Our Lenovo ThinkPad X220 notebook review unit has landed, and we've hit the ground running with this drool-worthy machine. If you're the ThinkPad type and like to travel light without performance compromise, the X220 is poster child of all things good in ThinkPad land: it has a rigid metal frame and a soft touch finish with that signature ThinkPad look. It weighs only 3 lbs. yet it packs a 12.5" LED display, second gen Intel Core CPUs (that's Sandy Bridge with Cougar Point), a healthy compliment of ports and room for 3, 6 and 9 cell batteries. Build quality is excellent.
Is it fast? Yes. Our 2.5GHz Intel 2520M Core i5 scored 7447 on PCMark Vantage. The gaming subscore was a surprisingly decent 4377 with Intel HD graphics.
The matte IPS display (optional) is lucious with color, very bright and has extreme viewing angles. This is the option to get, folks.
Lenovo claims 15 hours of battery life with the 9 cell, and we're still testing battery life. Even more miraculous is the 19 cell slice battery that when used in conjunction with the 6 cell is supposed to be good for 23 hours of runtime! The battery slice weighs just 1 lb. 9 ounces, so you're only toting 4 lbs. 9 ounces if you need to go literally around the clock.
The ThinkPad has both the standard Trackpoint eraser stick pointer with buttons and a buttonless trackpad below. Other than being small, we found the trackpad to work quite well, especially compared to HP's buttonless models.
The ThinkPad starts at $979, which is relatively reasonable for an X Series ThinkPad. The base model is a second gen 2.13GHz Intel Core i3, and you can go up to a 2.7GHz Core i7. Our review unit has the 2.5GHz Intel Core i5 2520M, 4 gigs of 1333MHz RAM, the IPS display option (really, really worth the upgrade price) and the 6 cell standard battery plus 19 cell slice, which Lenovo tells us will cost $1,299 total. Not bad.
There are 3G options, WiMAX options and a 720p webcam is standard. This laptop is fast, and we found even Photoshop CS5 and Windows Movie Maker moved along nicely on the 2.5GHz model with Intel HD graphics.
Ports include 3 USB 2.0 (one sleep and charge), VGA, Display Port, SD card and an ExpressCard/34 slot.