Lenovo ThinkPad X1 review

A tough and powerful ultraportable but with disappointing battery life

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Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 business laptop may look familiar, but it's impressively slimmed down from previous models and also reassuringly rugged. But can this ultra-portable hold its own in an increasingly competitive market?

We liked

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1's rubberised body is solid as well as slender, and can take a few knocks or drops and come back fighting. We were particularly impressed by how well it coped with water spillage, powering down quickly and returning to normal as if nothing had happened.

The latest Sandy Bridge Core i5 technology provides stunning performance, coping with any software we threw its way. Features are plentiful, from the built-in 3G roaming support to the integrated fingerprint scanner.

We loved the Lenovo ThinkPad X1's vibrant 13.3-inch display, with its rich colours and excellent viewing angles, while sound quality is surprisingly strong from the built-in speakers. And all this comes in a slim and light package that can be carried around everywhere you go.

Lenovo thinkpad x1

We disliked

The lack of dedicated graphics on the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 is a shame, but you can still watch HD films and run media editing suites. More of a sin is the battery, which dies in less than two hours when watching films on the move.

Although the backlit keyboard is well-sized and comfortable to use, the indented Left Ctrl key made using Windows shortcuts a real pain. We also found the Lenovo ThinkPad X1's touchpad awkward to use at times. It's not as responsive as we'd have liked, and the integrated mouse buttons are a downer.

Finally, if you want an ultra-portable laptop for working outside, bear in mind the reflective glossy screen coating.


The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 presents a tantalising combination of impressive power and ruggedness that should appeal to anyone seeking a regular travel companion. Just don't expect it to last long without a power socket.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 3000
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time5.20 Hour
Finger Print ReaderYes
Solid State Drive Capacity160 GB
Backlight TechnologyLED
eSATA/USB ComboYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyUMTS, HSPA, GPRS, EDGE
Product FamilyThinkPad X1
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Cellular Network SupportedWCDMA, GSM
Keyboard BacklightYes
Processor Modeli5-2520M
Operating SystemWindows 7 Professional
Brand NameLenovo
Processor Speed2.50 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size33.8 cm (13.3")
Number of Cells4-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory8 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.69 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityEPEAT Gold, ENERGY STAR, RoHS
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelQM67 Express
Number of Total Memory Slots1
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
WWAN SupportedYes
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Memory StandardDDR3-1333/PC3-10600
Height21.3 mm
Width337 mm
Depth231.1 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesX1
ManufacturerLenovo Group Limited
Product Model12942NG
Product NameThinkPad X1 12942NG Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad, Trackpoint
Product LineThinkPad
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberNWK2NUK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lenovo.com/uk/en/
Marketing Information

Less weight to lug, less time to charge. A lot less to worry about when it comes to tough work on the road. The ThinkPad X1 is no-compromise and all business.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • ThinkPad X1 12942NG Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter