Lenovo Thinkcentre X1 review: All-in-one design done right

Sleek, minimal, and quick are how an all-in-one should be.

Handbrake benchmark results PCWorld

Gaming on the ThinkCentre X1 is slightly below what you'd expect for its integrated HD 520 graphics. In 3DMark's Cloud Gate benchmark, which is a synthetic DX11 test designed for typical home desktop systems and laptops, the X1 netted an overall score of 4,946. While that's a little surprising, it again likely has to do with how Lenovo tweaked the fan profiles.

However, even if the X1 had matched other Core i5-6200U systems' scores, that wouldn't change the fact that this all-in-one is only good enough for lightweight games. As for video playback, 4K UHD files played quite smoothly, as long they were H.264 and not HEVC (H.265) or 60 frames per second.

3DMark Cloud Gate Overall PCWorld

The Thinkcentre X1's SSD, a Samsung MZ7LN256HCHP-000L1, has a middling write speed of a little less than 300MBps, but it reads at a reasonable pace of 500MBps. To be fair, while faster SSDs are available, this kind of throughput speed is still light years better than a hard-disk drive.

One aspect of the X1 that could be better is its speakers. There's Dolby software on board to enhance the sound, but it's still a bit weak. You'll definitely want to use headphones or hook it up to a sound system.

Input ergonomics

The keyboard and mouse provided by Lenovo are usable. They likely won't beat out anything you already love, but they have enough heft that they don't feel cheap. They're also wireless, so there are no cables to litter the clean desktop space generated by the X1's design. 

Price and warranty

You can get a Thinkcentre X1 for as little as $845 at the time of this review (thanks to an instant rebate through Lenovo's storefront), with only 4GB of system memory and a 500GB hard drive. I highly recommend against that configuration because of the slower performance you'll get from the hard drive compared to an SSD. Our 8GB/256GB SSD configuration costs a little over a thousand dollars, and you'll be much, much happier with it (or even the 128GB SSD) than the HDD version in the long run.

The standard warranty is one-year on-site. Upgrading to up to four years of on-site service costs from $79 to $149. Notably, it includes the option of keeping your storage drive—worth noting for people who dislike warranties that make you surrender defective hardware. 

lenovo thinkcentre x1 front 11 Lenovo

Look Ma! No wires. Actually, you will see some such as the power cord and ethernet cable, which are not shown here.

One more plus for the Thinkcentre: The user's guide shows you how to repair and upgrade the X1, which is quite easy. I'm little tired of vendors who say there are no user-serviceable parts when a mere half-dozen screws would allow access. Kudos to Lenovo.


To be perfectly honest, I'd like to see Lenovo take the outstanding basic Thinkcentre X1 design and realize it to the max: a 4K UHD display, a PCIe-NVMe SSD, Type C USB 3.1, and...a red (not yellow) always-on USB port.

As it stands, however, 1080p is all most users need. The Thinkcentre X1 is easily fast enough, and forking over one $1,000 bill (instead of two) for a computer is more in line with the average budget. So let's forget the wish list and just say that if you're looking for a solid-performing, exceptionally well-designed all-in-one, this machine should be your starting point.  And probably ending point.

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