ThinkPad X1 Tablet, review: Lenovo makes a different hybrid that stands up to Surface

The arrival of Surface Pro to the market has highlighted a type of equipment halfway between the tablet and the laptop. Personally and given the weight and diagonal of the screen, I do not see these devices as tablets but as hybrids where lightness is an advantage and that give the most when we dock your keyboard. Some of us can even consider them as modular, which is more fashionable than ever.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet is the latest to join the direct competition of the Microsoft model, and it has some very solid arguments. Starting with its screen or configuration possibilities and ending with the keyboard, detachable and most positive in our review of the ThinkPad X1 Tablet.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet, main features

Within the Lenovo X1 range, the new member is a team that we can consider as two in one. Lenovo collects the ThinkPad name for this new X1, which is given the last name Tablet to differentiate it from the more classic model such as the X1 Carbon, an ultrabook with more screen diagonal.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet screen 12 inch IPS touch resolution 2160x1440 pixels, 3: 2 ratio Size Tablet: 291 x 209.5 x 8.45 mm
Keyboard: 290 x 228 x 5.2mm
Set Weight: 1.1kg Processor Intel Core m3 / m5 / m7 Graphics Intel HD 515 RAM 8 // 16 GB LPDDR3 Disk 128/256/512 GB S.O. version Windows 10 Pro Connectivity Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 4.0, nanoSIM, fingerprint reader, vPro technology and microSD Cameras 8 MP // 2 MP (1080p video) Ports USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, port for modules and accessories, USB-C charging port (37Wh battery)

With these configurations available, the basic model in many of the markets will be the one that integrates a Core M5 with 8 GB of soldered RAM and 128 GB of SSD. Its price will be 1479 euros, yes, with the keyboard already included. Lenovo does not offer the tablet without that addition, something that seems very sensible to us.

The most complete model that can currently be purchased has 512 GB of SSD, a Core M7 and 16 GB of RAM, and its price is 2489 euros.

Meet the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet on video

Before starting to tell you about our experience with the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet, you can take a look at our video analysis of the equipment, with details of its operation, stand system, screen, use of the stylus or design.

Bland but well finished and functional design

If we can hang the attractiveness label on the 2-in-1 models from HP or Microsoft, at least within the possibilities of this type of equipment, it is very difficult to give the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Tablet the same treatment, much as Thinkpad as a logo.

The design of this team is quite bland, without any personality. But it is robust, very much, with a magnesium alloy finish, it holds dirt very well and above all it is the lightest and thinnest we have ever tested. As a tablet it leaves us with figures of less than 800 grams of weight, light although logically far from those that have less diagonal and do not have the interior or connectivity of this equipment.

Appearances do not deceive in this ThinkPad X1 Tablet: light, thin and with a design without personality but robust, which is what it is about in this segment

From its appearance we must mention the inclusion of a fingerprint reader on the front and above all a support that takes a good part of the weight (never better said) of the design of the ThinkPad X1 Tablet. To begin with, this support is "launched" with a solid and well-located tab, although we would have liked it better if it were located on one side, so that it is not necessary to feel or look at the back to open it.

The support is solid and we can regulate it throughout its route. The way it is displayed is just the opposite of what one would think or have seen on other tablets. But it works and the inclination that we decide remains very solid unless we reduce it a lot, at which point the weight of the tablet overcomes it.

The format contrary to the usual one has two points or strong situations: when we are using it as a laptop, it demonstrates a solidity and reliability that we have not seen in other hinge systems in two-in-one systems, and when we want to place it on the knees , moment in which it is appreciated that it is something flatter what is supported and not just a song.

A modular tablet with a very comfortable keyboard

Although the version that we have tested of the X1 Tablet only included the keyboard, the connection system that hooks with it serves to connect other types of accessories. These will arrive shortly and will form a 2-in-1 team idea that we can adapt to other usage scenarios through modules.

