Notebookcheck

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet 2018 (i5, 3K-IPS) Convertible Review

Andreas Osthoff, 👁 Andreas Osthoff (translated by Benjamin Herzig), 01/18/2019

The best business convertible? Lenovo has completely reworked the ThinkPad X1 Tablet, which now includes a larger touchscreen, two Thunderbolt 3 ports and much faster CPUs. This has the caveat that these faster chips have to be actively cooled now. Is the third generation of the ThinkPad X1 Tablet a solid and complete package, or does it have some significant weaknesses?

The ThinkPad X1 Tablet series has reached its third iteration and Lenovo has completely reworked the business convertible for this occasion. The tablet-laptop hybrid has grown from a 12-inch to 13-inch display size. The 3:2 aspect ratio has remained unchanged, but the new screen supports a resolution of 3,200 x 2,000 pixels. The other big change compared with older versions is the switch to more powerful 15 W ULV processors, which are used in most Ultrabooks these days. This means that unlike its two predecessors ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 1 and ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2, the X1 Tablet Gen 3 includes a fan, since the quad-core CPUs require an active cooling system.

Lenovo offers many different configurations of the X1 Tablet Gen 3. For buyers of the ThinkPad, the processor, the RAM and the capacity of the SSD are configurable items. Also, there is an optional LTE module. In Germany, there are currently two models with a fixed configuration. Our review unit (20KJ001NGE) is sold for roughly €1,750 (~$1992 VAT included) and it contains an Intel Core i5, 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD. The more expensive model (20KJ001KGE) with a Core i7, 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD costs roughly €2,100 (~$2391 VAT included). These models are available as special educational models in Germany as well, which are exclusive to students or teachers and around €100 (~$114) cheaper. The most expensive model in Lenovo's German online store has a high price-tag of €2,700 (~$3074 VAT included). In Lenovo's US store, the most expensive model can be bought for $2,174 (VAT excluded). A model configured with the same components as our review unit costs $1,517 (VAT excluded).

Naturally, we are going to compare the new Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet with its predecessors, but the other PC manufacturers also provide some interesting competition in the convertible business segment. Of course, the semi-professional Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is a well known device in this category, but other very good competitors include the Dell Latitude 5290, the HP Elite x2 and the Toshiba Portégé X30T-E. We have linked the reviews of the older ThinkPad X1 Tablet models below, as well as a special CPU comparison article, comparing the CPU performance the X1 Tablet Gen 3 with the Surface Pro 6 and the HP Elite x2:

Working For Notebookcheck

Are you a techie who knows how to write? Then join our Team! Especially English native speakers welcome!

Currently wanted: 
News and Editorial Editor - Details here

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE (ThinkPad Tablet Series)
Graphics adapter
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Core: 1100 MHz, Memory: 933 MHz
Memory
8192 MB 
, LPDDR3 2133MHz, soldered
Display
13 inch 3:2, 3000 x 2000 pixel 271 PPI, capacitive, native pen support, LP130QP1-SPA1, IPS LED, glossy: yes, detachable screen
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U iHDCP 2.2 Premium PCH
Storage
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, 256 GB 
, M.2 2280, PCIe NVMe, 210 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Kaby Lake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
2 USB 3.1 Gen2, 2 Thunderbolt, 2 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo audio, Card Reader: microSD, 1 Fingerprint Reader, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: gyroscope, accelerometer, pogo-pin connector for the keyboard
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.2, LTE (Qualcomm Snapdgragon X7), LTE
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.9 x 304 x 225.6 ( = 0.35 x 11.97 x 8.88 in)
Battery
42 Wh Lithium-Ion, 4 cell battery, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 9.5 h
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Primary Camera: 8 MPix auto focus, flash
Secondary Camera: 2 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Virtual touch-keyboard plus physical 6 row Chiclet keyboard, Keyboard Light: yes, 65 watt charger (USB-C), ThinkPad Pen Pro, Lenovo Vantage, 36 Months Warranty
Weight
1.279 kg ( = 45.12 oz / 2.82 pounds), Power Supply: 356 g ( = 12.56 oz / 0.78 pounds)
Price
1750 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

With its typical matte black design, the third generation of the ThinkPad X1 Tablet can be easily identified as a member of the ThinkPad X series. On the back of the tablet, Lenovo has placed the blacked-out ThinkPad logo with a red status LED as well as a small stylized "X1" logo. The front is dominated by the touchscreen and its protective Gorilla Glass casing. Unlike its predecessor, the separate plastic bezel beneath the screen is gone, but the screen bezels are still pretty wide by today's standards. Different from some tablets with purely metal casings, the X1 Tablet has no sharp edges and it rests comfortably in the hand.

The active cooling system necessitates some changes to the design. On the right side, there is now a fan exhaust and on the upper edge, there are some intakes. The kickstand has also been completely redesigned, it now works similar to the competitors. When the kickstand is opened, the hinges are pretty loose for the first few centimeters. The kickstand becomes stable only when an opening angle of roughly 30 degrees is reached. In the closed state, a magnet holds the kickstand to the chassis. The maximal opening angle is pretty big with about 165 degrees, which means that it is almost possible to open the kickstand all the way. On both sides of the case, there are two areas of recess, which make opening the kickstand easier.

