Lenovo ThinkPad X230 Review: Road Warrior Perfection

by Reads (542)
  • Editor's Rating

    Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

      • Software & Support
      • 9
      • Upgrade Capabilities
      • 9
      • Usability
      • 8
      • Design
      • 9
      • Performance
      • 8
      • Features
      • 8
      • Price/Value Rating
      • 8
      • Total Score:
      • 8.43
      • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10
  • Pros

    • Battery life is second to none
    • IPS display is fantastic
    • Great durability, ports, and performance
  • Cons

    • Touchpad frequently frustrates
    • Should come with SSD standard

Quick Take

The ThinkPad X230 is a powerful ultraportable with Intel Ivy Bridge and more than 8 hours of battery life.

The ThinkPad line of business notebooks has been synonymous with quality devices for twenty years, from the original IBM offerings to the new models put out by Lenovo. There is arguably no better brand of business laptops. That\’s not to say there haven\’t been any missteps or clunkers along the way. Does that include the ThinkPad X230?

\"LenovoThe relatively diminutive X230 sports a 12.5-inch display and measures about 1.36 inches thick, while weighing in at 3.5 pounds. So it\’s not as thin and light as the sleek Ultrabooks flooding the market, but it\’s still an ultraportable, and NotebookReview found that it\’s certainly not lacking in terms of build and design.

Unlike Ultrabooks, the X230 is business rugged and ready for a beating. NBR claims its Milspec tested for \”proven durability\” against moderate drops, temperature extremes, altitude, dust, vibration, and humidity. On top of that, its internals are easily accessible for the IT staff to upgrade and it has Lenovo\’s new \”Precision Keyboard,\” \”perhaps the best Chiclet-style keyboard we\’ve ever seen,\” according to NBR.

Looking at performance, the X230 also impresses, and easily bests most Ultrabooks. The X230 sports the latest Intel Ivy Bridge processors; the NBR unit had a third-generation Core i5 along with Intel integrated graphics. It won\’t blow away any custom gaming notebooks, but it can probably handle any business applications, including Photoshop and video conferencing software, without any issues. NBR describes the battery performance as \”frankly AWESOME,\” as the machine is capable of lasting a full work day on a single charge with the included six-cell battery, and a full 24 hours with an optional 9-cell battery and battery slice.

It\’s not the perfect device, however. The ThinkPad X230 did not perform well in hard drive testing, mainly because it does not come with a solid state drive as standard. Lenovo obviously did this to keep the cost down, but it\’s a black mark on an otherwise excellent device. The TouchPad also did not earn any praise, with NBR describing it as frustrating at times, as it failed to register some clicks out of the box.

Overall, the pros definitely outweigh the cons with the Lenovo ThinkPad X230. It has a great combination of portability, performance, durability, battery life, and port selection. In fact, NBR calls it \”the best ultraportable notebook currently on the market\” for spring 2012 and awards it an \”Editors\’ Choice\” distinction.



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