Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Ultralight Laptop Review

Article Index

Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary:  The X1's performance is excellent. The system proved itself handily against both the Lenovo U260 and X120e. Its 320GB HDD performed quite well, though an SSD option would be icing on the cake. Either way, the X1 is a svelte system that offers higher performance than is typical in an ultra-mobile machine. The system's thickness (particularly with its battery attached) and its weight (3.7lbs / 4.5 lbs with external battery) may leave some arguing that the X1 isn't a real ultraportable at all. That's a question you'll want to answer for yourselves.

The X1 has a laundry list of strong points and a few weaknesses. Its battery life is a potential deal killer; even with two batteries the X1 only modestly surpasses its competitors. The slice battery does help, but it also adds nearly a pound to the system's weight and makes it as thick as a conventional notebook. We also wish Lenovo had opted for a 1400x900 display instead of the smaller 1366x768. With a price tag approaching $1500, the higher resolution display would've put the X1 on firmer ground against a system like the MacBook Air.

Balanced against these points are the system's sturdiness, impeccable build quality, excellent software, impressive audio, strong design elements, and the combination TouchPad/TrackPoint. If you don't regularly find yourself on battery, the X1 may be your best choice for a thin, fairly light system with better performance than other systems its size. The ThinkPad X1 is not perfect, but if you can clamber over Battery Hill, you'll find a very nice system on the far side.

  • Great Performance
  • Solid Construction
  • Genuinely Useful Value-Added Software
  • Good External Speakers


  • Weak Battery Life w/o 2nd Battery
  • Heavier Than Most Ultra-Portables
  • Disappointing Display Panel Given Price

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