Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet review: Great design makes this a winner

IDG.TV | May 17, 2016

Lenovo's ThinkPad convertible tablet does the ThinkPad name proud.

Lenovo ThinkPads have a proud history of great design, and its new convertible tablet continues that tradition.
When you hear "ThinkPad," you think: no-frills hardware, solid keyboard, and a general emphasis on productivity. The new
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet ticks all those boxes.
There are three things I love about the X1. First, the kickstand. Most kickstands rest the tablet's entire weight on a pointy edge. The X1's kickstand folds flat, comfortably resting on your lap. The only problem? If you angle is too low, it falls flat.
Next: the pen loop. Nobody gets this quite right, but Lenovo does this far better than most. Lenovo uses not one but two pen holders, a loop for the keyboard and a clip for the tablet. Unfortunately, the pen itself is rather ordinary, and lacks the eraser button of its rivals.
Finally, there's the keyboard. Tablet keyboards trade key travel for portability, and I still prefer Lenovo's laptop keyboards. But ThinkPad fans should be moderately pleased with what Lenovo offers here. There's even the iconic trackpoint.


Lenovo also goes the extra mile with its utilities and software. Nothing feels like bloatware, just information about your system and links to updates that are thoughtfully organized. Lenovo even makes available apps like WRITEit, which translates digital ink into words inside various fields.
One thing we'd love to have tested, but can't, quite yet, are three "modules" that plug into the bottom of the tablet. These modules are sold separately, and pack additional battery power and expansion capabilities that the tablet itself lacks.
Our tests showed that the X1 ranks somewhat behind the HP Elite x2 and other convertibles in terms of performance. But I think that some of its design elements really make up for it, which is why we're giving this a solid rating.
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