The Bottom Line
- Strong Performance From New Core i5 Processor
- Excellent IPS Based Display
- USB 3.0 Port And ExpressCard Slot
- Bottom Got Quite Warm During Heavy Use
- Intel Core i5-2520M Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3
- 320GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 12.5" WXGA (1376x768) LED Backlit Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- Intel HD Graphics 3000 Integrated Graphics
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Three USB 2.0, DisplayPort, VGA, ExpressCard/54, Fingerprint Scanner, SD Card Slot
- 12" x 8.1" x 1.4" @ 2.9 lbs.
- Windows 7 Professional
Guide Review - Lenovo ThinkPad X220 12.5-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC
Mar 10 2011 - Lenovo's new ThinkPad X220 is an update to their previous 12-inch business ultraportable that takes advantage of Intel's 2011 Core processors. For this test model, it uses the modest middle classed Core i5-2520M dual core processor with a 2.5GHz clock speed. In testing, this processor provides extremely strong performance that outclasses pretty much every existing ultraportable on the market. It even tests higher than previous generation Core i7 processors in some tasks. This combined with 4GB of DDR3 memory allows this laptop to be used for pretty much any type of application.
Storage features on the Lenovo ThinkPad X220 will vary greatly depending upon the purchased configuration. This testing model came with a sizable 320GB hard drive that spins at a 7200rpm rate providing it with some good performance and plenty of storage space for applications, data and media files. Those wanting higher performance can opt for a solid state drive. Like many new ultraportables, the system does not come with an optical drive but this is less of a requirement now than it was even a year ago. To make up for this, the system does feature an optional USB 3.0 Super Speed port for high speed external storage and an ExpressCard/54 slot for adding a wide range of upgrades.
The ThinkPad X220 comes with two different 12.5-inch displays both with a 1366x768 native resolution. Anyone who is serious about graphics will want to get the upgrades Premium HD display. This uses an IPS based panel that provides exceptional color and brightness and extremely wide viewing angles. It also uses an anti-glare coating that allows it to be used more readily in bright environments. This is one of the best displays available in the ultraportable market. The graphics themselves are driven by the new Intel HD Graphics 3000 processor that is built into the CPU. This is a big step up from their previous GMA graphics in terms of performance and features. It even provides some 3D performance for some casual gaming at lower resolutions or details.
Battery life for the Lenovo ThinkPad X220 is provided by a relatively compact six cell 63Wh pack. In video streaming tests, the battery pack was able to run for four hours before going into standby mode. This is lower than Apple's MacBook Pro that can run for just over five hours but still quite good for this class of system. If that isn't enough running time, there is the optional $179 slim external or slice battery that attaches to the bottom of the laptop and adds another 65Wh for an additional four hours of running time.
Unlike many laptops that now use an isolated keyboard layout, the ThinkPad sticks with its more traditional design. It provides a solid feel with a matte finish that provides an accurate and comfortable keyboard. It would be nice if they would swap the function and cntrl key locations so the cntrl key would be on the far left. It provides both a trackpoint and a trackpad. Both are accurate and work well.