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Lenovo Thinkpad X1 notebook review: Thin and flat is where it is at

Without further ado, here are more detailed information about the processor and the onboard GPU that are used to power Lenovo's new ultrathin X1 notebook, as detailed by CPU-Z and GPU-Z:



General performance

Unlike most consumer-grade notebooks that are currently being sold on the market, mobile computing solutions designed for use in business environments are usually required to cater to a more specific subset of needs, and suffice to say battery life is going to be one of them, if only because of the growing need for a mobile professional to possess a portable computing device which is capable of delivering close to full day's worth of juice on a single charge.

Like our previous review with the Sony VAIO Z notebook, we made use of a .BAT file to log the amount of uptime the X1's built-in battery was capable of delivering when  the notebook was subjected to a variety of usage scenarios. The result was that the X`managed to return an uptime of up to 119 minutes or close to two full hours of continuous video playback of a 1080p video clip. Repeating the test with PC Mark Vantage looping the Productivity and Web Page Rendering tests to simulate a heavy productivity workload resulted in the X1's built-in battery retaining its charge for up to 64 minutes. Once again, this is no where near the ideal 'full day computing' battery life highly sought after by mobile professionals, but at the very least, we are confident that the X1 is capable of providing at least three full hours of uptime under typical usage scenarios with various power saving features enabled.

Display-wise, the X1's 14-inch screen boasts a relatively consistent backlighting, although this is not immediately evident on our photograph due to some reflection causing a huge black band to form in the centre of the image. However, like the VAIO Z that we reviewed some time back, there appears to be some significant bleeding at the panel's bottom.

That being said, the backlight bleeding on the X1's display is not likely to cause any significant viewing issues for the average user, as that area is typically well covered up by the Windows Taskbar:

While it is generally accepted that Intel's integrated GPUs are the last thing any sane user would want to rely on for gaming, it does not change the fact that it is these GPUs boast just enough power to do a rather decent job in a wide variety of basic graphics-related tasks, such as rendering the Aero interface in Windows 7 and accelerating high-definition (HD) video clips at the 1080p resolution. Indeed, jitters and frameskips were virtually non-existent when a 1080p video file was played back on the  X1, although we should point out that hardware-accelerated HD video playback was a feature that could be found in Intel's integrated GPUs starting from the GMA950 onwards.

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

As the new integrated GPUs used in Intel's Sandy Bridge platform do not feature hardware support for DirectX 11, we were not able to run the 3DMark 11 benchmarking suite on the X1 to determine its graphical capabilities in a controlled environment. As a result, we reverted to 3DMark Vantage for this particular test, and the result is as follows. 

Not surprisingly, the X1 performed splendidly in 3DMark Vantage's CPU tests, although the scores returned by the integrated Intel HD Graphics 2000 GPU were anything but impressive.

Futuremark PCMark 7

For the most part, any notebook that features Intel's Sandy Bridge platform is usually more than up to the task for handling most of today's computing needs such as web surfing, HD movie playback, photo editing and Flash acceleration. As such, it was hardly surprising to see Lenovo's new ThinkPad X1 notebook return a respectable score of 3637 points upon running the full PCMark 7 test suite on it .

VR-Zone is a leading online technology news publication reporting on bleeding edge trends in PC and mobile gadgets, with in-depth reviews and commentaries.

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