Lenovo ThinkPad X1 13.3in Core i5 notebook
A computer of habit?
Lenovo claims five hours for the X1's four-cell internal battery. It registered 1hr 45mins in Reg Hardware's aggressive battery rundown test; looping PCMark continuously. With more typical usage – with the screen brightness turned to max – the X1 managed around 2hrs 20mins. This improved by up to an hour, with the display set to medium brightness, but it’s markedly inferior to recent models.
You can tack on an extra battery if you need more juice, but it'll cost ya
Not surprisingly, this review model comes equipped with the “39+”, 36Wh battery slice, an investment that at £200 that adds 600g to the ThinkPad. This six-cell booster buys a some extra time, but if this was a slice of cake, you’d be asking for more. Mitigating this a little, the RapidCharge tech can revive a battery from expired to 80 per cent in around half an hour.
If this sounds repetitively carping, there are valuable parts of the ThinkPad legacy which have survived intact. Most importantly the magnesium alloy matte case and the roll cage, which instantly elevates it the X1 above the less robust competition. Indeed, it’s solid and uncluttered with demoware junk, yet retains the excellent ThinkVantage utilities.
Built to last, but is it worth the extra?
The Lenovo X1 doesn't try and compete with the ultra-thin, but slower premium devices such as Apple's 13in MacBook Air and Samsung's 9 series, but it has far greater selection of expandability and I/O options. Here, Lenovo has offered some of the rich features of the old ThinkPad X301, but at a lower price point. But if you need some extra speed, another £167 will buy you the quad-core 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-2620M CPU build-to-order option. Going from 4GB to the 8GB of Ram that was installed on the review model will add yet another £324 though.
Despite the less than glorious screen resolution, in practice, I found the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 was really a pleasure to use. I’m simply a veteran ThinkPad user, there’s always been (at least) one in my Apple household, and I’m the sort of user who disables the TouchPad in the BIOS, preferring to use the TrackPoint. Because, as you know, TouchPads are for wimps. ®
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