Economical processor Core m and abutting keyboard – all this can be called a trend in the tablet market in recent months. And it concerns not only the trend of consumer devices, and tablet for the business segment. It is no wonder that Lenovo did not stand aside and introduced business tablet ThinkPad X1 Tablet. However, the unique advantages were not as convincing.
The unique advantage of the tablet is to use one of three modules for expanding functions. Productivity Module adds a second battery as well as I / O ports. Module Presenter equips tablet also projector. Finally, 3D Imaging module comprises RealSense chamber. Unfortunately, in our lab we got the plate without modules. Lenovo offers to buy more units in its online store. But so far it is only present Productivity Module for 190 euros, while in retail can be found for 160 euros. 3D Imaging Module is significantly more expensive – 350 euros. About the Presenter module information is not yet available.
Configuration selection is not as extensive as we would like. We’ll have to be content with four options for the processor and memory. The price starts at 1.439 euros for the model with Core m5-6Y54, 8 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD, for the older configuration with Core m7-6Y75 processor, 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB SSD will have to pay 2.529 euros already. In Russia, the tablet at the time of publication has not yet appeared. In our test lab Lenovo provided the price of the second sample (1.899 euros), but the SSD rather capacious (512GB, NVMe). As you would expect from this level of prices, together with the tablet you get docked keyboard and ThinkPad Pen.
Members of the tablet Surface Pro 4 is often complain about the flaw like many other models, in case there is no stylus compartment. Lenovo has gone the same way, the pen can be attached to a plastic except that the holder is inserted into the USB port. Holder cope with their work, but during transport it is better to clean. The body is made of plastic and magnesium alloy, it looks good, although the strength of the might and a little higher. In addition, the shell is too well noticeable dust and fingerprints.
The appearance of the tablet can not be called a harmonious, which is not surprising, considering the target audience. Buttons and ports are located on three sides of the four to the right of the display can be seen fingerprint sensor. Behind the apparent support, integrated into the housing. It just gives a bulky appearance, but it allows us to give ThinkPad X1 Tablet any angle desired by the user. You can change the angle between 0 (the plate is on the table), and almost 90 ° (the tablet is almost vertical). Add to this, and a keyboard that also supports three levels of inclination up to the flat level.
But ThinkPad X1 Tablet tablet is much more compact and lightweight than conventional laptops. tablet weighs only 800 grams, dimensions – 291,0 x 209,5 x 8,4 mm, together with the keyboard flexed tablet weighs about 1 kg, dimensions are 291,0 x 209,5 x 13,4 mm.
It is very nice that you get almost full-sized keyboard and touchpad. The connection is performed electrically, the components with permanent magnets. The magnets are arranged at the lower end of the plate and below the display. The signals are transmitted to 12 contacts.
The manufacturer has added a built-in keypad backlighting with three levels of brightness, it is fairly uniform, but the brightness to the maximum level may be higher. Typing on the keyboard is quite nice. The key size is 14 x 14 mm quite big, the course and the switching point is well chosen, marking also perfectly readable. Is that the right-hand Ctrl and Alt keys can be a little more. Note that we tested the laptop with a German keyboard layout, in Russia it will be sold with the Russian keyboard layout.
The same goes for the touchpad – it could also be a little more. The size is 91 x 52 mm, the finger leaves the touch of the surface boundaries are much more likely than those of competitors. Less we liked the built-in buttons. Switching point they probed good, but progress is too large. In addition, buttons are optically separated from the main surface. However, as is customary at the ThinkPad line, you can use the trackpoint with separate buttons.
Flat-screen keyboard is also made to the conscience, yet she had not so much flex. If the keyboard is angled, any keystroke causes it to burst. But such is the compromise that had to go to the Lenovo, to keep a small thickness and weight.
Complete ThinkPad Pen stylus can be used for normal operation on the screen, but it is still focused on the handwriting and sketches / drawings. Pen recognizes the 2.048 level and has a pressing two buttons. In general, the stylus has shown itself in significantly worse than the model rival Microsoft.
The reason is too weak resistance to pressing, that can not be changed, as well as in the center of mass of the displaced upwards because (1x AAAA) batteries installed. In addition, both buttons would do well to move lower.
Before purchasing, we recommend to pay attention not only to the processor and memory, which are dependent on the configuration, but also to a set of interfaces. All plates are equipped with ports USB 3.1 Gen 1, USB 3.1 Gen 1 and Type C Mini-DisplayPort, as well as a memory card slot, Wi-Fi module with a 2×2 antenna configuration, and support for Bluetooth. But the differences are rooted in the support vPro technology WLAN module. In addition, Lenovo adds a second configuration support for NFC and WiGig, as well as Qualcomm LTE modem.
On the right and left end can be seen the dynamics that give sufficient volume for a tablet, but the bass and mids can be a little more pronounced. Present two cameras 2 and 8 megapixel (front / rear).
Combining Core m7-6Y75 processor and 8 GB of RAM, we met twice in recent weeks – at the same Dell XPS 12 and Lenovo Yoga 900S. But even between these two models, we have noticeable differences in performance. In favor of the ThinkPad X1 Tablet says that Lenovo added the ability to “cTDP up”.
