Lenovo ThinkPad X61 Tablet PC User Review

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I am an incoming college freshman. I need a laptop for taking notes and staying organized at school in the fall, as well as browsing the Internet and running programs that I don’t know about yet (quite likely some form of CAD). I was originally looking for a high-end gaming laptop, but after realizing that my lack of actually playing video games was a waste, I started looking at more business-oriented laptops. I looked at the Lenovo T61 as a quality alternative to a gaming laptop, and while on the Lenovo website, I stumbled upon the X61 tablet. Other than the lack of a high-end dedicated video card, it had just about everything I could want in a computer: Wacom digitizer, great battery life, thin, super high resolution screen (for its size), Core 2 Duo processor, 7200 rpm hard drive, and all the other little goodies that come with computers these days.

I honestly am not sure I gave other tablets a chance, as I was pretty much sold on the X61 from the beginning, but I did take a look at the Fujitsu T4220, the other comparable tablet using the Santa Rosa platform. The main draw for me, of the X61 over the T4220 was the SXGA+ screen, three year on-site protection plan (which cost $350 by itself), my total cost was $2582.09. Add $90 for the 2GB stick of Crucial memory, $60 for a student license of Office 2007 (split the cost), and $45 for a laptop lock I have yet to buy, and we’re getting close to $3000.

Screen wobble? What screen wobble? The screen is supported very strongly, especially for a single hinge. I was surprised how firm the hinge actually was. When you open the tablet from its closed state, sometimes the bottom lifts off the table slightly. The tiny bit of screen wobble that shows disappears in less than a single second. I use the computer in the car, which bounces around a bit, and at first I was worried about how much force was being put on the screen. After watching it for awhile, I’m not worried anymore. The screen rotates smoothly, in one direction only, and “snaps” into place nicely.

When walking around with my laptop tucked under my arm, I am continuously amazed at how small and light it is. Without the ultrabase, it weighs in at just less than four pounds. That is slightly more than half the weight of the gaming laptop I was originally intending to purchase. However, when I walk around with the ultrabase attached, it feels much heavier and slightly awkward.

I would also like to comment on how quiet the screen latch is. Many times I’ve shut the computer, listening for the tell-tale “click” of it latching shut, only to miss it and press it down more firmly before realizing. This is almost an annoyance, but I’m sure once I get used to it, I will appreciate it.

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