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Hands-on review: Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Tablet

03 Oct 16

Lenovo have heralded the X1 Tablet as the 2 in 1 for business and the lightest and thinnest ThinkPad yet, weighing in at under 1.1kg and less than 13 mm wide with keyboard. That doesn't even begin to do this newest ThinkPad justice. Even though it is a tablet, there is no compromise on performance.

Let's start with the processor. The X1 Tablet comses with up to Intel Core M7 vPro CPU performance, up to 16GB memory and up to 1TB PCIE SSD storage. This means that this is a tablet with the functionality of its larger cousins.

I have spent a happy day putting it through its paces, including a spot of Netflixing, downloading software (including the Word Processor I'm typing this on) and I can see why Lenovo have targeted the business user. The price puts it at the high end of the tablet market, but as I keep on saying, this is a tablet in name only. You get what you pay for and in this case you will most likely stop using your laptop.

The battery life is very impressive, allowing you to get around 10 hours of usage from a single charge and ThinkPad's RapidCharge technology means you can charge from low to full in under an hour. It’s also built for business as it is MILSPEC tested and easily repairable onsite with storage being upgradable/replaceable as well as security being well considered with both hardware and software TPM standard on the X1 Tablet.

Let's talk about the keyboard. I'm sure most of you have hopped from one keyboard to another and had that experience when suddenly your fingers start missing the correct key. This keyboard is so beautifully laid out, that any errors I have made are purely my own. While super slim and seemingly flimsy, it's the baby brother of its fellow ThinkPads - right down to the little red 'joystick' button, and the clever trackpad.

Right-clicking is a dream with this baby, with no need to reach for the ctrl key, not to mention the positive feel of the keys, which I wasn't expecting from such an insubstantial keyboard. Detaching the keyboard is simple due to the clever magnetic attachment, and reattaching is just as easy. Using the onscreen keyboard is simple and I love the 'bubblewrap' popping sound the keys make. It’s quite reassuring.

The monitor is a delight. Crisp, clear colours, gorgeous video resolution, and decent sound for a tablet - I could have spent all afternoon watching Bride and Prejudice on this screen, and justified it as 'intensive workbench testing of video capabilities' but I was desperate to see how it handled as a business tool.

The Intel processor means that this tablet can multi-task with ease, and it does so quietly and competently. I'm happily tabbing between Word, Netflix and the Microsoft Store with no problems at all. I'm enjoying using the word processing function as the monitor makes text nice and crisp, just like the movie I was happily watching.

For a tablet, this screen is more like a mini laptop screen, just with all the tablet functions one expects. I'm looking forward to having a play with the ThinkPad Pen Pro, and if you are lucky, the editor may let you view my artistic masterpiece. In tablet mode this ThinkPad doesn't miss a beat.

Some other features of note include the sim card slot and the Micro SD slot both cleverly hidden placed behind the Kickstand. You can tell that the designers have thought long and hard about the features a business laptop/tablet will need, and the kickstand may almost get overlooked, so clever is its design.

You can adjust the viewing angle of the monitor to suit yourself and it will stay there. So within its 90 degree range of movement you have the power to determine your most ergonomic setting.  

If your business requirements also include the occasional multimedia presentation, the clever people at Lenovo have that covered with a very clever and exceedingly portable Pico projector that connects to the ThinkPad. Other features include the front and reverse mounted cameras.

I was fortunate enough to be given this ThinkPad to test. This product has so much thought going into the engineering I can report nothing negative about this little beauty - I can safely say it's well worth the price tag.

For more information and pricing options, click here.

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