Lenovo ThinkPad X200 Ultraportable Notebook

Article Index

Performance Summary & Conclusion

Performance Summary:  The Lenovo ThinkPad X200 is a remarkably good performer for its class. In nearly all of our benchmarks the X200 was able to claim the top spot. The X200's Centrino 2 platform and Core 2 Duo P8600 2.40GHz processor lends it plenty of performance prowess and it excelled as a result in all of our benchmarks.  Despite being a compact little ultraportable, the X200 packs a large performance punch and we found that it performed very well in all productivity and communications tasks. 

The X200 is also no slouch when it comes to multimedia. The new Intel GMA X4500 can off-load all of the major HD codecs off the CPU and decode them in hardware. This allows the X200 to playback 1080P HD video without noticeable slow-downs or frame stutter. Unfortunately performance is still poor in graphically intensive games, but this is par for the course on a business class machine like the X200 and not its primary focus anyway, obviously. Overall, the X200 is very well specified and if it weren't for its tiny 12.1" screen and minute physical dimensions, the X200's spec sheet could easily be mistaken for a full-size business-class notebook.


The ThinkPad X-series has been a big contender in the ultraportable notebook arena for quite some time; a niche market traditionally occupied by frequent travelers and business types. Until recently, the average consumer wasn't too interested in ultraportable notebooks, which tended to be utilitarian and bland, not to mention prohibitively expensive and slow compared to their full-size contemporaries. However, the relatively recent introductions of ASUS' Eee PC and Apple's Macbook Air have cast a new light on the entire ultraportable notebook class, opening the gate to a slew of new consumers and repainting the traditionally business-oriented ultraportable as gadgets and techno-fashion accessories. Even the ThinkPad X-series produced a flashy halo product in the X300, or at least as flashy as ThinkPads can get.

While halo products like the Macbook Air and the ThinkPad X300 are nice to look at and dream about, they are ultimately sometimes too expensive and impractical for the mainstream user. While a road warrior may enjoy their significantly smaller footprint and light weight, they might not look too kindly on lower processing power or be able to stomach higher costs. In the end, many of us need a bit more power for a lot less money and the ThinkPad X200 is Lenovo's answer.

The ThinkPad X200 is the successor and direct descendant of the ThinkPad X61. Built on Intel's new Centrino 2 platform, the X200 is well equipped with the latest technology. Powered by a standard-voltage Core 2 Duo Mobile Penryn processor with either 2.26GHz or 2.40GHz on tap, we found the X200 to be quite zippy in Windows Vista and our benchmarks show that it has plenty of
power for all of your productivity and most of your multimedia needs as well. In terms of connectivity, the X200  shines, offering everything from WiMAX and wireless USB to Bluetooth and GPS. Although at the time of this publication, some of the more advanced options are not yet available for order.

The X200 is very compact and light, although not quite as slim as the X300. The X200's portability is further enhanced by its excellent battery life and easy-access battery with the option for a big 9-cell battery that offers over 8 hours of juice. Like all ThinkPads, the X200 is also very tough and it has very high build quality. The magnesium alloy outer shell and roll-cage ensure that your X200 doesn't become cracked or crushed during the busy morning commute. Lastly, like the X61 that came before it, the X200 is reasonably priced and one can be yours for around $1,434.

Unfortunately the X200 isn't completely without caveats. Like nearly all ultraportables, the X200 isn't much of a gaming powerhouse. Stuck with a GMA X4500 IGP and no discrete graphics options, the X200 can't run the latest games very well but then again gaming isn't an ultraportable notebook's primary purpose.
Like the X61, the X200 also doesn't have a touchpad, instead relying solely on Trackpoint navigation. While some ThinkPad veterans may not mind, this could be a huge turn-off for many users and unfortunately the only solution is to use an external mouse. Finally, in order to keep costs low, the X200 doesn't share the X300's ultra-slim optical drive, instead relying on an optional external optical drive, like the Macbook Air.

While the ThinkPad X200 isn't without faults, the most annoying of which may be the lack of a touchpad, its strengths greatly outweigh its few weaknesses and we think the X200 is an excellent notebook option amongst this new breed of ultra-light competition. With a combination of the X300's looks and the X61's processing power and sensibility, the X200 is quite an appealing product for gadget geeks, road warriors and business folks alike. With its excellent feature set, small size, light weight, excellent battery life and modest price tag, the X200 is a standout product to be sure. We heartily recommend that anyone in the market for a small, portable business notebook take a good, hard look at the ThinkPad X200.




  • Excellent Value
  • Excellent Built Quality
  • Great Processor Performance
  • Great Battery Life
  • Good Connectivity
  • Plenty of Features
  • No Touchpad
  • No Built-in Optical Drive

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