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kwbeck

July 7th 2011 1:46 pm

Any questions about the Lenovo ThinkPad X1?

I'm Kevin Beck, Lenovo Product Ambassador. I'll be checking in today and tomorrow to answer any questions you may have.

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68 replies
travisk

Lenovo laptops have always had outstanding build quality, fit and finish.
In my opinion the only thing standing in the way of Lenovo producing outstanding laptops is display options, mainly screen types and resolution.

The gorilla glass ont he X1 is a step in the right direction, but what about the lcd it's self.
It color clarity, brightness and viewing angles how does the X1 stack up against a macbook pro?

What about IPS displays, how about an IPS matte screen option for the X1 and other models for that fact.

Speaking personally when looking at laptops for pro use, the only brands I look to are either Apple or Lenovo. Since the latest macbook pros have come out with matte screen as options, when doing a side by side comparison, the macbook has better color, and viewing angles, also seem a bit brighter.

Can Lenovo consider adopting the mantra the screen should be the best possible quality and performance bar none.

The screen is arguably the most important component to anyone working in media production, like my self.
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thorshammer

Agreed. I value a high quality screen and wish it was an option.
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kwbeck

First of all, thank you for the ThinkPad love.... Much appreciated.

Without getting out of my depth on the intricacies of LCD panel procurement, I'll just say 3 things. 1) I am a photographer (hobby, not pro) and I totally get where you are coming from. At the highest end of the line, we have a W520 with a 1920x1080 display covering 95% of the AdobeRGB color gamut. That's what I use at home. 2) I realize that a 15" is not what EVERYONE is looking for, but is it what MANY of our customers tell us they are looking for and we are paying attention to the voices out there and offering a product to meet these needs. 3) I will personally make sure these comments get fed back to the product managers.
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thorshammer

I have a W510 as well and one of the reasons is the FHD screen. Put a IPS screen on the T420s at 1660x900 and I'm all over that. I could live with the glossy GG X1, but not the low res low quality panel. It needs to be bright and colorful like the W510 and W520.
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travisk

I just looked up the W520 and all I can say is Wow, that is one mean machine, I'd like to see that 1080 display in person. I'm located in Houston, are there any vendors that have the high end Lenovo stuff in my area?

Just a suggestion here, I know the usual big box stores don't sell true high end gear, but what about getting the real deal Lenovo models into camera shops and or pro video equipment dealers.

If I were a regional Lenovo rep wanting to spread the word and get our equipment into the hands of users who would appreciate the build quality and really use the products to the fullest. I'd at least strike a deal with the best people in town that sell to professionals.

Here in Houston,
Get a few top of the line demo models into places like; Houston Camera Exchange, The Camera Co Op, Microsearch and Industrial AV.
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kwbeck

Here's a link to get you started. An interactive X1 demo. lnv.gy­/iUXwzU
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gadgetfanatic

I know the battery life is listed at about 5 hours, but what's it's like under real world conditions? About how long are you getting when you use it?
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kwbeck

I've seen usually close to 4 hours, maybe a little more. That's with the base battery only. With the optional click-on (slice) battery, closer to 8 hours. Also, I have seen the 80% charge in 30 min work in real life.
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thorshammer

The fast recharge is a great innovation.
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cass

Is the X1 going to be available in any retail stores? I like what I see in the pictures, but I'd really like to see it in person.
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kwbeck

I don't know of any retailers who are selling it at the moment, but I'm checking and will reply again if I find out that anyone is.
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nadude

One of the only things that annoys me about thinkpads, is there is no real store that stocks them in Dubai. Which is one of the largest tech hubs in the middle east. If you don't want to invest in a store, then atleast just pick one of the large tech retailers. Then pick their main flagship store, just one location. And supply that one store with the fastest display pieces of each of the latest thinkpads. Please. I wanted the x201, there was no where I could see it in Dubai, without handing over 2000 dollars in cash and waiting. I'm sure if I'd seen the x1 in person, I'd have bought it by now.
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thorshammer

Why does everyone need battery hot swapping? You can run the darn thing half a day then recharge it (nearly fully) in 30 minutes.
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dave

What sort of graphics card / chip does the X1 have? Is it integrated or discrete? I know this machine is probably more for dedicated business use, but the fact that someone can throw an i7 processor in there is pretty awesome. This might dictate whether or not I can play Civilization during important meetings... or long plane flights! ;)
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kwbeck

