Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Laptop Review

By on July 20, 2011
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The business laptop that’s also consumer friendly.

Good: Beautiful design, excellent keyboard and amazing audio.
Bad: Glossy screen, less than stellar battery life, slightly noisy fan
Price: AED 5499
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

The Gorilla Glass Screen on the Lenovo X1 is capable of taking in much abuse without cracking and covers the lid of the laptop edge-to-edge. Lenovo likes to call this Infiniti display. The actual screen though is 13.3 inches in size and has a resolution of 1366×768 which I think is a bit on the lower side. Lenovo chose a glossy display which I’m not sure is the best option for a notebook that is targeted towards the business sector. Luckily, even at low brightness, the screen isn’t very reflective.

Speaking of brightness, Lenovo deservedly calls the screen on the X1 SuperBright with its 350 NITS specification. Combining that glossy screen with the Dolby Home Theater v4 stereo speakers makes for one hell of a multi-media experience- ironic for a laptop targetted mainly towards the business segment. Pun aside, the Lenovo X1 arguably produce better audio than any laptop I have looked at recently.

The X1 I received for review had a pretty beefy configuration. It packed the latest Intel Core i5 2520M CPU capable of running at 2.50GHz along with 4GB DDR3 RAM. Add to that the 160GB Solid State Drive and you have all the right ingredients for a machine that boots up and opens applications really fast. Lenovo uses the Intel HD integrated GPU which is good enough for business use but not for much above and beyond that and the benchmaks below will show you that.

 CPU 3D Disk Overall
 Lenovo ThinkPad X1 4002 158 1607 720
 HP Pavilion dv6 6923 1264 505 1689
 Samsung U Series 2583 193 1290 790

On the heat side, the Lenovo X1doesn’t get really hot but warm enough to notice when its on your lap. The exit grill is located on the left side and you can feel the hot air being blown out when the fan kicks in which is pretty much anytime you’re using the GPU for anything such as running a 3D benchmark or games. At lower speeds, the fan is barely audible but on my unit, there was a faint but high pitched sound when the fan was working at higher levels which is a bit surprising as all previous Lenovo laptops that I’ve looked at have managed noise levels really well.

Finally, the battery on the X1 is decent but not the best. I managed to get a little over four hours from each recharge when using the laptop for browsing, emailing surfing etc. Something a bit more taxing like watching hi-def videos or running a benchmark indicated the battery life close to three hours. While the battery life could be more impressive, Lenovo does a great job at getting the laptop charged fast. Within a matter of half hour, I had the the battery level go up from 10% to almost 70% which is awesome if you are someone who is always on the go with short times at your desk.

So although the Lenovo X1 is not without faults, it is still a PC that you easily fall in love with based on what it has. Priced around AED 5,499, the ThinkPad X1 is slightly on the higher side, however considering the quality and components you get, it is well worth it.

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Abbas Jaffar Ali is the founder of and a blogger, geek and self-declared tech pundit who can't stop talking about technology. Find him on twitter as @ajaffarali

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  • Colaxs

    Hi Abbas

    Very nice review. Does it compare well with the macbook air?

    And the bigger question is, would you recommend the X1 over the X220, which ran like a marathoner, on its battery?

    • t-break tech

      Had you asked me this two days back, I might have suggested the X1 but with the new Airs featuring SandyBridge and a backlit keyboard, the equation changes. While the 13″ Air will still be slightly slower in raw CPU usage, it’s battery life and a better screen would make it my choice of laptop.

      Sadly, I never got to test the X220 so can’t comment on that.

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