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Lenovo ThinkPad X1
New X1 brings back a few memories of the X300/X301

Lenovo has unveiled a new notebook computer today called the ThinkPad X1. This machine is the thinnest and highest performance notebook in its class according to Lenovo. The machine is aimed at the pro user that needs something that can work and play on the road with a very portable design.

The machine has a backlit keyboard for working in low-light conditions, and it has batteries that are designed for quick charging. Inside the rig, buyers can opt for Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 processors. The X1 has a 13.3-inch display that is covered with Gorilla Glass for durability.

“Our customers are looking for a business laptop that combines the best consumer multimedia and entertainment features with the latest performance and mobility innovations in a super-thin, stylish design,” said Dilip Bhatia, vice president, ThinkPad Business Unit, Lenovo. “We used their input to craft the ThinkPad X1, equipping it with non-traditional business features like Dolby Home Theater sound, an updated keyboard and a super-bright, durable screen with Corning® Gorilla® Glass and that continues to deliver the enterprise-level security, manageability and durability that ThinkPad is known for.” 

The notebook weight starts at 3.7 pounds and it is made to meet eight different military specs for ruggedness and survivability. This is also the first machine from Lenovo to use the RapidCharge battery tech that allows the battery to charge to 80% in only 30 minutes. That allows the battery to be charged 2.5 times faster than normal Lenovo batteries. The machine can also be optioned with a RapidCharge external battery for up to ten hours more use.

The X1 also has Dolby home theater sound, HDMI output, and Intel Wireless Display Tech inside to stream 1080p video to a display or projector.

The notebook will ship on May 17 with prices starting at $1,399.

As with most soon to launch notebooks, the machine has already been reviewed by several online websites including Laptop Magazine, Gottabemobile, and Engadget.

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I love Thinkpads, but...
By Samus on 5/17/2011 4:49:35 PM , Rating: 2
I had an X40 for nearly a decade and sold it for $200 after all was said and done. So basically I had a rock solid laptop that cost me less than a $100/year to own for 8 years. In its last years, it even ran Windows 7 with a 64GB 1.8" SSD and 1.25GB RAM.

But the quality IS gone. That was an IBM product. These are Lenovo products. The name doesn't imply quality. Even though I dispise Apple, Macbook's are substantially superior for the price compared to the $1400 Lenovo is trying to charge for this flawed design notebook.

First of all, what are they thinking with a Corning Gorilla glass screen? I understand that some people crack their screens going through airport security or getting mad playing TF2, but all these problems were addressed in 90's thinkpads with a magnesium X-frame behind the LCD panel. Most screen damage comes from pressure behind the screen. Gorilla glass is pointless, espensive, and...GLOSSY. Good luck targeting business customers with a laptop they can't use under fluurescent lighting or in an airplane.

The next problem is two USB ports. At least one of them is USB 3.0, but really? Two? And if I use both of them, I lose the eSATA port, so basically this thing has no expansion without an Ultrabase, which, like the addon wedge battery pack, adds tons of weight and thickness.

And on the topic of weight: It's nearly 4lbs. My x40 was 3lbs. What the hell happened there? Even my new HP DM1z is under 4lbs and it doesn't even TRY to be thin and light.

Why can't it run more than 3 hours on the non-user replacable battery? I've read reports it can't even make it through an HD movie. That sucks for people traveling. Honestly, this is probably the biggest joke about it. The older x40's and x60's, which were actually designed by IBM, had 3.5 and 4.5 hours of ACTUAL battery life respectively, all using older battery technology and less efficient CPU's. This, like those, had Intel integrated graphics and the same basic configurations, but has the advantage of a more power efficient CPU. So how has the battery life dropped 30%?

Simple, a smaller, cheaper, lower capacity battery. In others words, corners cut, and no way for a user to replace it without spending $150 to make the laptop twice as thick and a pound heavier.

Basically what we have here is a notebook that demands a $1600 configuration, making it nearly 5lbs, over an inch thick at its thickest point, and a screen you can't read indoors or outdoors.