The workmanship and stability of the tablet are very good. The case can only be twisted slightly by using a lot of force – twisting the case does not result in creaking-noises and it does not impact the image of the LCD panel. As with most ThinkPads, the X1 Tablet has been tested with military standard tests according to Lenovo, though the manufacturer does not specify which tests exactly. With our unit, the keyboard was included in the box. With a thickness of just 5 mm (~0.2 in), this piece of equipment is very slim, meaning that it is also much more flexible than the case of the tablet, though there was not any audible squeaking or creaking here either. The keyboard is connected to the tablet at the lower edge of the device via a pogo-pin connector and two small plastic hooks. Thanks to the magnetic connection, the keyboard is locked solidly into place and the tablet can be lifted without disconnecting the keyboard. When the X1 Tablet is not used, the keyboard can be flipped onto the screen, protecting the device while it is being transported.

The keyboard can be used in two positions: Flat on the table or slightly angled (see the pictures above), slightly reducing the overall footprint of keyboard and tablet together. This should also help when the hybrid is used on the lap. Using the X1 Tablet on the lap is not very comfortable though, as the tablet is pretty top-heavy, especially when the kickstand is opened too far. It should be noted though that this is a problem shared with pretty much all tablet convertibles of this type. Another problem is that the keyboard is very sensitive when it comes to dirt, grease and smudges in general – this is true of the palmrest as well as the back of the keyboard. After a short time of using the device, the keyboard does not look very nice anymore – it should be cleaned regularly.

Our specific configuration of the tablet itself weighs roughly 900 g (~2 lb), the keyboard adds an additional 379 g (~13 oz) to the whole package. With 1.279 kg (~2.82 lb), the X1 Tablet Gen 3  is heavier than its predecessor (1.1 kg/~2.4 lb), but the weight increase can be justified because of the faster CPU and the necessary active cooling system. Compared with the other convertible tablets, the X1 Tablet is one of the heaviest and biggest, which is due to the larger screen as well. We have also included the 2018 ThinkPad X1 Carbon in the size comparison, which is actually lighter than the X1 Tablet. For those planning to use the X1 Tablet most of the time with the keyboard attached, the slightly thicker X1 Carbon might be the more attractive option.

Size & weight comparison

323.5 mm / 12.7 inch 217.1 mm / 8.55 inch 15.95 mm / 0.628 inch 1.1 kg2.48 lbs316 mm / 12.4 inch 207 mm / 8.15 inch 9.1 mm / 0.3583 inch 1.4 kg3.09 lbs304 mm / 12 inch 225.6 mm / 8.88 inch 8.9 mm / 0.3504 inch 1.3 kg2.82 lbs300 mm / 11.8 inch 231.5 mm / 9.11 inch 7.9 mm / 0.311 inch 1.2 kg2.58 lbs293 mm / 11.5 inch 210 mm / 8.27 inch 9 mm / 0.3543 inch 1.1 kg2.38 lbs292 mm / 11.5 inch 210 mm / 8.27 inch 9.75 mm / 0.3839 inch 1.3 kg2.82 lbs292 mm / 11.5 inch 201 mm / 7.91 inch 8.5 mm / 0.3346 inch 1.1 kg2.4 lbs

Connectivity - 2x Thunderbolt 3 on the X1 Tablet

The port selection has been revamped completely as well. Instead of a combination of one USB 3.1 Gen 1 type C and one USB 3.0 type A port, there are now two USB C ports, which support USB 3.1 Gen 2 as well as Thunderbolt 3 (with four PCIe lanes for both ports). One of the two is also used to charge the tablet, which means that it is practically always used. In a stationary usage scenario, the cable connected to the top of the tablet can be a bit annoying. The dedicated video-output has been removed too, connecting external displays is only possible via a USB C cable or adapter. On the left side of the device, there is a 3.5 mm headphone-jack as well as a Kensington-lock slot, which is compatible with the Kensington MiniSaver standard.

The implementation of the modern USB C ports with Thunderbolt 3 is certainly future-proofed and allows for the connection of many accessories. However, many older accessories will need an adapter. For now, a combination of USB C / Thunderbolt 3 and a USB A port would probably be more practical for most users. In this respect, both the Dell 5290 2-in-1 and the Toshiba Portégé (ports on the keyboard dock) have the advantage.

left: MicroSD cardreader & NanoSIM, 2x Thunderbolt 3, Kensington lock, combo audio
left: MicroSD cardreader & NanoSIM, 2x Thunderbolt 3, Kensington lock, combo audio
right: Connector for optional pen-holder, volume buttons, power button (illuminated)
right: Connector for optional pen-holder, volume buttons, power button (illuminated)
bottom: Pogo-pin connector
bottom: Pogo-pin connector

SD card-reader – MicroSD with UHS-I

Combined slot for NanoSIM and MicroSD
Combined slot for NanoSIM and MicroSD

As with many smartphones and Android tablets, Lenovo uses a combined slot for the NanoSim and MicroSD card. Both can be used at the same time, but to remove the cover, a small object such as a SIM tool or a needle is needed. This means that a quick exchange is not  possible. The card-reader is rated to UHS I speed, so our reference card for benchmarking (Exceria Pro M501 UHS II) can not realize its full potential. The new ThinkPad X1 Tablet has a similarly fast card-reader as its predecessor and the Surface Pro 6, but the Dell Latitude 5290 has a much faster UHS II card-reader.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 UHS-II)
142.2 MB/s ∼100% +80%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 UHS-II)
78.9 MB/s ∼55%
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i7, 512 GB
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC 64GB)
78.5 MB/s ∼55% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
72.62 MB/s ∼51% -8%
Average of class Convertible
  (7.5 - 197, n=132)
62 MB/s ∼44% -21%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 UHS-II)
211.8 MB/s ∼100% +152%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
93.77 MB/s ∼44% +11%
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i7, 512 GB
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC 64GB)
86.4 MB/s ∼41% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 UHS-II)
84.2 MB/s ∼40%
Average of class Convertible
  (19.2 - 246, n=129)
77.1 MB/s ∼36% -8%

