I’ve now had my new laptop – a Lenovo Thinkpad X301 – for nearly three months and it’s turning out to be a happy purchase.
It’s a top end laptop with a price to match, but in return, you get strong performance, small size even with a 13.3″ screen, lightweight and a very robust build.
Lenovo seems to be slightly undecided about just how robust it is, for when I unpacked mine I had (a) a leaflet telling me how it can withstand liquid spills on the keyboard and (b) a leaflet telling me how dangerous it is to spill liquid on the keyboard. Marketing department, meet health and safety department.
I’ve carted the portable around quite a lot, including making several trips away, and it is holding up well. There is a little bit of give in the plastic case at the front, by the touchpad, but that seems to be an essential part of the design (the plastic case is thinner there because of the hole for the touchpad) rather than a problem.
There are several thoughtful and useful small touches which suggest a laptop put together by a team who understand the annoyances and problems of laptop use outside the showroom. So we get a light to illuminate the keyboard and extra protection for the cable coming out of the power adaptor against being broken by repeated flexing.
It is also left-hand friendly, by which I mean some laptops deal with the heat they generate by pumping them out to the left. If you use your mouse with your right hand, that’s not a problem. But bad luck if you use it with your left hand and aren’t freezing. The laptop overall doesn’t generate much heat, but the heat it does isn’t concentrated in a blast at your left hand.
The software setup is refreshingly minimal. You get some Lenovo utilities and a little bit more, but you don’t get a system clogged up with lots of trial software or bloated free ‘helpful’ packages. The Lenovo software is better than similar packages from other suppliers I’ve experienced – particularly once I’d figured out how to speed up the Access Connections software.
So if you’re looking for a non-budget laptop yourself, I’d happily recommend getting a Lenovo ThinkPad X301.