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August 22, 2010
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Tablet PC ThinkPad X201T - Artist's Review [EDIT]

Journal Entry: Sun Aug 22, 2010, 1:08 PM
[go to the bottom for the update to the review! It's all in bold!]

  • GETTING HERE FROM THERE
While I had planned to get a new laptop for some time to replace my veteran 2007-era MacBook Pro, I antagonized about finding one that looked nice, had good performance, and was an acceptable price. Then, one day I realized, I rarely ever actually use my laptop. My MacBook Pro remained unused for weeks at a time. With a much newer and more powerful Windows 7-based desktop computer in my studio, the only thing my MacBook Pro could give me was lesser performance for generally the same experience [since I still had to use a desk when doing tablet work with it.] I need a laptop for portable work, presentations, and conferences with clients, but I didn't want one just for that purpose and sit around doing nothing in the meantime. So I thought about a game changer -- a Tablet PC.

I researched the Toshiba Portege line, Fujitsu LifeBook line, HP TouchSmart TM2, the ModBook, and the ThinkPad XT line. When comparing prices, performance, and overall quality, something drew me back to the ThinkPad every time.

  • FUNCTION OVER FORM
Unlike my old MacBook Pro, the ThinkPad is made of seemingly less impressive magnesium and plastic. Turned out, this was a welcomed change, since the entire laptop feels solid, sturdy, and rugged. The thin metal casings of aluminum-based computers, especially macbook pros, always felt like you could damage them at the slightest provocation. [My MBP got a dent on the lid from my tablet pen falling on it. No joke.] And this is the basis of the no-frills, stark boring corporate design approach to the ThinkPad line of computers. They're designed to be 100% practical at the expense of good looks. With just how well this system is built, I have to admit, in hindsight I'm a little ashamed to place the form of the system so high as a priority, [to think "When I take this computer out in public, I want to look COOL!"] -- when for a portable system it's the usability and durability that ultimately count -- not how many heads I'll turn with it. I'll get my moneys worth from the work I'll create with it, not how jealous I make others feel.

Ergonomically, this computer just makes sense. The keyboard appears old school, but man is it fun to type on. [I'm typing this review on it right now. I'm typing fast and accurately. Man these keys have a great tactile bounce to them.] The extended battery sticks out the backside with rubberized grips, so that when in tablet mode, you can grip the tablet like an artist's paint palette. USB ports on both sides of the system. Even the casing of the system has a kind of rubber coating all over it, making it VERY hard to slip out of your hands no matter where you hold it. The trackpoint [the small red nub dot on the keyboard] is placed so that you can move the mouse around while never picking up your hands from the keyboard. Makes moving between the mouse and typing non-existant. The tiny trackpad is nice, about the size of a sugar packet, but sensitive and high-resolution enough to be just as usable as the largest of Mac trackpads. [Not to mention it supports multi-touch like two finger scroll.] The computer is completely user-repairable, with spare parts able to be purchased through lenovo directly. A manual on how to dismantle and replace any part of the system comes with it, which is simply amazing to me since I like doing at-home repairs for cheap.

  • THE X201T ITSELF

In standard laptop mode - click images to enlarge

I picked up a configured model with the following specs:

CPU: 2.8 GHz Intel Core-i7 ULV [dual-core edition]
MEMORY: 2GB 1066MHz DDR3
HDD: 160GB 5400RPM
GPU: Intel GMA 4500HD
SCREEN: 12.1" 1280x800 IPS-Panel, Outdoor Viewable 400nit, Anti-Glare, Anti-Reflective, Wacom Digitizer Layer, NO Capacitive Touch Layer
BATTERY: 7.5 Hour Extended 8-Cell
OS: Windows 7 Professional
EXTRAS: Webcam, 3G Wireless Modem, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth installed
This configuration is model 2985F3U -- so search for this to find prices for this exact machine.

Photos of the 400nit outdoor viewable screen:

In tablet slate mode. Current brightness at level 5 of 15. Note that the lighting in the room is actually very bright, with three 120-watt equivalent lights on.


Brightness now adjusted to max 15 of 15. No, I didn't turn off the lights in the room, they just appear dimmer now compared to the screen to get proper exposure for my camera!