Communication - ThinkPad tablet with LTE

Lenovo offers only a single WLAN module for the third generation of the X1 Tablet, which we already know from many other business laptops. The Intel Wireless AC 8265 may not be the latest WLAN card from Intel, but it is a solid choice. Apart from the usual WLAN standards including the fast 802.11ac, it also supports Bluetooth 4.2. In our standardized test with the router Linksys EA8500, the performance while receiving data was very good, although we have seen better results when it comes to sending data. Everyday-use is unlikely to be impacted and the performance is comparable to normal Ultrabooks.

Our review unit also contains a WWAN modem (Qualcomm Snapdragon X7) with GPS. When the unit is configured in the Lenovo store, the LTE modem costs €140 or $106. In the hardware maintenance manual (see the maintenance chapter), Lenovo describes how to access the WWAN modul, but this requires a lot of work to take the device apart. Also, Lenovo does not count the WWAN card as a CRU, meaning it is not a component that users should exchange by them self. Furthermore, it is doubtful if the antennas are there if the device did not come with WWAN ex-factory.

With a NanoSIM, it is possible to access the Internet on the go without a WiFi connection or phone tethering, which can be of great use depending on user priorities. The competitors from Dell, HP and Toshiba also offer this capability, only Microsoft still has issues with implementing LTE into their machines.

The X1 Tablet has two camera modules, one with 2.0 MP on the front and one with 8.0 MP on the back (which includes a flash as well as auto-focus). For both cameras, a bright environment is important. Low-light conditions do result in visible grain. When the conditions are good, the camera on the back can be used to take some good enough looking pictures, but the front-camera disappoints in every respect. It is fine for video conferencing, but the quality is definitively lacking.

Front webcam
Front webcam
Camera on the back
Camera on the back
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
653 MBit/s ∼100% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
633 MBit/s ∼97%
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i7, 512 GB
Marvell AVASTAR Wireless-AC Network Controller
593 (min: 560, max: 611) MBit/s ∼91% -6%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
586 MBit/s ∼90% -7%
Average of class Convertible
  (28.7 - 688, n=147)
490 MBit/s ∼75% -23%
Toshiba Portege X30T-E-109
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
461 (min: 329, max: 528) MBit/s ∼71% -27%
HP Elite x2 1013 G3-2TT14EA
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
314 MBit/s ∼48% -50%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HP Elite x2 1013 G3-2TT14EA
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
598 MBit/s ∼100% +16%
Toshiba Portege X30T-E-109
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
598 (min: 549, max: 624) MBit/s ∼100% +16%
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i7, 512 GB
Marvell AVASTAR Wireless-AC Network Controller
559 (min: 519, max: 577) MBit/s ∼93% +9%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
514 MBit/s ∼86%
Average of class Convertible
  (36.4 - 743, n=147)
495 MBit/s ∼83% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
440 MBit/s ∼74% -14%
Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
305 MBit/s ∼51% -41%

Security

The X1 Tablet has the security features one would expect from a ThinkPad. Apart from a TPM chip and a SSD with OPAL 2.0 support, various passwords can be set in the UEFI-BIOS (e.g. Boot, BIOS). On the front of the device, there is also an Infrared camera, which enables fast log-in with Windows Hello. This is not the only possible way to log-in via a biometric feature, as Lenovo integrates a fingerprint-reader on the right side of the screen bezel as well. This reader is touch-based and works mostly well, although it occasionally does not recognize the fingerprint at the first try – this is possibly due to the rather slim reader.

Accessories – ThinkPad Pen Pro is included

Optional pen holder
Optional pen holder

The box contents of the ThinkPad X1 Tablet are rather plentiful, since not only it includes the keyboard, but also the ThinkPad Pen Pro. This pen offers 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity and it is running on AAAA batteries. Optionally, there also is a Lenovo Pen Pro, which offers 4,096 levels of pressure-sensitivity and a tilt-angle function for shadows – this pen can be recharged via USB C. Unfortunately, neither pen can be stored inside of the case of the X1 Tablet and there is also no magnetic holder. Optionally, Lenovo offers a pen-holder that can be attached to the right side of the chassis. That this small plastic part is not included is strange in our opinion.

Thanks to the USB C ports with Thunderbolt 3, many accessories will work with the ThinkPad X1 Tablet. Of special interest are docking-stations, which can be connected to the X1 Tablet in the office or at home. We have tried out the Lenovo Thunderbolt 3 graphics dock and after the installation of the right driver, the connection worked as it should, including the dedicated GeForce GTX 1050. Further details about this test are included in our section about the performance of the X1 Tablet.

