Over the past year, I've had the opportunity to try out nearly half a dozen Lenovo notebooks, including consumer-grade IdeaPad models as well as the business-centric ThinkPad series.
I lived up to its reputation and generally satisfied with the overall build quality and performance from Lenovo. The recently reviewed IdeaPad U260 was a real work of art and stood out in almost every category but one – it narrowly missed the update to Intel's Sandy Bridge processor, which would have provided even better all-round CPU and GPU performance.
Today we're looking at our first notebook based on Intel's second generation Core processors, the ThinkPad X220.
The X220 was unveiled this month and represents the latest ultra-portable ThinkPad from Lenovo. Highlights include a 12.5-inch (1366 x 768) IPS display, a solid, thin bezel, and a 3 pound take-off weight without sacrificing performance from Intel's new mobile processors. The update of the ThinkPad X-series is available in different configurations from the Core i3-. 2310M through to the high-end i7-2620M (the fastest mobile dual-core processor in the series). The ThinkPad X220 also features a full-size keyboard and a brand new oversized touchpad with built-in mouse click buttons.
Our test device was equipped with a dual-core Core i5-2520M clocked at 2.5 GHz (four threads with Hyper-Threading). This processor contains the new HD 3000 graphics core from Intel and a maximum TDP of only 35 W. Further technical data are 4 GB PC3-10700 DDR3, a Hitachi 320 GB hard drive with 7200 rpm, Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 Wireless, Bluetooth, a 6-cell Li-ion battery and, as mentioned, a 12.5-inch IPS display.
The prospect of using an SSD for this type of system makes a lot of sense. However, Lenovo has kept a standard hard drive, which likely makes the system's base price accessible. According to the system's datasheet, you can install an SSD right away, including Intel's popular solid-state offerings.
The ThinkPad X220 comes standard with a 6-cell battery that is connected to the back of the device. Lenovo also sent us a slim external 6-cell battery that is attached to the bottom of the notebook. They are known as a battery slice. Street fighters who want to spend a full day with their system will surely be interested in how well this unit works.