Lenovo ThinkPad X1 review

A tough and powerful ultraportable but with disappointing battery life

Lenovo X1
The Lenovo X1 is powerful and tough, but has some flaws

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Lenovo thinkpad x1

One of Intel's latest Sandy Bridge processors, a Core i5 2520M running at 2.5GHz, is the brains behind the Lenovo ThinkPad X1. We expected great things from our benchmark tests, and sure enough this laptop delivered.

The whopping Cinebench score of 10918 was only recently bettered by Dell's incredible XPS 15z, which packs an Intel Core i7 CPU. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 will happily run anything you want, and last you quite some time to come. We noticed no slowdown even when running the most demanding editing suites and memory-crippling software.

Unfortunately, there's no room in the Lenovo ThinkPad X1's slender body for a dedicated graphics card. While Intel's Sandy Bridge processors do a decent job of handling image rendering, more than doubling the performance of the previous generation chipsets, it's still nowhere near enough power to play the latest games on anything resembling a decent detail setting.

Still, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 is a business machine at heart, and you definitely have enough graphical grunt to edit your media with applications such as Corel VideoStudio Pro. If you do want to kick back and relax, you'll at least be able to play older games such as Left for Dead 2 and stream HD video.

The battery uses Lenovo's RapidCharge technology, which recharges to 80% in a very impressive 30 minutes. However, we found the battery drained just as quick. If you watch a film on your hard drive with the screen turned up to full brightness, you'd better make sure it's a short one – our review unit died after just 107 minutes.

If you dim the screen and restrict your usage to web browsing or bashing out a chapter of your novel, you'll get another hour before the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 dies. It's still not massively impressive though, considering its ultra-portable status.


Cinebench: 10918
3DMark 03: 7765
Battery Eater 05: 107 minutes