I currently use a Lenovo X61 Tablet with the rare resolution of 1400x1050. I say rare, because somewhere in Production of this machine, Lenovo stopped making it with this panel and only made it with the 1024x768 panel.
I really love this laptop, it has a Core 2 Duo CPU, 4GB of Ram, and I put in a 60GB SSD… The battery has seen better days, and the fan could be a little quieter, but still a great machine. The resolution is amazing, having used a lot of 1024x768 laptops, and even some newer netbooks with 1366x768, the 1400x1050 display is just awesome! But I’ll admit, my X61 is beginning to feel long in the tooth. Core 2 Duo is great, but a in a year with IVY Bridge around the corner this Laptop is really going to show it’s age.
Lenovo has released 3 generations of X-series tablet (X200, X201 and X220) since the discontinuing of my X61. And while these may be tempting to some, they aren’t to me.
Core I7 sandy bridge and 8GB of ram all sound great, but what doesn’t is the seriously lack of resolution that has occurred in Lenovo’s light weight Laptop line. First the X61 drops the 1400x1050 resolution option; then the X200 (which was the first wide screen convertible tablet for them) only has a resolution option of 1280x800 (same with the X201). And now the X220 has a pathetic screen resolution of 1366x768.
Yes, I realize that I’m unlikely to find a laptop these days that doesn’t use a 16x9 or 16x10 aspect ratio. Which is a real shame seeing how 1400x1050 actually gives you more pixel real-estate then most modern wide screen resolutions. In part because I getter better height, without having to have an extreme width. (that said, I’ll be the first to admit that wide screen on laptops have made for better keyboards on laptops).
1366x768 seems to be the default panel resolution for any Laptop LCD under 13” these days, both the 11” Mac Book air and any 11” Ultra book use this resolution. All Lenovo Laptops tablet or otherwise that use less than 14” LCD panels come in this resolution and there are no options for anything else. I have no problem paying for a better panel, but Lenovo won’t take my money.
Now, yes I could go to a different Laptop manufacturer, I’m certainly willing to entertain the idea of sacrificing the tablet functionality for lighter weight and higher screen resolution, but let’s look at choices out there:
Apple’s 13” Mac Book Air features panel of 1440 x 900. Certainly better than 1366x768, but I’m not sure I want to pay the apple tax, considering I want to run windows 7 on the machine. Also there is a lack of an Ethernet port.
Asus Zenbook X31 has a resolution option of 1600 x 900. Not bad. Still lacking in an Ethernet port. Also the touch pad feels very laggy, and the laptop all together feels very top heavy.
Surprisingly Sony makes a 13” Laptop that features a 1080p (1920x1080) 13” Panel, the VAIO Z21, but the price is a little out there for the machine, around $2,700. However they do also have the VAIO SA line for around $1000 that has the 1600 x 900 resolution.
Ideally I’d love the same laptop I have now, just with a Sandy Bridge upgrade. Or An X220 tablet with a minimum of a 1600x900 panel. Both of which seem unlikely. And I suspect when Lenovo upgrades to the X221, there still won’t be a better panel option. Further proof being their recently announced T430U Ultrabook will have a 14” LCD with a 1366x768 panel… Yuck!
At this point, I’m still left with a conundrum of what to do, I can put money into my existing X61 by purchasing a new battery and possibly a larger SSD, but I’d much rather put that money towards a new machine.