A couple of months ago we were checking out Lenovo’s then latest ThinkPad offering, the X220. Based on Intel’s second generation Core processors, this system was classic business-oriented ThinkPad throughout. A few months before the X220, I had the IdeaPad U260 in-house which was classified by Lenovo as a “thin, light, stylish travel companion”.

I mention those two units as a transition to what we have for review today, the new ThinkPad X1. As the thinnest ThinkPad ever, the X1 seemingly takes the best features from the X220 and the U260 and merges them into one. The result is an extremely thin and sleek 13.4” notebook that is a real follow-up model to the X300 series that many came to own and love a couple of years ago.

The ThinkPad X1 packs a ton of features and powerful hardware in a thin frame, but it's interesting to note that the X1 lets go of a few key characteristics of the X300. Namely, Lenovo has transitioned to an internal non-removable battery and got rid of the optical drive. In true Thinkpad fashion though, the X1 maintains a rugged design and internal roll cage. For the first time Lenovo has also added a chiclet-style keyboard that is both spill-resistant and backlit.

The ThinkPad X1 unit we were sent is equipped with a dual-core Core i5-2520M clocked at 2.5 GHz. This is the same four thread capable processor we saw on the X220 which also features Intel HD 3000 graphics for a max TDP of 35W.

Additional hardware includes 4GB of DDR3, a Hitachi 320GB 7200 RPM hard drive, Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 wireless, Bluetooth, a 6-cell internal battery (38.92 Wh) and a 13.4” TFT display running at 1366 x 768 that is covered with Corning Gorilla glass. Our weight as tested is 3.73 pounds with dimensions of 13.26” x 9.1” x 0.65” – 0.84”.

Except for the internal battery, hardware specs are virtually identical to the X220 although you can configure the processor, memory and hard drive to your exact specification. We were also provided with the optional external slice battery, a 6-cell (35.5 Wh) unit for additional runtime.