Our review unit of the Lenovo ThinkPad X230 features the following specifications:
Part of the headline news with the release of the ThinkPad X230 is the use of the latest Intel "Ivy Bridge" processors. Our review unit came equipped with the Intel Core i5-3320M dual-core processor. This CPU has a standard clock speed of 2.6GHz and quickly steps up to a 3.3GHz turbo frequency whenever the notebook is performing a difficult task or running a complex application.
The new Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics in the Ivy Bridge platform are a noticeable step up from the previous generation of Intel integrated graphics and are capable of playing DirectX 11 games ... assuming there is driver support for the games you want to play. The X230 delivered some impressive benchmark numbers in 3DMark06 but real-world gaming tests were a combination of hit and miss since many new games still won't run properly on Intel graphics. Just to play devil's advocate we included benchmarks from the Eurocom Monster (Clevo W110ERF) since that ultraportable notebook packs the latest generation of NVIDIA discrete graphics inside a laptop shell roughly the same size as the X230.
Performance and Benchmarks
Granted, even if the X230 can't beat a custom gaming ultraportable when playing Batman: Arkham City, most businesses don't care about the ThinkPad X230's ability to play games ... they just want decent graphics performance for Photoshop editing and video conferences. Those are things that the X230 can handle without breaking a sweat.
The 320GB Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 hard drive in our review sample is reasonably speedy and is quick enough for average tasks. But considering the speedy performance of the latest Ultrabooks with SSDs, Lenovo probably needs to consider offering the optional solid state drive as standard (at least the 128GB capacity).
The only reason that the X230 didn't slaughter ultrabooks like the Dell XPS 13 and HP Folio 13 in the PCMark benchmarks is the fact that those ultrabooks are using faster SSD storage instead of a slow hard drive. Translation: Buy the X230 with a SSD or replace the hard drive with a SSD yourself if you want top-of-the-line performance.
wPrime processor comparison results (lower scores mean better performance):
PCMark Vantage measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):
PCMark 7 measures overall system performance in Windows 7 (higher scores mean better performance):
3DMark06 measures overall graphics performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance):
3DMark11 measures overall graphics performance in DirectX 11 games (higher scores mean better performance):
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