from both corners, a mechanical stress that is highly unlikely to occur in any typical use case scenario. If you read the context in the comment before it, holding the system by the corner, (a more likely use case) causes no flex or give.

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Thanks for clarifying that for us Dave. I can tell you in a school environment I have seen students carrying the machines by just the palmrests or the screen. Often this puts enough pressure on the hinges to break them or break the grommets that the screws go into.

Did you notice any issues with the quality of the plastics? I know the Dell machines we are using the plastics break open on fairly often granted they are $800 machines versus $1500 machines.

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