first_imgTonight, after countless leaks, Lenovo officially revealed the ThinkPad X1. The 13-inch ultraportable will pick up where the X301 left off, as the flagship and the model built to prove that business notebooks can be as sexy as consumer ones. News that there would not be an X302 (or an X310 for that matter) broke back in July when it was noted that the ThinkPad’s star product (aka “executive notebook”) would be the T410s.The ThinkPad X1 rumors from the past weeks were right on target–the system has a 13.3-inch Gorilla Glass display with edge-to-edge glass, weighs 3.7 pounds, and ranges from 17mm – 25mm thick. It might seem a bit hefty for a notebook in this class, but keep in mind that the X1 is a full-powered machine. It will be available with second gen Core i3/i5/i7 processors, solid-state storage (2.5-inch), and Dolby Sound.ThinkPad diehards will have to make some adjustments if they will be considering the X1. It might feature classic ThinkPad styling, but it has the company’s island keyboard, the new clickable trackpad, and a glossy display. There is no matte display option.Lenovo is clearly testing the waters here and dipping their toes into the trend that keeps Lenovo engineers up at night, the “consumerization of IT”. The X1 is a ThinkPad, complete with vPro, TPM, the Roll Cage, and all the other standard accoutrements, but like the X300 before it the X1 is trying out new things that might some day trickle down to the rest of the ThinkPad line. You can bet the company will be watching sales and feedback closely before changes on the X1 get any where near the top-selling T series.In early reviews the X1 has been dinged for its lackluster battery life but Lenovo saw this coming. The X1 packs Lenovo’s RapidCharge battery technology which is able to charge the system back up to 80% in just 30 minutes. You’ll have to keep the charger with you, but if you do you’ll be powered up in no time. Without the optional slice battery Lenovo says the system will be good for 5 hours of battery life, with it the X1 should get up to 10 hours.The X1 will be available on May 17, starting at $1399.Sal’s Thoughts:I haven’t spent a ton of time with the ThinkPad X1, but I can say I’m feeling a bit conflicted about this one. I love to see the ThinkPad line evolving and if that means the island keyboard, a new trackpad, and a sealed battery, I’m more than happy to rethink what I’d consider ThinkPad design basics. Other things make me rather nervous, like the glossy display or that in their press release Lenovo announced that this as “The Crossover PC” (as in between consumer and business). And then there is the use of just two ports on the left side… behind a port cover. There is a good selection of ports on the back, but a port cover? Didn’t companies learn their lesson from the original MacBook Air?While I don’t mind the weight given the power the system has, the short battery life is disappointing. Sure you can charge it up quickly, but that means you have to find an outlet and have a charger with you. The tradeoff of battery life for power/thinness is just something buyers will have to consider. There is always the X220 if you want an extra few hours.Finally, I’m quite thrilled to see that the optical drive is gone and that Lenovo managed to release this for the reasonable price of $1399. That doesn’t make it cheap, but remember, the X300 was released for about twice that a little over three years ago.last_img

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