The Lenovo ThinkPad line of laptops has long been praised for a design focus that rarely wavers from functionality and durability. These two key traits separate ThinkPads from other laptops, and the current X201 doesn't lose sight the brand's traditional strengths.
At first touch, the ThinkPad X201 doesn't feel as sturdy as one might hope. That's because the laptop is small, light and thin. The display size of 12.1 inches, combined with a weight of 3.69 pounds, makes for a package that isn't as brick-like as ThinkPads of yore. Fortunately, a feeling of durability does not necessarily indicate real durability, and the X201 still has all of the features that count. The lid is matte and scratch-resistant, the keyboard is spill-resistant, and the hard drive is shock-resistant. There are other indications of solidarity, as well; for example, the keyboard feels as if it were carved out of stone. There is little to no indication of unwanted keyboard flex.
Aesthetically, the X201 is no beauty queen. The laptop is a little over an inch thick, so it does not inspire a gosh-wow reaction at first glance. The eight-cell battery (which you really must acquire if you want decent battery life) protrudes from the back of the laptop, giving the X201 a bumpy look. And while the matte black plastic is resistant to showing wear and fingerprints, it is quite dull.