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The ThinkPad X1 Tablet, A 3rd Generation: First Impressions

2018-01-07, 18:09 PM

(Image courtesy of Lenovo)

Disclaimer: Lenovo graciously provided the hardware for me to review, and to use in support of customers in this community and on social channels. The words, impressions, and most of the images in this article are mine. Stock images provided by Lenovo are so indicated.

 

The Consumer Electronics Show is always an exciting time for lovers of technology, and for me especially, as long-time fan, user and collector of ThinkPads. This year is no different, as I wait to see what Lenovo has in store for us. Even better is that this year I am fortunate to be able to participate in the pre-CES excitement!

 

Several weeks ago, a package arrived on my doorstep. It was immediately recognizable as a ThinkPad box, and an X1 model, too.

 

This is a pre-production unit. The packaging was complete, yet basic. Included in the box were the tablet, the thin keyboard, a 65W USB-C power adapter and cord, the Lenovo Active Pen along with its holder, and a setup guide.

 

 

 

A blacked-out ThinkPad logo, a new stand hinge system, a new pen holder mounting device, new X1 badging, and an 8th generation Core i7 vPro quad-core CPU inside!

 

 

 

Left side, top to bottom: Combo nanoSIM / microSD slot, Thunderbolt 3 port, 2nd Thunderbolt 3 port / power port, Kensington lock hole, a notch to open the stand, and a combo microphone / headphone jack.

Right side, top to bottom: Power switch, exhaust vent, volume controls, and a notch to open the stand that also serves as the mounting point for the pen holder.

 

 

 

Along the top of the tablet is the discrete, full-length air inlet.

 

 

 

Innovative engineering in the cooling system looks to be quite efficient at keeping things cool under the hood.

 

(Image courtesy of Lenovo)

 

 

As in past generations, the keyboard can be positioned either angled, or flat, to accommodate user preference and comfort.

 

 

 

New for the Gen3 is a beautiful 13", 3000 x 2000 display, with Gorilla® Glass. The 3:2 aspect ratio really is the sweet-spot for tablets, in my opinion!

 

 

 

 The platform specifications are impressive for a tablet-style device.

 

Initial impressions:

Right out of the box, this unit exudes ThinkPad (and X1) quality. It has a solid, substantial feel. Fit and finish look perfect to my eye even though it is a pre-production unit. In fact, I think most people would be hard-pressed to tell it wasn't a production model.

 

The battery was about half-charged when I received it, so I was able to immediately begin looking at the specs and configuration. This is a top-spec'ed unit!

  • Intel® quad-core i7-8650U CPU (Kabylake-R)
  • 16GB LPDDR3 memory
  • Intel® UHD Graphics 620
  • 1TB PCIe (3.0x4) NVMe Samsung PM961 SSD
  • Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 WLAN
  • Integrated Sierra EM7455 WWAN
  • Fingerprint reader
  • IR Camera

...and it feels like it! It's very fast, especially for a tablet-style device! In my initial testing and every-day usage, I've experienced no issues of note. As I don't have a data plan beyond my cellular phone, I won't likely be testing out the WWAN functionality.

 

For those who like benchmarking info, I ran AS-SSD and CrystalDiskMark on the drive. Also included is HWInfo's summary screen.

 

 

There are several noticeable differences from last year's Gen2 X1 Tablet:

  • There are no USB-A ports. If you want to attach any such equipped peripherals you'll need to use a USB-C to USB-A adapter or a hub that includes one. If one of those peripherals is a mouse, Bluetooth is an alternative.
  • There is no flash on the rear camera (on this pre-production unit). I don't know if one is planned.
  • The speakers are front-firing (vs side-firing), which to my ear is a bit better.
  • As the microSD card slot is part of the nanoSIM card assembly, some users may find it a bit less convenient to use, but it's not an issue in my use cases.
  • There is no miniDP port, but a second Thunderbolt 3 port should make up for that for those who need to connect external displays.

 

That's it, for now, so I'll leave you with a few more pictures to keep the excitement up! :smileywink:

 

(Images courtesy of Lenovo)

 

 

If you have questions about this device, please post them in the community, and I will try to answer.

 

In a follow-up post, I will be comparing this unit to the 2nd generation X1 Tablet more fully, so stay tuned. Until then, be sure to get all of the Lenovo news coming out of CES by following #LenovoCES on Twitter! :smileyhappy:

 

Cheers!


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Re: The ThinkPad X1 Tablet, A 3rd Generation: First Impressions

2018-01-09, 2:11 AM

It looks like a great little machine.


Rich


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Re: The ThinkPad X1 Tablet, A 3rd Generation: First Impressions

2018-01-09, 18:29 PM

It looks to be built like a tank! Love it!

←↑→↓↘↙↖↗←↑→↓↘↙↖↗←↑→↓↘↙↖↗←↑→↓↘↙↖↗←↑→↓↘↙↖↗←↑→↓↘↙↖↗←↑→↓↘↙↖↗←↑→↓↘↙↖↗←↑→↓↘↙↖↗
Tap that kudos button if I helped ^^
←↑→↓↘↙↖↗←↑→↓↘↙↖↗←↑→↓↘↙↖↗←↑→↓↘↙↖↗←↑→↓↘↙↖↗←↑→↓↘↙↖↗←↑→↓↘↙↖↗←↑→↓↘↙↖↗←↑→↓↘↙↖↗
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Re: The ThinkPad X1 Tablet, A 3rd Generation: First Impressions

2018-01-09, 22:15 PM

Positively marvellous! Love the new hinge!

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Re: The ThinkPad X1 Tablet, A 3rd Generation: First Impressions

2018-01-09, 22:47 PM
Make sure there are no fan noise issues.
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Re: The ThinkPad X1 Tablet, A 3rd Generation: First Impressions

2018-01-31, 11:38 AM

If Intel releases an 8x60U, that would be totally awesome! The UDH 640 graphics would make this event more excellent!

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Re: The ThinkPad X1 Tablet, A 3rd Generation: First Impressions

2018-02-07, 6:46 AM

Looks awesome indeed! Now, Lenovo, get it out!

TP600E > T41 > X61 > X201T > X220 > SP4 > SP2017 > X1 Tablet G3
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Re: The ThinkPad X1 Tablet, A 3rd Generation: First Impressions

2018-02-15, 17:14 PM

I wonder if this could be realistically used as a "laptop", i.e., on one's lap. I imagine it won't be super convenient but wonder whether it is even physically feasible.

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5563 Posts

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Re: The ThinkPad X1 Tablet, A 3rd Generation: First Impressions

2018-02-16, 13:54 PM

Good day.

Thanks for the question.

 

In my experience, with the stand redesign, it's better than the 2nd Gen. That said, it's still not the same as using a traditional clamshell design laptop on one's lap.

 

It's not an issue, at least for me, since I rarely use laptops on my lap.

 

Regards.


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Re: The ThinkPad X1 Tablet, A 3rd Generation: First Impressions

2018-02-25, 3:37 AM

Hi, would you mind letting us know the battery life? The gen 3 battery is 42wh, which is just slightly higher than the gen 2 battery. However the gen 3 has larger screen, higher resolution, and more demanding CPU. I'm worrying that battery could be a big issue for the gen 3.

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