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Review

IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X41 Tablet PC

by Linda A. Epstein
January 2006

Lenovo Thinkpad X41 Tablet PC

The lightest 12" convertible tablet among leading vendors

At 3.5 pounds in weight, less than 1.14" thin with a 12.1 inch display, 1.5 GHz processor, and long life battery, the ThinkPad X41 Tablet PC offers users the convenience of a convertible with out the extra weight or bulk.    Add the exclusive access IBM & ThinkVantage software and you get one of the best "Out of Box" user experiences we have seen to date.

The Lenovo X41 Tablet PC is a 1.5 Ghz convertible style Tablet PC,  that boots in just under 2 minutes with 512 ram installed. We got 4 Hours 43 minutes of battery life with the Tablet running in always on mode, with the wireless on, no standby, no hibernate and the screen and hard drive set to always on. 

The most asked question about the X41Tablet PC:

"Since its by Lenovo and not IBM, does it live up to the IBM name?"   

In our opinion the answer is a definitive yes.   In true "ThinkPad" fashion, the X41 is a sturdy reliable Tablet PC that provides the user with a great out of box experience.   Built to go anywhere, the X41 Tablet PC is suitable for students, road warriors and home users alike.  

It's not a secret that my personal preference is a slate style Tablet PC, but were I to need a full size convertible Tablet PC for everyday use,  because of the battery life and weight its highly likely that this would be the convertible I would be toting around.   In fact, I'm sorry that I don't own one of these to demo and show clients who are considering convertible Tablet PCs.

In True ThinkPad style, the ThinkPad X41 Tablet PC sports an identical look  as all of the previous ThinkPad notebooks.  

As this is the first machine Lenovo has put out since acquiring the "ThinkPad" name,  you won't find the Lenovo name anywhere on the machine - the only branding on the Tablet PC is the IBM Logo.

Outside in the shade
Outside in Full Sun

The X41 shown above does not have an indoor outdoor display,
but as you can see for yourself when its in the shade and not in direct sun the screen is easily viewable.  

Product features:

  • Performance features
  • Digitizer pen
  • Complete compatibility
  • Improved visibility
  • Most secure notebooks
  • All-day computing
  • Optional ThinkPad X4 Dock
  • High performance wireless
  • Cisco compatibility
  • Optimized for connectivity
  • High-speed Gigabit Ethernet
  • Image compatibility for easier rollout

Buttons:  power with sliding lock, Cltr-Alt-Del, Page up, Page down, Enter, Escape, Screen Rotation, and a Tablet shortcut menu

Ports: PCMCIA slot, SD card reader, 3 USB 2.0, Modem, Ethernet , microphone, headphone VGA-out port.

Our favorite features:

Access IBM

Activated from a blue button on the keyboard or an icon on the X41 desktop the Access IBM software gives users easy access to information and instructions for setting up and using the most common features on their new Tablet PC.

ThinkVantage Technologies

From the ThinkVantage screen users can create backup media, manage multiple connections, check out the security software and Access IBM software.


The only feature on the ThinkPad X41 that we had a problem with was the software for the fingerprint sensor. 

IBM Fingerprint Software and the fingerprint sensor:  the IBM software asks you to choose a finger and then proceeds to a capture fingerprint screen that requires three captures.   It also suggests that you enroll two fingers.   While I had no trouble getting it to enroll my right thumb I had no success getting it to enroll any other finger

While its possible that this problem is user error,  the fact remains that like most biometric software I have tried - it did not quite function as it should.


scribbler boxWhat's in the Box:

  • Lenovo X41 Tablet PC
  • Battery pack
  • Setup Instructions
  • modem cord
  • 2 Track Point caps
  • Pen
  • AC adapter & Power cord
  • Service and Trouble Shooting guide

Specs:  

  • Intel® Pentium® M Processor Low Voltage 758 1.50GHz
  • 12.1 Super-Wide Viewing Angle TFT
  • 512 MB (1x 512 MB) standard Maximum memory to 1.5 GB
  • 40 GB hard drive
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900

The Display:  12.1 Super-Wide Viewing Angle TFT provides a clean image that is easy on the eyes. While this is not the outdoor viewable screen you can see it well outdoors in indirect light

Battery Life 4 Hours 43 minutes in always on mode, wireless on, no standby, no hibernate and the screen and hard drive on.

Heat:  The X41 has no heat issues, in fact we have never seen a Tablet that stays as cool as this one.

WiFi: Intel® PRO/Wireless 2200BG Network Connection (802.11b/g)

Notable Features:
from the IBM web site for full list click here

  • All-day computing is here. Get up to 8.5 hours of battery life6 on select models with the system battery plus the optional ThinkPad X40 Series Extended Life Battery, which connects via the system docking connector. It's like a single tank of gas for the entire day's journey.

  • Performance features are loaded into ThinkPad X41 Tablet notebooks. Designed as part of the industry-leading X40 Series, the ThinkPad X41 Tablet is the lightest 12” convertible tablet among leading vendors, for the ultimate mobility in a choice of versatile ultraportables. This model has the ability to function both as a tablet and an ultraportable notebook, providing the flexibility to take handwritten notes directly on the screen with the Tablet Digitizer Pen. Starting at only 3.5 lb.2, the Tablet also features up to 6.3 hours6 of battery life, providing the longest standard battery life of any 12” convertible tablet (select models). Impressive features — including the Intel® Pentium® M processor on select models, a full-size keyboard11, Intel 915GM Express Chipset, PCI Express Integrated Graphics, one Secure Digital card slot, and one PC Card slot — give you outstanding performance in a small and light convertible tablet.

