Wednesday, April 12, 2017

That wont change anything

Inside the ThinkCentre X1 are an Intel Core i5-6200U processor, 8GB of DDR4/2133MHz RAM, a 256GB SATA SSD, and an Intel Wireless-AC 3165 card for dual-band 1x1 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2. As expected with this choice of components, the ThinkCentre X1 is as fast as most people need for everyday tasks, like word processing and web browsing. In PCMark 8's Home Conventional benchmark, which runs web browsing, writing, casual gaming, photo editing, and video chat workloads, this all-in-one machine scored 2,615. While processors with more cores and more power do outpace it, the X1 should feel plenty quick for basic tasks. The ThinkCentre X1 also performed as expected in our Handbrake encoding test, which involves converting a 30GB MKV file into a smaller MP4 using the program's Android Tablet preset. For machines using a thermally constrained CPU, Handbrake is more of a soak test than a measure of performance: We use it to see how well the machine holds up under long, intensive tasks. The ThinkCentre X1 isn't the fastest machine using a Core i5-6200U, but it's still within the expected range. The Dell XPS 13 still comes out ahead likely due to fan speeds, whereas the Samsung Notebook 9 lags incredibly far behind because its processor's clock speed drops (throttles) under prolonged heavy load. The ThinkCentre X1 tilts to far greater angles than the average AIO, and doing so doesn't take a lot of force. 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 as they were H.264 and not HEVC (H.265) or 60 frames per second 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.

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 as much as four years of on-site service costs from $79 to $149. 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 solidperforming, exceptionally well-designed all-in-one, this machine should be your starting point. And probably ending point. Look Ma! No wires. Actually, you will see some such as the power cord and ethernet cable, which are not shown here.

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