The most interesting for what it provides, in addition to the keyboard, is the so-called productive module, which adds an HDMI port and another USB 3.0, as well as extra battery and OneLink + connectivity. There's also a module that turns the X1 Tablet into a portable projector (and what the upside-down stand makes all the sense in the world for) that makes quite a lot of sense in a business and work environment where we can clearly frame this product. And to complete the catalog there is one with a RealSense 3D camera to scan objects in three dimensions. For now only the keyboard is available.

Lenovo raises a team that we can expand on functionalities with modules such as a project or a 3D camera, but the essential, the high-quality keyboard, comes standard

In the case of the keyboard, its coupling is immediate and magnetic. With it in place, the weight of the ThinkPad X1 remains at a stupendous 1100 grams, the lightest of those that compete directly in this category of two-in-one computers with Windows 10. Carry a little more than a 1 kg laptop with Windows 10 with full keyboard and excellent screen is a joy.

Lenovo's choice has been conservative and in my opinion right. The keyboard is complete, with the configuration and design of the ThinkPads that many of us have known, and quite comfortable, although you should not be fooled by appearances. It is not the same keyboard that we can find in the ThinkPad notebook range.

In this model the key travel is correct and sufficient given that it is an accessory that we are going to couple and uncouple. With more travel it would have been more comfortable, but in general the touch itself is identical to that offered by any other keyboard that does not separate or is integrated into a case. Its thickness is 5.2 mm. Also noteworthy is the beveling of each key and the robustness they demonstrate.

Despite this more classic design and which does not cost anything to get used to, neither thickness nor weight of the set has nothing to envy other solutions.

The keyboard also includes a good-sized touchpad, although it is the same as most of these elements on Windows computers: it is accurate but it starts to fail when we want to make gestures. With Windows 10 there, I don't understand what the manufacturer is waiting for to improve an increasingly important element in a laptop, whatever its type.

The keyboard is very comfortable, robust and light despite its classic configuration and not integrated into the case

To that trackpad the unmistakable TrackPoint is attached with its three buttons. Honestly it makes little sense in this team that includes a touch screen, so we leave it halfway between a nostalgic wink and something that those who need them can really take advantage of.

For those looking for exactly that, the keyboard of this ThinkPad includes a backlight, with two intensity levels in addition to the shutdown.

After the weeks that we have been testing the ThinkPad X1 Tablet, my recommendation is that for now the use of a mouse is essential when we have Windows 10 in portable mode. Keep that in mind.

For controls and connections, in addition to the headphone jack and volume control, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet features a USB 3.0 port, a USB-C for charging, a microSD card slot and a miniDisplayPort output. To highlight the business focus of this model, there is a nanoSIM card slot.

There is no shortage in this ThinkPad of the double camera, an 8 MP main camera that can save us some situation in which we have to take photos, and a 2 MP secondary camera that records 1080p video but of quality is quite discreet. And if there is a camera that I would take care of in a 2-in-1 equipment of this type, it would be the one that allows me to make decent videoconferences in environments that are not exclusively a meeting room with abundant and controlled light.

Screens are the best of 2-in-1

Surely the great advantage that I find in the high-end two-in-one computers that are proliferating in the market is not so much that I can use them as a tablet or very light laptop as the quality of their screens.

This Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet offers us a 12-inch IPS panel with a resolution of 2160x1440 pixels, in line with its direct rivals. It also shares with them an excellent and faithful reproduction of color, contrast, viewing angles and brightness, although it seems to us that reflections should be reduced further in order to offer us a more satisfactory work experience in mobility (and sometimes even indoors).

The screen of the ThinkPad X1 Tablet meets its price and category: color, resolution, brightness are at a higher level but we have found more reflections than desirable in a team with which we will work in mobility

On that screen we can use a stylus included in the pack with the two-in-one kit. Its size is like that of a traditional, comfortable pencil with two programmable buttons. Does not include the erase that we like so much on the Surface.

A success of the system that Lenovo has designed to store this accessory should be noted by others. There are two possibilities, in both cases through a small accessory that allows you to connect the stylus to the tablet (via USB port) or to the keyboard (dedicated compartment) when you want to take it from one side to the other.

