Lenovo ThinkPad X240 a Sleek Touchscreen Ultrabook Tough Enough for Business

The ThinkPad X240 is the latest X-series laptop from Lenovo. We take the touchscreen version of the 12.5-inch laptop through the paces to see how it fares as a business tool.

By Paul Mah
Wed, January 29, 2014

CIO — The ThinkPad X240 is the newest ultrabook from Lenovo designed with business users in mind. Powered by fourth-generation Intel Core processors, the 12.5-inch X240 offers traditional ThinkPad features in a modernized chassis, along with a Windows 8 friendly touchscreen.

CIO.com recently took this ultrabook through the paces to see how it fares as a business laptop. You will like the larger, button-free trackpad, though it might be confusing. You'll also appreciate the long battery life; but the lack of an HD display, though, not so much.

ThinkPad X240 Designed to Be Sleek Yet Tough

The ThinkPad X240 takes a radical departure from the rugged look and feel of prior generations of ThinkPad laptops, including the X230. Like the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, the X240 sports sleek lines all around as part of the new, simplified ThinkPad design.

Gone is the physical clasp to secure the lid when on the move. Only two battery latches and a docking station connector mar the X240's otherwise flush surface; even the speakers are hidden at the bottom of the laptop. On top, meanwhile, a new glass track pad offers twice the surface area of the X230 and adds support for multi-touch gestures.

Don't be fooled by the gentler appearance of the X240, though. It's every bit as tough as earlier iterations of ThinkPad. Reinforced glass fiber technology strengthens the chassis, which has been tested to military-grade specifications to withstand drops, vibration and extreme environments. As with other ThinkPad models, the drop-down hinges in the X240 lets users open the lid to 180 degrees.

The X240 offers the frills you expect from a business laptop, including backlit keyboard illumination and a built-in fingerprint reader. One of the two USB 3.0 ports comes with always-on capability, which is designed to charge smartphones and other USB-powered devices even when the laptop is powered down. In addition, a full-sized VGA port and Gigabit Ethernet port are positioned along the left and right edges, respectively, while a combo SD/MMC card reader offers support for the latest SDXC SD cards.

[ Review: Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 a Good, But Pricey, Business Tool ]

Under the hood, a dual-core i5-4200U processor powers the X240, complete with a maximum clock speed of 2.6GHz and integrated Intel HD4400 for graphics. Our review unit came with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD), though the base configuration offers less memory and comes with a hard disk drive. Wireless capabilities include 802.11 b/g/n, with a theoretical top speed of 300Mbps for Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0.

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