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Lenovo Thinkcentre X1 review: All-in-one design done right

Jon L. Jacobi | July 18, 2016
Sleek, minimal, and quick are how an all-in-one should be.

All-in-one PCs ideally save space, minimize clutter, and allow unrestricted access to the surface they reside on. None that I’ve seen have fully realized such design goals—until now. Lenovo’s ThinkCentre X1 hits those targets dead-on.

lenovo thinkcentre x1 front 8
Lenovo

The Thinkcentre X1 is thin, and quite light at 8.8-pounds sans stand.

This all-in-one is also easy to use and fast enough that if I had to use it for my everyday computing, I’d be perfectly happy. And that’s despite the handful of changes that the ThinkCentre X1 could benefit from, like different color-coding for the always-on USB 3.0 port and the power jack, and options for a 4K UHD display or a touchscreen.

Design, ports, and style

The Thinkcentre X1 comes styled in the usual Lenovo charcoal-gray color scheme, with a 23.8-inch, 1920x1080 non-touch display featuring an anti-glare coating. Said coating works pretty well, but this particular type reminds me of the haze you get on mirrors. The X1 would be better with a full matte panel, like the one on Toshiba’s Z20t-C2112 laptop. That doesn’t detract from the ThinkCentre X1’s excellent design, though.

The key aspect of such success is the X1’s stand. Its base is so thin that you can treat it as part of the work surface. Yet the X1 gives no feeling of instability—it should withstand being pushed around for repositioning without falling over.

Another two factors are the unit’s wide range of tilt, and the low amount of pressure needed to adjust it. The result is hassle-free access to anything you’ve stored behind the machine, and less frustration when connecting cables or dongles to the rear ports.

lenovo thinkcentre x1 front 10
Lenovo

The Thinkcentre X1 tilts to far greater angles than the average AIO, and doing so doesn’t take a lot of force. 

A further sign of the the X1’s thoughtful design is the arrangement of its ports and switches. Everything you’re likely to leave plugged in connects to the back of the system: gigabit ethernet, Kensington lock port, power jack, a bi-directional DisplayPort 1.2 port, and three USB 3.0 ports. For more daily use, you’ll find two USB 3.0 ports (one of which is always on, for charging purposes), a combination headphone/microphone jack, and a media card slot on the lower left hand side.

On the lower right hand side of the X1 are the power button, mute button for the microphone, and computer/display switch. The latter is there because the bi-directional DisplayPort connector gives the option to drive another display or output to the Thinkcentre X1’s screen from another computer. Of course, if you’re a lefty, you might prefer the side layouts reversed, but the general clustering was a good decision.

 

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