Lenovo ThinkPad X1 (3. Gen) Review: Powerful and versatile
Tech Week score:
Lenovo’s versatile laptop / tablet hybrid with a “detachable” keyboard returns in this nearly identical third-generation model. Similar to the early ThinkPad X1, you’re looking at a 13-inch tablet with a detachable keyboard that allows you to turn it into a business laptop. Simply slide out the stand and your tablet will sit on your desk from almost any angle.
The improvements are quite subtle, but significant: the screen becomes larger, brighter and sharper, inside a 4-core processor and tightened characteristics that increase the device’s performance.
If that’s not enough, there are two Thunderbolt 3 ports for increased connectivity as we are phasing out USB 3.0. The battery has also become a little larger, all of this is intended to justify the $ 1945 price tag ($ 145,000 + VAT).
The elegant and practical design of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet is hard not to be surprised , unless you’ve used the Microsoft Surface Pro before . Lenovo is slightly larger and heavier than its closest competitor, so it’s not as attractive to begin with.
The ThinkPad is, however, the most rugged of the two tablets, with an aluminum, magnesium and Gorilla Glass construction that is tough enough to withstand 12 MIL-STD 810G tests. And, of course, business devices need strength and durability. The tablet is quite pleasant to the touch, and with a matte finish similar to most laptop Lenovo’s, it is very comfortable to hold.
The detachable keyboard looks the same and attaches with powerful magnets capable of securing a secure fit with the tablet, now a bit stiffer. The keys are still quite firm, and there is also a red ridge in the center of the keyboard.
In the form of a laptop, the hybrid is not particularly comfortable to work from the knees, because the stand on which the screen rests is represented by a folding metal edge that frankly bites into the legs and often slips off. The metal frame is more rounded than the previous model, but it’s still better on the table. On a solid surface, you can securely position it at any angle, lay it down or stand it upright as you like.
The stunning 3K screen offers no edge-to-edge panels. Around the 3: 2 panel, there is little room left for a dual-lens camera at the top and a fingerprint scanner on the side. The fingerprint scanner helps to instantly log in to the system, without an additional password.
All that means is that the X1 Tablet is slightly larger and heavier than its main competitor, the Surface Pro, but at least you can hold the tablet without your fingers touching the touchscreen.
The ThinkPad Pen Pro stylus comes with your tablet and comes with a holder that snaps the stylus to the side of the tablet. Ideal when working on a desk, but the stylus has a habit of falling out of its holder when you carry the device.
The small selection of ports includes a headphone jack, a Nano Sim tray that you can also insert a microSD card into , and there are two more USB-C ports. In fact, these are Thunderbolt 3 ports that can be used for both power supply, output to external screens with 4K resolution, and high-speed data transfer. Even if you don’t have many Thunderbolt 3 devices yet, this is the best connector we could ask for.
LENOVO THINKPAD X1 TABLET FEATURES:
Here is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet (3rd generation) configuration sent to TechRadar for review:
Considering the asking price, the ThinkPad X1 Tablet can be considered a high-performance hybrid laptop, with specifications that rival the best Windows 10 tablets .
The premium model presented for review was equipped with an 8th Gen Intel 4-core processor from Intel, which, combined with 64GB of RAM and 512GB SSD, puts it on par with the best laptops for work and business. It certainly ranks well among the competing tablets in most tests.
It also compares favorably with its direct competitor, which we already mentioned, the Microsoft Surface Pro. In fact, it easily outperforms its 2017 peer, Surface Pro in almost every way, including connectivity – two Thunderbolt 3 ports versus one, you have more freedom and choice to connect.
The high-performance 3K screen is also the best in its class. The 3000 x 2000 pixel resolution not only sounds more mathematically pleasing, it also returns the 3: 2 aspect ratio, and with 415 nits brightness the display is almost dazzling.
In terms of features, Lenovo has been generous, offering not only a stylus but also a fingerprint scanner, front and rear cameras, face recognition, and stereo speakers. Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, as we mentioned, is complemented by a Nano Sim slot in case you want to surf the Internet when there is no Wi-Fi available.
Here’s how the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet (3rd generation) performed in our review tests:
As with previous generations, the ThinkPad X1 Tablet (Gen 3) seems like a truly flexible tool for the mobile worker. With a well-designed keyboard, it feels great on the desk and offers all the connections you need. Take away the keyboard, you have a well-equipped Windows 10 tablet with a blindingly sharp and bright screen.
As a laptop for work and business, you get a powerful and reasonably reliable package. There are a few adware programs like Candy Crush Soda Saga, but that didn’t stop Windows 10 Pro from running multiple apps at the same time and without a hitch during benchmarks.
Sure, it would have been nice to have a USB 3.0 port side-by-side with two Thunderbolt 3 connectors, the integrated audio is quiet enough, but we prefer the weak audio if the price is for a relatively light device. The power button seemed small enough to us, it is difficult to press it, because it is slightly recessed, so you will not press the button accidentally.
As a tablet, the ThinkPad X1 makes a better impression. You can’t ignore the stunning 3K display that truly enhances your 3: 2 photos, while the included stylus handles creative applications like Paint 3D without issue. The combination of a 4-core processor with plenty of RAM ensures that your workflow doesn’t even slow down when you focus on multitasking.
The limiting factor is the tablet’s battery, which has grown significantly compared to the 2nd generation, but it still has a hard time having a full day without recharging. You still can’t seem to leave the large power supply that comes with the device at home.
Most users are faced with situations where they need a laptop for work, but the rest of the time a tablet can be much more convenient, so having a hybrid form factor that meets all needs is an attractive proposition when both solutions are needed for work.
The ThinkPad X1 Tablet is as uncompromising in design and build quality as in specs, and with the included stylus and optional case or optional accessories, the price seems more than fair.
It’s a shame the battery is struggling to last a day of heavy use, the built-in speakers could have been louder, but these are minor remarks. We do not hesitate to recommend the new Lenovo ThinkPad X1 for work and even play.
This Lenovo hybrid is a powerful, forward-thinking laptop with a well-designed detachable keyboard that, when detached, will return you to a crisp, reliable and responsive tablet. Add to that the stylus that sits on the side of the tablet, the two Thunderbolt 3 ports, and you have a Windows 10 workstation for almost any situation imaginable.