Mar 31, 2011

Lenovo ThinkPad X220 Tablet - Unbox and Thoughts

I was still a bit sleepy during the video but I think I got most of the things that I wanted to go over.  I'll play with the system a bit more and show some new software.  Lenovo gave me a few months to play with this new system so I'll make the best of it.  There are 10 review units making their way to more professional reviewers (I got unit 2 out of 10) so you will see the pros doing it "right".   Below there's info that I might have not mentioned in the video.


  • 12.5 inch screen at 1366 x 768 (300 NIT IPS)
  • Two touch input + stylus input (Wacom based)
  • Intel Core i5-2520M CPU @ 2.50 GHz (Max Turbo 3.2Ghz)
  • 4GB RAM (Max of 8GB)
  • Intel HD Graphics (Aprox 1696 MB)
  • 3 x USB 2.0 ports (according to the data sheet there's a USB 3.0 version)
  • Display Port and VGA
  • HD Camera and dual microphone
  • ExpressCard slot and SD card reader slot
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Touchpad + TrackPoint
  • New headphone + mic combo jack
  • Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 

  • Lenovo ThinkPad 19+ (6 cell slice)


  • Windows Experience Index - 4.7
  • Processor - 7.1
  • Memory RAM - 5.9
  • Graphics - 4.7
  • Gaming graphics - 6.1
  • Primary hard disk - 5.9

Lenovo X220 Tablet WEI Image

Lenovo X201 Tablet (1st Gen Core i7-620LM at 2.0GHz)


  • More performance by CPU and GPU
  • Better cooling
  • Increased battery life (and even more with the battery slice)
  • Best laptop keyboard ever
  • New headphone + mic jack
  • Flushed bezel with screen (excellent for stylus input)
  • Improved touchpad and trackpoint buttons
  • Lighter system

  • No HDMI port
  • No switchable graphics 
  • The position of the power port gets in the way of my Cooler Master Ergostand.
  • No new software ( great hardware with no innovative software to use it... well that's a bucket with nothing in it )

Mixed thoughts:
  • Wider screen and new resolution is 1366 x 768 (it used to be 1280 x 800)
  • Speakers in screen bezel (they are loud, but not the greatest from a laptop.  They have to be thin to fit in that small space, but it hurts the capability of the bass)
  • No latch securing the screen to the system when in tablet mode


My final thoughts are that the X220 is an improvement when compared to the previous generation.  The hardware is great but without suggestions of touch friendly software the system will have a hard time if people begin comparing it to things like the Android tablets and the Apple iPad 2.  Obviously the X220 Tablet is a powerful system that can run a bigger variety of programs.  All of those "Apps" that run on tablets are developed on full computers, yes an iPad app that makes iPad apps doesn't exist.  This is a convertible tablet so it has the benefits of being a full computer or a touch friendly experience, it's up to the owner to choose how to use it.

What software would you like me to try out?

More info at:

Big thanks to Jeff Witt, Steven McLane, the Lenovo Social team, the Lenovo S10-3T fans, the X201 Tablet fans, the View Tablets fans, and everyone who follows me on Youtube.


Ian Orford said...

Jesse, thanks for the video! The ThinkPad X220 and X220 Tablet really does set the new benchmark for UltraPortables. Lenovo have done a great job of integrating the new sandy Bridge Architecture and with the Intel HD 3000 integrated graphics with 12EUs, it now precludes the need for a dedicated GPU for most applications. We love it.

Jesse B Andersen said...

Ian, the GPU is performing better than i thought. I like to have two screens at the same time and the system is performing great. My external display runs at 1920 x 1200. For most programs the X220 will work fine. Im going to record video of some graphical intensive programs and see how well the system runs.

Anonymous said...

Ignoring the touchscreen and the trackpoint nipple, does the trackpad support multi-touch gestures?

My decision to purchase comes down to whether its does.

In particular, I understand it supports physical press to click, but does it support TAP to click like a normal synaptics pad?

Does it support two-finger scroll, two-finger tap (right-click), three-finger tap (middle-click)?

What about the "pinch" and "zoom" gestures?

Is the trackpad a Synaptics? What's the Device Manager report as the trackpad hardware and driver?

Thanks so much for your report, and thank you for taking the time to answer my question.

Jesse B Andersen said...

1. Yes it supports multi-touch gestures.

2. Yes it supports tap to click.

3. Supports two-finger scrolling, zooming, rotating.
Two finger tap brings Lenovo's SimpleTap (it can be changed).
Three finger press can be configured to launch applications.

4. It's Synpatics based with driver version Device Manager calls it "ThinkPad UltraNav Pointing Device"

I hope that answers your questions.

Tobi said...

Nice first look thanks a lot -

but have u mentioned where the micros are placed?

Are they near the webcam?


Jesse B Andersen said...


Thanks for the reminder. The Mics are next to the webcam.

Tobi said...

yeah lenovo learned his lesseon - seems to be the perfect portable tablet! :-)

how does the 12.5" screen looks in comparison to the x201 tablet!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous here. Yes! Thanks, you've answered my questions. Perfect.

Jesse B Andersen said...

