Lenovo ThinkPad X230T Convertible Notebook - HotHardware

Lenovo ThinkPad X230T Convertible Notebook

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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
Processor Options 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)
Dimensions Height: 1.06" - 1.23" / Width: 12" / Depth 9"
Starting at Weight Starting at 3.67lbs
Display 12.5" Multitouch IPS 300-nit wide-viewing panel (1366x768); Outdoor (pen-only) variant optional
System Memory Up to 16GB dual channel DDR3 1600MHz; 2 DIMM Slots (ours configured with single channel)
Graphics Intel HD 4000 graphics
Battery 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
Wireless Connectivity 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)
Sound Dolby Advanced Audio 2.0
Webcam 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 • SimpleTap
• NortonTM Internet Security 2012
• Microsoft® Office 2010
• Adobe® Acrobat® Reader®
• SkypeTM
• Microsoft® Windows Live Essentials 2011
• Evernote
• 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
Pricing:
$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.

Article Index:

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I'm not raging or anything but this is not a good review.

You completely ignored the fact that this is one of the few devices in the world that has a built-in Wacom digitizer (adding considerably to the price). *That* is the tablet part of this device, not the piddling finger-touch functionality. Did you even pull out the pen? You get hundreds of levels of pressure sensitivity and rotation. You can make art. You can do hand-written notes during school lectures or office meetings. Try either of those with the iPad you compare it to. And no, simply adding a stylus does not compare.

Yes they should fix the finger-touch accuracy. But not having Windows 8 isn't a mark against this computer. The touch-centric Metro UI is for for Metro-designed apps, which, like most tablet apps, are designed for content consumption (videos, web) not creation. Read any power user's preview/review of Windows 8 and you will see that you have to stay in the normal desktop mode to make use of your normal day-to-day software. So Windows 7 will work just fine and, using that pen, accuracy will not be a problem.

It would be nice to know if they fixed the edge accuracy issue from previous models though. Maybe you could update your review of this tablet by actually testing the tablet?

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I completely agree with you, the reviewer is obviously ignorant of several things one must know when reviewing a thinkpad. 

 

First offense was calling the machine a NETvertible. I'm sorry, but does this thing look/function like some pathetic atom-based netbook? It is an i7-based intel laptop with a wacom digitizer, premium IPS multitouch panel. Of course, maybe you didn't realize that CONVERTIBLE TABLET = DIGITIZER. MULTITOUCH DOES NOT EQUAL TABLET. In order to review something, knowledge of what you are reviewing is necessary. You need to be able to identify that this computer is in a class of its own, not a NETBOOK with a useless oversized touchscreen. You obviously don't know thinkpads when you mistake the dedicated trackpoint buttons, a feature since day 1 of IBM thinkpads, for poorly placed touchpad buttons. COME ON! And YOU don't see the use in this machine, I don't think someone like YOU should be using this machine. <Sigh... >

 

I looked forward to reading the first proper review of this machine, but I'll have to keep looking. I suggest this reviewer be reassigned the job of opening the packaging for the real reviewers. Luckily you haven't cost Lenovo any sales because anyone interested in this machine can recognize every ignorant erroneous piece of information in your.. review.

 

To everyone else who unfortunately read the (cough) review, I am sorry for the rant. Please look elsewhere for a review of this great thinkpad.

 

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Although I appreciate the benchmarks and overall reactions to this system, like the other commenters, I must encourage HotHardware to do another review, one done by the intended audience to this platform. The pressure-sensitive stylus is the selling point. The rest (touch, CPU power, etc) is all there to make the stylus experience more useful.

If you doubt me, please consider the fact that Lenovo has an identically-formatted non-convertible non-tablet laptop (Thinkpad X-series http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/laptop/thinkpad/x-series/index.html) that would probably be more familiar and attractive to Ray Willington (this reviewer).

Please also consider that Lenovo has THREE tablet devices to compete with the iPad, that fall into the "Netvertible" space (whatever that's supposed to mean). http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/tablet/?menu-id=learn&ref-id=learn

The real competition for this particular tablet are Samsung Series 7, Asus EEE Slate 121, and the new Microsoft Surface for Windows Pro. And of course the previous generations of the X2xxT series. I'd love to see how this X230T stacks up against previous generations, as I have an X200t and am looking to upgrade.

If a human being reviews these comments, please consider my request. If you're looking for a reviewer that would fit the bill for this product, please contact me, as I have some experience in that regard.

JF

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I got to agree with the 3 other posters here...

Actually I didn't read the conclusion to begin with, I already gave up when "Gaming" on a platform like this came up, here it was obvious to me that this reviewer had no idea of what market this machine belongs in... I would go so far to say that testing Gaming performance on ANY Thinkpads out there would be hitting far off ground...

Lets through in an analogy... Reviewer: "Say this Coffee is a real damn poor coffee"... Seller: "Well sir, that is because it is not coffee, its tea"... Reviewer: "That might damn well be the case mr, but I am going to review it as coffee anyways, and so I can't even give you a single star because it is just damn crappy coffee"...

This is a ridiculous review from someone who clearly have trouble seeing the usefulness in anything else than the "modern" day tablet that is purely for Media consumption and not for work or creativity.

I have been a Convertible-Tablet user since the Toshiba M200 Tablet, this was tablets before iPad's even existed, and while it was a "clunky" feel under Windows XP Tablet Edition, It has still been the single most greatest Laptop I have ever owned!...

Back then I could use it to take my Math notes in class with the digitizer while I could switch to normal laptop mode during programming classes... Both are things that I could NEVER dream of doing on say the so wonderful iPad... Today, about 8 years later... I STILL sometimes use it for taking notes during meetings, drawing UI Mock-ups and so forth... But obviously with it's age, it can no longer be used for much more than that.

And so I regret that I went with the Lenovo X201 instead of the Convertible-Tablet version of that same model a year back, and this is why I am looking into reviews of this machine at all...

This review just hardly touched any of my use cases...

Where you would otherwise have taken a pen and a piece of paper, this is where this fits in while still allowing you to use it for regular laptop tasks... Granted that a more lightweight device would be desired, but that is always the case... To me there us just no other devices that are capable of covering so many of my needs in a single box...

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Well I made an account just so I could voice my opinion. I will probably sound like I'm raging but maybe it's deserved.

This review is just terrible, the posters above me have explained why nicely, but I will reiterate. This website needs to find a reviewer who actually knows where the pen is located on this tablet and give it a try. I only read the introduction and conclusion but I failed to see any mention of wacom or pen input. This is what separates this machine from other tablet devices and is the primary reason for spending the extra money on a machine like this one (maybe this is why the reviewer didn't understand the product). Try taking calculus notes with an iPad, I can't say that I have personally tried it, but I don't think I want to. Also how this reviewer manages to compare an x230t with an iPad is beyond me, not even close to the same functionality, capabilities, or market. Stop focusing on the touch screen, I feel like it is only there because its possible, not because its intended to be used to navigate the operating system (this can actually work reasonably well when booted up into ubuntu with unity).

I don't understand how they managed to include a gaming section, not at all what lenovo or convertible tablets are about (or at least a couple years ago when I purchased my x201t)

If anyone from hothardware actually reads this, your review is one of the first listed after a google search, I wish that you could have written a reasonable review for the x230t.

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