Managed to steal the Lenovo Thinkpad X200T from Nicole for a couple of hours while she is away. This will just be a short first look. More detailed review when I get my hands on the review unit. This is actually not the first time I’ve seen the X200T. Lenovo been showing off this beautiful half laptop, half Tablet device for quite some time already. But this is the first time I get to use it for a couple of hours without any interruptions.
Like all Thinkpad, the X200T is very sturdy. The classic metal hinge is gone because this is a tablet. But the rotating joint that connects the screen to the rest of the laptop is very sturdy. But I won’t recommend that you hold the laptop by the screen like you usually would on a Thinkpad. Keyboard is the same as the classic Thinkpad keyboard. Which means very comfortable and nice to type with. And if you have been reading my past reviews, you will know that I simply love the Thinkpad’s keyboard. The X200T, like all X series Thinkpad, does not have a touchpad. You will need to learn how to use the Trackpoint (Which, in my opinion, is the best way to control the mouse pointer on a laptop).
OK, I know you guys are more interested in the Tablet mode. So to summarize, the X200T in laptop mode is just like any other Lenovo Thinkpad.
I personally think that Lenovo did a good job with the Tablet implementation. The screen has a special coating which makes it great for touch. It doesn’t attract much fingerprints. You can use multi-touch gestures like pinch to zoom. To page up or down a website/document, simply flick up or down.
The battery protrude out a little so that you can have better grip of the device when in Tablet mode. There are several shortcut buttons like rotate screen and lock on the side so that you can use it when in Tablet mode. The fingerprint scanner and power on button can also be accessed when in Tablet mode, which means you can leave the X200T in tablet mode forever. Lenovo added a hold on the power on button so that you won’t accidentally power on/off the device.
Lenovo added a program call SimpleTap which I really love. SimpleTap can be activated via the red dot on the side of the screen. Once inside SimpleTap, you get quick access to controls like Volume, Brightness, Wireless on/off etc. You can further customise SimpleTap to include shortcuts to your application or even bookmarks to websites. The only problem is that the SimpleTap’s red dot is a little too big and I have a problem deciding which corner of the screen should I place it. I hope in future model, Lenovo would consider a physical shortcut button on the side to access SimpleTap.
The tablet mode is pretty good for browsing the net or reading documents. But if you want to do text editing, I would suggest that you use the physical keyboard. The onboard keyboard still isn’t something you would want to use for typing long emails. The X200T comes with a stylus for those who want to use handwriting as input. I’ve seen people do fast text entry with stylus. But for me, I can never get used to writing on a tablet.
The only problem with the X200T is the Operating System. Even though Windows 7 is customised for Touchscreen, I must say that it’s still not very friendly enough for touchscreen. It’s hard to use the scrollbar at the side of the screen. Microsoft should allow users to scroll up/down just by dragging up and down on any part of the website/document just like what we do on a touchscreen phone. If you really must force users to use the side scrollbar, the least you could do is increase the side of the scrollbar.
As a whole, Lenovo did a good job with the Tablet implementation. User interface on the Tablet mode needs to be improved. But this problem is with all PC tablet unless Microsoft do something about it. If you can’t decide on whether to get a Laptop or a Tablet, perhaps Lenovo X200T would be a good option.