back to article Lenovo ThinkPad X1 13.3in Core i5 notebook

There’s something very strange going on in ThinkPadland. Reports of two-headed calves, even flocks of birds flying backwards – these are nothing compared to some of the design changes wrought on ThinkPad users in recent times. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 laptop Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 combines new and familiar features Since it was …

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Silver badge

Glossy screen?

I'm sorry, but why didn't they just go with mate screens? Glossy screens will just scare away the non-Apple-Fanboy business crowd.

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Coffee/keyboard

Sony gives you a matte 1600x900 display in their directly competing VAIO SA models

Given the price of the base model X1, our El Reg punter put the wrong Sony model into their performance comparison chart - the Sony VAIO SB, which is much cheaper at 799. The Sony VAIO SA is the true competitor for this and for just barely over 1000, its cheaper than the X1, yet is a much better computer overall:

At roughly the same weight and size, you have a matte 1600x900 screen much better for business use, also sporting an extended color space for those who need to work on images sometimes.

Further, you get an internal optical drive of your choice. Aluminum and Magnesium Alloy case,

a REAL GPU you can turn on when you need it (AMD HD6630M, which is within a couple of fps of the Nvidia GT540M - basically its the most powerful GPU on offer in this light a sub-notebook)

Nicely spaced, back-lit keyboard, 3G/UMTS WAN radio built in and fingerprint sensor too.

Like the X1, you can of course deck it out with more stuff to make it even faster: up to 1 TB dual SSD, Bluray writer, i7 CPU.

True, these Sony models were more expensive prior to October 4th, but at this point in time, the X1 looks rather overpriced for besting Sony only in a single thing - the track-point.

Myself, I couldn't care less, I can't stand either track-pads or track-points and will always carry a mouse or at least a squirrel.

And I can't stand squashed cursor keys... ThinkPad keyboards from the mid 1990's were the one thing I liked about the ThinkPads, components were usually under-speced with last year's stuff, even for units costing 5 grand... ohh the dark ages... Nowadays, even very expensive ThinkPad models get you stuck with Intel's slowish integrated CPU's for lack of any discrete GPU options.

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Damn right on the TouchPad comment

I'm similarly stuck with ThinkPads because of the TrackPoint; why has everyone else stopped doing them? Is there anyone else still doing them?

That flap on the side would like about 30 seconds if I bought one.

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Happy

Aaah...

...I see you have children too.

Mine would have the entire laptop into it's components parts and covered in jam/dribble in 30 seconds, never mind the door.

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Anonymous Coward

It appears to me...

... that they've indeed forgotten what differentiates /a thinkpad/. Which is a pity.

I mean, it doesn't matter that much if there's only two or three (overly large) plants left on the planet that make laptops. It does matter if all you can buy is functionally indistinguishable from the next brand. As much as I like the trackpoint (and I really don't want a laptop without it), it alone is not enough to differentiate. And also that I want some choice back, so there ought to be more brands offering laptops with trackpoints. Instead we're converging to, well, bulk goods with meaningless branding.

Wonder if it shouldn't be possible for mere mortals (instead of moguls) to get some shop to build laptops to order. Trackpoint, decent keyboard, see if pixelqi won't make a 3pi in 4:3, fit in a nice "business-ruggedised" case, maybe an energycore to power the thing. That last bit should make at least rms happy, and hey, foss support is easily turned into free publicity.

It isn't exactly hard to come up with ideas to make something that leaves the rest in the dust. If there's an economist reading along, do tell why all big corpese comes up with is more big corpese undifferentiable slop. Even by (poorly) immitating apple they're giving *more* headway to apple for ruling the pack. Why?

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Anonymous Coward

Good to see you back, aManfromMars...

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They killed it.

They have killed it, just look at the keyboard! And he glossy screen! Bastards.

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X220

I'd be interested in having some comparison with an X220.

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Expensive

This is 300 quid more than an Air and people complain about Macs being expensive!

THere's no way this laptop is worth the money.

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It's a thinkpad

You are paying for the armour-plating and 50 year lifespan :)

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Anonymous Coward

non-removable battery on a thinkpad? really?

I'm all for going with the times, but thinkpads are meant to be workhorses, not show horses.

There is much to be said for the convenience of having a thick extended battery (or two) in the backpack, thereby having extra juice for 10-15 straight hours.

The low resolution is worrying too. Means less text and icons on screen, more cramped workspace and more scrolling. If I only wanted to watch movies there are cheaper alternatives out there, not to mention tablets.

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FAIL

Useless Battery

Non-removable battery, but power doesn't last anywhere near the length of a transatlantic flight plus check-in, let alone LHR-HKG or SIN-SYD? Yet supposedly this is a thinkpad for business? Utter fail.