The color rendition and contrast of the screen is superb. Black levels are deep, whites are pure without any color cast/tint, and colors look pleasingly natural. In this photo, both the X201T and my iPhone are set to maximum brightness. The X201T is brighter than the iPhone at max brightness, so if you've ever used an iPhone on max brightness, either in a dark room or outdoors, you know what to expect.

For any artist interested in getting the X201T for doing work on, I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend getting the Outdoor Viewable screen upgrade through custom configuration or find a pre-built model with one already installed (like I did.) The upgrade to the Outdoor Panel does more than just make the screen very bright -- it vastly increases viewing angles, color neutrality, and color gamut. The outdoor viewable upgrade cannot have the Multi-Touch screen layer installed at the same time, meaning the screen will be interactive with the pen ONLY. The reason for this? The Multi-Touch layer [called "Capacitive Layer,"] has a bunch of micro circuitry within the glass and additional anti-smudge coatings, making the screen dimmer and duller. The outdoor panel also adds additional thickness to the glass, meaning the capacitive layer would push the thickness of the LCD assembly past the design of the casing. As an artist, pen control and good color should be all you care about, anyway.


The outdoor viewable LCD is an IPS panel, which inherently has excellent color rendition and massively wide viewing angles. It may not be completely apparent in the photo, but at this exteme of an angle, there are no color or gamma shifts at all in the screen. When's the last time you've seen a laptop do this? In most laptops, you see something happen called "inversion and crush." It's when the colors of the screen seem to invert, disappear, and become unrecognizable when viewed from anywhere other than straight-on. I'm happy to say that with the Outdoor screen, the X201T experiences no inversion or crush whatsoever, no matter how extreme the angle. The brightness does drop off a little bit at angles, but color stays true. The mark of an IPS panel!


Closed. The X201T isn't the thinnest laptop out there, but it is notably thin and light despite being a pretty tough computer. The screen being as thick as the pen is a pretty good achievement for a tablet PC. The design of the system is completely flat -- there is no taper so the thickness remains consistent throughout the body. Unlike the HP TM2T which becomes excessively thick at the back end.


Pen compared to the Wacom Intuos 4 pen, and the charger for the X201T. The pen is relatively small, so that it can fit within the computer's built-in holder slot. It feels like holding a standard BiC pen or pencil in terms of thickness. The charger is also very pleasantly small!

  • USING THE X201T
With my particular configuration, the performance is much better than I initially anticipated. Since the system uses ULV [ultra low voltage] processors, I was expecting a bit of a notable hit in performance, especially since the specs seem to read as though the system is an ultra-glorified netbook. However, performance stays consistently excellent, even when power saving modes are enabled on battery use.

I could talk about how it feels to draw on, but why bother to explain it? Just watch the video I recorded of me messing around in Photoshop and Tool SAI on it!

[ WATCH THE VIDEO OF USING THE X201T ]

Make what you will of that video. It does a better job at showing you than I would explaining what it's like using the system.

To speak about the feel of drawing on the screen, it's not like a standard Intuos or Cintiq tablet. Wacom uses materials and coatings to get a "pen on paper" feel to their tablets. The X201T doesn't have these coatings, meaning the feeling is a little more smooth comparatively. There's still some decent friction generated between the pen tip and the glass of the screen, but it's not as satisfying as a true wacom surface, to me anyway. This hasn't affected my ability to draw on it at all, however. It's more of a subconscious thing.

I should say, though, this direct-on-LCD drawing is nice when compared to my Cintiq 12WX. On a Cintiq, the LCD is set below a layer of thick glass, with a layer of air inbetween. This means when you draw on a Cintiq surface, there's a parallax between the pen and the LCD. This means that the cursor only looks like it's directly under the pen from very specific viewing angles. On the X201T, however, this doesn't occur. The glass you draw on is direct-bonded to the LCD itself using a special type of liquid. This means the thick glass you're drawing on transports all light from the LCD to the top of the glass through refraction. So when you're drawing on the screen, it looks like you're actually pressing the pen against the LCD itself. There is no parallax.