The 12.5 inch is a wide screen experience, the colors look more vivid than the X201 (at least the multi-touch version) and the viewing angles are superb. It would be neat to compare it to the SuperBright version which did have 400 nits. When the system is in portrait you can view a long ways vertically, but you do lose 32 pixels.

BTW, the flushed bezel is sweet.

Anonymous said...

Can you please check DPC latency? Preferably with Latencymon.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jesse, am considering this lappy and your hands-on video comes on very timely, thanks for your effort!

I am concerned about battery life and weight:
- if Lenovo shipped you a 6-cell, how much battery life could you squeeze out from it with just wifi on? sacrificing some processing power of course. I'm hoping for at least 5 or 6 hours.
- how does the tablet feel in your hand? can you see yourself carrying it about in tablet mode for a whole morning? Your hands look bigger than mine, but the laptop is approaching 2kg...

Jesse B Andersen said...

Regarding Latencymon
Highest DPC routine execution time 284
Highest ISR routine execution time 20
Highest hard pagefault resolution time 13501
System appears to be suitable for playing real time audio without dropouts.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Latencymon test! Very useful info for digital audio users.....

Jesse B Andersen said...

@Anonymous regarding battery.

- Battery life during "my normal usage" goes at about 5 hours. My normal routine involves web browsing, youtube videos, multiple tabs, wifi on, a good medium power scheme, brightness set at 8/15.

- Lenovo removed the latch that secured the screen to the keyboard side. If you carry the system in tablet mode and move a lot the screen wobbles a bit. For those "in field" people that carry the system in portrait mode this might be a concern. Since I use the X220 in tablet mode using landscape orientation on my table I don't deal with that problem.

- When it comes to weight I don't think it's heavy at all, but that might be because I do workout my arms and I'm used to carrying heavy stuff (the US Marines trains you well on this). By the way I'm 5 feet and 4 inches tall so I'm among the short type of Marine.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jesse, thanks for the review. Could you please tell us, if this was the "Infinity Glas" or the "Gorilla Glas (outdoor)" version of the x220t? The Lenovo part number would be helpful. Thank you!

Jesse B Andersen said...

From what I can gather this is the 2 point touch/5 finger gesture system that the data sheet indicates as Infinity Glass. Something that isn't mentioned in the data sheet is that Infinity Glass version supports pen/stylus.

The X220's Product ID is 429424U. Device Manager calls the monitor "Wide viewing angle & High density FlexView Display 1366 x 768" and the Driver Node Strong Name indicates it as "TPLCDWHDF".

I can only assume that it's the Infinity Glass version because Lenovo usually makes two versions. One version has stylus input only, and the other is a multi-touch + stylus version. So... based on Lenovo's previous record I can assume that it's Infinity Glass.

Anonymous said...

Jesse, could you please confirm that the DPC latency is still fine when using the touchscreen/stylus?

Thanks heaps!

Jesse B Andersen said...

DPC remains fine when using the touchscreen/stylus.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jesse, thanks for the great videos. There is some graininess in the multitouch version of the x201T. Is that problem gone with the x220T? Thanks

Anonymous said...

very interesting, thanks. Thinking of getting me this one as a new company laptop. I'll just go for the tablet version and see if I can really use that function productively (reading, commenting on PDFs i.e.). If I can't, I still have a great laptop.

What I don't know is if I should go for the outdoor display or stick with this one? Anyone, any experience? Can't estimate if having the multitouch-ability will actually be useful over stylo use compared to actually being able to read more easily when on a train next to a window with bright sky...

any input appreciated!

can you take this one outdoors please? If the Multitouch layer renders the screen impossible to read at a bright day (not direct sunlight), then my choice will be clear.

Jesse B Andersen said...

@Anonymous re graininess
The screen has improved from the X201T. It is better than my 24 inch Gateway monitor. Obviously the Gorilla glass version will be even better looking because it doesn't have multi-touch layer.

@Anonymous re outdoor viewing
The Infinity glass version with multi-touch doesn't look great in direct sunlight. With a decent amount of shade it's fine. It's definitely better than the X201's multi-touch screen. I might do a video about it if Utah weather cooperates with me. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Would you be able to demonstrate the wobbling you mentioned above when in tablet mode in a video? Thanks Jesse, i will decide whether I should get the normal x220 or the tablet based on this.

Anonymous said...

it would be really cool if you could demonstrate the screen's readability/reflectivity, preferably against another device that you might have, but if I recall correctly, you gave back your x201t already.

Chances of me working in direct sunlight are remote, but I will definitely find myself sitting in quite bright spots like in a train with the sun shining outside. My experience tells me that normal laptop display will proof to be VERY hard to read then. The question then is, how good is the 220t multitouch display relative to others in this regard.

Too bad Lenovo does not offer its own comparison between the two display types!

Anonymous said...

Hey Jesse,

one more question:
Siince you received the tablet AND the slice battery, could you please at least take some photographs or video with the slice battery attached and maybe tell us what you think about it?

There are NO videos or image of the slice battery attached to the X220Tablet, so I guess many are interested in seing how it fits!

thanks! again!


Jesse B Andersen said...


I have the slice somewhere in the box... it's been there for a few months now. I think it's interesting but necessary. If you are a "Road Warrior" it might come in handy.

I might check on it but I can't make promises. Also... I think it's time for me to return the X220T. I gotta check those loan agreements.

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