Jul 8, 2012

Lenovo ThinkPad X230 Tablet - Some Questions

Got X230T questions? I may have some answers.
Use Ctrl+F and type in some key words.

If you got a new question just add it at to the comments.

Hi Jesse,

First off, thanks for being a great resource on this laptop. I started looking for laptop replacements recently, and your videos/posts have been very invaluable in making my decision.

I am very close to pulling the trigger on this laptop, am hoping for a good deal to come by soon to get it.

Had a couple of questions for you, hoping you might be able to answer them:

I am not sure how much note-taking I will do (so not sure about how much I'd use the digitizer).. am looking for the portability, battery, and power. Currently feel like the touchscreen/digitizer may be v.useful when Win8 ships, so feel as though the T version is better than the non-T version. From another perspective, maybe if I have a *good* note-taking device I might take more notes! Have you had any experience with Win 8 on this laptop.

My concerns are the resolution (1366 x 768 should be sharp on 12.5" screen, but maybe too small for extended document work etc?) but I will have access to bigger screens during the day. How you find the screen size/resolution in terms of inches/resolution trade-off for work?

The other thing is that after lugging around a 5 lbs+ laptop for a while now, prefer that the laptop alone be around ~3-3.5lbs at most Based on my searching looks like the X230T should be around ~3.69lbs with a 3-cell battery + ~1 lb for the slice battery (if I go for it).. sounds good for my travel! How have you found the weight and how many cell battery did you end up going for?

Are there any other caveats you've faced since buying?

Thanks for any info you can provide,



I’m glad the info is useful.

I use the note taking for drawing math problems and designing/sketching ideas. Other people use it to highlight notes on PDFs (like with PDF Annotator program), and do their beautiful drawings (Sketchbook Pro, ArtRage, etc). You will have to figure out what you need to get done.

I have not used Windows 8 because I hate buggy software, and frankly I don’t care about many of those cute apps. If there is an evolution of MS OneNote style program then I might be tempted to upgrade. Of course Win 8 will be great for finger touch apps.

The resolution is good enough for most things, but I agree that it could be better. When I’m home I use a bigger monitor through the docking station.


Screen related:

To me the system is light enough. If I was climbing Mt. Everest then I would worry more about the specifics of the weight, but I am not.

There is one thing that sometimes disturbs me every once in a while, and that is a “tingg” sound that sometimes occur. However, it is not a functionality issue and therefore it’s not a problem.

Other questions and concerns:

I hope that answers your questions.

Jesse B Andersen

Note: you owe me 7 minutes of life.  ;-)

By Tim


I was wondering if you were able to answer a query I have about the
X230T with ultrabase series 3 featured in your videos.
The ultrabase only has usb 2 but the tablet has usb 3, right? when
docked are you still able to use the usb 3 ports or are they disabled?
Also what about the always-on charging USB port?



"The ultrabase only has usb 2 but the tablet has usb 3, right?"
Right. The Ultrabase has USB 2.0 ports, and the X230T has USB 3.0 ports.

"when docked are you still able to use the usb 3 ports or are they disabled?"
Yes they remain enabled.

"what about the always-on charging USB port?"
Depending on your power settings the always-on port will be active or not. Settings are on

  • Press win key and type "Power Manager"
  • Click Advanced
  • Go to Global Power Settings:
  • - Enable Always On USB
  • - Enable even when the computer is off.

Hope that helps,

By Alex.

Hi Jesse! What about a review of the built-in 720p webcam? Does it really can provide 720p video recording? Does it have enough low light sensitivity?


It's the same as the X220T, nothing new. It works just like any other 720p webcam, which is usually good enough for web chatting, nothing great for any professional level work.

It does adjust to the lighting conditions. Of course in dark environments it is not great, best results are achieved when you have a light behind the camera.

I was going to make a post/video about the webcam stuff, but frankly it is nothing that hasn't been done before. Maybe there are X220T webcam recording videos, which will give you ideas on what the X230T can do.


By dadoeboi101

Hey Jesse, Thanks a lot for your x230 tablet videos man. I've only recently stumbled upon your videos and let me say, I really regret not doing so sooner. In the small amount of time I've watched your videos, It has really helped me out, and to my knowledge it seems like you've been doing this for a while, kudos to you!

And now to business. I've been searching for an ideal tablet, something for both productivity (one-note, word, etc.) and media consumption (light gaming/HD video playback), and something that has the battery life and horsepower to back it up. My search has led me to various options, including a samsung series 7 slate that I recently purchased and resold due to limitations on battery life ( I am looking for 6+ hours, and a non-detachable battery life to me means it will only go lower after time). My quest for the perfect tablet has led me to x230 Tablet. In terms of these things, how do you think it will meet my needs? Has my quest finally come to an end, or should I wait it out until more windows 8 tablets emerge? On a side note, do you think the tablet would be able to edit HD videos using sony vegas or after effects? Thanks for everything Jesse, keep doing what you do, as your presence is really making a difference in the community.


Youtube has the most stupid wall comment system in the world, which I cannot directly reply to. So, to address your post I am sending you a direct message.

