First Impressions – Lenovo X201 Tablet PC

By | November 28, 2010

My Lenovo X201 Tablet finally arrived and I couldn’t be happier. It’s a nice tablet PC, and I’m more convinced than ever before that I made the right decision by going with Lenovo.

I’ve used several different laptops and tablet PCs and can honestly say that I’ve never been more impressed with a machine, not HP, not Dell. I’m sure there are fans of both manufacturers, but that’s my personal opinion. Take it for what it’s worth.

Selection criteria
I looked at several different tablet PCs prior to making my decision. First and foremost I wanted a convertible tablet. I’ve used slates before and think they’re fine, but I like being able to use my tablet as a laptop with fully functional keyboard when I want to; like when composing a blog, i.e. at this moment.

Screen size – This is important to me. Anything less than 12.1-inches is just too small. I’ve used a couple of netbooks, and while I think they’re fine, the screen is just too small for my taste.

Build quality – I combed through a lot of reviews before making my choice, and it’s pretty much universally accepted that Lenovo makes quality machines.

Keyboard – As mentioned above I like having a fully funcitonal keyboard. Levnovo is known for having solid keyboards on their machines. The keyboard on the Dell XT2 is ok, but could have been better.

Battery life – This is a deal breaker for me. I hate being tethered to a plug. The 8 Cell Li-ion battery option on the X201 Tablets claims better than 7 hours of battery life.

Configuration

  • Windows 7 Professional 64
  • Intel Core i5-520UM Processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 320GB Hard Drive
  • Upgraded to 8 Cell Li-ion battery
  • Added a 2.0 MP Camera and Bluetooth

Impression
Great machine, period. The build quality is awesome, the keyboard is great, and I’m getting about 6 hours of heavy use with Wi-Fi on. No regrets.

My previous tablet was a Dell XT2. It would be unfair to try to compare the Dell tablet to the Lenovo because there really isn’t anything to compare. But I’m going to do it anyway.  The Dell suffered from a finicky touchscreen. The Lenovo doesn’t. The Dell had a washed-out screen. The Lenovo doesn’t. The keyboard on the Lenovo is better. The best battery life I ever got with the extended battery on the Dell was 4 hours. I’m already doing better than that with the Lenovo. The Lenovo is head and shoulders above the Dell.

Two minor complaints. First the touch pad is relatively small and that will take a little getting used to. I’m trying to get used to using the TrakPoint, but haven’t had much success. Second, the ‘Fn’ key is in the bottom left corner instead of the ‘Ctrl’ key. I’m having a hard time with that as I use the ‘Ctrl’ key a lot. That’s it, no other complaints.

I like the X201 Tablet so much that I’ve decided that my next laptop will also be a Lenovo. I typically use a tablet PC in combination with a larger laptop for those times when I need a “desktop replacement”. I’m looking at a ThinkPad T410s as we speak.

So, until someone comes up with something better Lenovo will be my laptop/tablet PC of choice.

18 thoughts on “First Impressions – Lenovo X201 Tablet PC

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  2. Ameel

    Congrats! I got my X201 tablet earlier this year and agree with pretty much everything you’ve said. The tiny touch pad is particularly irritating; though I have come to like the TrackPoint so this isn’t as big a problem as I thought it would be. Also, I got used to the swapped Control and Function keys much quicker than I thought I would.

    The best part is that, after using it for a few months, I realized that this is an excellent desktop replacement so I retired my old home desktop (though I kept the 24-inch widescreen monitor!), bought an X200 ultrabase, and now use the X201 both at work (for taking notes and the like) and at home :)

  3. Jerry Fahrni Post author

    Thanks for the information about the X200 ultrabase. I was wondering if it was worth the investment. Based on your recommendation I think I’ll go ahead and take the plunge.

  4. Jesse B Andersen

    Great review!

    I especially liked that you compared the X201 to the XT2. A lot of people are looking for convertible tablets and they have to figure out which one is better. Your review narrows down the pros and cons of each system.

    I once got about 9 hours battery life reading a PDF and adjusting my power settings and screen brightness. I bet I can get more for just that task. Battery life is totally dependent on what you do with the system. My average is about 6 to 7 hours, when browsing the web and watching videos.

  5. Jerry Fahrni Post author

    Thanks for the feedback Jesse. I agree with you about fine tuning the tablet to improve battery life. One think I like to do with my machines is work ’em hard, so I always have the screen brightness near maximum and the Wi-Fi turned on. Even with that I’m consistently getting 6+ hours. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Jerry Fahrni Post author

    @Jesse – I have the “standard” screen, i.e. 12.1″ WXGA LED Panel with Wide viewing Angle. I just don’t use the multi-touch functionality and actually turned it off on my Dell. When in laptop mode I just use the multi-touch functionality of the touch pad to zoom in and out…even though that touch pad is really small ;-)

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