Lenovo, you've destroyed the BENCHMARK that everyone tried and failed to copy, and are charging out the ass for it. If I were spending this much on a notebook, I'd get a Panasonic Toughbook, an HP Probook or a *cough* Macbook *cough*

RE: I love Thinkpads, but...
By tng on 5/17/2011 5:50:03 PM , Rating: 2
But the quality IS gone. That was an IBM product. These are Lenovo products. The name doesn't imply quality.

Know what you mean. I work with two people who owned IBM Think Pads for at least a decade and used them until they died. For a laptop, they were just short of awesome.

They replaced them with now Lenovo Think Pads. I have never seen so many issues with a laptop as they have had with the new Think Pads. Also my parent company in Japan used to be Think Pad Capitol of the world, not anymore. As old IBMs are replaced, new Panasonic laptops are being brought in.

By Captain Orgazmo on 5/17/2011 5:55:56 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately you are right. Since the Thinkpad brand was bought by Lenovo from Red China, the quality, cutting edge technology, and great features that made Thinkpad stand apart from the crowd have disappeared or simply haven't advanced at the rate of the competition.

I was a Thinkpad fan forever, but the last one I bought was made by Lenovo, and it will be the last one I ever buy. I ended up paying 30% more than competing brands with the same specs, just for the name I guess. I hate to say, but by comparison the price premium for the Macbook is far more justified.

RE: I love Thinkpads, but...
By Kornfeld on 5/17/2011 6:00:58 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty disappointed in the information I'm seeing on the X1, but I don't agree with a lot of the issues that you’re mentioning and I suspect you don’t see where this fit into their product lineup.

The X1 is basically the successor to the X301. I think the big criticism with the X1 will be its weight. The X301 was right around 3.4 lb and the other product competing with it in their product lineup was the T400s which was exactly 0.5 lb heavier. Fast forward to today and the X1 will weigh 3.73 lb while the T420s weighs in at 3.94 lb with an optical drive included. So, that’s 0.21 lb heavier and you get a 14.1" 1600x900 display, a built in optical drive, and perhaps most importantly for corporate use, you can use a normal port replicator connector. Why bother skipping the extra weight? All you get is a brighter display (350 vs 230 NIT) with poorer viewing angle and increased glare. Unless the new battery technology is a real winner, the other differences are minor.
I believe you are going to find that there is no real port replicator solution for the X1 just as there wasn't with the X301. You can use a USB port replicator, but honestly, they're not worth the trouble. There isn’t going to be an Ultrabase for the X1. If you really want to compare the X40 to its equivalent in Lenovo’s product lineup, then compare it to the X220.

I've seen the pre-release X220 Tablet screen with Gorilla Glass and the glare wasn't too bad due to the anti-glare coating they had on it. However, I agree that scratches to the display really aren't that big a concern and the big risk of screen damage result from factors that the Gorilla Glass won't address.

The X40 was based on a 12.1" display and used the low voltage Pentium M's. The HP DM1z is a Brazos platform with an 11.6" display. I don't see the point in comparing the weight of the HP system with a Huron River platform systems shipping with the 'normal' voltage processors and a 13.3" display. For that matter, I think battery life complaints are more of a complaint that would be directed at Intel and not and any of the specific manufacturers if they're roughly in line with each other on battery life.

I think Lenovo still compares well to the other big players in the enterprise market (Dell & HP) in terms of design. I’ve had better overall all experience with the ThinkPads when it comes to durability and I think they compare well in terms of serviceability.

RE: I love Thinkpads, but...
By ebatts on 5/17/2011 6:12:01 PM , Rating: 2
The key feature here is it can be 80% charged in under 30 minutes or charged 2.5 times faster than current laptops. I'd say that is pretty impressive if you work remotely all the time. 3 hours or more of run time off of a 30 minute charge is really good.

If you need additional specs, I wrote an article about this laptop two weeks ago.

Here are specs of the Lenovo Thinkpad X1:

RE: I love Thinkpads, but...
By headbox on 5/18/2011 3:56:02 AM , Rating: 2
lame self plug

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