Maintenance

In general, users can open up their ThinkPad X1 Tablet, as the chassis is not glued or soldered. In the official Hardware Maintenance Manual by Lenovo, the manufacturer describes how to open the device and how to access the components (such as the Wi-Fi module or the battery). It should be noted though that these parts are not CRUs, meaning that they are not meant to be replaced by the customer, and only by Lenovo's official service. Taking out parts on your own can risk the warranty if the device becomes defective after tampering with the insides.

Warranty

In Germany, both the pre-configured and the configurable models have a three year warranty with bring-in service as their standard warranty (with the battery only being covered for one year). Bring-in means that the customer has to mail in a defective unit. In the US, some units have a three year warranty, others only have a one year warranty standard – buyers of the X1 Tablet should be on the lookout for that. Optionally, Lenovo offers extensive warranty extensions, with a maximum warranty duration of 5 years. Extra services can include accidental damage protection as well as a three year battery warranty. Please see our Guarantees, Return policies and Warranties article for country-specific information.

Input devices – X1 Tablet with folio keyboard

Keyboard

Thanks to the larger screen, Lenovo has been able to incorporate a larger keyboard as well. The width of the keyboard is now identical to that of the normal ThinkPad X1 Carbon and its typing feel is also pretty much the same. This means a rather large key-travel for such a slim device, ample feedback and a precise pressure-point. For someone who has to type in long texts, this keyboard is a joy – though only when the keyboard lays flat on the table. When the keyboard is angled to the tablet or when using it on the lap, the keyboard does have a lot of flex, which impacts the typing experience in a bad way. The slim folio keyboard just cannot provide the same stability as a regular laptop.

The keyboard is backlit and offers two stages of intensity. It can be activated manually as well as automatically. Since there are only two stages, it is very noticeable when the system changes the brightness, but the feature is definitely useful.

Keyboard unit
Keyboard unit
Keyboard-backlight (highest intensity)
Keyboard-backlight (highest intensity)

Touchpad, TrackPoint & touchscreen

The mouse-pointer can be controlled either with the touchpad or the TrackPoint. Both are identical to the input-devices of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon as well, allowing for a problem-free input. Both the ClickPad and the buttons of the TrackPoint offer a deep and at the same time quiet feedback.

Of course, the touchscreen can be used as an alternative method of input as well. As one would expect from a capacitive touchscreen, up to ten fingers are recognized fast and without any problems. The pen input also worked very well in our test, although the standard pen does seem a bit small for larger hands.

Display - X1 Tablet with 3K touchscreen

Subpixel array
Subpixel array
Slight screen bleeding at the lower edge. This picture also shows the darker right side, which is not as visible in real-life usage as it is in this picture.
Slight screen bleeding at the lower edge. This picture also shows the darker right side, which is not as visible in real-life usage as it is in this picture.

With the third generation of the ThinkPad X1 Tablet, the screen-size has increasedfrom 12 to 13 inches. At the same time, the resolution has increased from 2,160x1,440 (2K) to 3,000x2,000 (3K). The aspect ratio of 3:2 has stayed the same, which is why the screen offers more vertical space than comparable 16:9 panels. For productive use-cases such as Microsoft Excel, this screen is better suited thanks to its aspect ratio.

In our review unit, the LCD was made by LG (LP130QP1-SPA1). Lenovo advertises this screen with a brightness-value of 400 cd/m² and our measurements confirm that the screen reaches this value. In the middle of screen, we even measure 470 cd/², but the LCD is far less bright on the right side of the panel. This means that the average brightness exceeds the advertised value, but the brightness-distribution of 76% is pretty middling. In real-life usage, this effect is pretty minimal and only slightly visible when the screen shows completely a single color. Still, we would have appreciated a better brightness distribution, especially at this price level.

The black-value is good, resulting in a very good contrast-ratio of 1,400:1. This leads to saturated colors, the overall picture has a slightly warm color tint. Unlike the preceding model, PWM is not used here to regulate the screen brightness, which can be set to automatically adjust to the brightness of the environment, thanks to the brightness sensor. Despite the high brightness, there is only a little screen bleeding at the lower edge of the screen, which is only visible when very dark screen-content is shown.

