Lenovo ThinkPad X1 13.3in Core i5 notebook
A computer of habit?
Lenovo has introduced a new keyboard, which, confusingly, looks like the cheap but usable “chiclet-style” design seen on the X100e and Edge models. It works very well though in practice. Less can be said about the revised layout, which appears to favour looks over practicality.
Some key changes here
The Thinkpad’s hallmark protruding, sculpted cursor keys (with bonus back and forward buttons) is no more, and the six key block at the top right hand corner (again, subtly colour differentiated) is gone too. In its place is a very conventional function row.
The keyboard has backlighting and is water-resistant too
The new keyboard looks nicer, arguably, but navigation is trickier; it may disappoint old hands. And old hacks, too. ThinkPads made a virtue of their serviceability – the bottom would be covered with screws and instructions, resembling the “Do Not Walk Here” decals on aircraft. Here, the emphasis on style means far fewer screws and instructions.
The side interface cover is more for looks than practicality
More disappointingly, the sculpted edges have led to a curious design choice being made. The powered USB port and headphone jack are under a flap, which looks ungainly and isn’t as robust as no flap at all.
PCMark 7 Results
Longer bars are better
Lenovo doesn’t skimp on interfacing: with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 connectors, plus an eSata combo USB port. For video, there's HDMI and mini DisplayPort – no complaints there. The unlocked 3G Sim slot is most welcome, but the USB ports are all either on the back or under that flap. Convenience is sacrificed for style. There's a SD carder reader too. The stereo speakers, face downwards as on previous models, but the output is dramatically louder. Dolby Home Theatre v4 is on-board too, which helps spice up the mix.
The PCMark 7 performance is encouraging due mainly to the SSD and 8GB Ram. There's only the integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics on here, which clocked up a passable score of 3773 using 3DMark 06.