Regarding its operation, the technology is provided by Wacom, and we have more than 2000 levels of sensitivity so that we can draw with different levels of pressure. When we take note there is no problem with keeping part of the hand resting on the touch screen.

Stylus customization is limited to the fact that we can configure the two physical buttons for different tasks, including launchers of specific applications.

As for the applications, we find the usual ones to mark, underline and even write with recognition, but nothing really differentiating. But in any case, whoever uses it will not be disappointed and it is an accessory that fits in this professional team.

A bad news for those who use it a lot is that it needs batteries to work, no simple recharging via microUSB, something that at this point we prefer. But it is just that, a preference.

Sufficient performance, insufficient battery

Although there are options with Core i7 processors, not in all markets, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet is characterized by the use of Intel's Core M processors. The configurations start on a Core M5 and in our test we tested the configuration with a 1200 Mhz Core M7 processor with 8 GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD memory.

With the Intel Core M inside, the performance of these teams is adequate for the profile of use of the team while gaining in completely silent operation, although missing more graphics power

With this configuration, the tasks of navigation, office automation and even photo editing at a basic level have not given us any problem, with the advantage that the operation is completely silent and without fans in between.

At the warm-up level, there are no problems except when we demand graphics with games, for example. There, the lower right rear part of the Lenovo heats up generously and is annoying both when we have it on our knees and especially caught with our hands in tablet format. Typically, this heating will occur in portable mode.

In the tests that we have passed to the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet we have obtained results that comply with what is logically required of this type of equipment. The Core M7 is performing on par with a Core i5.

In 3D Mark Sky Diver we have obtained a score of 2746, while in PCmark 7 it has managed to touch 5000 points. On GeekBench it has achieved a 64-bit score of 2744 and 4430.

Another prominent element of this type of two-in-one equipment is the disk drive. In the Lenovo it is an SSD that in CrystalDiskMark 5 has reaped some data of speed of writing and reading as the following:

Seq Q32T1 4K Q32T1 I know that 4K MB / s 2517/1217 524/329 1598/725 49/151

The most problematic point with the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet we have found in the battery. In our tests we have achieved about six hours of continuous video playback, far from the promise of Lenovo. But it does not seem to us that this is the usual scenario of use of this equipment.

Putting it to the test, with 50% brightness on average, always-on WiFi connectivity, connected keyboard, and varied work with social networks, open Slack messaging, mail, office automation and some video, image editing and a lot of web browsing, the average of our days was just over 4 hours.

We are not talking about bad autonomy figures for the thickness and weight of this equipment, but to aspire to be a true main and productive team, it is necessary to overcome by far the 4 hours that we have obtained

The figures, given the thickness and weight, are not bad, but they do seem scarce to us for a team that aspires to be a benchmark for productivity and mobility. It would therefore be 100% recommended to choose the productivity module with which you can at least double this figure.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet, the opinion and note of Xataka

Surface showed the way, left the bar very high and there are already other manufacturers such as HP or now Lenovo that enter the game of high-end two-in-one computers.

The Chinese manufacturer's bet is a ThinkPad X1 Tablet sober but that provides differentiating elements such as the most functional support or a keyboard to match. And all without sacrificing enormous robustness despite being a very light combined equipment or a quality screen.

The jump that remains to take has to do with the battery, the black point of these computers compared to ultrabooks or tablets, and performance at the graphic level. And neither does the price help, which is not cheaper than the most renowned and recognized rival.

8,6

Design9 screen Performance8.5 Keyboard / trackpad8 Software8.75 Autonomy8,25

In favor

  • Robustness and lightness
  • Excellent display
  • Windows 10 fits perfectly in this format
  • Well thought out support
  • The high-level keyboard

Against

  • Insufficient autonomy for a productive work team
  • High price
  • Unattractive design
  • Upgradeable trackpad

The computer has been released for testing by Lenovo. Can inquire our policy of relationships with enterprises

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