419
cd/m²
403
cd/m²
368
cd/m²
445
cd/m²
474
cd/m²
370
cd/m²
442
cd/m²
475
cd/m²
363
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
LP130QP1-SPA1
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 475 cd/m² Average: 417.7 cd/m² Minimum: 5 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 76 %
Center on Battery: 470 cd/m²
Contrast: 1436:1 (Black: 0.33 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.2 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6, calibrated: 0.9
ΔE Greyscale 4.5 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
99.4% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 64% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.07
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
LP130QP1-SPA1, , 3000x2000, 13
HP Elite x2 1013 G3-2TT14EA
AU Optronics AUO101A, , 3000x2000, 13
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i7, 512 GB
LGPhilips LP123WQ112604, , 2736x1824, 12.3
Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1
SHP1479, , 1920x1280, 12.3
Toshiba Portege X30T-E-109
Toshiba TOS508F, , 1920x1080, 13.3
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
LSN120QL01L01, , 2160x1440, 12
Response Times
20%
25%
-3%
12%
43%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
47.2 (21.2, 26)
47 (23, 24)
-0%
43 (21, 22)
9%
56.8 (26.8, 30)
-20%
42 (22, 20)
11%
28.4 (15.2, 13.2)
40%
Response Time Black / White *
42.4 (19.6, 22.8)
26 (14, 12)
39%
25 (13, 12)
41%
36 (19.6, 16.4)
15%
37 (17, 20)
13%
22.8 (13.6, 9.2)
46%
PWM Frequency
22000 (50)
1852 (98)
17000 (100)
221.2 (49)
Screen
-18%
-5%
-16%
-39%
-23%
Brightness middle
474
452
-5%
484
2%
548
16%
350
-26%
388.1
-18%
Brightness
418
412
-1%
473
13%
545
30%
343
-18%
344
-18%
Brightness Distribution
76
85
12%
91
20%
86
13%
73
-4%
78
3%
Black Level *
0.33
0.48
-45%
0.33
-0%
0.51
-55%
0.29
12%
0.39
-18%
Contrast
1436
942
-34%
1467
2%
1075
-25%
1207
-16%
995
-31%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.2
4.05
-27%
4.29
-34%
3.65
-14%
6.36
-99%
4.6
-44%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
6.1
6.64
-9%
6.46
-6%
7.15
-17%
11.63
-91%
9.1
-49%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
0.9
1.56
-73%
1.34
-49%
1.81
-101%
1.7
-89%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.5
4.87
-8%
4.3
4%
5.5
-22%
8.04
-79%
6.1
-36%
Gamma
2.07 106%
2.71 81%
2.51 88%
2.154 102%
2.47 89%
2.07 106%
CCT
5881 111%
7160 91%
7315 89%
7052 92%
7716 84%
7104 91%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
64
62
-3%
62
-3%
65.2
2%
59
-8%
59
-8%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
99.4
97
-2%
95
-4%
99.1
0%
91
-8%
91
-8%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
1% / -12%
10% / -0%
-10% / -14%
-14% / -31%
10% / -12%

* ... smaller is better

Our additional measurements with an X-Rite i1 Pro2 spectrophotometer confirm the warm, slightly yellow tint of the picture. The average DeltaE 2000 deviations compared to the sRGB color gamut are OK for a business convertible even without a calibration. There are only a few outliers, especially when it comes to the colors.

CalMAN grey-scale (target gamut sRGB)
CalMAN grey-scale (target gamut sRGB)
CalMAN saturation (target gamut sRGB)
CalMAN saturation (target gamut sRGB)
CalMAN colors (target gamut sRGB)
CalMAN colors (target gamut sRGB)
CalMAN grey-scale calibrated (target gamut sRGB)
CalMAN grey-scale calibrated (target gamut sRGB)
CalMAN saturation calibrated (target gamut sRGB)
CalMAN saturation calibrated (target gamut sRGB)
CalMAN colors calibrated (target gamut sRGB)
CalMAN colors calibrated (target gamut sRGB)

A calibration does still pay off, especially if photo-editing is a use case. Because of the nearly complete coverage of sRGB, photo editing is possible, as all the measured color values are as they should be after the calibration (average: 0.9) – a very good result. The color-temperature and tint was corrected with the calibration as well. As always, our calibrated ICC profile is available to download for free in the box above.

Especially for a tablet, it is important that the content of the screen is visible from all directions. Thanks to the IPS panel, this is not a problem for the X1 Tablet. Lenovo also offers an optional privacy-filter for this screen, which can be especially useful on the go.

vs. sRGB: 99.4%
vs. sRGB: 99.4%
vs. AdobeRGB: 64%
vs. AdobeRGB: 64%
Viewing-angle stability
Viewing-angle stability

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
42.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 19.6 ms rise
↘ 22.8 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 98 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (24.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
47.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 21.2 ms rise
↘ 26 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 77 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (39.5 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9276 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

We arrive now at probably the biggest problem of the screen, its glossy surface. This helps to improve the overall picture quality, but it has a very negative impact on the usability on the outside or in other bright environments. When the sky is cloudy, the brightness suffices to make the display somewhat usable, but it is not bright enough to combat the sun. For consumer-oriented models, glossy panels are the standard, but we would have hoped that a business-oriented models such as the X1 Tablet would offer a matte option.

Weak sun-shine (with reflection)
Weak sun-shine (with reflection)
Cloudy sky (with reflection)
Cloudy sky (with reflection)
Cloudy sky (without reflection)
Cloudy sky (without reflection)

Performance – quad-core in the X1 Tablet

Lenovo offers different configurations of the ThinkPad X1 Tablet, although all models share the core-specifications: A newer quad core ULV processor by Intel, a fast PCIe SSD and at least 8 GB of RAM. This means that the performance of the convertible is comparable to normal business laptops and Ultrabooks and every model of the X1 Tablet should be well-suited for office-use. Unfortunately, buyers do not get a completely free choice when it comes to CPU and RAM. Both Core i5 options are only available with 8 GB of RAM and the Core i7-8550U is only offered with 16 GB of RAM. Only the Core i7-8650U is available with both options. Apart from the different clock-speed, the CPUs are also differentiated by the availability of vPro, which only the Core i5-8350U and Core i7-8650U offer. This feature is mostly interesting for larger enterprise customers. 

The tool LatencyMon shows that the X1 Tablet has problems with real-time audio, regardless of whether Wi-Fi was activated or not. According to the tool, a Microsoft storage driver was responsible for this problem.

 

Processor - i5 faster than i7

Our review unit of the ThinkPad X1 Tablet is equipped with the most affordable CPU option, the Intel Core i5-8250U. This processor offers four native cores (base-clock 1.6 GHz, turbo-boost 3.4 GHz) and it supports hyper-threading. Additional technical information about this Kaby Lake Refresh processor are available in our tech-section.

