This is the fourth time Lenovo has reused the same case. As always with ThinkPads, the great input devices, as well as the PowerBridge feature – which basically has not real competitors – are definite pros. Considering its size, the X270 has a lot of ports, which means that it is very flexible to use. The small size also means that it is easy and comfortable to handle. In this respect, there are no differences to its predecessors – after all it is basically the same device.
Unfortunately, Lenovo did mess up in some areas of the X270. First of all, the cooling system: It is a little alarming that a device equipped with a ULV processor reaches 60°C (140°F) surface temperature – despite the cooling fan running annoyingly often. Another downside is the full HD display, which is significantly darker than its predecessor’s, with a similar low color space coverage. The weaknesses in manufacturing are also similar to those of the previous versions. The maintenance design was already an issue for the X260: it is no fun to open the BaseCover. Surprisingly, the computer’s smaller external 3-cell batteries also offer shorter battery life than that of its predecessor.
Lenovo’s ThinkPad X2xx series urgently needs a makeover. Due to the many little problems, we cannot recommend the X270.
If you do not absolutely need a compact notebook which has a flexible battery configuration (PowerBridge), we cannot really recommend the ThinkPad X270. This is not just because of the various problems described above – although those alone would suffice for us to recommend taking a look at the direct competitors HP EliteBook 820 G4 and Dell Latitude 7280. General, it is difficult to find reasons for buying the X270, unless you need the PowerBridge and some features that are particularly important for big companies (smart card, docking port, Ethernet). The Dell XPS 13 and Lenovo’s largest in-house competitor, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, for example, are models that offer higher quality and a bigger display, while still being very portable. That calls into question the whole existence of subnotebooks. One argument might be the price – although the classic 12-inch subnotebooks are not really low-cost either.