Lenovo Foldable ThinkPad X1 Review: Is It a Hit or a Miss?

Your extensive guide to knowing everything about the Lenovo Foldable ThinkPad X1.

The first of its class. The ThinkPad X1 is the first foldable tablet according to Lenovo and on first look, the device looks remarkable. The design and body structure is pretty cool. 

With the innovation of foldable smartphones, the innovation of foldable tablets wasn’t far away and here we are. Lenovo has taken the first dip into the foldable tablet innovation. While the ThinkPad X1 is a robust touchscreen tablet, there is also an option of a mini Bluetooth keyboard to go with it. We’ll be explaining that in detail as well.

The folded screen looks beautiful and the split-screen image it produces is marvelous. It is praiseworthy that when the screen is folded you barely or not even notice the crease in the middle. 

Lenovo also gives a one-year mail-in warranty, which can be extended up to 5 years as an additional option. Of course, the extended warranty comes at an additional charge. 

The ThinkPad X1 is integrated with a kickstand so that your tablet can become your laptop with ease. There is a lovely leather folio cover for the device which makes it look elegant.

The Lenovo Foldable ThinkPad X1 comes with 5g Connectivity. 

A Detailed Look at the Specifications 

Let’s walk through the specifications and the benefits of ThinkPad X1: 

Display

The Lenovo Foldable ThinkPad X1 has a 13.3” OLED panel with a 4:3 aspect ratio. The resolution is 2048 * 1536 pixel ratio. It boasts 300 Nits brightness and a 95% DCI-P3 color gamut. It has a 2k display.

If you are into comparison, then the Lenovo ThinkPad X1’s display is comfortably bigger than the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2’s 7.6” display.

If you have certain documents or video which requires a bigger vertical display or a display that won’t stretch your files, then ThinkPad X1 is your device.

The display is incredibly smooth. You can work on two applications at once. You can make a zoom call on one side while you take notes on the other. It is a very practical display. Multitasking looks easier on the ThinkPad X1.

The  Graphics are 11th Gen Intel UHD, integrated.

Processor

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 runs on Windows 10 on an Intel Core i5-L16g7 processor(5 cores/5 threads, 1.4 GHz base clock speed, and 3.0 GHz boost frequencies).

It is configured with 8 GB of RAM (LPDDR4X 4,267 Mhz, soldered) and an NVMe SSD up to 1 TB.

Battery

The battery capacity is 50Wh with rapid charging technology. It is equipped with a USB-C port and comes with a 65w power brick.

Lenovo claims the battery can run up to 8 hours, while they also claim that ThinkPad X1 can have up to 10.4 hours of video playback.

For a foldable PC, the battery life is very decent and so is the fast charging. 

Body

The Lenovo Foldable ThinkPad weighs 999g(2.2lbs) and measures 236.0 x 158.2 x 27.8 mm when closed.

As mentioned earlier, the device comes with a leather cover with an integrated kickstand. The leather cover does feel elegant but when the device is folded upright you can see a bit of gap between the ThinkPad’s hinge and the leather cover. But it’s just us nitpicking something.

The thickness of the ThinkPad adds to the durability of the device and Lenovo claims to have tested and retested the durability of the device by opening and closing the tablet several times.

Lenovo has also equipped the ThinkPad X1 with vents on the side of the device so the cooling of the device becomes easier. It is a good feature to have especially if you are into gaming. True gamers know how quickly the tablets can become heated.

Connectivity

This is the best part of the ThinkPad X1. The device comes with Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity. It has a WiFi 6 802.11 AX. There is also an optional WWAN CAT20(5G/LTE). The option is for the areas which have a standard 5G connectivity.

The ThinkPad X1 already has an inbuilt Windows 10 on-screen Keyboard. But the optional Lenovo Fold Bluetooth Keyboard is worth buying. It is a gapless keyboard and it looks stunning. The Bluetooth keyboard has a mini touchpad along with an eye loop to hold the Mod pen stylus.

The Mod pen stylus is optional as well but again it is worth buying too. The Mod pen stylus has its built-in battery and has a USB-C type charging port. The stylus is a useful introduction by Lenovo. It can be used in drawing and architectural projects. 

 

You can write down notes on one side of the folded tablet while you watch a video or read a document on the other side. The Stylus is smooth and easy to use. The eye loop fits perfectly beside the keyboard and does not look out of place.

Coming back to the Bluetooth keyboard, it interestingly fits between the two halves of the display when it’s folded and it charges wirelessly. When opening, you can leave the keyboard covering the bottom half of the display, transforming it into a traditional laptop. The transition is easy and seamless.

There are also 2 USB-C ports(One Gen 1 and one Gen 2). There is also an optional Nano-SIM slot available on the device.

Camera

The ThinkPad X1 is equipped with one Hybrid infrared(IR) camera. It is a 5MP camera. The camera is situated at the front of the pc.

The quality of the camera is highly debatable. ThinkPad X1 has a very standard camera. If you are looking for a device to take quality photos then that, unfortunately, is not the case. The photos are very substandard and underwhelming.

