Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet (2nd Gen) Review: A Nimble, Business-Class Convertible

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet 2nd Gen: Introduction And Specifications

There is a new-found push to market, lightweight 2-in-1 devices as productivity tools for business-savvy road warriors. That has occasionally been an angle, though for the most part, the appeal of these convertible systems has largely been their ability to function as both a tablet and a general purpose laptop for lightweight computing or media consumption duties. There have been previous attempts to expand the 2-in-1 category into the business market, and that is where Lenovo's new ThinkPad X1 Tablet fits in.

What we have in for review is Lenovo's second generation ThinkPad X1 Tablet for 2017. Like cars, system makers often release new models by the year, so long as Intel and AMD cooperate with new generation processor options. If not, hardware makers will sometimes lean on updated graphics options and/or a physical design refresh to justify releasing a new model.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet 2nd Gen Flat

In this case, the second generation ThinkPad X1 Tablet has been updated with mobile processor options based on Intel's newest 7th generation Kaby Lake family. This particular configuration wields a Core i5-7Y57 chip with two physical cores, four threads, and 4MB of cache. Like the Skylake line of low-power mobile processors, the Core i5-7Y57 typically sips just 4.5W of power. The nominal power usage comes at the expense of clockspeed—this chip has a base clockspeed of just 1.1GHz, and a Turbo clock of 2.8GHz—but allows for thinner and ultimately lighter devices with quiet or even passive cooling.

Like its predecessor, which we reviewed last year, the second generation ThinkPad X1 Tablet is like a Surface Pro for business users. Sure, the Surface Pro can be a suitable device in the business world, but Lenovo's device takes things further in multiple ways. For one, it comes with a keyboard case that is more robust than Microsoft's optional Type Cover. But beyond that, it is a more durable system with military-grade certifications and features business-focused amenities such as a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) security chip, Intel vPro technology, and a fingerprint reader. And what really separates the ThinkPad X1 Tablet apart is its support for add-on modules, including one that adds a projector to the mix.

We will get more into the design of this working person's tablet, but before we do that, let's have have a look at some key specifications (as configured), along with pricing and warranty information.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet 2nd Gen

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet (2nd Gen)
Specifications & Features
Model 20JB002JUS
Processor 7th Generation Intel Core i5-7Y57 ((2-Core, 4 Threads, 4MB Cache, 1.2GHz to 3.3GHz)
12-inch FHD+ (2160x1440) IPS w/ touch support
Graphics Integrated Intel HD Graphics 615
8GB LPDDR3 1866MHz dual-channel (soldered)
256GB NVMe M.2 SSD
Ethernet N/A
Wireless Connectivity Intel Wireless-AC8265 802.11ac (2x2, MIMO), Bluetooth 4.1
Interface (Left)
3.5mm audio, Kensington lock slot
Ports (Right) USB 3.1 Type-C, USB 3.0 Type-A, mini DisplayPort
microSD card slot, nano SIM slot
Cameras 2MP front, 8MP rear
Operating System
Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Battery 2-cell (37Wh)l
Dimensions 11.4 x 8.2 x 0.3 inches (11.47 x 8.25 x 0.55 inches w/ keyboard)
Weight 1.55 pounds (2.33 pounds w/ keyboard)
In Bundle
Stylus Pen, ThinkPad Thin Keyboard, Power Adapter, USB Type-C Cable, USB 3.0 pen holder
Price $1,547.10 as configured

Pricing starts at $1,449, or $1,304.10 at the time of this writing after an instant discount that is currently available Lenovo's website (that is automatically applied). The setup we received has been slightly upgraded from the base configuration—Lenovo bumped the Core i5-7Y54 processor up to a Core i5-7Y57 chip, doubled the storage to 256GB, and installed the Pro version of Windows 10 rather than the Home SKU.

There are not a whole lot of upgrade options available. Lenovo offers three CPU options, the third being a Core i7-7Y75 processor, and up to 512GB of PCIe-based SSD storage. Buyers can also double the base 8GB of LPDDR3 1866MHz RAM to 16GB, though only if upgrading to the fastest CPU option.

While the focus here is largely on business users, Lenovo also believes the ThinkPad X1 Tablet is suitable for home consumers who might be looking for this type of device. We will share our own thoughts on the matter on the following pages, starting with the physical design.

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