PROS / The device comes with an intuitive UI program that makes it quick and easy to navigate Windows in tablet mode.
CONS / It’s quite heavy for a tablet, and it runs Windows 7 whereas most other tablet PCs run Windows 8.
VERDICT / A powerful yet easy-to-use tablet PC that’s worth the investment; however, keep in mind its technology is quickly becoming dated.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X230T is a versatile tablet PC that strikes a nice balance between business laptop and Windows-based tablet. The device is extremely durable, with a decent processor and technical specs that enable excellent and speedy performance. While we aren’t crazy about the device’s hefty weight, it proves to be a small concession given its overall performance, ergonomic design and ease of use.
One of the most notable features of this touch tablet PC is its user interface. The ThinkPad X230T tablet has one of the best and most user-friendly interfaces of any tablet PC we reviewed, thanks to its proprietary UI program known as SimpleTap. Lenovo supplements the included Windows 7 OS with this program, which provides a touch-friendly, tile-based interface with on-screen, one-touch controls. Each tile represents a different setting, such as audio volume or screen brightness. Additionally, you can add customized tiles used to launch applications, open bookmarked webpages, access a folder or execute any another specified task.
At first glance, there is little that distinguishes this model from the other members of Lenovo’s ThinkPad family. It’s a sleek, all-black device that resembles any other conventional notebook. However, the laptop can instantly become a tablet with its twist and fold hinge. To engage in tablet mode, the display screen twists 180 degrees and folds down over the keyboard.
While in clamshell mode, the tablet PC has a protruding battery pack right beneath its hinge. What first looks like a glaring design flaw is actually an ergonomic convenience. When in tablet mode, the battery pack allows you to comfortably and securely grip the device or fit it in the crook of your elbow.
The tablet PC offers convenient multi-touch capability (hence the name). The large 12.5-inch screen can register up to five fingers simultaneously and is sensitive enough to detect slight swipes and taps. The ThinkPad X230T tablet also comes with a digital stylus. It's rare that tablet PCs come with a stylus, but they are very helpful. When the tablet PC is in portrait mode, the digital keyboard is a bit narrow to use comfortably. Subsequently, the stylus may come in handy, especially since Windows is equipped with handwriting recognition.
Our biggest, and only, complaint when it comes to the design of the ThinkPad X230 tablet is its weight. Keyboards and hardware weigh down most tablet PCs, so this is a common issue for us. Weighing approximately 4 pounds, it’s not the heaviest tablet we reviewed, but it's one of them. Although 4 pounds in general may not seem like much weight, this is quite heavy in the world of tablets and you’ll need to be seated comfortably to hold the device upright. Its heaviness is a bit surprising considering the device isn’t conspicuously large.
The device has a second-generation 3.30 GHz Intel Core i5 processor, which renders speedy computation. This means the computer can quickly process data, allowing it to readily handle heavy multitasking. This is an older processor, however, so this device doesn't process data as fast as other tablet PCs.
This tablet PC has a 500GB hard drive, which means plenty of space to store important documents, digital books, music and more. The device also has an excellent battery life of up to 10 hours, something you won’t find on competing PC tablets.
The ThinkPad X230T tablet has all the standard ports and connectors, plus some extras that are sure to please users. The device has two USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 port, an audio jack for headphones or speakers, and convenient connectivity options including Ethernet and Wi-Fi so you’ll never be without internet. Also included are Bluetooth and an HD webcam for video chat (the device comes preloaded with Skype). The tablet PC doesn’t have an HDMI slot, which is a bit of a disappointment since most of these devices now feature this port.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X230T is the best of both worlds; the tablet PC combines many attributes of an ultraportable business laptop and a Windows tablet. Ideally, we would have liked the tablet PC to be lighter and faster, but its ample power components, intuitive interface and generous 12.5-inch screen all make it easy to overlook – or at least tolerate – its heft.