It has the latest generation Intel integrated graphics. The spec sheet is here shop.lenovo.com­/us­/ww­/pdf­/X1­_datasheet.pdf (although it doesn't answer this specific question, it does have (many, most?) of the other critical specs.
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xpress0

Are there any plans to introduce a X1 model with a matte screen? (perhaps as a 2nd gen choice?)
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kwbeck

Not that I know of.
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xpress0

Being that thin and packing i7, I'd imagine it can occasionally get quite hot? How does the X1 deal with cooling?
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kwbeck

Cooling (and acoustics) are something that our engineers spend a massive amount of time on. I've not personally stressed an i7 based X1, but I can tell you that the i5 is very cool. Check out the reviews of the X1 on notebookreview.com, laptopmag.com and others. They've all commented very positively on our heat management.
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mattfusf

Any plans for a 11" or similar smaller version of the X1?
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kwbeck

Not that I know of. We do, however, have an X120e in an 11".
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vinuneuro

With all due respect this notebook isn't competitive against other Thinkpads (and maybe other mfr's products).

-1366x768 is ok in a 12.5" notebook like the X220, but this has a .8" larger screen so the DPI ends up at a very low 117.
-It's footprint is almost the same as the T420/s, but the screen is much smaller with much lower resolution. This is a big one.
-Battery isn't swappable, or available in higher capacities.
-Battery life is short. Slice completely negates the only thing it has going for it, thickness.
-Screen quality isn't very strong.
-Glossy gorilla glass negates the durability in outdoor use.
-Not that light at 3.73lbs given the screen size.
-No dock compatibility.

If you want the recipe for making this successful, give us X301 fooprint/ Sandy Bridge/ good HD+ screen/ good battery life. Screen doesn't need to be IPS, Apple level TN screens are fine (but matte). While I love my X220, such a machine would nail it. Instead the X1 gives us X301 screen size and X220 resolution in something that's the size of the T420/s. Lose Lose.

Things just don't seem to fall in place in 13" Thinkpads, and it's too bad because that's really the sweet spot in terms of screen size for many users. As it stands, the X220 and T420s are much (much) better products. Hopefully Lenovo will listen and it'll all come together in an X2.

My Thinkpad history consists of T41, T60, T400, X61T, X200T, X301, X220.

Thanks for hearing our feedback.
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chuckk9032

Good point on the X301. Fantastic design. X1 has a number of great attributes, but the X301 was tough to beat (and why I'm having trouble justifying moving to the X1).
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B757

Any chance of a quad-core option coming up soon?
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kwbeck

Unlikely. The i5 and i7 processors in the X1 are 35 watt TDP processors and the current generation of i7 quad-cores are all 45W TDP, so I don't believe the design of the X1 would accommodate them.
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nadude

I'm a thinkpad fanatic. I can write a huge response to how and why I love thinkpads. And I think its great that you've done this. Have always wanted a way to get in touch with the people behind thinkpads for compliments and feedback. As they're definitely the best computers around, they're just a few tiny things I'd like to throw in.

I want one small portable powerful machine, my max spec'd amazing w500 is too heavy now that I'm commuting daily. At first I thought of getting a second machine, tried the 2010 mb air 13" again max spec'd (great resolution 1440x.., and touchpad is awesome to use), but I got rid of it in a month, then the most powerful netbook a 12" Asus VX6 with dual processors. Lasted just another month. Lenovo then released the non-think 13" machine, but no way I was going to ditch my thinkpad for one that isn't. And finally came word of the x1.

I followed and looked forward to the X1 launch so closely and drooled on twitter. Have probably configured the X1 atleast 20 times to shopping cart since it came out, but heres why I didn't complete the order yet.

External reasons
1. My couple years old W500 is way too good, fast and awesome yet to be replaced. I feel bad for it. :) But its just too heavy for the daily commute.

2. SSDs are great, I want one, but I also want storage space. My W500 has two drives, and on www.digitaltrends.com­/computing­/lenovo­-officially­-... they mentioned there is a hybrid option for the X1 too, yet I've never seen it on the store. Is this possible to order? Or would I be able to do it myself?
I'd like to order it with the cheapest hard drive (as the SSD wait time is ridiculous), get a 256gb SSD from a third party, and also stick in a 500gb second hard drive in there. Please say yes.