Battery life depends on many things. You can probably get 6+ hours with the X230T, but you will have to sacrifice performance. This has been seen with the X220T, X201T, and just about every laptop I have owned. They advertise one thing and I end up getting very different results. Usually I get half or a bit over half of what companies advertise.

When it comes to gaming I think the X230T can handle many games, but it is not a gaming system. Based on the WEI I can say that it is better than the X220T. I have ran a few 3D games and the system does well.

Empire Total War - Better than I expected.
Batman Arkham City - Has lags even at low quality settings.
Men of War: Assault Squad - Works fine.
GRAW 2 - Works for a while and then crashes.
Stronghold 2 - Works fine.

I am not too confident with the next generation of Windows 8 Slate tablets. Many of them will have processors that focus on battery life, instead of performance. They will be iPad and Android competitors. Of course, if a tablet costs $500 and can do what you need to get done then that's a good deal. But for me I need more power and the X230T will be better than many of those sleeker looking systems.

You can edit 1080p videos with the X230T, I used to do it with the X201T (not great) and the X220T (better). I do want to move my Sony Vegas program to the X230T and test the performance. I am not sure about After Effects, but I assume it would work. (I stopped doing piracy a few years ago, so I haven't used many Adobe tools in years).

Not sure what kind of difference I am making. All I hope is that at least a single person gets something out of the videos and posts. The return on investment on the earlier videos was like me flushing money down the toilet, which I am more careful about now. Each of my moves are a bit more calculated. The current effort is all community supported, I am not selling you some bullshit Netflix or Audible ad inside the videos and I do not allow the Youtube video TrueView in-stream overlay ads (which are so super annoying and are turning Youtube into a Television. I only allow text ads). I have no guaranteed paycheck, if there is no money coming in then there are no new videos/posts.

Currently I am transitioning many of my daily tasks to the X230T, and have used my gaming system a lot less. The X230T is turning into my main system because it offers great mobility features and desktop capabilities. That docking station is very useful. For school work the X230T has been perfect, thank you MS OneNote!

I have been doing these videos for about 2 years, and it's not easy because I really do suck. Sometimes it can be really time consuming and frustrating. I think I have some weird facial muscle issues, because my jaw locks and then I get some ticks. I especially hate having to cut videos to make them seem better, and would rather do single shot videos. There is a reason why many Youtubelebrities cut their videos, and that is because they do suck at speaking; you can notice it because they say one sentence at a time, they cut, and then do another sentence. (it's not just about creating a 'style' in their videos). I'll continue to attempt to improve, but there are no guarantees.

So... I think I went off in a weird direction, but I hope I answered a few of your questions. Too much writing, I'm off.

Jesse B Andersen

Thanks for the prompt reply. It had just about everything I was looking for. In a less specific question, how would you rate the use of wacom in the x230t versus the samsung series 7 slate? I had a really good experience with the inking on the S7S, and would hate to going to x230t with the same expectations only to be bitterly disappointed.

I think the biggest difference is on the feel of the pen when it makes contact with the screen. The Series 7 Slate has a more "gummy/bouncy" feel and the X220T and X230T systems are more like solid glass. When I went over the digitizer input on the Series 7 Slate I felt that it was better than the X220T. Wacom digitizer accuracy is actually the same in the X220T, X230T, and Series 7 Slate. That edge behavior is present in all of those systems.

By Sumesh S.

Hey I have questions and clarifications I'm hoping you can answer regarding the Lenovo X230t.

  1. Does it come with a digitizer or capacitive stylus?
  2. If a digitizer, does it disable touch input when within a certain range of the screen?
  3. Does it have to be in the flipped tablet mode to use the touch/digitizer input?
  4. Using Office Onenote, can you type AND use touch seamlessly?
  5. Further on Onenote can you record audio AND type? Thanks!

1. The system comes with a Wacom based Active Digitizer.  This is an electronic device and it is NOT a stylus.  A capacitve stylus emulates finger touches, the active digitizer is far more precise and can do many more things.

2. The active digitizer has several states, and one of them is a hover state.  When the digitizer enters the hove state the finger touch becomes disabled.  When the digitizer moves out of the hover state the finger touch becomes enabled.

3.  The screen accepts finger and digitizer input while in laptop and tablet modes.  The best mode would be in Secondary Landscape mode because it gives the best digitizer and finger touch support.

4. In Microsoft OneNote you can type and use the touch/digitizer.  Because you would be in laptop mode the digitizer pushing on the screen may be too much for the hinge to handle by itself.  You would have to hold the screen with one hand and use the digitizer with other hand.

5. In Microsoft OneNote you can record audio and video while you type.  You can also play these recordings right inside OneNote.

If you are planning on using MS OneNote there are several optimizations that you may want to check.  I recommend modifying MS OneNote GUI to suit your needs, because the work space might be tight due to the resolution.

By Brandon.

I don't know if any of this would be worth covering in a video but I am curious.