Other software, I can't speak much about. Some of you may be wondering how 3D software might run on this. The X201T can probably run 3D software BASICALLY, but don't expect any true stellar performance in this area. It's strengths are in 2D mediums, not 3D. And if you're a 3D artist, you should probably not be looking at a Tablet PC to do that kind of work on, anyway.

While the X201T is capable of creating large artworks from start to finish in Photoshop, I don't see myself using it for this quite as much. I see myself using it for almost exclusively sketching. I'm waiting somewhere, like on a train. Pull out the thinkpad, start sketching some stuff. Maybe add some color. Conceptualize on-the-go. If I want to finish an artwork, I'll do that on my desktop at home later. I enjoy having the ThinkPad as a mobile creative outlet.

  • HEAT & NOISE
To touch briefly on this, the X201T is by far the quietest computer I've ever used. The fan keeps the processor very cool while remaining very hard to hear. When the fan does ever fire up to high speeds, I just about never notice because typically the ambient noise of my room is louder, [and even that doesn't get very noisy.] Even the hard drive is impossible to hear, both in spin noise and read/write noise. I had to check closely to make sure my X201 hadn't shipped with an SSD inside it.

Temperatures are also excellent. The bottom never gets hot, just lukewarm to the touch, and even then only directly under the processor. Warm air comes out of the vent all the time, but it never gets hot -- even when playing a game like Team Fortress 2. Since the system uses ULV processors, I'm not surprised by the low heat output.

The entire screen layer never gets even warm. With LED backlights, there's no real heat output into the panel. No sweaty wrists!

  • PERSONAL GRIPES / CRITICISMS
This is a tricky part, because many problems of things you use every day only tend to exist if you actively look for them. So, I'll only talk about the ones that pop up when doing work.

1. The pen, honestly, isn't very good in the long run.
Though the pen is made by Wacom, it's made under the base requirements for a tablet PC. The tip end of the pen is fine, works just as you'd expect it to. However, the eraser is pretty much useless artistically, and it's frustrating that there's only one side button instead of two. The eraser is way too springy. It doesn't have the standard wacom feel. It compresses like a spring, and bounces back like one too. This makes it difficult to erase since it must be pressed past a certain point to begin registering pressure. Simply touching the eraser on the screen doesn't work, you need to give it a good press to activate, meaning getting any in between pressure on it is difficult to maintain. Wacom sells true Wacom quality Tablet PC pens that have true erasers and two button switches. They're not too expensive at about $35, but it's a purchase I wish I wouldn't have had to make if only the stock pen were a little more thoughtful.

2. Lack of tablet face buttons.
In tablet mode, there's not a lot you can do to improve your workflow. As many of you know, I need my tablet set up a certain way to access keys like Alt, Shift, and Undo. The four buttons on the face of the tablet, though programmable to do other things, are pretty essential to keep as they are already. One button rotates the screen 90-degrees, important to specify the orientation you want. Another button presses Ctrl+Alt+Del so you can access that screen easily. The third button calls up the settings menu [such as brightness, volume, pen settings, etc] which you see me use in the video, and the fourth button locks the all face buttons to prevent any accidental presses. I'd say the lock button is the best one to change, since it's pretty easy to avoid pressing them as-is. I'm trying to find a small wired/wireless keypad of about 6 to 8 blank, programmable buttons to use a Photoshop sidekick. No luck, so far.

3. The speakers are terrible.
I like to listen to music sometimes while working, or when friends gather round to watch a youtube video, I like there to be good sound clarity. The speakers in the X201T are best suited for VoIP and THAT'S IT. Music, no. Games, definitely no. Movies, forget it. The closest thing I can describe the speakers sounding like is a cell phone ringer, or an answering machine in stereo. They get really loud, yeah, but they'll hurt your ears from the terrible frequency response. Be sure to pack a good pair of headphones on-the-go, if you want to spare your hearing.

4. Confusing issue involving a piece of software causing the screen to has a minor flicker.
The intel graphics drivers were responsible for an annoying problem where the screen would get a minor flicker whenever my desktop appeared after closing windows. I noticed the screen gets slowly brighter during the flickering, and eventually stops. Turned out, this was a power saving method the graphics drivers were using. When a bright white screen appears, it slowly lowered the brightness to sort of "normalize" the brightness of the display. Close that bright window, and it starts to jack it back up. This was annoying to me, so I discovered the "feature" goes away when you access the Intel GMA settings menu and set the Power Settings to "Performance" in both Plugged-In and battery. I have seen no decrease in battery life by selecting this, and I'd honestly rather have it set to performance instead of power-saving anyway.

