We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Budget laptops Reviews
15,669 Reviews

Lenovo ThinkPad X121e 3045 review

£529 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Lenovo

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The Lenovo ThinkPad X121e 3045 is a practical, portable laptop that has a lot to offer business users

The Lenovo ThinkPad X121e 3045 comes in as a pretty cheap business laptop and though it'll appeal to the budget- and size-conscious, you'll also need to downsize your expectations of features and performance.

Firstly, the good: the screen is excellent, with a matt finish that doesn't reflect direct light. Shiny screens tend to give richer colour and sharper images, but anti-glare screens are more practical – especially if you’re working in environments where you can't control nearby light sources.

It's lightweight and has a small footprint, so it'll easily fit onto the drop-down table of an airplane seat. There’s also a good selection of wired and wireless connectivity options. Battery life is decent, lasting six and a quarter hours in our tests, and the lithium-ion battery is easily removed should you want to carry a spare with you for extra unplugged mileage.

An optical drive has been omitted to keep size and weight down – perhaps not a massive problem, but something to consider if you regularly use CDs and DVDs. The modest 1.3GHz Core i3 processor does a fair job, but the ThinkPad is unsuitable for graphics-intensive applications. For everyday tasks - running office software, emailing and web-surfing - it's absolutely fine.

Our biggest bugbear with the Lenovo was the keyboard. Although the letter keys themselves are a good size, everything else is a bit cramped. It's like Lenovo has tried to include every key from a standard keyboard in a limited space, and it can make for an uncomfortable typing experience. For example, the left and right Arrow keys are right next to the Page Up and Page Down keys respectively, so type carefully when navigating a document using the keyboard – there’s a good chance of ending up in completely the wrong place.

The touchpad is on the small side; but long-term Lenovo/IBM users will appreciate the trackpoint in the middle of the keyboard, which may be the easier way of steering your cursor.

Lenovo ThinkPad X121e 3045 Expert Verdict »

1.3GHz Intel Core i3-2357M dual-core processor
11.6in matt LED-backlit, 1366 x 768 display
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
320GB HDD 7200rpm SATA 3 Gbps
Intel HD Graphics 3000
1 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0
802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0
54Wh lithium-ion removable battery, 375 minutes lifetime
289 x 208 x 24mm, 1.57kg
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 6 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 8 of 10 for value for money
  • Performance: We give this item 6 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

The Lenovo ThinkPad X121e 3045 is a practical, portable laptop that has a lot to offer business users – especially those that travel and work in cramped conditions like aircraft and trains. The keyboard and touchpad took some getting used to, and the lack of an internal optical drive could be a deal breaker for some. It does come at an attractive price for the build quality and essential features available.

  • Lenovo ThinkPad X61 ultraportable laptop PC

    Lenovo ThinkPad X61 ultraportable laptop PC

    In the ThinkPad X61, Lenovo has introduced its successor to the Lenovo ThinkPad X60 ultraportable PC.

  • Lenovo ThinkPad R61 power laptop PC

    Lenovo ThinkPad R61 power laptop PC

    A classic ThinkPad, the Lenovo ThinkPad R61 is full of nice features you don't usually find in a laptop, such as the ThinkLight, an LED that illuminates the keyboard.

  • Lenovo ThinkPad X61t ultraportable tablet PC

    Lenovo ThinkPad X61t ultraportable tablet PC

    A tidy little 1.9kg unit, the tablet version of Lenovo's ThinkPad X61, the Lenovo ThinkPad X61t ultraportable lacks an integrated optical drive, but it has a great design, long battery life, and an easy-on, easy-off docking station.

  • Lenovo ThinkPad Edge review

    Lenovo ThinkPad Edge

    The Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 13in ultraportable laptop is everything you like about ThinkPads in a more attractive package.

  • Lenovo ThinkPad SL400 review

    Lenovo ThinkPad SL400

    The affordable, all-purpose Lenovo ThinkPad SL400 laptops offer much of the look and feel you'd expect from a more expensive ThinkPad.

IDG UK Sites

LG G4 Note UK release date and specification rumours: Samsung Galaxy Note 5 killer could be the LG 3......

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 off Retina iMac with new model