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Lenovo ThinkPad X240 a Sleek Touchscreen Ultrabook Tough Enough for Business

Paul Mah | Jan. 30, 2014
The ThinkPad X240 is the latest X-series laptop from Lenovo. We take the touchscreen version of the 12.5-inch laptop through the paces to see how it fares as a business tool.

The X240 also comes with Lenovo Power Bridge technology; this uses an internal, non-removable battery so you don't have to power down a laptop when swapping a drained external battery for a fresh one. To alleviate concerns about the non-removable battery exhausting its lifespan of rechargeable cycles, the external battery is always depleted (to about 5 percent) before the internal one is even used. Plugging the laptop into a wall socket charges both batteries in tandem.

At 3.2 pounds (1.45kg) with the 3-cell battery, and 3.6 pounds (1.63kg) with the 6-cell one, the X240 won't win any contest for being the lightest laptop around. But it's worth it for a full day of use without a recharge. In fact, frequent travelers or other workers who don't always have access to a power socket may want to forego the 3-cell battery and just purchase two 6-cell external batteries instead, as they deliver significantly more battery life without much additional bulk.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X240's extra-capacity battery is about twice the size of the standard battery, but it adds substantially more battery life.

Sleek ThinkPad x240 Design Comes at a Price
One consequence of the new Thinkpad X240 design is the inability for the IT department to perform in-house upgrades to core components such as memory and storage through easy-to-access panels on the bottom of the laptop. Rather than banking on an upgrade further down the line, it makes sense to acquire the requisite amount of memory and storage from the get-go.

Moreover, in its eagerness to support both touchpad and TrackPoint pointing stick, Lenovo may have inadvertently made using the trackpad less intuitive. Clicking on the right-hand corner of the track pad has the same effect as clicking the right mouse button. This confusing state of affair exists because the former was meant to simulate the physical mouse button for TrackPoint users, while the latter was meant to do the same for trackpad users. This could have been made clearer by supporting only one configuration by default.

The two-finger, right-click feature on the Lenovo ThinkPad X240 may not be intuitive for users due to the inability to disable the virtual right-click area.

In addition, the SSD-equipped review unit that we tested - with extended battery - is priced at $1,555. That may be too much for smaller businesses to justify. It was also a pity that Lenovo doesn't offer a ThinkPad X240 with full HD resolution at the moment, though that option should be available soon.

Finally, while the screen is largely immune to smudges, the new cover paint seem to pick up grease and fingerprints fairly easily.

Lenovo ThinkPad X240 Bottom Line
There's much to like about the Lenovo ThinkPad X240. Despite its modernized design, it feels just as robust and durable as previous generations of ThinkPad laptops. Serious business users and power users alike will greatly appreciate the excellent battery life and many business-centric features. Indeed, the fact that these all fit into the form factor of a 12.5-inch laptop effectively make the ThinkPad X240 one of the best compact business laptop to own.


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