  • CONCLUSION
And honestly, that's it. The X201T is a solid companion for doing digital art with. It runs all of my software, even Adobe Premiere, superbly. It cost me $1500, but considering that the system is essentially a Cintiq 12WX with its own self contained computer, I'll take that as an inbetween option to the 12WX and 21UX. I don't regret buying it at all! Lenovo computers are hard to find on display in stores, so I hope this little insight comes in handy to some of you.

  • COMPARED TO...

TOSHIBA PORTEGE M780:
I can't speak wholly about this as I've never used one, but here's why I didn't go with a Portege [widely considered to be one of the first true lines of tablet PC's.]
- Spec wise, the Portege M780 and X201T are similar. Core-i7 processors, blahblah.
- Yet, ergonomically, the ThinkPad had much more going on in this department, including the fantastic outdoor viewable screen option that Toshiba doesn't provide.
- And all for a cheaper price than the Portege. I bought the X201T for $1500, compared to the $1700~$1900 you'd have to spend for the bulky, less rugged competitor.

HP TOUCHSMART TM2T:
I used one of these at a store, and I was put off very quickly. It's a decent laptop, however...
- The screen is downright shit. Absolute shit viewing angles, shit color, shit brightness. Sorry for the language, but I was seriously unimpressed. On a device that will be used from different angles and positions, the quality of the screen is imperative -- and HP completely missed the mark here.
- Vastly under performing processor comparatively. The X201T is capable of going up to 3.06 GHz with a Core-i7 in it. The TM2T is able to only have a 1.6 GHz Core2 ULV comparatively, which is about twice as powerful as a typical netbook pretty much.
- Design wise, it was hit and miss. It becomes very thick at the back end, making it hard to hold in my opinion, and the screen doesn't lock closed. The metal lid and palm rests were nice, but the forced laser-etched design was completely unnecessary.
- To the TM2T's credit, however, it did have ATi Radeon 4550HD dedicated graphics, which make up for the lower-end processor. However, when using software that relies heavily upon a strong processor, the dedicated graphics won't add much performance. Sure, it can play some last generation games, but something tells me if you're concerned about gaming, you shouldn't be looking at a tablet PC. The price was spot-on, too, at about $950 to $1000. The X201T is considerably more expensive, but I'll take that for the higher quality it has where it counts. I will also admit that the speakers were pretty great on the TM2T. Lenovo should take note.

FUJITSU LIFEBOOK LINE:
I didn't know what to make of the Fujitsu tablet PC's since I've never even seen a Fujitsu computer anywhere in person before. The T900 is mostly equivalent to the X201T, but with some slightly lesser hardware [slower Core-i5 instead of a Core-i7, and no boost in graphics.] However, it still looks like a robust system with a screen almost as good as the X201T. It gets about 3/4 as bright, [but only in the upper right corner with significant dropoff in the lower left,] but its color vibrancy and viewing angles look excellent. Check out this video of a T900 to see what I mean: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vaI4L… . The T900 is larger than the X201T with no resolution gain, and is heavier by more than a pound. Still, it has a DVD burner for those who still use those things, which also means the system is much thicker than the X201T. It can be found for almost the same price as my X201T here: www.costcentral.com/proddetail… -- which is worth a look for those who want a comparable alternative. I think the T900 would be better suited for someone who wants a touch screen as well, and a slightly larger screen for a little bit more work room. I wanted the X201T system for EASE of portability, so its slimmer, smaller design, lighter weight, and longer battery life enticed me to take the plunge.

AXIOTRON MODBOOK:
I looked into this, but got turned off from the idea pretty quickly. The ModBook can only be applied to specific 2007-2008 era white macbooks running at Core2 speeds of 1.8 to 2.2 GHz. On hardware that aged, and spending about $1800 for the process, and getting a system that is NOT reversible to a normal laptop [it's a permanent slate,] it just didn't seem worth it, especially since I've left the Mac camp.
- Sure, the ModBook has 512 levels of pressure compared to a standard tablet PC's of 256. But let me tell you this: my Cintiq has 1024 levels of pressure, and I can't find a damn difference between drawing on my Cintiq and my X201T! I'm sure there's some isolated, demonstrate-able difference between the two, but in true, passion-fueled practice, I don't notice a damn difference or seem to care. Both tablets get me the same result.