As with many other recent ThinkPads, Lenovo has increased the TDP limit. Instead of 15 W, the CPU can consume 29 W indefinitely, which quickly becomes too much of a burden for the cooling system. In the CPU benchmarks, the machine still reaches very respectable results. We also had the opportunity to test the X1 Tablet with the optional i7 processor, but this CPU was just 3 % faster in the multi-core test. All other units with an i7, including the Surface Pro 6, are slower. The difference compared to the older X1 Tablet with a passively cooled Core m CPU is especially big.

The CPU performance is not lowered when the device is running on battery-power.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i7, 512 GB
Intel Core i7-8650U
163 Points ∼100% +16%
Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1
Intel Core i5-8350U
151 Points ∼93% +7%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3 LTE i7
Intel Core i7-8550U
148 Points ∼91% +5%
HP Elite x2 1013 G3-2TT14EA
Intel Core i5-8350U
147 Points ∼90% +4%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
Intel Core i5-8250U
141 Points ∼87%
Toshiba Portege X30T-E-109
Intel Core i7-8550U
141 Points ∼87% 0%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U
  (81 - 147, n=94)
141 Points ∼87% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
Intel Core i5-7Y54
115 Points ∼71% -18%
Average of class Convertible
  (19 - 179, n=304)
106 Points ∼65% -25%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
Intel Core i5-8250U (Undervolting)
695 Points ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
Intel Core i5-8250U
661 Points ∼95% -5%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3 LTE i7
Intel Core i7-8550U
681 Points ∼98% -2%
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i7, 512 GB
Intel Core i7-8650U
639 Points ∼92% -8%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U
  (320 - 730, n=98)
568 Points ∼82% -18%
HP Elite x2 1013 G3-2TT14EA
Intel Core i5-8350U
517 Points ∼74% -26%
Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1
Intel Core i5-8350U
514 Points ∼74% -26%
Toshiba Portege X30T-E-109
Intel Core i7-8550U
432 Points ∼62% -38%
Average of class Convertible
  (33 - 830, n=313)
304 Points ∼44% -56%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
Intel Core i5-7Y54
234 Points ∼34% -66%

With our Cinebench multicore loop, we test how much performance can be expected after a long time of load. Slim devices in particular often have problems keeping up their high turbo-boost clock-speed. The results are pretty surprising: The X1 Tablet with i5 CPU loses some performance after the first iterations and its performance starts to fluctuate. After 50 iterations, the X1 Tablet with i5 has an average score of 550 points. Only the Surface Pro 6 with i7 performs better under permanent load (570 points average). Meanwhile, the X1 Tablet with the Core i7 has to contend with higher temperatures and thus only achieves an average score of 440 points, which means that it loses 1/3 of its CPU performance. This means that the i7 CPU upgrade does not pay off in a higher CPU performance at all and is not recommended.

0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640650660670680690700Tooltip
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel Core i5-8250U; Undervolting: Ø640 (589.9-694.88)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel Core i5-8250U: Ø550 (498.05-645.36)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3 LTE i7 Intel Core i7-8550U, Intel Core i7-8550U: Ø440 (400.14-681.55)
Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1 Intel Core i5-8350U, Intel Core i5-8350U: Ø488 (465.07-568.99)
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i5, 128 GB Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel Core i5-8250U: Ø452 (434.07-584.91)
HP Elite x2 1013 G3-2TT14EA Intel Core i5-8350U, Intel Core i5-8350U: Ø486 (481.08-516.94)
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i7, 512 GB Intel Core i7-8650U, Intel Core i7-8650U: Ø571 (559.56-638.59)

We managed to increase the performance by decreasing the core voltage of the CPU. With our review-unit's Core i5-8250U, a stable operation was possible with -0.115 mV. For more details on how to do this, we redirect you to this detailed tech-article about undervolting. The processor now requires less power and produces less heat, even at the turbo-boost frequency of 3.4 GHz for all four cores (24 W). Because of the high core-temperatures, performance still fluctuates, but after 50 iterations of the Cinebench loop, the undervolted X1 Tablet achieved an average score of 640 points and the CPU needed 10 minutes less for the same task (~55 instead of ~65 minutes).

In the following diagram, we have put the results of the out-of-box X1 Tablet and the undervolted X1 Tablet over one another. The CPU becomes warmer and consumes more energy, but works with a roughly 500 MHz higher clock-speed.

Cinebench R15 multicore loop (red: standard, green: undervolted)
Cinebench R15 multicore loop (red: standard, green: undervolted)
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
141 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
695 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
97.8 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
50.33 %
Help

System performance

Subjectively, there is nothing to complain about when it comes to the system performance of the X1 Tablet. The system boots up quickly, executes commands fast and applications are started fast thanks to the SSD. We did not encounter any problems with drivers or programs in our test. Lenovo bundles many settings into the Vantage app, for example for the energy management or Lenovo-specific driver updates.

In the synthetic benchmarks, there are some differences depending on which test is used. In the older PCMark 8, the higher resolution in particular impacts the results adversly. In the Work-test, the review unit lags behind the competition, though it is better than any competitor in the Creative- and Home-test. In the newer PCMark 10, the X1 Tablet finds itself in a mid-table position, although all compared tablet convertibles are very close. Also, there is no noticeable difference in real-world usage.