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Meh

Nice...

Agree with author - screen less than ideal.

A few minor points for me:

- Tone the logo's down to something more subtle

- Put the pageup/dwn keys back where they should be...

- Trackpads generally work better when their aspect ratio matches the screens.

- integrated GPU? pity.

All in all...not a bad effort. Check out that price though....

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Bronze badge
FAIL

so you pay for 128GB SSD ....

... and get only 65GB of free space? I guess you just paid £100 in storage space for all the junk they've thrown in.

Which makes it not "premium" product at all, more like ... junk.

Real shame, ThinkPad used to be a good brand.

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Matte screens.

I've just been shopping for a new small laptop - IMHO the current standard 15.6 laptop is way too big for handy portability; I was in the 13-ish market. Requirment #1: not a shiny screen I can see my hands in. That rules out 99% of the market, particularly if you consider "anti-reflective shiny screens" to be inferior to a proper matte screen (so Apple and Sony are out on that score: my wife's Viao has a very nice screen, but not one I'd want to work on).

So off to Lenovo, the home of buisness laptops. The smaller Lenevo Edge laptops don't apparently suffer their larger cousins broken keyboard issue (Lenovo have been 'doing an Apple' and pretending its not happening but the larger edge machines are basically trash), but lacked grunt at affordable prices. The X and T series are also tres pricey.

So I found myself at Dell of all places: a few saving coupons later and I've just ordered a 13.3 Vostro. Ask me 4 years ago whether I would ever darken Dell's doorstop again and I would have scoffed. Which shows just how much I knew/know!

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Stop

Anti-reflective

Apple offer antireflective matte screens as an option on all MacBook Pros.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Chris Wilson - HP laptops have TrackPoints too

Some HP laptops retain TrackPoints (e.g. my brand new ProBook)

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@ Chris Wilson - Dell laptops have TrackPoints too

But only the Latitudes.

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Thumb Up

I've had one of those for a month and it is a great little machine: it runs Ubuntu 11.10 flawlessly (and with a lot more spare SSD than Windows) and is very light compared to my old T42. The keyboard is not quite as comfortable than the T42 but still very good so that I can touch type on it. I quite like the physical on/off switch for the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios, which can extend battery life a little. I also took the SIM card out of my Vodafone 3G dongle, slotted it in the 3G compartment and 5 minutes later I was online with no hanging dongle on the side. The combination of Core i5, 8GB RAM and SSD means that it flies: less than 10 seconds to boot up, most applications open instantly (Firefox, LibreOffice, etc.), it is generally very responsive and doesn't shy from decent work (~1 1/2 hour to compile LibreOffice from source over 8 threads).

In practice, the only disappointing things are the ones pointed out in the article: the poor battery life, which is mitigated by the fact that it charges back to full capacity very quickly (~30 minutes in my experience); and the flap on the side that hides the headset + powered USB ports.

So if you need to be away from a wall socket for more than 1 or 2 hours at a time, this is not the machine for you. If you don't mind plugging it in regularly, it's a great lightweight laptop that packs a decent punch.

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Happy

I love my thinkpad.

I've been meaning to replace my x60 for a while now, but it's still going strong so it looks like I'll not be getting this one. I'll just keep buying replacement parts as and when they wear out.

I'm sure there is a fair few people out there who would love the x1, but I'm not one of them.

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Typo

"when really omething as wide as this should"

I was omething around just the other night.

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Silver badge
WTF?

80%?

How did this get an 80? The entire article was everything they did wrong, which from the sound of it is about everything.

Thinkpads have always been form following function. This abomination is a thinkpad in name only.

glossy screen: wrong

rearranged keyboard: wrong

embedded batt: wrong

price: wrong (worse then an apple air)

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Silver badge
Linux

Me?

I'm trying to get a second hand T61 on ebay...

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Anonymous Coward

Second hand T61?

Here you go:

http://www.bigpockets.co.uk/product.php?nav=227&product=SOLV733&title=IBM+Lenovo+ThinkPad+T61+-+Core+2+Duo+2.0+-+2Gb+-+160GB+-+CD-RW+Combo+-+WIFI+-+XP+Pro

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go for a refurbished

go for a refurbished one instead, or from a professional reseller at least. Since few own a new one private most show up at the resellers anyway, and these are cleaned and checked for a (usually) minimal surcharge. Plus you get the option to get a new battery and maybe no disk drive instead of the defaults.

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Facepalm

Full size Print Screen key?

.. What's that all about. Is it the new @ key or something? Why else would it take up a full size key on the bottom row?!

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FAIL

If you can't change the motherboard in 45 mins using one screwdriver...

... it's not a ThinkPad.

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