  • Improved visibility is available with the 12.1” Super Wide Viewing Angle XGA screen providing 170° viewing with a standard anti-glare screen coating. Anti-reflective screen coating is also available on select models for maximum visibility across indoor lighting conditions. The X41 Tablet utilizes a unique swivel hinge which allows the screen to rotate 180° to be folded back and used like a clipboard. The tablet mode functionality is also optimized with hardware buttons* located on the system display, which adjust system settings and provide window management without delaying productivity. The X41 Tablet is better by design to meet your needs!
  • The most secure tablet notebooks available with one integrated security solution out of the box (select models). The combination of the Integrated Fingerprint Reader and the Embedded Security Subsystem is like having a security guard for your tablet notebook. The Integrated Fingerprint Reader (select models) is built conveniently onto the screen bezel of the system, and can be used in either notebook or tablet mode. It is also designed for bi-directional swiping, providing ease of use for left and right-handed users. When combined with preloaded security software — which allows you to create a single password for all of your authentication needs — a single swipe of your finger can eliminate the need to remember and enter multiple passwords. You cannot get a higher level of security as a standard feature on a PC from any other manufacturer.

    The new Computrace Complete (by Absolute Software Inc) BIOS-based agent on X41 Tablet models is a PC tracking and loss control solution to help monitor asset locations, protect valuable corporate data and attempt to recover PCs if they are stolen. A valid subscription with Absolute Software, Inc. is required. Absolute Software is solely responsible for this service.

  • High-performance wireless networking is easy with integrated 11a/b/g Wi-Fi® wireless technology10 (select models). This tri-mode technology provides the flexibility to connect in any Wi-Fi environment to help increase mobility and productivity. Wi-Fi wireless upgradable32 models are also available, allowing you to experience the freedom of wireless networking when you're ready using the new optional ThinkPad 11a/b/g Wireless LAN Mini PCI Adapter, or optional Intel® PRO/Wireless 2915ABG Mini PCI Adapter.

Pre installed Software :

Access IBM
• Access Connections
• Adobe Reader 6.0
•IBM RecordNOW and IBM DLA power
•IBM Rescue and Recovery
•InterVideo WinDVD (CD-RW/DVD, DVD-RW or DVD models only)
•InterVideo WinDVD Creator (DVD-RW model only)
•IBM Client Security Software
•IBM fingerprint reader software (fingerprint reader systems only)
•Norton AntiVirus 2005 90 day trial
•PC-Doctor
•ThinkPad Utilities
•Update Connector

The Pros: 

  • Lightweight
  • long battery life
  • excellent assortment of accessories
  • Integrated Bluetooth
  • Screen saver that highlights the X41 features is a nice touch

The Cons: 

  • No recovery or rescue media( you do have the option of creating them yourself)
  • Pen has on flat side that makes it feel awkward in your hand
  • external optical drive needed to install software

In Conclusion:  The Lenovo X41 Tablet PC offers users the convenience of a convertible in a lightweight sturdy package.    Long Battery life and an nice selection of IBM software make the Tablet PC user experience as easy and friendly as possible and the available accessories make it an excellent choice for Students, road warriors and home users alike.

 

ThinkPad X Series

Tablet Accessories

 

ThinkPad X41 Tablet 8-Cell Li-Ion Battery

Stay unplugged longer. Get twice the capacity of the 4-cell system battery and up to 7.5 hours(1) of battery life on select systems. This high capacity battery has a notched design to accommodate tablet screen swivel hinge for notebook or convertible tablet function and fits in the standard ThinkPad X41 Series system battery slot. Its compatible design allows it to be in the system when the system is connected to the optional ThinkPad X4 Dock.

Multiple battery charger
ThinkPad Multiple Battery Charger II

Charge your spare batteries and have additional power ready when you need it. The ThinkPad Multiple battery Charger II provides flexibility and convenience for anyone with several ThinkPad system batteries they need to keep at the ready.

Features and Benefits:

· Two batteries can be attached at the same time and charged sequentially

X41 Tablet Sleeve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ThinkPad X41 Tablet Sleeve

The ThinkPad X41 Tablet Sleeve case is a perfect match for your new X41 Tablet notebook. It provides a convenient case for carrying the X41 Tablet and using its special features. The clear plastic panel allows you view and work with the screen. Ports and controls are accessible while in the sleeve. The rear arm band helps you securely hold and position the tablet vertically or horizontally on either arm.

Features and Benefits:

  • The glove-like fit of the sleeve case helps protect your tablet from scratches and the elements.
  • The clear plastic panel helps you save time by allowing  you to write to your new tablet notebook without removing it from the sleeve
  • Easy access flaps allow for peripheral attachment and protect your notebook ports when not in use.
  • An adjustable hand hold on the back of the sleeve lets you comfortably take notes on the go.
  • The sleeve accommodates tablet notebooks with either the ThinkPad X41 Tablet 4 Cell Li-Ion Battery or the ThinkPad X41 Tablet 8 Cell Li-Ion Battery installed. The Sleeve does not support use of the ThinkPad X40 Series Extended Life Battery.
ThinkPad Dock

ThinkPad X4 Dock

The ThinkPad X4 Dock provides flexible expansion and cable management for users of ThinkPad X40 Series systems. Compatible with ThinkPad X40 Series ultraportable notebooks and the new ThinkPad X41 tablet, this dock boasts rich function and a compact design. With the X4 Dock, accessing peripheral devices and storage media is easy.

ThinkPad X41 Digitizer Pen
Keep a spare pen in your carrying case or desk. This optional pen is identical to the one included with the ThinkPad X41 Tablet notebook.

 

To configure and Order a Lenovo Thinkpad of your own click here

 

 

Copyright © 2006 Blue Thunder
All rights reserved. No work here may be
reproduced or reprinted without the express
written permission of the author.

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