PCMark 10 - Score
Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
3737 Points ∼100% +5%
HP Elite x2 1013 G3-2TT14EA
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3559 Points ∼95% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3544 Points ∼95%
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i7, 512 GB
UHD Graphics 620, 8650U, Toshiba KBG30ZPZ512G
3448 Points ∼92% -3%
Toshiba Portege X30T-E-109
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR
3335 Points ∼89% -6%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (3407 - 4081, n=65)
3292 Points ∼88% -7%
Average of class Convertible
  (872 - 4677, n=105)
3199 Points ∼86% -10%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
4764 Points ∼100% +15%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (2699 - 5106, n=57)
4649 Points ∼98% +12%
Toshiba Portege X30T-E-109
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR
4348 Points ∼91% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
HD Graphics 615, 7Y54, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4288 Points ∼90% +4%
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i7, 512 GB
UHD Graphics 620, 8650U, Toshiba KBG30ZPZ512G
4262 Points ∼89% +3%
HP Elite x2 1013 G3-2TT14EA
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4200 Points ∼88% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4136 Points ∼87%
Average of class Convertible
  (1007 - 5281, n=232)
3753 Points ∼79% -9%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
4961 Points ∼100% +4%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4767 Points ∼96%
HP Elite x2 1013 G3-2TT14EA
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4669 Points ∼94% -2%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (3308 - 5090, n=35)
4594 Points ∼93% -4%
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i7, 512 GB
UHD Graphics 620, 8650U, Toshiba KBG30ZPZ512G
4454 Points ∼90% -7%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
HD Graphics 615, 7Y54, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3924 Points ∼79% -18%
Average of class Convertible
  (766 - 6165, n=172)
3383 Points ∼68% -29%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
3776 Points ∼100% +9%
Average Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (2986 - 4458, n=68)
3592 Points ∼95% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3479 Points ∼92%
HP Elite x2 1013 G3-2TT14EA
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3413 Points ∼90% -2%
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i7, 512 GB
UHD Graphics 620, 8650U, Toshiba KBG30ZPZ512G
3281 Points ∼87% -6%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
HD Graphics 615, 7Y54, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3092 Points ∼82% -11%
Toshiba Portege X30T-E-109
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR
3024 Points ∼80% -13%
Average of class Convertible
  (741 - 4741, n=280)
2807 Points ∼74% -19%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3479 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4767 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4136 points
Help

Storage – PCIe x4 SSD

Lenovo offers the ThinkPad X1 Tablet exclusively with fast M.2 NVMe SSDs. These SSDs are connected via PCIe x4, so there is no limitation there. As a customer, you can only choose the capacity: 256 GB, 512 GB or 1 TB. The cost of upgrading to 512 GB for €130 (~$148) in particular is reasonable, though a 1 TB drive costs a less reasonable €430 more. Lenovo often uses Samsung SSDs for its expensive X series ThinkPads, but sometimes, flash-drives from other manufacturers (such as Intel) are also used.

Our unit contains the 256GB version of the Samsung PM961 (210 GB free out of the box), which does not disappoint in the benchmarks. While reading data, this drive reaches sequential transfer-rates of more than 3,000 MB/s, although the performance is not as high while writing date (1,200 MB/s). That is because of the capacity, the drives with 512 GB or 1 TB reach higher values while writing data. All convertibles in our comparison are equipped with fast PCIe SSDs, so there is no noticeable difference in performance. For additional benchmarks and comparisons with other drives, we redirect you to our comprehensive SSD/HDD list.

Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Sequential Read: 1604.3 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1220.5 MB/s
512K Read: 590.38 MB/s
512K Write: 691.96 MB/s
4K Read: 48.26 MB/s
4K Write: 96.99 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 257.15 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 392.64 MB/s

GPU – X1 Tablet only with iGPU

The compact chassis of the X1 Tablet offers no space and not enough cooling-capability for a dedicated GPU. That is why the graphics output is managed by the integrated UHD Graphics 620 of the Intel CPU. Combined with the Core i5-8250U, its maximal core-speed reaches 1,100 MHz, which is a little bit less than the other offered CPUs. This GPU does not have its own dedicated memory, which means that it relies on the main system memory. In the case of the ThinkPad X1 Tablet, the GPU benefits from the dual-channel configuration of the RAM, as it can realize its full potential. More technical details about the Intel UHD Graphics are available here.

In the synthetic GPU test, the review unit performed very well, earning it a top-spot in the comparison with the other convertible tablets. It should be clear though that the CPU performance is not enough for modern games. Instead, the UHD Graphics 620 performs best in everyday multimedia usage, including the playback of high-resolution video. Depending on the used codec (QuickSync), a little bit of video-editing is no problem as well.