And that's all I have to say about this, for now! Any additional questions, feel free to ask in the comments!



  • EDIT: 2 MONTH REVISIT REVIEW
So, it's been about two months since I got the system. How is it faring after really getting to know it?

I can say that almost everything I talked about in the review above still holds true. It is truly powerful enough to do any of my Photoshop work, the battery life on it lasts for 6, 7 hours on low power modes, the screen still remains to be one of the best I've seen on a laptop aside from the Sony Vaio Z.

Drawing on it is still easy and enjoyable, but I will state that it is not AS easy or enjoyable as on my Cintiq. This doesn't come as a surprise -- the primary reasons come from the fact that the Cintiq is just overall a higher quality tablet. Higher quality sensors, pen, and screen. I prefer my X201T for doing line art, sketching, and thumbnailing. Not full final color artwork. Then again, this is primarily what I bought it for -- a kind of digital sketchbook. For those looking to buy an X201T, or any other tablet PC for that matter, I think I can still only recommend them as a SECONDARY computer. They make fantastic accompaniments for your desktop workstation at home, since Tablet PC's are lighter, highly portable, and very very functional. They offset the desktop experience very well. I bought my X201T as a companion computer to my desktop, and I really prefer it this way. I like coming up with new ideas on the X201T whether I'm on break at work, sitting on a train, or in a cafe, and then bringing those drawings to my desktop when I get home and really work them up to a finish [if I feel like it.] Of course, I could be biased to a two-system workflow. I'm sure that if the X201T were my ONLY computer I could adapt to it over time to complete all of my work on it. But, since it's not, I can't truly comment about that. I just know it serves its purpose excellently as a travel companion.

Elsewhere, I'm not sure if most tablet PC's are like this, but the X201T did require quite a bit of fooling around with to get the settings JUST as I liked them. Talking about things like pen calibration and custom drivers.

The standard Wacom Tablet PC Driver wasn't working as well as it should have, so I looked online and found that many things offered from Jujitsu are cross-compatible with other Tablet PC's. I downloaded this driver: support.ts.fujitsu.com/downloa… and applied it to my X201T, and I can now have two sets of calibrations that work in tandem -- one set for the operating system (for windows exploring and writing for text conversion,) and one set that automatically activates within drawing applications like Photoshop, SAI, and Sketchbook Pro. (This calibration turns off Hold for Right Click and other obtrusive windows functions.]

Elsewhere, I also picked up a Fujitsu LifeBook Pen from eBay for about $20. tabletprofi.files.wordpress.co… It's the pen that you see in that picture, there. I prefer this pen over the stock Lenovo one because 1) the eraser is rounded, not flat on the top. 2) The pen barrel is thicker in diameter. 3) It has a dual side-switch instead of just a single button. Unfortunately this pen can't fit into my X201T's reserve slot, so it must travel separately in my bag.

I also picked up a custom-cut screen protector from www.photodon.com - Photodon. They have top quality screen protectors for Tablet PC's and other devices that aren't overpriced. (I was finding some companies selling screen protectors for as much as $60 each. Geez! I'd gladly take Phtoodon's better quality $12 one instead.) I bought a screen protector NOT because I was worried about damaging the screen (well.. I was a LITTLE.) But the real reason was because I was looking for a true "Wacom surface" feel. Drawing with the pen on the X201T's glass screen just wasn't as nice feeling as I was hoping. It felt like drawing on a glass window. Not like a nice pen and paper feel. After applying the screen protector, I'm sad that my screen not has much more of a glare problem than it NEVER had before, but the overall feel of the pen on the screen is nothing short of perfect. Smooth yet with a little friction. I suppose I also feel a little better knowing the screen is safe from minor damage, as well. It's an investment, might as well try to make it last. [I got my screen protector custom cut to a little larger than the edges of the LCD itself. I took the bezel off of the screen and put the screen protector on underneath -- so when the bezel was put back on, it's beyond edge-to-edge coverage. I think this is ideal.]

