Objects of Desire: Lenovo ThinkPad X1

July 18, 2011

By Dan Havlik

Laptops in Lenovo’s venerable ThinkPad line (a carry over from the IBM days) have always been known as highly functional if somewhat stodgy affairs. Designed primarily for the on-the-go businessperson, a ThinkPad has been as de rigueur in business travel as a Burberry trench coat and a gin and tonic.

While users of the new ThinkPad X1 may still have a penchant for gin and tonics, this slim and stylish laptop is definitely not aimed at the trench coat set. (Unless they’re, perhaps, wearing leather trench coats.)

Measuring less than 17mm thick and packed with powerful features such as the second generation of the Intel Core i3, i5, and i7 processors, this 13-inch laptop may make photographers overlook their beloved Apple notebook computers and give Lenovo a chance.

Along with being thin and light (3.7 pounds) the ThinkPad X1 is sturdy thanks to its interior roll cage and magnesium chassis. The screen is made from extra durable Corning Gorilla Glass, which is super rigid and scratch resistant. We also really appreciated the X1’s RapidCharge battery technology that juices up to 80 percent in only 30 minutes.

RapidCharge’s fast changing cells don’t mean the battery lacks longevity: it’s rated at 1,000 cycles and is designed to last three years.

ThinkPad’s keyboards are renowned for their simplicity and their usability and the X1 continues that tradition. The X1’s keyboard has been slightly revamped to make it simpler while maintaining its storied ergonomics. It also has an optional backlight and, as with ThinkPad keyboards in the past, is spill resistant.

And for showing off your photos and videos, the X1 has a super bright (350 NIT) high-definition screen and Dolby Home Theater v4 sound.

Cost: $1,399 (base price)
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