With the Surface Pro range of two in one tablets Microsoft have raised the bar for high end for laptop quality but OEMs like Lenovo are now matching Microsoft for quality devices. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet is a device that is taking on the Surface Pro 4, Surface Book and Dell XPS 15.
The X1 is a two in one tablet with a detachable keyboard and kickstand built into the tablet part. Lenovo have come up with a different solution to Microsoft to stand up the tablet in laptop mode. Some tablets clip into the keyboard and therefor tend to be a bit top heavy and can tip back, Microsoft have a kickstand that comes out from the middle of the tablet whereas Lenovo’s stand comes from the bottom part of the tablet. The design means that you can adjust the angle of the tablet and is very stable (see the video). The keyboard attaches exactly like the Surface device with a strong magnetic clip and with the unique kick stand coming from the bottom you can very easily use it on your lap.
Let’s look at the specs: The X1 has an Intel core m7 processor with 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD drive and Windows 10. It has a 12.1 inch screen running at 2560 x 1440, USB-C port for the supplied charger which when I connected my Lumia 950 XL started charging the phone. It also has USB 3 port, headphone port and DisplayPort port. The X1 also has 3G/4G support via a nanoSIM slot, MicroSD slot and finger print reader that supports Windows Hello.
The X1 feels like a very solid well-made device. It has a soft plastic back with a metal kickstand and the whole package feels like it could survive miles on the road ad being thrown in a bag on a regular basis. It works really well as a tablet with it being well balanced in both landscape and portrait mode. The X1 has a digital pen just like the Surface Pro which works really well with OneNote for taking notes in meetings, with the Windows 10 Anniversary update out next month Windows 10 will have a Windows Ink which has new pen features (See my video of the pre-release version) and the X1 Tablet will be ideal for digital note taking and drawing. The pen has 2048 levels of sensitivity and two active buttons on it, unfortunately there no eraser button on it. In the box a couple of pen holders are included, once plugs in to the USB port and can hold the pen when you are not using it.
The snap on keyboard is very impressive, it feels like a proper laptop keyboard and with a more positive feel than my Surface Type Cover, like the Surface keyboard it is also acts as a cover for the tablet when you are not using it. There is a very good trackpad on which supports gestures like two finger scrolling as well as trackpointer so you can use which ever option you prefer (for me it is the trackpad).
The screen runs at 2160 x 1440 and looks fantastic, very clear and bright and extremely sharp. It is a bit on the reflective side but the colour reproduction is extremely good.
The m7 processor (1.2-GHz Intel Core m7-6Y7) combined with 8GB of RAM and the SSD drive makes the X1 very fast and responsive in Windows applications. You can have plenty of tabs open in Microsoft Edge or Chrome and it doesn’t slow down at all. There will be no problem using it for video editing or photo editing or any processor intensive tasks. It handles Windows games like Minecraft without any problems.
I found I got about 5 hours of battery with general use and around 4 hours playing a game like Minecraft. I also found it got hot but not too hot to handle when pushing the processor.
The 3G/4G connection is very handy when out and about, I normally share my phones data connection but having data built is extremely convenient. You can pop a NanoSIM card into the device and then you are up and running.
This has to be one of the best Windows tablets I have reviewed, I haven’t reviewed the Surface Pro 4 yet but I do use a Pro 3 every day and this tablet was the same quality feel and power.
For business users looking for a mobile device that doesn’t comprise on performance this is a device worth looking at alongside the Surface Book and Surface Pro 3. It is an excellent tablet and great laptop. The average price of around £1500 is by no means cheap, this is a premium business device.
Here is my video review: