What is missing in the Thinkpad X12 is what is missing in each detachable, namely the ports. There are two USB-C (Thunderbolt 4) ports on the left side of the X12 and (thankfully) a headphone jack. It’s a bit limited, but it’s no worse than what you’ll find on just about any high-end small laptop, detachable or otherwise. The difference here is that any dongle you attach will hang over the side of the screen which is inconvenient.
The X12 has a pen loop on the right side of the keyboard. It’s not as nice as the hidden pen storage that Dell offers, but Lenovo does include the pen. The stylus is not very responsive either (the Apple Pencil is hard to beat in this regard), but it works well for taking notes.
A pleasant surprise from the ThinkPad X12? Battery life. Given its small size and thinness, I didn’t expect much, but found that I never needed to charge it in a day’s work. It passed 9 hours 18 minutes in our video playback exhaustion test, but it performed even better than that in the real world. It will depend on what you do, but with my workload of chatting with coworkers on Slack, browsing the web, and writing in a text editor, I’ve often been able to get really close to 10 a.m. .
Choose a model
The base ThinkPad X12 model starts at $ 1,100, which gives you an 11th generation Intel Core i3 processor, 8 gigabytes of RAM, and a 128 gigabyte SSD. It’s expensive, but luckily the keyboard is included. The model Lenovo sent me is an advancement, with an 11th gen Core i5 processor, 16 gigabytes of RAM, and a 512 gigabyte SSD. This setup will cost you $ 1,279. This is the one I suggest to most people. You can save quite a bit of money by going down to 8 gigabytes of RAM, which is enough for thin computing.
There is also a high end i7 setup, but that seems overkill to me for this machine. It is not a device for games or video editing. Like the other detachable ones, it works best as a multi-purpose machine: browsing the web, editing documents, video calling, watching movies on the sofa, reading the news with a cup of coffee.
This could change with Windows 11 supporting Android apps, thus making tablet games (theoretically) more appealing, but it’s still too far in the future to say for sure.