3. Crucial has a great tool that lets you pick your machine, and then recommends suitable memory options, but when you select x1 it falls back to a different x series, which I can't imagine will have the same specs. So would a sata III 2.5" ssd work? Like www.newegg.com­/Product­/Product.aspx­?Item­=N82E16820... fit into this machine? Please say yes.
4. Would the same SSD work at the 6Gb/s or 3Gb/s speed? "Sustained Sequential Read: Up to 500 MB/s (SATA 6Gb/s); 265 MB/s (SATA 3Gb/s) Sustained Sequential Write: Up to 315 MB/s (SATA 6Gb/s); 240 MB/s (SATA 3Gb/s)" ?

5. You answered my battery concerns. But does every x1 machine come with the battery slice? I can't find it anywhere online in accessories, and not in the order process itself. If not, where do we get one?

6. Yes the resolution isn't the best in the market, and one the main reasons why I'm considering sticking out another year with the w500, and hoping the new x1 has a better resolution.

Address the above questions well, and I'll place my order right away - especially with the extra discount available today, seems 200 dollars cheaper. Love that you included the ecoupon code in the cart itself, thank you!

Couple other notes to you guys. You can't judge the success of the x1 so fast, because thinkpads are so durable and reliable, ha catch 22. I hope you keep a conversation for thinkpad enthusiasts open and easily accessible on the web, maybe even a portal where your loyal enthusiasts can virally market thinkpads ourselves. I loved the thinkpad for those who do video. You guys need more marketing, I only know 2/3 people that have thinkpads, other than work machines. And those work machines are bloated with crapware and stuck on ie6 too, they blame and hate thinkpads, not understanding its their IT dept that is at fault.

Some netbooks come with a quick launch dual OS for quick media and web sites/apps. Maybe give thinkpads an inbuilt 'play' mode, that corporate IT depts., cant block! So atleast everyone gets the best of the web.

And just a side question, for the order itself: Which wifi adapter is better for non wimax use. The Centrino advanced-N + wimax, or Ultimate-N?

Thanks again! I could write three/four times as much, but I'll hush for now!
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kwbeck

nadude, sorry for the delay in answering.

Just want to start out by saying thank you for your enthusiasm about ThinkPads. I know how you feel....

To attempt to answer your questions:

2) There was originally mention of announcing models with the small (mini PCIe form factor) mSATA SSD drive, but we did not. So, it wouldn't have taken two full size drives in any case. However, I am told the slot (assuming you are not planning to use WWAN) in the X1 supports the Intel 80GB mSATA.

3) Unfortunately, that particular drive will not work. The X1 does support 2.5" drives, but the bay only supports 7mm height drives, not 9.5mm drives.

4) The X1 fully supports the SATA 6Gb/s standard, so any drive that fits that supports the standard will operate at its full speed.

5) Every X1 does not come with the slice battery, it has to be purchased separately. It's currently showing as a configurable option (on the US website, at least). The official name is the ThinkPad Battery 39+ (6 cell Slice)

The Ultimate-N is a 3x3 antenna configuration, whereas the Advanced-N is a 2x2 antenna configuration. Depending on your settings and the type of wireless router you're using, you could see a higher maximum speed. I know this is a non-definitive answer, but there are too many variables to be able to predict a certain increase in speed. In any case, If you're not going to be using the WiMax, then I'd personally recommend the Ultimate-N.
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chuckk9032

I keep trying to buy the X1 but with the Intel SSD. The delivery time is indefinite, so I never submit the order. The SSD delivery time says "greater than 4 weeks", which of course may be forever. What is the situation?
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kwbeck

I don't have a satisfying answer. Usually, when I see that message on the website, it leads me to think there is a shortage of the part for some reason. Not a huge leap of logical insight, I know.... I'll see if I can find out anything more and will report back if I do.
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leadorg

So Kevin, how is the new X1 keyboard compares to the Macbook keyboard in terms of key feedback? Also, does the system gets overtly hot when stressed, due to the use of full voltage i5 cpu? I know that the Toshiba Protege R700 which also shares a similar design form factor would burn your lap if you do anything media intensive. Does the X1 have the same problem?
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kwbeck

