PC

Transform this hybrid with add-on modules

By snapping on different modules, you can turn the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet from a productivity workhorse to a portable entertainment centre.
By snapping on different modules, you can turn the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet from a productivity workhorse to a portable entertainment centre.PHOTO: LENOVO

The X1 Tablet has three add-on modules, two of which are available in Singapore

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet takes customisation to new heights. By snapping on different modules, you can turn this 12-inch Windows tablet from a productivity workhorse to a portable entertainment centre.

Like other 2-in-1 hybrids, the X1 Tablet comes with a keyboard accessory that also acts as a protective cover for the screen.

It is a proper ThinkPad keyboard too, with a layout identical to the ones on ThinkPad laptops, down to the iconic red pointing stick in the middle.

Key travel is comparable to some ThinkPad laptops. You can also adjust the typing angle of the keyboard by folding the flexible, cloth-like segment above the Function keys to create three distinct typing angles.

The tablet weighs 755g, around the same as the Microsoft Surface Pro 4. This balloons up to 1.1kg with the keyboard accessory.

The integrated kickstand pops out at the press of a button.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: $2,899

    PROCESSOR: Intel Core m7-6Y75 (1.2GHz)

    GRAPHICS: Intel HD Graphics 515

    RAM: 16GB

    SCREEN SIZE: 12 inches, 2,160 x 1,440 pixels

    CONNECTIVITY: 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 3.0 Type-C (power), mini-DisplayPort, microSD card reader, nano-SIM, audio jack

    BATTERY: 37 watt-hour

    RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 3/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

You can adjust the angle of the tablet, though the Surface Pro's kickstand offers more angles. Because it is made of metal, the kickstand makes an unpleasant sound if you drag the tablet on the desk.

Its screen looks as sharp as its competitors. It has a 2,160 x 1,440 pixel screen resolution with a 3:2 aspect ratio that makes it very usable in either portrait or landscape orientation.

The display is bright at maximum brightness and viewing angles are very good.

I really like the ThinkPad Pen Pro active stylus. By varying the pressure while writing with the stylus, you can produce anything from a faint line to a bold stroke. It is twice as sensitive as the Microsoft Surface Pen at detecting the amount of pressure exerted.

Complementing it is the Lenovo WRITEit app that converts your handwritten scribbles into text or images in other apps such as the Web browser.

The X1 Tablet is unique because of its three add-on modules, two of which are available in Singapore.

The Productivity module ($170) has a built-in battery that extends the battery life of the tablet by an additional five hours.

It also adds a number of useful ports such as a full-size HDMI and USB 3.0 ports.

The Presenter module ($830) has a pico projector that displays a 60-inch image from about 2m away. It can be used to show a movie or for a business presentation.

Key travel is comparable to some ThinkPad laptops. You can also adjust the typing angle of the keyboard by folding the flexible, cloth-like segment above the Function keys to create three distinct typing angles. 

It has an HDMI input port that lets you connect the module to an external video source instead of the X1 Tablet.

Not sold in Singapore is the 3D imaging module, which uses an Intel RealSense camera to capture 3D images.

Given its business slant, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet unsurprisingly offers features such as a touch-based fingerprint sensor, a TPM chip for hardware encryption and LTE connectivity.

With its low-power Intel Core m7 chip, I had expected a longer battery life than the five hours that the X1 Tablet mustered in our video-loop test. This is about as long as the Surface Pro 4.

•Verdict: The X1 Tablet is a business 2-in-1 hybrid with a unique twist. Battery life, however, could be better.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 29, 2016, with the headline 'Transform this hybrid with add-on modules'. Print Edition | Subscribe