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Lenovo New Commercial Grade NoteBook-ThinkPad X201i Complete Review

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by windwithme, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. windwithme

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    [​IMG]

    Lenovo ThinkPad series is the most well known in their NoteBook product line.
    Continue IBM prime design tradition, the X series NoteBook is still very popular for commercial users.
    Especially the previous X201 with CULV version, the price drops a lot.
    Even the budget concerned user also can have the good commercial grade quality product.
    The parity ThinkPad is more competitive. Besides the product C/P is enhanced, it also attracts the users sight.



    I still remember the year before, Intel NoteBook CPU almost are Core 2 Duo.
    The main models are TX00 and PX00 series. Also CULV CPU is focus on low clock and power consumption.
    After Q1 2010, you can see many brands use new Intel structure - Core i3/i5/i7 3 CPU series.
    It’s with new chipset for higher performance.

    Lenovo next generation 12 inch ThinkPad, model X201.
    According to CPU level, there are X201i, X201, X201s, and X201t four series.
    This review is X201i-A22, has 3 versions, with Intel Core i3-330M CPU.

    First, let’s look the Lenovo ThinkPad X201i outlook, same as X200 series.
    [​IMG]

    The chassis is magnesium alloy with special coating. The matt surface is more commercial quality.
    It doesn’t like bright coating will paint-shed after long time usage.
    [​IMG]

    Battery and body shell quality can be better if they are the same.
    [​IMG]

    4Cell battery and the spec is NOM 2.0 AH 29WH
    [​IMG]

    The adaptor is smaller version. The cable is quite crude.
    [​IMG]

    A22 is the X201i version which is without Windows7. The accessories are simple.
    [​IMG]

    Upper lid front has 3 Status LED.
    [​IMG]

    Left side
    From Left: Power in, thermal holes (X200 is copper), USB, D-SUB, RJ45 LAN, ExpressCard, USB(Always On USB), Wifi switch
    [​IMG]

    Right Side
    From Left: USB, earphone, Mic, MODEM phone line jack, HDD, anti-thief lock
    [​IMG]
    Soylent Joe, DRDNA, vbx and 1 other person say thanks.
  2. Black Panther

    Black Panther Senior Moderator™ Staff Member

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    Thanks for the review.

    Your photos are great.

    I mean this as constructive criticism -

    - more info needed about the hardware inside the laptop, apart from the cpu.
    - a conclusion for your review would be nice, you can compare price/quality ratio in conclusion.
    - you need to refine your english (sentence structure made me wild-guess that you're from Japan/China/Taiwan? ;))
  3. windwithme

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    Front side
    Lower right side is monitor lock and SD memory card slot
    [​IMG]

    Keyboard layout, size and touch feeling are all very good. It’s also water proof.
    The difference with X200 is X201 has touch pad, so the keyboard size is smaller.
    [​IMG]

    12.1” matte monitor, the resolution is 1280X800. The open degree is 180.
    Both side of LCD has antenna inside, they called UltraConnect. It can enhance the recipient ability.
    [​IMG]

    Bottom side
    Docking connector, dual speakers, the support cushion is also special designed.
    [​IMG]

    The shaft between monitor and body is metal, should be very durable.
    It’s said this design is their own patent, so other brands cannot copy.
    [​IMG]

    2M pixels WebCAM, and next is ThinkLight illumination feature.
    [​IMG]

    If you don’t get used to touch point, you can use touch pad.
    [​IMG]

    Thermal solution looks good. It looks like copper material.
    [​IMG]

    X201i uses 4Cell battery, the weight is 1425g.
    The official spec is 1.39Kg which is very close to the real. It’s a good example.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  4. kurosagi01

    kurosagi01

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    Don't worry panther he/she isn't done with uploading yet there is still more to come. :)
    You sir/miss have posted a lot of notebook and netbook on the forum and its all really good,great photos and nice and simple description.
  5. windwithme

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    Lenovo ThinkPad X201i uses Intel latest Calpella structure.
    CPU is Intel Core i3-330M. The clock is 133 X 16 => 2.13GHz, L3 3MB, dual core and supports HT technology.
    The chipset is QM57. Comparing to GM45, I believe the performance will be much better.

