Lenovo Thinkpad X280, the Ultra-Light Ultrabook with a Price to Beat


There is so much talk about Lenovo's new ThinkPad X280, a solid yet incredibly light ultrabook, with so much going for it, you would not believe that it costs and weighs less than Lenovo's $1,500 ThinkPad X1 Carbon. With a beautiful colorful display, a plethora of I/O ports, a good keyboard for an enjoyable typing experience, new ThinkPad X280 squeezes so much good into such a compact laptop.

As a new portable workstation, the 12.5-inch $1,000 (and up) X280 from ThinkPad is a 2.98 pound, 0.7 inch thick laptop, technically marking it as the thinnest and lightest of the X200 breed thus far. For example, last year’s X270 weighed, a very close, 3.0 pounds, and 3.4 pounds total with its extended battery (now with an sealed-in battery, Lenovo was able to pack more into its X280 model). It’s definitely not the lightest ultrabook, as the ThinkPad X1 Carbon weighed just 2.49 pounds, and measured 0.6 inches thick, all the while sporting its 14-inch display. Another example, is the Dell Latitude 7370, a notebook with a larger screen than the X280, at 13.3 inches, and barely scaling a lighter body, at 2.9 pounds.

Despite all of this, the design is quite typical to the ThinkPad name. It doesn’t have anything flashy going on, and its plain, boxy, and black-bodied exterior has remained virtually unchanged. But the tried-and-true ThinkPad laptop continues to be the go-to for so many professionals and enterprises, that these design qualities aren’t going to divert their attention. Power-packed and functional are the ThinkPad’s best attributes, and with the X-series flagships in mind, consumers appreciate the extra I/O ports, USB Power Delivery 3.0 rapid charging, microSD card slots, and Thunderbolt for docking.

This isn’t even close to the end, my friend. The new ThinkPad X280 has received the latest 8th Gen CPUs from Intel, a 12.5-inch FHD (1920 x 1080p) anti-glare multi-touch LCD display (users may choose from several resolution options), a better OS update, and incredible battery expectations. All updates from older ThinkPads, as expected, the X280 follows up with the Core i7-8650U with vPro (1.9GHz/ 4.2GHz Turbo), integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620, and Windows 10 Home or Home Pro.

Other hardware includes up to 16GB of onboard DDR4 RAM (at 2400 MHz), and up to 1TB PCIe-NVME M.2 of solid state drive. Beyond the basics, which are good for the professional user, there’s an optional fingerprint reader, optional IR camera, Kensington Lock slot, FIDO, and ThinkShutter. Battery life, varied upon a what is being utilized, may last up to 15 hours during a single charge. Finally, here comes the lineup of input and output ports, something the enterprise/professional user would find incredible helpful during a workday, presentation, and power and/or data sharing/transferring. Included are 2 USB 3.1 ports, 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port, 1 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, HDMI 1.4, microphone/headphone jack, a microSD card reader; plus options of either Intel Dual Band vPro WLAN, and Fibocom L850-GL 4G LTE WWAN connectivity.

The bottom line, despite all the technicalities that seem well versed, and well, top notch, ThinkPad users might find this smaller 12.5-inch model to be cramping (literally) its style. All of the work a professional does, especially when used to preceding models that were larger, might feel crowded going on with regular tasks, particularly whilst using the smaller windows as well as the keyboard. A bit sleeker, technically 13% lighter and 15% thinner, it’s still an attractive piece. However, on paper, everything, as an early verdict, shows the Lenovo ThinkPad X280 retains the features its particular audience loves about the line, as well as adding plenty of upgrades, and options for display quality, and hard drive configurations.

Topics: Technology News Laptops & Ultrathin Ultrabooks Tech Reviews

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