I'm undecided about my choice of batteries, 3-cell + slice, or 6-cell. I don't want wobbling from the 6-cell (did you experience that at all?) and by most accounts it is somewhat ugly and feels cheap. Does using it as a handle add that much to the experience? Do you use as a handle while drawing or only when moving locations? I'm assuming you don't have a 3-cell handy but maybe trying to use it with the battery removed (but plugged in) would give an idea of the ergonomics and bezel space for gripping. Would it make portrait mode slightly more feasible (without the angle created by the 6-cell)? You do mention that the angle created in secondary landscape mode is actually beneficial.

I suspect I would be happy with either and I'm just being over thinking it.

Thanks again!


The battery issue is something that people are skeptical about... for a short period of time. The battery does feel cheap, and adds some volume to the X230T. Is that important? probably not.

What should be highly important is having plenty of battery life. I take my X230T to school every day and I never carry an AC adapter, because I do not need it for a good 5+ hours. Yes the 6-cell battery doubles as a handle, and it does a good job at it.

The only good thing about the 3-cell is that it may give a more flat angle, which may be useful when using Primary Landscape mode. I use my X230T with 6-cell in Secondary Landscape mode and use the angle as a positive thing. To grab the X230T with the 3-cell battery would be a nightmare, because you would have to the entire system, which is much more thicker than just grabbing the 6-cell battery as a handle.

Some will go for that useless 3-cell battery, and then they will regret not getting the 6-cell battery. It always happens. Btw, buying a spare battery can be expensive!

That’s all for now. Chao!

Jesse B Andersen

Hey Jesse,

I've seen that you have gone in depth about the Lenovo X230t convertible laptop. I just have a question, can you get a Lenovo X230t with a CD/DVD drive? Because I don't want to carry around the docking station because of traveling every 3 months.

When I checked on their website, they have a model that has a DVD burner, but just don't know whether that will write or even read CDs to install programs.

Thanks for your reply in advance.

The X230T does not have a CD/DVD drive, nor it's physically capable of holding one. The two ways to have a disc drive are: 1. Purchase a USB CD/DVD drive, 2. Purchase a Ultrabase Series 3 + Optical Drive.


  1. Hi! Here is another Some Question:
    Could you record/shot and show video and image quality from internal so called "720p webcam"? Does it really a 720p camera for videos or this is (720p) only for images grabbed and only VGA-like (640x480) videos? At official forum i saw that (quote): "...built-in webcam...this X230T is using a different version and it only has the 640x480 setting..." Url for that post: http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/X-Series-Tablet-ThinkPad-Laptops/Impressive-stats-for-such-a-small-machine-X230T-with-i7-3520/m-p/791951

  2. Hey Jesse can the lenovo thinkpad x230 use vidock 4? I heard allot of rumors where it doesn't work on the x230 because of some BIOS thing. Can you make sure it works before I buy one thank you very much.

    1. I no longer have the ViDock, but I assume it can. You would have to disable the Intel HD 4000 graphics, just like I had to do with the Intel HD graphics of the X201T.

  3. Hi Jesse, thanks for all these incredibly helpful reviews!
    I have a question regarding swype on the x230t. There are actually prototypes for windows out there: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6spuyh3QPj8 and even a swype-beta for other devices running windows: http://www.tegav2.com/swype/
    Do you happen to know more about swype for the x230t? I would just love to use it on the device!
    All the best,

    1. If they improve Swype for the PC I might be tempted on using it. But my earlier experiences left plenty to be desired, and the reason for the shortcoming of the software is several inconsistencies in user experience.


    2. Ok-Thanks for the links and info. I really hope swype is making progress with windows soon.
      I will stay tuned with your site. Keep up the good work!

  4. Hi Jesse,

    Do you notice there are high pitch noise come out from the CPU area, say if you put your ear near the keyboard portion close to the CPU or near the exhaust? Though thinkpad is a quiet laptop but I've heard that it is quite common for thinkpad to produce that kind of high pitch noise. I know this can be tolerate by most people, but I just want to confirm with you to see if anything is wrong with my CPU. Usually these high pitch noise can be disable by going to BIOS-->Config-->power-->disable CPU power management, however, it will decrease the battery life.

    Please let me know as soon as you can, if anything wrong, perhaps I can call lenovo for support.

    Best regard,


    1. Thank you for lighting response, I just posted another comment there

  5. Jesse,
    Do you know how many monitors that are supported at one time?


    1. I'm actually not sure about this. The X230T has a DisplayPort and a VGA port. If you add a docking station (Ultrabase Series 3) then you get an additional DisplayPort and another VGA port. I doubt it can run all of them at the same time, so I I'll have to check this out soon.

      I'll cover it on the upcoming docking station video, which I might post by Sunday (Aug 5, 2012).

    2. Ok that sounds great. I actually have the Ultrabase and i have it hooked up to a monitor via displayport, and i was wondering if it would support an additional monitor. I look forward t seeing this video!

    3. Update on this at http://www.jessebandersen.com/2012/08/lenovo-thinkpad-x230-tablet-thinkpad.html

  6. Hi Jesse, Thanks for your great reviews on this device.

    Do you have any experience with Windows 8. I installed windows but i looks that there are some driver issue after installing. The whole multi touch feature does not seem to work any more. Only pen inputs seems to work.
    Very frustrating because I would expect it to work properly.

    Thank for your reply.