Hands on with the Lenovo Thinkpad X230t

One of the fortunate things of working in the SCCM space is you sometimes get first shot at a new piece of hardware when it comes in.  In this case, it was the Lenovo Thinkpad X230t, a convertible laptop.

The tablet has become a disruptive technology since the iPad really burst onto the scene and one of the outcomes of this is the convertible laptop, a device that can be used as a table but still managed as a native Windows device and have the benefit of whatever Windows software you have available.

The X230t is the first Thinkpad I’ve managed to use in a serious way and having heard about the legendary quality when they were made by IBM, it seems that has carried over with Lenovo.  The construction feels good, not tacky or cheap.  The only point of physical design I wasn’t overly comfortable about was the swivel point to convert between laptop and tablet modes.  The swivel can only twist one way and seems to be betting to be twisted the wrong way and broken by a user.  The only other sore point I had with the physical design was the location of the 3G card slot – it’s located under the battery, requiring you to take out the battery to access it.

In operation, the machines I used were quite fast thanks to the SSD in them.  They come with a stylus for using the touch screen and there’s a nice little slot to put the stylus when not in use. The screen seems to have a matt coating of some sort, possibly to prevent scratches/damage from the touch use.  Using the 3G slot was good, as the device appears as another wireless style connection, meaning you don’t have to deploy/install the proprietry application your 3G provider has you use.

The last point to note is Lenovo has come to the party with SCCM support and added driver packs similar to what HP and Dell are doing.  This made adding the X230t to the existing SCCM setup quite easy.