Announced during CES 2021, the Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable looks to give the Microsoft Surface Pro a run for its money.
Microsoft may have just announced the new Surface Pro 7+ for business customers, but Lenovo's offering its own take, promising durability, speed and the tried-and-true Lenovo typing experience.
On top of that, the ThinkPad X12 Detachable is packing seriously sharp cameras, so you won't need an external webcam to look crisp and clear. But is this enough to make it to our best laptops list?
Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable price and release date
The X12 Detachable should be available this month (Jan. 2021). It's going to have a starting price of $1,149. Frustratingly, we don't know what the entry-level model's configs will be, as Lenovo's only provided the higher end specs for each component.
Thankfully, that starting price does include the attachable folio keyboard. Had that not been the case, Lenovo would have had an uphill battle against detachable devices such as the Surface Pro 7+, which starts at $899 — hundreds less.
Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable specs
As for those specs? Lenovo's detachable can be armed to the bezels, maxing out at quad-core 11th Gen Intel Core i7 CPUs with vPro, up to 16GB of LPDDR4x RAM and up to 1TB of NVMe SSD storage.
As for the tablet's display, you get a 12.3-inch Full HD+ (aka larger than 1920 x 1080, but not 2K or 4K) screen, and that screen is going to be driven by Intel Iris Xe graphics. Lenovo quotes the ThinkPad X12's 42 WHr battery as lasting up to 10 hours (well, they say 9.98 hours, so we're rounding up). The Surface Pro 7 didn't make it to 8 hours, so we're hoping this claim comes true.
Lenovo packs the X12 Detachable with excellent cameras for your next conference call: a 5MP front-facing cam (just like the new HP Dragonfly Max has) and an 8MP rear-facing camera.
The ThinkPad X12 Detachable has one thing the Surface Pro doesn't: the Lenovo TrackPoint pointing stick. This nubbin has inspired brand loyalty for years, and we wouldn't be surprised to learn people are willing to switch just for the nub.
The X12 Detachable is packed with solid security as well, with a fingerprint reader, dTPM 2.0 chip, IR camera for facial recognition and Intel vPro.
Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable design
With its easel kickstand and attachable keyboard, the ThinkPad X12 Detachable looks a lot like the Surface Pro 7, only black and not silver. Measuring 11.2 x 8 x 0.4 inches, it's a bit thicker than the Surface Pro 7 (11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33). And at 1.7 pounds, it's a tad heavier than the 1.6-pound Pro 7 as well.
Those are very small margins, though, and nothing worth penalizing Lenovo's machine over. Lenovo notes the X12 is durable enough to have passed multiple MIL-SPEC tests for extreme temperatures, dust, drops and direct impact. Its screen also has the added protection of Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
As for ports and security, the X12 Detachable offers a decent selection for a tablet —a Thunderbolt 4 port, a standard USB-C port and a headphone jack.
Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable outlook
The more companies that jump into the premium detachable 2-in-1 market, the better things are for the customer. We're hoping that the Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable helps push Microsoft and other companies to innovate faster.
If Lenovo's battery life claims are proven out in our tests, the X12 Detachable looks to be a serious contender in the world of convertible laptops. Stay tuned for our full review.