    Performance test
    OS is Windows7 Ultimate 64Bit
    Hardware info in Device Manager
    [​IMG]

    Windows7 system performance
    [​IMG]

    CPU performance test
    Super PI 32M => 27m 15.148s
    CPUMARK99 => 327
    [​IMG]

    Nuclearus Multi Core => 8239
    Fritz Chess Benchmark => 8.05/3862
    [​IMG]

    CrystalMark 2004R3 => 97206
    [​IMG]

    CINEBENCH R10
    1 CPU => 2858 CB
    x CPU => 6706 CB
    [​IMG]

    PCMark Vantage => 4859
    [​IMG]

    Even it’s the most entry i3 CPU, the benchmark score is very good.
    It’s not only much higher than Core 2 Duo CULV CPU, but also higher than P8700 2.53GHz.
    i3-330M is only 2.13GHz, but the performance is almost same as P8700.
    During multi-tasking performance, as i3 has HT, the performance is higher than P8700.
    The new generation Core i3~i7 CPU performance is much better than Core 2 Duo.

    HDD SY9320423AS test
    2.5” 320GB 7200rpm version.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As 7200rpm 2.5” HDD, the performance is quite well. The highest read/write speed is around 89~94MB/s.
    The system running is very smooth. 2.5” SATA HDD is the key factor of whole system performance.

    Using high performance MLC SSD-CORSAIR P128 to test
    [​IMG]
  6. windwithme

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    CORSAIR P128 SSD official spec is 220/180 MB/s
    Installing with X201i, QM57 chipset, can achieve 229/175 MB/s. It really unleashes the performance in NoteBook.
    Some users always think CPU or individual VGA card grades are the only factors for NoteBook performance.
    However, if you don’t run video-encoding, CPU, or play 3D Game, VGA, in NoteBook, SSD is the most efficient way to improve the system performance which like internet, music and most applications.
    You will feel the difference in boot and open software.

    3D is the latest Intel technology that CPU built-in GPU
    3DMARK2006
    [​IMG]

    StreetFighter IV Benchmark
    1280 X 720 => 24.52FPS
    [​IMG]

    StreetFighter IV Benchmark in GM45 is only 13 FPS. In this test, the score is over 24 FPS.
    The new Intel chipset improve the 3D performance around 50~70% more than GM45.

    DRAM performance
    DDR3 1364 CL7 7-7-20 1T

    Sandra Memory Bandwidth-8979MB/s
    EVEREST Memory Read-7253MB/s
    [​IMG]

    The both DRAM bandwidth benchmark are all 50~100% higher than GM45.
    Built-in Memory Controller in CPU is really helpful for system perfroamance.

    CPU Temperature
    Standby - 36~41℃
    [​IMG]

    CPU full speed - 81~86℃
    [​IMG]

    32nm manufacturing CPU looks like no big advantage in temperature.
    In actual usage, X201i emanates air is lower than the software.
    There is only some heat air.
    It might be the board temperature detecting software number is higher.
    The temperature in the thermal holes is lower than some other brands NoteBook.

    Power consumption test by Power Angle as reference
    Entering OS desktop - 10W
    [​IMG]

    CPU full speed - 30W
    [​IMG]

    For the standby status, it’s really good. It’s also same as CULV or Atom platform. In full speed, the consumption is similar with NoteBook.
    But 32nm should lower the power.


    Battery Duration
    4Cell battery, Battery Eater Pro (turn off wifi and bluetooth)
    Full Speed - 0:42:12
    [​IMG]
  7. windwithme

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    Standby - 2:44:28
    [​IMG]

    In Battery Eater Pro test, full speed CPU+3D, the power duration is the shortest.
    If you only play video, X201i can stay 2hr10mins. It’s acceptable range.
    The latest structure really improves the system performance.
    However, for the standby mode, it’s lower 10% comparing to X200s.