While operating on battery-power, the performance of the GPU is not reduced. Additional benchmark comparisons are possible with our GPU benchmark table.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i7, 512 GB
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-8650U
1977 Points ∼100% +9%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1812 Points ∼92%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (1235 - 2006, n=173)
1716 Points ∼87% -5%
Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8350U
1660 Points ∼84% -8%
HP Elite x2 1013 G3-2TT14EA
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8350U
1660 Points ∼84% -8%
Toshiba Portege X30T-E-109
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-8550U
1494 Points ∼76% -18%
Average of class Convertible
  (173 - 7483, n=329)
1288 Points ∼65% -29%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
Intel HD Graphics 615, Intel Core i5-7Y54
1161 Points ∼59% -36%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1189 Points ∼100%
Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8350U
1185 Points ∼100% 0%
HP Elite x2 1013 G3-2TT14EA
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8350U
1131 Points ∼95% -5%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (557 - 1401, n=142)
1127 Points ∼95% -5%
Average of class Convertible
  (132 - 5965, n=239)
1024 Points ∼86% -14%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
Intel HD Graphics 615, Intel Core i5-7Y54
728 Points ∼61% -39%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i7, 512 GB
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-8650U
10213 Points ∼100% +12%
Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8350U
9307 Points ∼91% +2%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (6910 - 11436, n=160)
9138 Points ∼89% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
9133 Points ∼89%
HP Elite x2 1013 G3-2TT14EA
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8350U
8330 Points ∼82% -9%
Average of class Convertible
  (1023 - 37388, n=290)
6789 Points ∼66% -26%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
Intel HD Graphics 615, Intel Core i5-7Y54
6164 Points ∼60% -33%
3DMark 11 Performance
2041 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
8625 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1103 points
Help

Gaming performance

As already mentioned in the GPU section: The performance of the integrated UHD Graphics 620 only suffices for older or casual titles. But even then, the resolution and graphical details may have to be lowered. Two examples are "Bioshock Infinite" as well as the popular "Rocket League", both are only playable on low details. Most casual games from the Windows Store should run fine on the X1 Tablet, but the performance simply is not there for more demanding titles such as "Witcher 3".

Our GPU gaming list shows which other games are playable with the UHD Graphics 620.

low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 59.2 34.8 30.2 10.1 fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 12.1 fps
Rocket League (2017) 59.2 35.1 23.1 fps

Lenovo Thunderbolt 3 Graphics Dock – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050

GPU-Z GeForce GTX 1050
GPU-Z GeForce GTX 1050

Thanks to the Thunderbolt 3 ports, the X1 Tablet offers the possibility to connect an external GPU. Lenovo offers its Thunderbolt 3 graphics dock (~€400/~$455) for this very use case, which combines a docking-station with a dedicated GeForce GPU. The graphical output can either happen with an external monitor or (as in the following benchmarks) with the internal screen. In this case, Nvidia Optimus is supported, which means that the dGPU turns on automatically when it is needed. The GPU is the laptop-version of the GeForce GTX 1050 with 4 GB of GDDR5-VRAM.

3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Physics
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop)
7984 Points ∼100% +4%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, UHD Graphics 620
7687 Points ∼96%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop)
6759 Points ∼100% +273%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, UHD Graphics 620
1812 Points ∼27%
1280x720 Performance
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop)
6824 Points ∼100% +234%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, UHD Graphics 620
2041 Points ∼30%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Physics
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop)
10115 Points ∼100% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, UHD Graphics 620
9670 Points ∼96%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop)
4935 Points ∼100% +315%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, UHD Graphics 620
1189 Points ∼24%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop)
4658 Points ∼100% +322%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, UHD Graphics 620
1103 Points ∼24%

In the synthetic benchmarks, the dedicated GPU is much better as could be expected. In the old 3DMark 11, the GTX 1050 achieves three times as many points and in the recent 3DMark FireStrike test, the difference is even bigger. At the same time, the physics result also benefits, which means that the CPU can perform better with the dock attached as well. This is because without the integrated GPU, the CPU has more leeway.

The performance boost is also quite noticeable in the gaming tests. The aforementioned titles "Bioshock Infinite" and "Rocket League" are now playable with high-details and FHD resolution with no problems. For more demanding titles, the GPU should be fast enough for mid to high details and FHD as well. "Witcher 3" for example runs with roughly 30 FPS at high settings. Despite its slight drop in performance due to high temperatures, the CPU does not limit the gaming performance even after long sessions, which is proven by our load-test with "Witcher 3" at high-settings. If someone wants to play games with the X1 Tablet and needs a docking-station anyway, the Thunderbolt 3 graphics dock from Lenovo seems like a good option.

BioShock Infinite
1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop)
49.9 fps ∼100% +394%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, UHD Graphics 620
10.1 fps ∼20%
1366x768 High Preset
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop)
113 fps ∼100% +274%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, UHD Graphics 620
30.2 fps ∼27%
1366x768 Medium Preset
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop)
126.6 fps ∼100% +264%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, UHD Graphics 620
34.8 fps ∼27%
1280x720 Very Low Preset
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop)
178.5 fps ∼100% +202%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, UHD Graphics 620
59.2 fps ∼33%
Rocket League
1920x1080 High Quality AA:High FX
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop)
64 fps ∼100% +177%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, UHD Graphics 620
23.1 fps ∼36%
1920x1080 Quality AA:Medium FX
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop)
88 fps ∼100% +151%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, UHD Graphics 620
35.1 fps ∼40%
1280x720 Performance
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop)
149 fps ∼100% +152%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, UHD Graphics 620
59.2 fps ∼40%
The Witcher 3
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop)
15.7 fps ∼100%
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop)
29.6 fps ∼100%
1366x768 Medium Graphics & Postprocessing
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop)
47.2 fps ∼100%
1024x768 Low Graphics & Postprocessing
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop)
56.8 fps ∼100% +369%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet G3-20KJ001NGE
8250U, UHD Graphics 620
12.1 fps ∼21%
0102030