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Lenovo ThinkPad X220 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £1108
inc VAT

Powerful with amazing battery life, but an Ultrabook is a cheaper option

Lenovo’s ThinkPad laptops are the mainstay of its mobile business, and the X220 is one of the most portable. Despite weighing a miniscule 1.3kg, it packs in a powerful processor and plenty of useful connections.

The X220 is powered by an Intel Core i5-2520M processor running at 2.5GHz, so has plenty of power in reserve. Paired with 4GB of RAM, it had no problems running our multimedia benchmarks with an overall score of 60.

Lenovo ThinkPad X220

The laptop’s power doesn’t come at the expense of battery life, as long as you stick to simple tasks such as word processing – the X220 managed an incredible nine and a half hours in our light-use test. You’ll be able to work all day without having to reach for the power adaptor. This is partly because the X220 uses Intel’s integrated GPU to power the display, rather than more power-hungry dedicated AMD or Nvidia graphics. It’s fine for high definition video, but not for games – our Dirt 3 test produced an unplayable 14.3fps. You’ll have to drop detail settings or stick to older titles to get playable frame rates.

Lenovo ThinkPad X220

The screen itself has a 1,366×768 resolution, which is well suited to the 12.5in panel – images and text both look sharp, even though colours aren’t particularly vibrant on anything other than full brightness. There’s over 180 degrees of screen tilt and a matt finish to diffuse light reflections, although viewing angles aren’t particularly wide.

Lenovo ThinkPad X220

As befits its business focus, the X220 has a huge range of connectivity options. As well as three USB ports, one of which is USB3, a multi-format card reader, an ExpressCard /34 slot, an Ethernet port and a combination headset jack, there are also VGA and DisplayPort outputs for connecting to an external display. A fingerprint reader will appeal to the security conscious and there’s a docking port on the rear of the chassis for desk-bound use.

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Basic Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i5-2520M
Processor clock speed2.5GHz
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory8GB
SoundRealtek HD Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad


Viewable size12.5 in
Native resolution1,366×768
Graphics ProcessorIntel HD 3000 Graphics
Graphics/video portsVGA, DisplayPort
Graphics Memory384MB


Total storage capacity320GB
Optical drive typenone

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11n
PC Card slots1x ExpressCard/34
Supported memory cardsSDXC, MMC
Other portsminijack audio output, minijack microphone input


Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Professional 64-bit
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includedMicrosoft Office 2010 Starter Edition
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantythree years onsite