A Tiny but Power-Packed Machine
I previously reviewed Lenovo’s Tab P11 Pro and ended up not recommending it. It was a solid tablet with a variety of great features but considering its steep price, its high-latency display, flimsy touchpad and a poor face unlock feature it wasn’t worth it. I was recently sent the ThinkPad X12 Detachable. And Lenovo completely changed my feelings about them with this device. It was an honor to review this brilliant machine. It’s a tiny laptop that looks innocent but is extremely powerful and fierce.
Insane Processor Specs
The X12 comes multiple versions, each with different specs. The one the company sent me sports an 11th Gen Intel Core with an i5 processor. It has a refresh rate of 1.8 GHz with Turbo Boost, four cores and eight threads. The OS of the X12 is Windows 10 Pro 64. The RAM and ROM specs are also dependent on how much moolah you’re willing to spare. The X12 starts at around $1800 and go up till around $2300. As the price increases, the RAM and ROM also undergo an upgrade from 8GB to 16GB, and from 256GB SSD to 512GB SSD respectively. I had the privilege of reviewing a 16GB and 512GB machine. So, our experiences may differ a little.
I started off with using the X12 for basic work needs. I sent and received emails, attended a couple of MS Teams meetings and used MS Word for tech reviews. Everything was fast as lightning and I had no complaints. Then, I put YouTube and Netflix on. I listened to podcasts, started watching Midsummer Chaos—because people won’t stop talking about it—and binge-re-watched Brooklyn 99. I experienced extremely low-latency, high speeds and zero stutter.
Next, I decided to log onto Skillshare and catch up on the Photoshop course that I’m taking. This was the real test of the X12. If a machine can run programs as heavy as those of the Adobe Creative Cloud, then it is capable of anything and everything. Photoshop, too, ran efficiently and gave me no delays. I used the X12 for around 11 hours at a stretch. The advertised time says 10 hours but since I’m such a fan of low-power mode, I managed to stretch it out.
The generous memory on this brilliant laptop is enough to take care of your high-speed needs. The storage is in the form of a SSD so that turns efficiency up a notch too. The sufficiently high refresh rate prevented my eyes from getting exhausted. i5 was a good enough spec for me but the X12 also goes up till i7. Hence, if you’re not on a budget, you can have an even better experience than mine. In terms of storage, too, the X12 is more than enough. You get around 475GB out of the advertised 512GB, as the OS and program files takes up a little space. The expansive storage would work even if you’re a hoarder like me.
I have not even mentioned the X12’s best feature yet. It’s extremely lightweight! The X12 is a detachable laptop that comes with a keyboard. The tablet measuring 11 by 8 inches weighs 1.67 pounds. With the keyboard attached, the machine weighs 2.4 pounds. With a thickness of just 0.34 inches, the X12 is an immensely portable and lightweight device. Its form factor is what makes it an ideal choice for both consumer and corporate use. Its sleek body also means it can easily be stowed away inside small backpacks.
The X12 has a sturdy body that gives off an expensive vibe. Its keyboard attaches with the help of pogo pins but isn’t as flimsy as a lot of other detachable keyboards. Detachable laptops often run the risk of feeling loose or flimsy, with their attachable parts coming off too easily or moving way too much. Their kickstands are also often insubstantial. However, the X12 doesn’t have any of these flaws. Its kickstand offers 180-degree give, is sturdy, robust and stays in its place. The pogo pins also do their job well and keep the keyboard in place. All in all, the X12’s portability factor is great.
The X12’s matte black plastic body is a treat to look at. It is made of premium-quality material and exudes sophistication. On the laptop’s left side, you get a 3.5mm headphone/mic combo jack, a USB 4 Type-C port with Thunderbolt technology, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 port and a nano-sim slot. On its right, there’s a volume rocker and a power button on its top. Controls have been kept fairly minimal with just the necessary ones included.
It Comes with a Stylus!
The X12 is accompanied by a very attractive black stylus with two keys on it that act as the right and left buttons of the trackpad. You can access extra options or select a piece of text with one of the two keys on the pen. Lenovo has been generous enough to include cool accessories such as a stylus, lately. The ThinkBook 14s Yoga also came with one. The Precision Pen provided by Lenovo is a highly responsive tool. It is sensitive to the lightest touch and responds very quickly.
I found the display to be fairly fast. It reacts to both the touch of my finger and the pen in milliseconds. It is a 12.3-inch FHD display with a 1920×1280 resolution and IPS technology. Since it’s anti-reflective and anti-smudge, I had no issues with sun glare or fingerprint stains. The device hosts a brightness of up to 400 nits and is protected by the Corning Gorilla Glass. The display may be small but it is bright and has great viewing angles. The X12 is powered by Intel Iris Xe Graphics so that’s a plus in terms of screen efficiency.
Well-Sized Keys and A Slightly Overdone Mouse
Lenovo’s X12 hosts what has practically become the symbol for ThinkPad’s business-focused laptops, the TrackPoint. This is that little rubbery red dot in the middle of your keyboard. The keyboard leverages well-sized keys with trimmed down arrow keys. The function keys host a couple of useful shortcuts such as accepting and declining calls with a single click. The tenkeyless keypad on the X12 features fairly good actuation.
The X12’s touchpad is ThinkPad’s standard with three integrated keys. There’s the usual right and left key that most trackpads host and, in the center, there is a button that can be used to scroll through documents or Web pages. The button can also be used to activate a magnifying glass that enlarges items on the screen. I personally find the ThinkPad trackpad a little overdone. I’m not too fond of its use of the extra button, the red rim around it or its unusual design. But performance-wise, it is sufficiently good.
Along with the Dolby Premium speakers and the dual array mics, the X12 makes for a pretty good machine. It has loud and clear sound and catches your voice pretty well. It has a 5MP front and an 8MP world-facing camera; both of which are as good as cameras on a laptop can get. The X12 is a brilliant machine. I failed to find a flaw in it. It may be a little too pricey, but it’s worth your money.
Is It Hardcore?
No doubt about this.
Think of the X12 as an investment. It has insanely good performance and a great display that comes with a cool stylus. Its form factor makes it ideal for a variety of uses too.