Performance and Benchmarks
I have to admit that when I first heard Lenovo was sticking a Core i7 processor in the X201 I had the mental image of a 12-inch gaming or workstation-class notebook. That was not the case as the Core i7-640LM processor included in our X201s and X200 Tablet are dual-core processors designed with power efficiency in mind and not breakneck performance. It also turns out that the low-voltage Core i7 processors are slower than the Core i5 processor we testedmaking things even more confusing for the average consumer who might be purchasing a notebook on model numbers alone.
Compared to the Intel P8600-equipped X200 we reviewed more than a year ago, every X201 we reviewed offered a substantial boost in speed, including the X201s with the new Core i7-640LM. Overall system performance went up 30 to 50% across the board depending on configuration. 3D-performance went up 63 to 106% with the newer GMA HD integrated graphics over the older X4500 chipset. Users will note that the GMA HD inside notebooks with the low-voltage Core i7 processors are clocked lowerat a 266MHz base frequency instead of 500MHzthan similarly-equipped Core i5 systems.
If you depend on your notebook to be your "desktop-away-from-home" the newer platform offers plenty of performance to satisfy most users. Multimedia enthusiasts will enjoy streaming 1080P Flash video through YouTube or decoding downloaded 1080P movies with barely making the notebook break a sweat. If you find yourself wanting more power than the standard run-of-the-mill netbook or CULV notebook can provide, one of the 12-inch X201 ThinkPads might be the best alternative.
>wPrime processor comparison results (lower scores mean better performance):
PCMark05 measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):
3DMark06 measures overall graphics performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance):
HDTune storage drive performance test:
Heat and Noise
Thermal performance of the X201 is very good even with the Core i5-540M processor. Under a light load the keyboard and palmrest stayed a few degrees above room temperature. Temperatures increased with the system under a full load but "touch" areas on top of and below the notebook stayed within reasonable levels. The cooling fan was audible in a quiet room but only when the system was being stressed. With our sound meter in a room with a tested 31.5dB ambient background, we measured the system fan on low speed at 33dB, mid speed at 38dB, and high speed at 42dB 6 inches from the exhaust vent.
Battery life across all the models we tested was excellenteven on the X201 with the Intel Core i5-540M processor and 7200RPM hard drive. Each model was tested with the screen brightness set to 70%, wireless active, and Windows 7 set to a balanced profile. Note that the X201 is equipped with a 9-cell battery, the X201 Tablet has an 8-cell battery, and the X201s is configured with a 6-cell battery. Our results are shown below:
During the test the X201 with the Intel Core i5-540M and 7200RPM hard drive consumed between 7.5 to 8 watts of power. The X201s with the Core i7-640LM consumed between 6.5 to 7 watts. The X200 Tablet also using the Core i7-640LM consumed between 7.5 and 9 watts of power. If you want the perfect mix of speed and battery life the X201s tested with the 9-cell battery stayed on for 11 hours and 50 minutes!
The Lenovo ThinkPad X201 offers quite a few solid features compared to the older X200. Users who prefer a touchpad interface can now get it on the X201 and X201 Tablet, and even though it is netbook-sized it is still very usable. The newest Intel platform offers a huge boost in overall performance from the previous generation and in some cases doubled the 3D performance. Battery life also increased across the board with the help of the power-sipping Intel Core i7-640LM processor. If you find yourself always wanting a bit more than what most netbooks or CULV-based notebooks have to offer, the Lenovo ThinkPad X201 packs a huge punch in a small package.
Software & Support
* Ratings averaged to produce final score
more than 100 focused websites providing quick access to a deep store of
news, advice and analysis about the technologies, products and processes crucial
to the jobs of IT pros.
All Rights Reserved, Copyright 2000 - 2013, TechTarget | Read our Privacy Statement