Useful Tips

Review Lenovo ThinkPad X220 Notebook

Review Lenovo ThinkPad X220 Notebook

Lenovo's ThinkPad X series of notebooks have enjoyed an excellent reputation for their combination of autonomy, reliability and portability for years. The new ThinkPad X220 is a redesign of the X201 and offers a 12.5-inch widescreen display combined with phenomenal performance from the next generation Intel Core i processor.

The package bundle of the laptop in question includes a standard set of the X220 itself (weighing 1.5 kilograms), a compact charger and paper documentation.

Appearance

This laptop is a classic example of ThinkPad design, which has remained unchanged since the days when they were produced by the American company IBM. Square edges, iron hinges for the top cover, a radically black case made of matte plastic and, of course, the invariable red trackpoint located in the middle of the keyboard. The top cover sits very securely in its mounts - the laptop can even be lifted by the screen, the opening angle will remain unchanged. Fingerprints are visible on the matte surface, but this does not greatly affect the appearance of the product. There are no latches on the lid, but opening it with one hand is somewhat problematic due to the tight hinge mechanism. On the outside of the cover there are 2 indicators that emit a pale green light (sleep and charge). On the inside, we see 3 more indicators (HDD activity and wireless interfaces), a camera with an LED (lit when the camera is active), a microphone and a keyboard backlight lamp. Instead of the usual keyboard backlighting found in most devices of this type, the X220 uses a classic pattern with a "lantern" at the top of the lid to illuminate the keys.

On the back there is one cooling outlet and a power socket.

There are two small speakers in front. Note that the sound is the weak point of this model. It is quite quiet even at maximum volume. This is standard for laptops of this size. It is quite possible to enjoy music in headphones, and nothing prevents you from communicating via VoiP.

On the left side there are VGA, Display-port, USB 3.0, USB 2.0 ports, an Express card tray, a lever for disabling wireless interfaces and a second hole for a cooling system. Pay attention to the fact that the digital output is no longer the traditional HDMI, but the newfangled Display port, so maybe some people will need an adapter. The average speed of USB 3.0, according to the statements of marketers, when compared with the previous version, has increased tenfold. In reality, it is maximum 6 times faster, which is also nice.

On the right side of the laptop are a card reader, a USB port (capable of charging an external device even when it is turned off), a gigabit LAN, a Kensington lock slot and a combined audio jack. Here we see the cover of the compartment, fixed with a screw from the bottom, which houses the hard drive. In general, the X220 has a wide range of communications and ports (of the wireless ones, there are WiFi with support for N and Bluetooth 2.1). I was especially pleased with the support for the Express Card technology, which is a rarity for modern laptops.

The standard 4400mAh battery is thicker than the laptop case, so its rear legs look raised.

At the bottom of the X220 you can see the RAM compartment and the docking station docking port. In the tested device, out of two ports, only one is occupied, into which a proprietary Samsung module is installed. There are also holes for the drainage system below, which are marked with small droplets. This system protects the keyboard area from possible liquid spills. In general, security and reliability are the hallmarks of ThinkPad notebooks.Shake-proof disc protection, rigid frame, durable thick plastic, excellent components and assembly - all this raises the price of the product, but it's worth it.

The keyboard block is quite compact, while the size of the keys themselves is quite large. All of them are located tightly to each other, thus it became possible to fit a large assortment of additional buttons (such as volume controls, mute and microphone). Undoubtedly, the comfort of the keyboard is an individual preference for each person, but it should be noted that the ThinkPad X220 keyboard is for many an ideal among similar notebooks. The buttons are large, tight and quiet. Sometimes you want to push them without benefit for the cause - it is so pleasant. It goes without saying that the keyboard is securely and firmly fixed, nothing wobbles or bends anywhere. The Caps Lock key, in addition to its own light bulb, also lights up an icon on the screen that signals the Caps mode is on. Above the arrows there are back and forward buttons, very convenient in the process of surfing the web. The only thing I didn't like was the location of the Fn button to the left of Ctrl (traditionally for ThinkPads), as a result of which the user confuses them. You get used to it, but the standard layout is somehow closer.

Let me tell you that the touchpad is not as enthusiastic as the keyboard. There are at least 2 reasons for this - the extremely small size and very light pressure over the entire area, which is fraught with accidental triggering. It is much more convenient to use the trackpoint, which I did all the time when testing the ThinkPad X220. The touchpad is the weak point of all netbooks and laptops of this size. It can be used, but a trackpoint or external mouse is much more convenient.

ThinkPad X220 first impressions

The screen is one of its highlights. The device is equipped with a widescreen display with a resolution of 1366x768 and LED backlight. The main advantage is the use of IPS-matrix, instead of the standard TN. It delivers true-to-life color reproduction and stunning viewing angles. In addition to this, there is a matte screen. The combination of the above provides excellent images in all conditions. The IPS-matrix is ​​quite expensive to manufacture, but the positive effect is visible to the naked eye.

Since the laptop is intended primarily for professionals who know a lot about tools, I see no point in describing the multimedia component of this model. 3D performance is provided by the video core built into the processor. Its power is enough for undemanding toys and watching HD movies. The device copes well with 720p hi10p video, so it can be used as a portable media center for home theater integration.

In "serious business", the ThinkPad X220 reveals itself in all its glory. The sample in question has an Intel Core i7 2620M processor. Its clock speed is 2.7 GHz per core. I draw your attention to the fact that the 12-inch toddler uses a full-fledged Core i7, and not the low-voltage cut-down version, as on the MacBook Air. The computing power of this subnotebook is comparable to that of bulky notebooks. The disk system is represented by 2 modules - a fast 80 GB solid-state drive for the main package of working programs and an operating system, as well as a 320 GB (5400 rpm) hard disk for storing files. All this makes for quick opening and loading of applications, leaving enough space to store other files. With a fairly heavy load, the CPU temperature does not exceed 84 degrees. Although this is not a small indicator, this result is excellent for such a powerful processor and case size. In addition, the cooling system itself is beyond praise - there is no roaring fan, no hot exhaust. The surface of the keyboard is heated slightly, it does not cause any particular discomfort.

Windows 7 Professional SP1 (64-bit) is installed on the laptop. It comes with a large suite of programs and utilities from Lenovo.Unlike many "regular" laptops for office and home, in which the software package from the manufacturer is actually just a mountain of worthless junk (for example, demo versions of unknown toys), the software package for the X220 includes a lot of programs for configuring, monitoring and diagnosing a laptop ... Battery diagnostics, power management, networking utilities, operating system recovery, and more are included in the package. For example, on the left of the screen, you can call the "dock", which contains frequently launched programs. In general, the software package will not make you want to get rid of it after purchase.

The battery life is in direct proportion to the processor load. When reading, the device lasted longer than the stated time (10 hours), but under a serious load this time was greatly reduced. With normal use, the battery lasts for 4.5-5 hours, which is not that much. In this situation, you have to pay for a powerful processor. Low Power Mode extends battery life slightly.

Outcome

In conclusion, I would like to say that the new X220 model adequately retains the brand of its predecessors and optimistically tunes its target audience, consisting of professionals. For them, a subnotebook is a reliable tool for work, not play. The ThinkPad X220 offers the right balance of portability and power, the renowned ThinkPad brand reliability and a gorgeous screen.