Maximum heat output can be increased from the normal 4.5 W to 7 W, which allows for longer withstand the high clock speeds in everyday scenarios. For other specifications there is no change. The two CPU core supports Hyper-Threading and may operate at a frequency of 1.2 to 3.1 GHz. Also for the business segment is important vPro support, which is also present. The 16-nanometer chip embedded graphical HD Graphics core 515 with a frequency of 300 to 1000 MHz, which does not on its own cache memory. So he has to borrow part of the 4-MB L3 cache and 8 GB of DDR3 memory.
Due to the rapid NVMe SSD (the maximum speed of 1.674 Mb / s for reading and 733 MB / s write) we got about 4,600 and 2,300 points in PCMark tests 7 and 8, as well as 2.57 and 228 points in Cinebench 11 and 15. compared to the Yoga 900S CPU performance has increased by 30-50%. A similar situation and we got in 3DMark test, which is not so important for this category of devices. Thus, you get enough performance for everyday applications, including office suite, browser and you can even edit your photos. But it is better to avoid prolonged high load.
Although the function of “cTDP up” and a corresponding increase in the heat pack to 7 watts, the processor includes throttling. After about a minute the clock frequency of the load is reduced to 700 and 450 MHz (CPU / GPU). If the load is only one of the two components, then the frequency will be higher – in practice, this scenario is more common.
The disadvantage of increasing the TDP can be called the temperature rise. If conventional processors Core m with a standard 4.5 W TDP in tests it was between 60 and 70 ° C, in tablet Lenovo chip was heated to 83 ° C. Of course, the value is not critical, but it demonstrates the limitations of passive cooling system. Most squeeze performance difficult if not only tablets manufacturers move to more efficient cooling system – here as an example, Acer Switch Alpha 12. But not only heats up the CPU, and the body of the tablet. The idle rear we obtained an average temperature of about 28 ° C, under load, it has increased to the level of 45 ° C. In itself, the average value is not as high, but the situation becomes critical, if we look at the individual sections of the temperature. In our tests we got the temperature of individual sections of up to 55 ° C, prolonged contact with the skin is undesirable – you can get burned.
The tablet is set battery capacity of 37 Wh. Although the processor Core m7-6Y75 consumes relatively little energy at low and medium load, so it works very effectively, but a relatively high screen resolution makes itself felt. The planet ThinkPad X1 Tablet, we have received excellent idle power, about 4 watts, but under load it consumes more than 21 watts, which is 50% more than in the same Yoga 900S. The processor in these scenarios consumed less than 0.4 and 8 watts.
In tests, we could not get the results above average. In the Battery Eater under low and high load battery life was 10 and 2.5 hours in PCMark scenario 8 – 3 hours. So full time away from an outlet plate stand is not always the case. Of course, you can purchase a Productivity Module for 190 euros, which will provide 50% more battery life, according to Lenovo. Tablet Charging is done via connector USB Type-C, power charger is 45 watts.
We got one more example of how the 12-inch display with a resolution of 2.160 x 1.440 pixels can behave very differently. In recent weeks, we tested the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S and Acer Switch Alpha 12, another two tablet with the same basic specifications. But different panels used in all three cases. In the case of ThinkPad X1 Tablet, if you believe the utilities used by the panel of its own production, but behind it may be hiding the familiar panel OEM-manufacturers. The display is based on IPS technology which provides good color reproduction and wide viewing angles.
The maximum brightness was 406 cd / m², the uniformity of illumination – 83%. To the naked eye differences in brightness is not noticeable, in particular because of the darker bottom third of the screen. Contrast Ratio 1,150: 1 can be called good, except that the average temperature of the white point of 7000 K leads to a bluish tinge. The color gamut was better: for sRGB we got 91%, according to Adobe RGB – 52%.
More performance than that of direct competitors, comfortable desk with arbitrarily tiltable, mobile computing experience through LTE modem, comfortable keyboard – and this is not all advantages. However, we would not recommend the ThinkPad X1 Tablet in full for two reasons. Firstly, the keyboard is too much flex when typing, which is annoying. Secondly, the housing under load is heated locally up to the critical temperature. Processor load still includes throttling, and battery life is average – yet higher capacity battery in such a body can not be installed, and enhanced thermal pack effect. So long from the wall is better not to leave.
However, the ThinkPad X1 Tablet available in different configurations that cover a wide range of usage scenarios and prices. We got to test a second configuration for the price (1,700 euros), it is sufficient for effective mobile working.
As for competitors, it all depends on your needs. For example, Microsoft Surface Pro 4 can be called a worthy competitor, but will have to choose between a more powerful processor and therefore less battery life, a smaller amount of memory and SSD. From the most Lenovo tablets are available Miix 700 for about 1,200 euros (90 thousand. Rubles) or ThinkPad Helix 2nd Gen for 1,700 euros (from 132 thousand. Rubles). If you are willing to give up the stylus, then pay attention to HP Elite x2 1012 G1 and Fujitsu Stylistic.