The video recording is underwhelming as well. The voice comes out very stretched. But when the camera is 5MP then it is obvious you cannot expect much quality. The camera feels like it is just there because now it is a mandatory feature in any device.

Audio

There are 4 mics on the ThinkPad X1. The quality of the mic is pretty good. It is loud and clear.

ThinkPad X1 also comes with a Dolby Atmos Speaker System. As with the mic, the Speakers are very good too. Watching a video, playing songs, video calling apps, the performance doesn’t deter. The speakers are well tested and the quality of the product shows. 

Security

The built-in security with the discrete trusted module, the ThinkPad X1 Fold encrypts data making it more difficult to hack into the system. This ensures that your valuable and critical data is safeguarded by it.

Drawbacks of Lenovo Foldable ThinkPad X1

After in-depth research and usage of the device, we bring you a list of a few points which we can consider as the product drawbacks.

Price

In our opinion, overall the ThinkPad X1 is one of the best tablets in the market and there is no doubt about it. But, and it might be big but for some people, the processor in the first-ever foldable pc is a bit undercooked.

The price range is between $2500-$3000. That is a hefty price for an i5-L16g7 processor. It should at the very least be an i7 processor.

It takes a good few seconds to boot up. If you are used to a faster processor then it might be a tad irritating to wait for things in file explorer and then send the window into full-screen mode.

Not to mention the slower loading of the webpages in comparison with the other processors. 

Operating System

The Windows 10 operating system is a drawback, especially if you have used Apple products before. The difference between the operating system is quite evident. 

The gesture control to start with is completely different. The one on the Windows 10 is very basic. 

Even though Windows is trying to overcome this issue, it may take some time to eventually upgrade the controls.

Microsoft Applications

The Microsoft Apps were always going to stick out like a sore thumb. The apps will function fine but the Microsoft play store is no match with Apple and Samsung.

The simple fact of the matter is that the Microsoft apps are not designed to run on tablets and that is where the major problem lies. The icons and tapping the boxes of these apps has its own struggle. 

They appear to be smaller than your fingertips and hence the unnecessary tapping of your fingers on these apps to either close or open them. If you have to re-adjust the apps by dragging them on or off your home screen, then that is a task on its own.

It is not a Lenovo problem but a Microsoft problem. The convertible laptops that Microsoft makes use the same operating system but that system works perfectly on the laptops, it just doesn’t properly transition into the tablets. That is the reason why it’s Microsoft’s fault and not Lenovo. 

Battery Issue

Unfortunately, the battery in the ThinkPad X1 drains pretty quickly. 4.5 hours is the usual time you can get out of it and maybe an hour more on battery saver mode but that’s about it. It again stems down to the pricing. For such a premium price you should expect a better performing battery. 

Camera

Come on. I mean no rear camera? Only a 5MP front-facing camera? It is a premium foldable pc!! Emphasis on the word premium. In this day and age companies are actually producing devices that highlight just their camera. That is the world we live in now. People will first look at the standard of the camera before buying it and that is one area the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 is severely lacking.

You can twist all the facts you want but it won’t change the fact that this device is a premium tablet and not actually a pc. Lenovo could have just added a basic rear camera and then from next year onwards, they could’ve just kept upgrading it. Unfortunately, it looks like we have to wait for the next model for the rear camera to show up. Disappointed.

Final Thoughts: Is It Worth All the Hype and Money?

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 is a very sleek and quality product. You have to say it is a very commendable job Lenovo has done. The ThinkPad X1 is one of a kind and how could it not be, it’s the first one in its class.

We would definitely recommend buying it. Especially if you are a traveler. It is a perfect fit for you then. Small and sleek, gets into your Overcoat’s pocket easily or even in your purse or a bag. 

The Lenovo Bluetooth Keyboard fits right into the tablet and it attaches itself onto the magnetic surface hence you can close the tablet with the keyboard inside it and just walk away. It’s a really smart design and you have to give credit to Lenovo for it. If there is a tray in front of you then you can take out the keyboard and use it as a traditional laptop.

The integrated kickstand is such a super feature in itself. There is just so much to like about the ThinkPad X1. It is a cool and unique product to own.

For being the first of its kind, Lenovo has definitely hit this one out of the park. There are still minor upgrades that are needed but overall the ThinkPad X1 is fun to use.

We would say you can scout for better products or compare ThinkPad X1 with other tablets generally but the fact is, it is actually one of its kind for the time being. The effort and time that Lenovo has put into making this product deserves all the attention. 

Going out of the way and doing something innovative is tough so the least we could do is appreciate that effort. I am pretty sure other big names like Samsung and Apple will follow the suit. Until then Lenovo ThinkPad X1 remains one of its kind and an absolute quality product.

Having given our thoughts about the product it is and will always be up to you whether to go for it or give the product a miss. 

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Tech geek. I love using tech where it makes us more productive, I love reviewing the newest technology and find great use cases for them.

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