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

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet 2nd Gen Benchmarks: Storage, SunSpider And PCMark

One of the first things we like to do when evaluating performance is to gauge how fast the storage subsystem is. To do that, we fire up ATTO. Here we will see peak sequential throughput of the PCIe-based M.2 solid state drive inside the ThinkPad X1 Tablet. This shows us both read and write workloads of small to larger sized file transfers.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet ATTO

The SSD inside this tablet is Samsung's PM961. It is 256GB in capacity and uses triple-level cell (TLC) 3D V-NAND flash memory paired with the company's Polaris controller. As we can see, this SSD is quite fast. It benefits from tapping into PCIe, which allows it to hit much higher speeds than SSDs that are limited to the SATA 6Gbps interface. In this case, the drive was able to read data at up to 2.43GB/s and write data at up to 1.43GB/s when performing at its fastest. That is blazing fast and ensures that storage will not be a performance bottleneck in most situations.

Next we switched our focus to general purpose benchmarks with SunSpider, a JavaScript benchmark, and then ran PCMark 8 to get a comprehensive look at how the ThinkPad X1 Tablet handles standard office productivity chores and home media tasks.

SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark
JavaScript Performance Testing

We should note that SunSpider is more of a platform test, in that different browser versions, associated with different OS types, can and do affect scores. However, among the Windows 10-powered machines here, all things are relatively equal and Microsoft Edge is our browser of choice, since it is installed by default on all machines listed here.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet 2nd Gen SunSpider

This year's ThinkPad X1 Tablet climbs to the upper section and shows a mild improvement compared to last year's version. That is to be expected since the hardware is largely the same, save for a CPU bump with a newer architecture and a slight bump on clock speeds. One thing we have noticed is that Intel's Kaby Lake Speed Shift optimizations combined with Microsoft's Edge browser tend to score well in this test on all types of devices.

PCMark 8 Benchmarks
Productivity And System-Level Benchmarking

We selected three tests from the PCMark 8 benchmark suite: Home, Storage and Work. Futuremark recently improved all three tests with PCMark 8 version 2 that offers a nice swath of mixed media workloads, from document editing, to video conferencing and editing. We selected the Open CL "Accelerated" options for both the Home and Work modules, which let's the benchmark take advantage of current generation integrate GPU engines to accelerate some aspects of processing.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet 2nd Gen PCMark 8

Here we see the current generation ThinkPad X1 Tablet post the third highest Storage score in PCMark 8, putting it in league with more powerful laptop configurations in that regard. In the Home Accelerated and Work Accelerated benchmark runs, the ThinkPad X1 Tablet settles in around the middle of the back. Once again, we see a small improvement over last year's model. Bearing in mind that this is a tablet device, the scores across the board here are at least respectable and indicative of laptop-class performance when handling productivity workloads.

That said, the ThinkPad X1 Tablet trails behind Samsung's Galaxy 12 (except in the Storage test), which is also a 2-in-1 convertible running Windows 10. These two devices are similar in construction and price so it is interesting to see how they compare with one another.

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