X62 Laptop Review
A Rejuvenated Classic? The X62 is a third-party custom-made successor to Lenovo's beloved X61 sub-notebook. Upgraded with a 5th generation Intel chipset and rare 4:3 SXGA+ IPS display, does the X62 meet the high standards its ThinkPad heritage demands among modern competitors? Or is it an amateurish disappointment that is best left in the past?
We first covered this rather unique laptop in late January this year. Historically, Lenovo’s X60 and X61 series were beloved by many for their (relatively) compact dimensions, weight, and performance. In addition to being an all-around excellent sub-notebook, the X61 also happened to be part of the last generation of ThinkPads Lenovo released with 4:3 displays. While original X61/X61s ThinkPads can be found in varying degrees of preservation on eBay for around US$100, the original X61 ThinkPad is over ten years old by now. Today, its dated Intel Core 2 Duo CPU and 2GB of RAM are best suited for Linux distros and performing only the lightest of work.
Not everyone is prepared to let the X61 slip into obscurity and obsolescence, however. Operating out of China, administrators of notebook website 51nb began a project to modernize classic ThinkPads. Today, the team has their own small motherboard manufacturer that produces the specially designed modern internals to fit into the X61's diminutive chassis. Their modernization of the X61 is known as the X62, and they craft small batches (usually about 60 per run) of this special custom-made laptop to sell to enthusiasts. We are lucky enough to have our own review unit of one of their X62 ThinkPads for review at Notebookcheck.
Costing between US$750 and US$980, the X62 comes as a bare-bones kit (bring your own SSD, RAM, and battery). The chief difference between the two models is that the US$750 model uses a Broadwell-U i5 ES (engineering sample) CPU with a base clock of 2.0 GHz; specification-wise, it is extremely similar to an i5-5200U. The more expensive model comes with a Core i7-5600U.
Beyond the CPU, the X62 has had its predecessor’s XGA TN panel replaced with a 12.1-inch IPS FlexView panel with 1400x1050 resolution. A 12.1-inch 4:3 panel with this resolution is extremely rare and highly sought after by ThinkPad enthusiasts. The custom Broadwell mainboard of the X62 now supports 32GB of RAM as well as an mSATA SSD, and also includes mini HDMI, mini DP, and USB 3.0 ports.
04/14 13:15 CET – correction: the WWAN slot is now PCIe only and does not support WWAN
04/19 02:48 CET – added Wi-Fi surfing benchmark for 91WHr battery