Another thing I've come to appreciate -- the fact that the computer has no restoration discs. It has a separate 6GB uneditable partition on the hard drive that has the Factory Restore discs on them. If you ever need to reformat, you always have the discs on hand to get it done in about 10 minutes (especially since there's no DVD drive on this machine, this is double helpful.) I've already had to do this once when I accidentally royally screwed up windows (I'm an inexperienced hacker -- it was my fault hahaha.) And I got everything back up and running in no time.

Lastly, I also bought an additional 2GB of memory for it. I was very surprised to find that Lenovo supplied the laptop with 1x 2GB stick of memory and not 2x 1GB sticks in BOTH slots [like apple always does.] This means that with the free slot I only had to buy ONE 2GB stick to get a total of 4GB instead of TWO 2GB sticks to replace the 2 useless 1GB's that could have been in there. Saved me about $40. (I bought an ADATA 2GB stick from NewEgg. About $40.) The system is overall quicker and more responsive now, especially in photoshop. I recommend this upgrade for ANY system running Windows 7. 4GB is the standard issue today. 2GB will only get you by.

Other than that, I'm still pleased with the purchase. I like the fact the laptop has a powered USB port so I can recharge my phone and Zune HD even when the laptop is turned off. It also has WAY better wireless reception than any computer I've ever used. I'll pick up SSID's from nearby businesses that my other friends would have to be sitting INSIDE the store to use. In the end it serves what I'm looking for from it nearly perfectly. Just know that for drawing and paitning, it's no Intuos or Cintiq replacement. It will get the job done just as much as any dedicated tablet, but the overall experience won't be as smooth or (possibly) intuitive. It comes with a learning curve and a lot of experimentation.

And, before I close this edit, let me say that for those looking to buy either a tablet PC or a Cintiq, it comes down to what you're looking for. If you REALLY care about portability -- get a tablet PC. If all you care about is making good art -- get a Cintiq. Remember, the Cintiq is only a monitor. It has no internal hardware that ages over time. The cintiq is only as fast and as good as the computer you're hooking it up to. If you have a good computer already, a cintiq can be a cheaper purchase for better functionality. However, if you have a slow computer, it could be cheaper to get a tablet PC instead since it's a new system AND cintiq-like functionality in one. Just remember, however, that the hardware in a tablet PC will age over time and become less valuable as newer models and softwares are released.


Add a Comment:
 
:iconforeveryoursandmine:
ForeverYoursandMine Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm looking for a secondary computer and i was wondering where you bought that from.
I've been searching EVERYWHERE for one and i haven't been able to look for a decent one
Reply
:iconfox-orian:
fox-orian Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
The ThinkPad X line is about to be outdone by the new HELIX line. It looks absolutely freaking amazing. It's coming out in February. Check some hands-on articles/videos from CES 2013. The Verge had a nice overview.
Reply
:icontopicality:
Topicality Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012
Hey is the Tablet PC still holding up? :lol:
Reply
:icondebondok:
deBondok Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is a great review Fox-Orian. I'm in market to look for one of these as the new X220t has a lot of digitizer problems, it's now a 16:9 ratio, weird battery hump makes holding a problem and screen isn't as nice as the x201t even though it's IPS Outdoor.

When you have a moment I'd love to chat via IM or chat to see if you're still plugging away on the system. Thanks ahead!

Bon
Reply
:iconfotomedic:
fotomedic Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the review. I wish I would have found it three months ago. I sold my Panasonic Toughbook CF-19 Mk II and still had enough to buy one of these (maybe not as slick as a MBP, but it still draws a LOT of attention with the huge initial price and relentless durability). Mine came with the multi-touch screen and 4GB RAM (funny it only came with Win 7 32-bit, but it is upgradable to 8GB). I have done all the updates imaginable, plus went right to Wacom's web page and to Customer Care, then Drivers and selected Tablet PC, and after installing that, my pen works with Photoshop CS5. I run CS5 Design Premium, Acrobat 9, Win7 (will be upgrading to 64 bit). Since these have the Intel HD 3000 graphics, I'm going learn Sketchbook and 3DS Max so I'll give it a try, and Maya after I upgrade to 64-bit, so if you want, I'll shout back and let you know how that goes.