I don't know for sure what the key stroke depth on a Macbook is, but I have found mentions of it being between 1.2 and 1.5mm. They keystroke depth on the X1 is 2.0mm, so you're going to get more travel and hence more feedback. Check out my colleague, David Hill's blog post here for more info on the keyboard design in ThinkPads. http://bit.ly/mFT0ni In this article, he quotes a Laptop Mag review which says, “While all of Lenovo’s ThinkPads have strong keyboards, the ThinkPad X1 features the best laptop keyboard we’ve ever tested.” Laptop Magazine

The X1 definitely does not have the same problem. Check my earlier post below. As I said there, check out the reviews of the X1 on notebookreview.com, laptopmag.com and others. They've all commented very positively on our heat management.
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JeremiahBWhite

Hi, I'm looking into the X1 and haven't been able to find a solid answer on what kinda of battery life I will have with the i7 processor. Also, will hotswapping battery's on the go be supported?
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JeremiahBWhite

Shit, just looked up the battery specs. no hotswapping. Sorry to bother.
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kwbeck

True, no hotswapping, but there is a 2nd slice battery available.
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JeremiahBWhite

So I'm looking at roughly 10 hrs with the slice battery, do you know the exacts on the usage?
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kwbeck

It's going to depend on usage. Not a satisfying answer, I know. Our ratings are, as with everyone in the industry, done based on a standard, but your usage pattern is unlikely to match that exactly. That said, I've seen third party reviews that claim 7-ish, 8+, and in the case of notebookreview.com, they said they got 11hrs and 18min in their test. Your mileage may vary.
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JeremiahBWhite

Thanks for getting back to me on that.
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geekinchief

Any chance of a 1600 x 900 screen option in the future?
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OldDrunknSailor

The Vaio Z has a 1080p, aim bigger!
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kwbeck

Not that I've been made aware of.
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nadude

how about a 1440x900?
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nc

Can you say when the X1 will be available (and build-to-order) from Lenovo's UK site?
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thorshammer

Kevin, I think this has been asked but what is the deal with the lead times for the SSD drive? 7mm drives are that scarce? The X25-M drives in the X1 can be converted quite easily with shorter screws if you need to take a 9.5mm to 7mm. I guess the real question I have is when will the Intel Series 320 drives enter the Lenovo factory supply. They've been out a while now. Thanks.
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kwbeck

I don't know that the shortage has anything to do with the size. We've gone to 7mm form factor drives pretty much across the board in ThinkPad, both HDD and SSD. The issue is, as you say, supply. I don't know if there is a shortage of them in the industry or if we're just experiencing higher demand than we have supply for. I'm trying to find out and will post something if I hear anything.
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leadorg

So when will the X2 come along?
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mazw220

Hi! Will there be a solution for very high frequency fan?
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kwbeck

Just to clarify, are you experiencing high frequency noise from the fan, or that the fan is running at high speed? In either case, I would suggest you check your settings in Power Manager. Even the Maximum performance profile shouldn't produce excess noise, but if the settings have been overridden to force the system to run at full processor speed even under low load, I suppose it's possible the fan could run continuously high. I would try reapplying the Max Perf (if that is what you are using) power profile and see if that solves the problem. If you're just experiencing abnormal high frequency noise, then I'd suggest calling service and support.
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mazw220

I have a permanent high-frequency noise, even at low speed.
The service has already replaced the fan and said it was probably a general design problem.
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nadude

How loud is this? Can only hear it in a quiet room, or even in a busy environment? When I tried the mbair, it had a pretty loud fan noise too. Think it might be a con of the small powerful beasts.
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Buckeye

I've read numerous comments regarding Thinkpad T420 are SATA III functionable even though Lenovo will only tell you they will only support SATA II drive speeds. It is my understanding that my T420s i7 2620m uses a Sandy Bridge chipset. Then I have read, "All Sandy Bridge ThinkPads support SATA III 6GBps." So if I update my stock 160GB SATA II SSD to a Crucial 512GB SATA III drive, will I see SATA III read/write speeds? Or will this be a waste of money? I've also read that the mSATA is only capable of SATA II, but the slim aux drive will also function at SATA III speeds. Does anybody really know or is everybody guessing, because I have read so many conflicting reports and comments. Other than Lenovo, they adamantly insist that the T420s will only function at SATA II speeds from all three capable sources, primary, aux bay, and mSATA.
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