Review: Lenovo's New ThinkPad X1 Tablet Is A Top Contender In The 2-in-1 Wars

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This is shaping up to be the year that 2-in-1 tablets really break out.

We recently gave a strong review to Samsung's Galaxy Book, while Apple's new iPad Pro is also getting a generally favorable reception. Microsoft plans to release a refresh to its pioneering Surface Pro this week, as well.

However, Lenovo is well-positioned to compete with all of them thanks to its second-generation ThinkPad X1 tablet.

[Related: Head-To-Head: Microsoft Surface Pro Vs. Samsung Galaxy Book]

The X1 tablet may not feature as sexy of a design as the other 2-in-1 tablets we just mentioned. But its smooth performance, sturdiness and ability to do things the others can't — such as turn into a projector on a whim — make it well worth consideration for work use.

Lenovo succeeds at transferring the ThinkPad look and feel over to the X1 tablet 2-in-1. Maybe the biggest place this is noticeable -- and the biggest differentiator overall -- is in how sturdy the device is.

The X1 tablet comes with a detachable keyboard that is a huge departure from the flimsy feeling keyboard of the iPad Pro. The keyboard sits stiffly and feels very durable. The keys are deep and a pleasure to type on. The touchpad on the keyboard also works smoothly right out of the box.

Unlike some of the other 2-in-1 tablets, the stand for the X1 tablet is flexible enough to allow for usage at a full range of different angles (rather than just a few preset angles). The stand is also made from metal, which adds a lot of strength, but the flexibility means you can adjust the angle just by moving the tablet rather than fiddling with the stand itself.

Thanks to the excellent keyboard and stand, the ThinkPad X1 tablet is pretty close to being able to offer the equivalent of a laptop experience. It can, in fact, be comfortably used on your lap -- unlike some of the other leading 2-in-1s. We think this is a huge advantage.

Portability, after all, is a chief benefit of going the 2-in-1 route. The ability to use the X1 tablet in more ways than the typical 2-in-1 is a major complement to the portable aspects of the device, which weighs 2.4 pounds for both tablet and keyboard.

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