I almost bought the TM2T with the i5 and 8GB RAM just because of the video card, but got seriously bummed out when they discontinued it right when I got the money - plus no free XBox 360 for me :-( but I am not sorry a bit I found this machine instead, even though it was more expensive. Your review is spot on accurate, and I'm glad to know other pens will work for it. Does your Cintiq pen work on it, or just a Fujitsu pen? My pet peeve is mostly the Fn button should be switched with the Ctrl button, and I agree about the buttons on the edge of the screen, but can live with it. The hinge is weaker than I'd like only for stability when I use it as a touch-screen laptop. Slate mode, it has a setting that senses a change in position and auto-rotates the screen for me, so that frees that button up for me.

My goal is to integrate this into my Photoshop classes so the students can see what working with a tablet is like, plus it will allow me to build my skills until I can get a real killer desktop setup.

Lenovo also now has the X220 Tablet as the successor with the second gen i7 processors out for purchase. Also, did you know you can run OS X in a virtual on this (for educational purposes only, of course ;-)

If you're looking to do any other reviews, consider the ASUS EP121. Drawbacks are the too small 32GB or 64GB SSD and 2GB or 4GB RAM and Intel graphics again. It is slate only, but has a wireless keyboard. Runs a Wacom tablet screen and pen, other features are really nice.
Reply
:iconxconfrontox157:
xconfrontox157 Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2011
I hope one day to buy a Cintiq, but due to the high price that triples against the dollar, there are no conditions for hours. So I thought that this tablet pc as its a great alternative to cintiq. this model could not find her here where I live, even for local sites.

Would you know SOME other Lenovo models that are better or similar to yours? or its successor model?

focused on looking for something to draw and paint.
Reply
:iconmarattacks:
marAttacks Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2011
I've been looking for reviews done by artists and they are not very plenty. I saw your video in youtube first and I was happy to find out that you made a written review as well. Thanks for the information you shared. I am quite torn about buying a tablet pc or a cintiq 12wx (I cant afford the 21ux yet)... I have somewhat decided to get the tablet pc instead because of the fact that is is a computer (so if I am not comfortable drawing on it, I can always use it as a computer). But I am still torn on which tablet pc to get (this lenovo x201t or an hp 2740p) your review along with your insights are pretty helpful. I wonder if you have any idea about the latter?
Reply
:iconnicoll:
Nicoll Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011
Cheers for that review, you may well have persuaded me. I've been looking for the 'right' digital sketchpad for ages, and I've spotted on one ebay...

I'm just currious as to whether or not you've sorted out your workflow issues, with the lack of face buttons and all? You said you were looking for a mini keypad but hadn't found anything useful; wouldn't one of those USB keypads do the trick? [link]
Reply
:iconstewartjoseph:
StewartJoseph Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2011   Digital Artist
Hey Fox-orian,

This is a great review and I love the youtube video of your x201T demo. This lis the bomb.

I purchased a similar configuration to yours, except I got the previous model x200T, only pen-enabled, super bright 400nit screen, Win 7. Still under warranty, mint, off of eBay.

I really would like to modify it according to what you've done.

A few questions:

The link to the fujitsu drivers you have listed, to replace the wacom drivers, is not active anymore. What fujitsu model was this driver for? Is it fairly straightforward to activate either configuration?

Also, what version of the photodon screen protector did you get, the clear or anti glare version? I have a seen a youtube review of both and the anti-glare version, though giving good pen feel, has minor "speckling" issues for the screen. Is this the one you have? Cool that you actually put the bezel over the screen protector, awesome!

I am consider getting another pen also, I have read good Forum reviews of the Axiotron Stylus Pen, have you ever used this pen? Are you quite happy with the Fujitsu pen and can you use other pen nibs with it, felt, spring, etc?

Many thanks for your review, as it convinced me to get the Lenovo X20x Series Tablet.

SJ
swj2009@gmail.com
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:iconjbthethird:
JBTheThird Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2011
Hi, do you know the model number for the superbright screen? I'm trying to find one to put replace the standard x201 tablet screen.
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