After having used the Lenovo ThinkPad x240 for 3 months as my primary development laptop this is my review of it. This review is more targeted towards developers and will be slightly different as such and not in any way an in depth review. Those you’ll be able to find elsewhere by simply googling for it. This is simply a few words on what I have observed while using the x240.
Lenovo ThinkPad x240
The specifications on my machine is as follows:
OS: Windows 8.1 Pro x64
Processor (CPU): Intel® Core™ i5-4200U (Up to 2.60 GHz, 3MB L3, 1600 MHz FSB)
Display: 12.5″ HD (1366 x 768)
Memory (RAM): 8GB
Storage (Harddisk): SSD: 128GB SATA3
I’ll jump right into it and start out with the softer sides, being the visuals of the x240. The aesthetics of the x240 are quite pleasing and it has the standard and overall black and dark look as the usual Lenovo Thinkpad series which I personally fancy. It has also got overall softer edges compared to some of the previous models and in general feels a bit more modern.
The lid has a smooth and thin layer of carbon fiber like rubber, similarly to the X1 with the ThinkPad logo embossed into it. The lid is solid and I haven’t experienced the bolts soften up or anything like that after opening and closing the lid many times now. However it seems to me that the bottom edge of the screen where the dark plastic cover is, is bending out and there’s some darker spots. I haven’t really figured out what it is but it seems a bit weird.
A great thing about the x240 is that it comes with a VGA port which is huge plus in my opinion and a must for every developer, as you’ll most likely connect it to a bigger screen at work working with several machines or dual monitors and the like. It comes with two USB ports but frankly it’d be nice if there were an extra as I often also have my phone charging and other gadgets laying around. It has no ports on the front which is nice however the overall placement of the ports could be better utilized. I find it super annoying that the Combo Jack Headphone / MIC input is placed on the right side instead of left as it disturbs me when using the mouse and I feel the cable.
The trackpad (TrackPoint®) in this model is slightly below the level of rest of the keyboard, sort of sunken in if you will, which actually is annoying and gives a weird feel to it. As a result I’m using the touchpad instead whereas I usually would have used the trackpad when I’m not using an external mouse.
With regards to the keyboard layout and touchpad I’ll be mentioning that in the next section.
The overall design is very compact and solid but the lid gets dirty – fingerprints – and it shows in light due to the rubber material lid. The placement of I/O ports could also be better in my opinion and the trackpad feel is not as good as in other models. However that’s about it, other than that it looks very nice and is very lightweight but feels like a solid piece of machinery. You’ve got all your needed ports including a VGA port.
To begin with in this section I’ll pick off from were I left in the previous section with regards to the keyboard and its layout. The keyboard and its layout you might say? Well yes, as I developer you’ll be typing a whole lot.
One of the first things you’ll notice is that the Fn key is the outer most left key in the bottom on the keyboard whereas you might have expected Ctrl to be. You may not notice this at first but once try to do Ctrl + V and realize it’s Fn + V you’ll be depressed. This is somewhat a big deal for me especially knowing that I’ve seen other laptops which also have a Fn key but properly placed.
Furthermore the Fn key has some other issues which you’ll encounter while doing software and web development.
The Fn key has to be enabled by pressing Fn + Esc to be able to refresh a page in a browser by using F5. Otherwise you’re forced to use Fn + F5 all the time which is quite frustrating. Also when enabling the Fn key it’s disabling some other functions such as the End key. Personally I use the End key fairly often when coding and it’s annoying to press Fn + End.
Now after all this grumbling about the keyboard and its layout it’s in order to mention that the general feel and otherwise use of the keyboard is quite nice.
The touchpad has some really cool gestures such as being able to Go back in a browser by swiping from left to right with 3 fingers and other things that you’d expect such as scrolling up and down with 2 fingers. They work really well in my opinion and the touchpad overall is nice to use. However I would have liked to see the touchpad be quite a bit more firm and not so ‘soft‘ along with having a proper click sound! This is of course a personal preference.
The screen, again? Well before I really got to use the x240, while I was getting familiar with it I experienced that one day after having used it for a little and leaving it for a few minutes, what I discovered when I came back was a bit saddening. The screen went black and I couldn’t get it to work. I was however able to boot it up and could clearly hear the machine running and see the lights blink however the screen was just black. After a few minutes of searching I quickly found out that I wasn’t the only experiencing this problem and called the reseller to explain the problem. I wasn’t really sure what it was about, it could have been software or hardware problems however once I got it back it simply said that the motherboard had been changed. Oh well..
The Lenovo x240 is an overall nice and cool laptop however I’m not quite sure you get what you’d expect for the given price range. These were my observations using the x240 and even though it might seem all bad it is an overall OK laptop but with room for general improvement.