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Lenovo ThinkCenter X1 review: Sleek Design and Optimum performance
With the introduction of all-in-one PCs in the market, it has made our lives much easier. While earlier, you needed to deal with a lot of cables and hooking up peripherals meant getting down on one's knees and crawling under a dusty desk, now, that need is not there.
The all-in-one PCs have come and it offers many advantages over the traditional desktop. More siginificantly, these PCs help save space, minimize clutter, and allow unrestricted access to the surface they reside on.
However, even though there are many such PCs in the market, only few truly meet the design goals. And one such PC that stands out from the rest is the Lenovo ThinkCentre X1 which is a strikingly slim all-in-one Windows desktop PC comprised of a single, lightweight display.
Moreover, this PC, despite its slim profile, packs in a bunch of hardware, including a 6th-gen Intel processor and a pair of 5W stereo speakers. As this model from Lenovo is quite attractive upon first look, and does feature some interesting hardware but the main question here is that does it maintain its appeal over the long run?
Well, we have had a chance to use this PC and it did surprise us in some parts. Besides, you can read on below to find out if the Lenovo ThinkCenter X1 truly answers the question or not.
Design, ports, and style
You just have to look once and you'll be able to figure out the chief attraction of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 all-in-one (AIO) PC. Yes it is the body. This super-slim desktop has an ultra-thin aluminum-alloy chassis and it measures less than half an inch thick at its thinnest point.
Further what makes it more attractive is that the PC comes styled in the usual Lenovo charcoal-gray color scheme, with a 23.8-inch, 1920x1080 non-touch display featuring an anti-glare coating.
One thing that we noticed is this anti-glare coating kinda feels like the haze you get on mirrors. However, this dosen't put down ThinkCentre X1's excellent design.
More importantly, the key aspect of X1's success is that it more flexible than many all-in-ones of its kind. It has a metal stand that allows you to tilt the screen 5 degrees forward or as much as 45 degrees backward without large amount of pressure.
Moreover, the stand complements the overall desgin and it is so thin that you can treat it as part of the work surface.
We got hassle-free access to anything stored behind the machine, and less frustration when connecting cables or dongles to the rear ports. On the other hand, the stand does feel firm and it was able to withstand being pushed around for repositioning.
X1's thoughtful design is also revealed in the arrangement of its ports and switches. Basically everything can be connected to the back of the system: gigabit ethernet, power jack, a bi-directional DisplayPort 1.2 port, and three USB 3.0 ports. Furthermore there are two USB 3.0 ports, a combination headphone/microphone jack, and a media card slot on the lower left hand side.
Coming to the lower right hand side of the X1, there is the power button, a mute button for the microphone, and computer/display switch. This display switch in particular allowed us to drive another display to the Thinkcentre X1's screen from another computer. On the top there is a web cam and this has a special Privacy Camera Lock that allows you to cover up the webcam.
However, the only potential drawback of the X1 is the lack of height adjustment. Taller users migt have to get an additional gear probably a hand mount to use the PC.
Computing and performance
Inside the ThinkCentre X1 are an Intel Core i7-6600U processor, 8GB of DDR4/2133MHz RAM, a 500GB SATA SSD, and an Intel Wireless-AC 3165 card for dual-band 1x1 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2. The PC that we tested was running Windows 10 Pro OS.
Well, with such hardware components, the ThinkCentre X1 was fast is carryng out different everyday tasks, like word processing and web browsing. We also ran the PC through several benchmark and some general tests which incuded web browsing, writing, casual gaming, photo editing, video chat and other workloads, the X1 felt quite fast for basic all these basic tasks.
However, gaming on ThinkCentre X1 was slightly below expectations and surprising for its integrated HD 520 graphics but again it could likely be due to the fact how Lenovo tweaked the fan profiles. The fact is that this all-in-one is only good enough for lightweight games. As for video playback, 4K UHD files played quite smoothly, as long they were H.264.
Coming to the Thinkcentre X1's SSD, well we found that it has write speed of a little less than 300MBps, but it reads quite fast at a pace of 500MBps.
Honestly, one aspect of the X1 that could be improved upon is its 5W stereo speakers. While there is Dolby software on board to enhance the sound, but we felt it was still a bit weak. Moreover, playing one of the songs, the track's bass and drums were fairly audible but the higher-frequency sounds such as guitars sounded a little distorted with the volume set to max.
The good thing though is that the ThinkCentre's output can be easily adjusted with the included Dolby Audio app. It offers presets for movies, music, games and voice, as well as a "dynamic" mode that automatically adjusts the levels.
The ThinkCenter X1 comes with a keyboard, which might be arguably less attractive but no less functional. It is a big black flat device with nice big keys and hinged rear plug to elevate the unit. Likewise, the wireless mouse is just basic in design and it is comfortable to grip. Well, we do say that these accessories won't beat anything that you may already have and love, but they don't feel cheap at all.
Price and warranty
You can get a Thinkcentre X1 for Rs, 97,300 (i7 processor variant) at the time of this review. With only 8GB of system memory and a 500GB hard drive.
The standard warranty is one-year on-site. One good thing about Lenovo is that it provides the user's guide which shows how to repair and upgrade the X1, which is infact quite easy to do.
Honestly, the PC performed quite satisfactorily and we basically didn't encounter any major issues when reviewing the ThinkCentre X1.
Nonetheless, just to make you aware the first minor 'issue' if you call it that the XI has a maximum brightness of 250 nits That is perfectly fine for daily use, but may prove monotonous for creative professionals like graphic designers, photographers, or others who prefer a very bright display.
The second thing that we would want but is lacking in the PC is the touchscreen option. It would have been great and we could do more if this feature was added to the all-in-one PC.
All in all, Lenovo has paid small attention to details in developing this PC that will help the X1 win some extra points over some competing models such as the HP Pavilion 23 q019, or Dell Inspiron 23.
In addition, X1's design is spot-on making this model is quite attractive from a visual standpoint. What we think is that, this all-in-one would look really good in a business environment or in a modern-style home.
Further, this model is greatly suitable for someone who needs an everyday PC that won't take up much space on the desk while offering more display and ports than the average desktop or a laptop.
Apart from the looks and efficient design, the ThinkCentre X1 will be a great choice for running basic office tasks and yes you will be doing it in style. Besides the PC does deliver on what it promises-smooth performance.