    [​IMG]

    Lenovo ThinkPad X201i Overall
    Good
    1. High end product shell and components. The commercial model design has very good keyboard and coating.
    2. Latest Intel platform. The CPU, GPU and DDR3 performance are all improved.
    3. 12” matte monitor which is normally only for high end 12~13.3” NoteBook
    4. In normal usage, the body temperature is low. The thermal solution design is very good.
    5. The most famous touch point is better than touch pad after you get used to.
    6. The ThinkLight and keyboard are very suitable for business persons.

    Weak
    1. Fn key position is easily to press wrong as its position.
    2. 4Cell battery duration is not as much as I expect.
    3. The shell will easily to see the dust.
    4. No HDMI or USB 3.0

    Performance ★★★★★★★★☆☆
    Components ★★★★★★★★★★
    Specification ★★★★★★★★★☆
    Outlook ★★★★★★★★☆☆
    C/P Value ★★★★★★★★★☆

    For the audio, in the real situation, the hi-pitch is not high enough. Alto is very good. You can hear the fine and smooth sounds.
    Bass is not low enough. I feel the sound field is too weak.
    For my experience of light commercial NoteBook, X201i use dual speakers are quite good already.

    Using 2M pixels WebCAM, I found the color and detail are quite good. It’s almost same as the real theme.
    If the luminance is not well, the noise will be higher.

    [​IMG]

    ThinkPad X201 is a good components, features and performance NoteBook.
    Especially lowest price one, X201i, is more attractive. The price is around 29000~38000NTD as different specs.
    It’s around 900~1185USD. Compare to the other NoteBook brands in the same price segment, you are hard to find the same product to compete.

    I think in this price segment, ThinkPad X201i is in really good position to gain the market share.

    Many people ask me what is the key factors to choose a good NoteBook? What brands or models are better quality and performance?
    Then I will ask that are you carrying out very often? If yes, please choose below 1.5Kg~1.6Kg products. If not, just pick whatever you like.
    If you need to carry out your NoteBook, I recommend the weight is your first priority to consider. Just for your reference.

    Small dimension and light NoteBook is the mainstream product. Even in DeskTop, it’s getting smaller as well.
    In the past, Micro ATX is the mainstream spec for small PC. Recently, Mini-ITX, the smaller form factor, is getting more and more popular.
    In the near future, I will share one article about Inte Core i5-655K/GIGABYTE H55N-USB3/SEED Case high performance MIni-ITX PC.
    I hope it can provide you some ideas of small PC.
    [​IMG]

    Finally, I attach the Spyder2 color correction file for all X201i users.
    Thanks for reading this Lenovo ThinkPad X201i review. :)
    [​IMG]

    windwithme Lenovo ThinkPad X201i

    This review also post in my blog WIND'S 3C
    Welcome 3C lovers to visit and advise.
    Soylent Joe says thanks.
  8. Batou1986

    Batou1986

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    Very good review im glad to see a lenovo out there as most ppl don't know who lenovo is or how well made the products are as i recommended them all the time
  9. vbx New Member

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    Damn, very nice pictures and detailed review. This is a very nice laptop. If I was in the market for a new laptop, I would give Lenovo a try. Looks very solid. Nice, sleek and simple laptop.
  10. DRDNA

    DRDNA

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    Lenovo is good at what they do...the lenovo lappies use to be IBM lappies.

    Great review too!
  11. kurosagi01

    kurosagi01

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    Lenevo are execellent laptops.
  12. Soylent Joe

    Soylent Joe New Member

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    Great review for a really nice product. I've always loved ThinkPads.
  13. dr emulator (madmax)

    dr emulator (madmax)

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    the uk that's all you need to know ;)
    maybe we need someone to correct the little typo's in his/her posts ;):D

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