ThinkPad X230s or X231s explained (Brief Review)

ThinkPad X230s Photos

Some time ago i wrote article about Lenovo’s new ThinkPads that they will release in year 2013, more specifically i mentioned about the new ThinkPad X231s, X240 and X241s. Thanks to the effort of IBMThink whom have been providing the ThinkPad enthusiasts with oddles of useful information on a series of new ThinkPads that are about to be released. Recently, IBMThink released some information about the new ThinkPad X230s, which purportedly is a China only model.

For some reasons Lenovo have changed the name of the X231s to X230s (or maybe X231s is the name for the X230s sold to the global market?), but whatever the name is, the new X230s will polarise the opinions of the Lenovo Customers, some people will love it and praise Lenovo’s avantgarde styling, while others probably will say Lenovo has forgetten the ThinkPad roots and sold the ThinkPad soul for the price of an Apple pie. Personally, i think there are definite areas of that i like about the new X230s, and other parts of the new X230s that i really hate.

The part i love about the new X230s:

  • ULV CPU option
  • Larger TrackPad Surface Area
  • Screen bezel design
  • Removable HDD and option for 9 mm thick 2.5 inch hdd
  • Slightly lighter and thinner than a ThinkPad X230

 

The part i dislike about the new X230s:

  • No mention of removable RAM in the USER manual
  • Integrated battery
  • 1366×768 resolution
  • No dedicated Dock connectors
  • No ThinkLight
  • Only 2 USB ports
  • No ExpressCard Slot

ThinkPad X230s indicators light

ThinkPad X230s Key

 

The ThinkPad X230s keyboard follows those of the ThinkPad T431s, where Volume Control, Mic Mute, Speakers Mute and ThinkVantage Buttons are integrated into the Fn keys. Also, the ThinkPad X230s will have a buttonless trackpoint system like those of ThinkPad T431s and ThinkPad Helix (and the new ThinkPad Edge series). I hated this sort of key integration in my ThinkPad T430u, so i guess i won’t like it in the ThinkPad X230s either.

T431s buttonless trackpoint

The integrated battery system and new hinge style of the ThinkPad X230s have severely restricted the internal spaces available for the provision of USB ports, which meant that the new ThinkPad X230s have only two USB 3.0 ports, and the SIM card slot is also moved to the right side of the ThinkPad X230s chassis.

ThinkPad X230s right side port

Luckily, the ThinkPad X230s do have a dedicated Ethernet Gigabit port, while the VGA port is also provisioned on the ThinkPad X230s (in addition to the mini Displayport). I personally would have preferred that Lenovo removed the VGA port and put an extra USB port in its place.

ThinkPad X230s ports left side

 

The ThinkPad X230s will also have the new X1 Carbon’s type of power port, which seems to be the new standard power port design on the future ThinkPad, as the new thicker Edge ThinkPad also have it, which means that the new design will not be used only in ThinkPad with thickness restriction (i.e. X1 Carbon, X1 Helix, etc).

ThinkPad X1 Carbon power adapter versus MagSafe connector

 

It is somewhat dissappointing to see that the new ThinkPad X230s won’t have a dedicated dock connector to take advantage of the Series 3 dock, but rather it will have to rely on the USB 3.0 docking solutions. Also, i am not sure why Lenovo does not have a higher resolution LCD option on the new ThinkPads X230s, which other previous X2x0s series have.

ThinkPad X230s main features

ThinkPad x230s sim card removal and installation part 1

 

ThinkPad X230s main features

 

 

Also, the new ThinkPad X230s will have 2 removable harddrive options, one is the M2 (mSATA v2.0) and a 7/9 mm 2.5 inch hdd options, which is good news for people whom want to install their own hdd in their X230s. 

 

Jin Li
ALPAKA rocks

Jin Li

Co-Founder at ALPAKA & ThinkScopes
I am a lover of all things tech, and i have a special hot spot for ThinkPads and Lenovo products. I own over 70 ThinkPad laptops to date, and is the number one Lenovo superfan in the world (November 2014). Recently i co-founded a tech fashion company called ALPAKA in Melbourne Australia. ThinkScopes was founded by me in 2011 to report on all things Lenovo and Microsoft. I am a current Microsoft MVP, Lenovo Global Brand Adovcate and Lenovo Influencer ANZ.
Jin Li
ALPAKA rocks
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