Lenovo ThinkPad X201 3626 – 12 inch laptop with Core i5 chip

Laptops — on May 20, 2010 at 12:05 am | 2 Comments

Sum and Substance:

Thumbs Up:

Power full processor crammed in a 12 inch laptop, good battery life, quality construction

Thumbs Down:

Bulky, expensive.

The Whiz Kid Speaks: Lenovo ThinkPad X201 3626 is 11.6 inches wide, 8.3 inches deep, 1.4 inches high, and weighs 3.2 lbs. The laptop is powered by Intel Core i5 I5-540M / 2.53 GHz, dual core processor which has maximum turbo speed of 3.06 GHz. Chipset type is Mobile Intel QM57 Express. It has L3 cache of 3 MB. Installed memory is 4 GB DDR3 SD RAM of 1066 MHz and it is expandable to 8 GB. For storing data, there is a 320 GB SATA hard drive with 7200 rpm.

The 5 in 1 card reader supports the following cards – SDHC Memory Card, Memory Stick Pro, SD Memory Card, MultiMediaCard, Memory Stick. The display is 12.1 inches big and has a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. Graphics processor is Intel HD Graphics. Interfaces include Docking / port replicator, Display / video – VGA – 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15), 3 x Hi-Speed USB, Modem – Phone line – RJ-11, Headphones – Output – Mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm, Microphone – Input – Mini-phone 3.5 mm, Network – Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX/1000Base-T – RJ-45.

Features include Security lock slot (cable lock sold separately), Intel Active Management Technology (iAMT), ThinkVantage Active Protection System, Administrator password, Hard drive password, Power-on password. The six cell lithium ion battery has a rated battery life of 6.7 hours. Bundled software includes ThinkVantage Rescue and Recovery, ThinkVantage Access Connections, ThinkVantage System Update, ThinkVantage Power Manager, Lenovo Password Manager, ThinkVantage Toolbox, Fingerprint Software, Skype. Preinstalled OS is Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit Edition. The notebooks comes with the three year warranty.

Razzle Dazzle:

Lenovo ThinkPad X201 3626 looks quite similar to the other laptops in the ThinkPad line up and the looks of this laptop are exactly similar to the last X-Series notebook which we reviewed earlier. There are some tweaks and also some improvements but Lenovo refuses to fiddle around with this notebook’s looks. Lenovo has off late experimented a bit with the looks of IdeaPad notebooks which are targeted more towards a consumer. Hopefully, we will see some new layout for the business class ThinkPad series soon.

Inside Dope:

Not many brands in the market have made as big as Lenovo ThinkPad in the laptop market. These systems have an iconic feel and not many changes have been done to its looks over the past few years. The feature set lives up to your expectations and its keyboard too are mostly comfortable for typing. ThinkPad X series of laptops are really small, if not svelte and they are the smaller siblings of the ThinkPads which is mostly found in offices. Lenovo ThinkPad X201 3626 still has the big keyboard which ends up on the chassis edge. Apart from that, it sports the fast Core i5 processor and has travel friendly 12 inch screen.

Lenovo ThinkPad X201 3626

Don’t be deceived by its size, this laptop is really power full and but when it comes to portability, it is not that easy to carry this system around as compared to other 11-12 inch Netbooks. The footprint could have been reduced by shaving off the trackpoint. There are four mouse buttons which take up a lot of space. But you won’t complain much while carrying this device as the bulk has been increased just a bit for providing a sturdy feel to the device.

Lenovo’s chunky tapered keyboard is one of our favorites when it comes to notebook keyboards. It looks a bit retro now especially because it is been around for a while and we are fans of the island style button layout. Lenovo ThinkPad X201 3626’s keyboard too is great to use, hitting keys is easy and important keys like Shift and Control are retained in size. Our fingers didn’t experience any fatigue even after long typing sessions. Our only gripe here is that the red trackpoint button seems a bit big and we stumbled on it a lot while typing.

The touchpad of the Lenovo ThinkPad X201 3626 is recessed. It has a accurate, slick surface and using it is easy but it doesn’t seem a bit small when you look at the big generous keyboard above it. The real estate of the touch pad seems to be compromised upon in order to make room for the two mouse buttons above it.

ThinkPad series of notebooks are popular amongst the business users because they have a specialized software suite and also support apps. It is called ThinkVantage and there is a dedicated blue button to summon it. It gives you access to diagnostic and security tools along with support features of Lenovo. We think it is quite useful but we didn’t like the advertisements of Lenovo’s services and accessories put there.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X201 3626’s display is 12.1 inches big and has a resolution of 1,280×800 pixels. This is standard for laptops of this size. The display has a 16:10 aspect ratio and you would have got 1,366×768 pixels resolution if the aspect ratio had been 16:9. The display is all matte which will be welcomed by business users. Normally we have glossy screens which reflect a lot of light.

Laptops from Lenovo come with tons of configuration options but when it comes to GPU or CPU, the options are quite sparse. What you do get is choice for operating system, networking, hard drives and RAM. We were delighted to see ExpressCard slot here, it is being omitted a lot on consumer laptops. Lenovo ThinkPad X201 3626 is powered by 2.53GHz Intel Core i5 M540 which has already impressed in the past, with its speed. There are not a lot of notebooks in the market having this processor for a 12 inch size. In fact, the only other notebook that we know is Sony Vaio Z116. This notebook cannot handle graphics but apart from that, you won’t find a lot of applications that the X201 3626 cannot handle.

When tested in our labs, the Lenovo ThinkPad X201 3626 gave battery life of almost seven hours which is absolutely amazing.

Nitty Gritty:

This is a business laptop targeted towards businessmen who want a power full notebook in a small chassis. All this will cost you a lot more than a standard notebook though.

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