Notebooks Guide

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 (Core i5-2520M, 160GB SSD) review

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 - Seriously Black

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Overall rating 9/10
Thin and light
Tough and durable build
SSD provides excellent performance boost
Integrated graphics
Protective roll-cage does not extend to back of screen

A Natural Selection

A Natural Selection

Popping the lid open was like getting the present you always wanted, but with a few surprises you’re not sure you’d like. The first thing you’d wonder about is what business does a glossy screen have on a business-class notebook? Before you ThinkPad fanatics get your spreadsheet figures all jumbled up, Lenovo would like to point out that choosing this particular glossy screen over the traditional matte screen provides more advantages than you think. Because this isn’t any ordinary glass. It’s Corning Gorilla Glass.

You may have heard that name before when you were wondering why those new-fangled smartphones were so scratch-proof. To prove their point, Lenovo representatives at the launch event used a (very lovely) silver fork and started moving it around the screen. The result? Not even a smudge. We were told the decision to go with the relatively expensive scratch-proof glass is because they realized executives all over the world tend to stuff lots of things between their notebooks when shuffling around meetings.

Pens, paperclips, staples on documents, glasses and keys. You name it, it’s been stuffed there before. So naturally, the one thing that could withstand this daily but necessary abuse is scratch-proof glass. And luckily, the screen on the ThinkPad X1 (with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels) is bright enough (350 NITS) to make it through the glass in a coherent manner, without you having to strain your eyes, while trying to decipher the email your boss just sent you.

Another refinement made to the ThinkPad, is the use of a trackpad that doesn’t have any visible buttons (besides the two made for the pointing stick), allowing you to reach the furthest cells in your spreadsheet without being encumbered by those pesky buttons (the whole trackpad is a huge button by the way).

Lenovo opted to fit the ThinkPad X1 with a trendy (but very practical) island style, spill-resistant keyboard, with keys spread a rather standard 19mm apart from each other. While the keyboard itself gets no complaints from us, there is a slight flex if you prod it a little harder. Not what you’d expect from a notebook with such a distinguished pedigree and price.