We try not to bring you too much news about product announcements unless there's something particularly intriguing about them; we get inundated by them and most of the time it's the most generic of refreshes. Happily that's not the case with Lenovo's shiny new ThinkPad X220 notebooks.

Inexplicably Lenovo is opting to label these two very different notebooks under the same X220 header: one is a tablet clocking in at 3.88 pounds with a 4-cell battery; the other is an ultraportable that weighs less than three pounds. Both come with support for either SSDs or mechanical hard disks (with a 4GB SSD option as a special order).


We'll start with the ultraportable X220. Lenovo is shipping it with a 12.5" 1366x768 LED-backlit screen, but you can upgrade to an IPS panel. It maxes out at 8GB of DDR3 and has a strong spread of Sandy Bridge mobile processors to choose from, starting with the Core i3-2310M at 2.1GHz and going all the way up to the i7-2620M at 2.7GHz. Strangely, only the i7-equipped models come with USB 3.0 connectivity. Reviews of the X220 are already popping up on the internet and the IPS screen is proving as impressive as you'd expect, but not nearly as impressive as the battery running time: Lenovo claims up to 15 hours on a 9-cell battery, a hyperbolic figure to be sure but not as crazy as you'd think. NotebookReview's test model came with a 6-cell battery and was pushing nine hours.

You can see and eventually order the ultraportable X220 here, and MSRP is expected to start at a not-unseemly $899.


The other X220 is the tablet model. Again it ships with a 12.5" 1366x768 LED-backlit screen, but in this case the only choice is the finish you want on the IPS panel: Infinity Glass or Corning Gorilla. Yes, the X220 tablet comes with an IPS panel standard, proving that Lenovo understands what ViewSonic couldn't figure out with their tablet: that viewing angles are really important. Unfortunately the X220 tablet is nearly a pound heavier than its ultraportable cousin and doesn't come with an option for USB 3.0 connectivity. Lenovo quotes nine hours of running time with the 8-cell battery.

The X220 Tablet isn't up on Lenovo's site yet, but MSRP is expected to start at $1,199.

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  • Pinkynator - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - link

    I'm over 30. I have a 22" monitor running 1680x1050, and I wish there was a 24" with the same resolution. It's not that I can't read it, it's that I'd prefer bigger letters because this is kind of tiring sometimes after a long day at work.

    My boss is over 40. She just bought a laptop with a 15.6" display at 1366x768, and she complains that the text is too tiny.

    My parents are close to 60. They have a 19" CRT at 1024x768 and I still see them leaning towards the screen.

    I think I'd find 1366x768 on 12.5" quite unusable. Older people would probably find it completely unusable. Maybe one day we'll get perfect UI scaling so this will stop being a problem for some people, as well as higher resolutions to make everything look sharper and smoother.
  • synaesthetic - Friday, March 11, 2011 - link

    My eyes are much worse than most people's (almost legally blind in one eye) and I have absolutely no problem reading the text on my 15.4" 1680x1050 laptop. Nor do I have any trouble on my 3.8" 480x800 smartphone.

    This DPI-vs-resolution crap gets on my nerves.
  • MamiyaOtaru - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    I miss 4:3. heck I miss 5:4
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - link

    We've been asking for decent notebook screens for so long and now we're finally getting an option! And what a nice option it is. Now it's up to us to put our money where our mouth is. Too bad I'm still *fine* with my 14" T61 and its crappy TN panel..

  • Lifted - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - link

    I've had an x201 for 6 months or so and I often wish I had a larger screen. The weight of a T410s/T420s is about the same, so unless your bag is seriously cramped for space I find little reason to choose one of these over the slim T400 series.

    I'll be picking up a T420s in the next month to replace this x201, and the only problem will be trying to dump this x201 on somebody else here in the office. I hate 16:9 on notebooks, but I'll take 1440x900 over my current 1280x800. These new IPS panels seem like a downgrade with only 768 horizontal pixels. The 800 on my current display is a real PITA.
  • Alexo - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - link

    You can't have the T420 with an IPS panel.
  • MeesterNid - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - link

    and it's still freaking FUGLY!

    Is it really true that in the past 20 years nobody has decided to make this thing look better than just cheap-looking, black piece of plastic crap!?
  • LoneWolf15 - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - link

    You have no idea what a ThinkPad is, and are not worthy of one.

    Go thou, and buy a shiny purple teenybopper Dell Inspiron.
  • MeesterNid - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - link

    I use a MacBook Pro, you douche! And I know exactly what a ThinkPad is...it's the same thing as an ugly HP or a Dell just with a different name.
  • mino - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - link

    The Duck was hit!

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