We try not to bring you too much news about product announcements unless there's something particularly intriguing about them; we get inundated by them and most of the time it's the most generic of refreshes. Happily that's not the case with Lenovo's shiny new ThinkPad X220 notebooks.

Inexplicably Lenovo is opting to label these two very different notebooks under the same X220 header: one is a tablet clocking in at 3.88 pounds with a 4-cell battery; the other is an ultraportable that weighs less than three pounds. Both come with support for either SSDs or mechanical hard disks (with a 4GB SSD option as a special order).


We'll start with the ultraportable X220. Lenovo is shipping it with a 12.5" 1366x768 LED-backlit screen, but you can upgrade to an IPS panel. It maxes out at 8GB of DDR3 and has a strong spread of Sandy Bridge mobile processors to choose from, starting with the Core i3-2310M at 2.1GHz and going all the way up to the i7-2620M at 2.7GHz. Strangely, only the i7-equipped models come with USB 3.0 connectivity. Reviews of the X220 are already popping up on the internet and the IPS screen is proving as impressive as you'd expect, but not nearly as impressive as the battery running time: Lenovo claims up to 15 hours on a 9-cell battery, a hyperbolic figure to be sure but not as crazy as you'd think. NotebookReview's test model came with a 6-cell battery and was pushing nine hours.

You can see and eventually order the ultraportable X220 here, and MSRP is expected to start at a not-unseemly $899.


The other X220 is the tablet model. Again it ships with a 12.5" 1366x768 LED-backlit screen, but in this case the only choice is the finish you want on the IPS panel: Infinity Glass or Corning Gorilla. Yes, the X220 tablet comes with an IPS panel standard, proving that Lenovo understands what ViewSonic couldn't figure out with their tablet: that viewing angles are really important. Unfortunately the X220 tablet is nearly a pound heavier than its ultraportable cousin and doesn't come with an option for USB 3.0 connectivity. Lenovo quotes nine hours of running time with the 8-cell battery.

The X220 Tablet isn't up on Lenovo's site yet, but MSRP is expected to start at $1,199.

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  • PhatoseAlpha - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - link

    Both come with support for either SSDs or mechanical hard disks (with a 4GB SSD option as a special order).

    I assume that should be 40GB?
  • secretmanofagent - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - link

    I was confused by that as well. The only thing I could think of was a hybrid disk, where the primary storage is the hard drive and it has some sort of flash memory. According to Wikipedia:
    "In May 2010, Seagate launched the Momentus XT solid state hybrid drive. It adds a new feature they call Adaptive Memory which is said to remove the OS, driver, and software dependency previously required to take advantage of the integrated Flash memory. The SSD portion of this new drive is also now a larger 4 GB, compared to 256 MB in the past."

    I'm pretty sure the 4GB is right, and it's referring to a hybrid option.
  • bhassel - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - link

    No, doesn't look like a typo, 4GB SSD is what the spec sheet says. I assume it's just for rather specialized purposes (could be useful as a boot drive for e.g. linux...)
  • DanNeely - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - link

    I wondered about that as well; but a midget PCIe SSD serving as a cache similar to the hybrid drive concept is a possibility as well.
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - link

    I saw it when editing and had to double-check to make sure Dustin didn't miss a 0. SSD sizes from Lenovo are limited to 80GB or 160GB I think, plus the aforementioned 4GB.
  • Teknojnky - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - link

    with a 1600x1200 IPS.

    Anything else is a downgrade.

    T60P - 4gig ram - intel g2 80g - win7
  • beginner99 - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - link

    would buy if offered with a usable resolution...
  • ismailfaruqi - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    I've used Thinkpads ultralight line from x60 to x200s... their screen's resolution are on par with their peers. And it is absolutely usable: thanks to them I've made money exceeding their value, and any higher resolution will only strain my eyes.
  • mike8675309 - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - link

    I applaud the IPS display on the tablet, but is the resolution really sufficient on a Tablet? I think not. Toshiba at least had an optional 1400x1050 display on their 12.1" screen M400 tablets. I seem to recall the Lenovo tablets used to have the higher res screen option. For tablets the high rez screen goes directly to space for writing, and pen resolution.
  • the_guy - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - link

    Same issues with resolution as what others posted. What are our options for a decently High Res portable / ultraportable Sandy Bridge Laptop?

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