CNET First Look
Lenovo ThinkPad X220The Lenovo ThinkPad X220 packs in a new Intel Core i5 CPU, and can run all day (depending on how you use it). With a 12.5-inch display, this is just a bit smaller than a 13-inch laptop, and feels like an excellent compromise for frequent travelers.
-Hi, I'm Dan Ackerman, and we are here taking a look at the Lenovo ThinkPad X220. Now, if you remember back to the X201, you know, Lenovo's X Series are kinda compact business laptops. If you're a business traveler on the go, you don't wanna give up any of that corporate IT security stuff that ThinkPads are known for, well, the X Series is pretty much the high-end way to go. This new X220 is a little bit different. The original version had a 12-inch screen. This new version has a 12.5-inch screen. I think that's pretty much the first time we've seen that. What that lets you do is have a keyboard that's just a little bit wider, feels a little bit more like a full size laptop keyboard. Definitely, it does not feel cramped at all considering this is an under 13-inch laptop. This is also one of the first wave of systems with Intel's new second generation of Core i Series CPUs. This one has a Core i5 and that means it's pretty blazingly fast. And Lenovo's really good power management software combined with how efficient those new Core i Series CPUs are means that you're gonna get good battery life out of this. If you use it smartly, conserve, you can probably get through an entire day. You can definitely get between 4 and 6 hours pretty easily. Now, one thing Lenovos usually have in their ThinkPad line is not just a regular touchpad, but also this kind of iconic little red pointing stick that these systems have had ever since they were IBM ThinkPads many years ago. On a small 12-inch system like this, it starts to feel a little bit cramped because you have the pointing stick, you have the touchpad. The touchpad has to have its own buttons. Then, you have to have a whole another row of buttons that go with the pointing stick. The way Lenovo solves it in this particular system is to make the touchpad bigger and integrate the left and right mouse buttons right onto the touchpad, almost like laptops with click pads do. The problem in this case is that it doesn't really indicate where those click zones are. You know, left-clicking, you can pretty much tap anywhere. But right-clicking is just right here, but not down here to the lip, but right over here. And if you miss that, you'll end up accidentally left-clicking when you wanna right-click. We spent a lot of time doing that when trying to, let's say, open a page link in like a new tab or something like that. And unlike an Apple touchpad, you can't just like double tap and then get a right click. So, they gave you the maximum amount of surface area on the touchpad, but that left-right mouse button thing, kind of annoying. So, it's a little bit of a wash. Of course, if you're getting a ThinkPad, chances are, well, chances are your IT department is buying it for you, but that means you're a business user with special needs. And all that security software, and management software, that's all actually pretty easy to find. They put a little blue button right here that says "ThinkVantage", and if you hit that, that brings up a software suite that has easy access to all those different apps so you can manage the power manage settings, the security settings. You can download updates. And of course, your IT guys can manage your system remotely. That's what you want out of a business system. You're gonna pay a pretty penny for this retail, definitely more than some of the other Intel Sandy Bridge laptops that we've seen so far. But if you're a serious business user who needs a compact system on the go, this is pretty much one of the only games in town. I'm Dan Ackerman and that is the Lenovo ThinkPad X220.