Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable Gen 1 review: A value tablet for business

The ThinkPad X12 Detachable Gen 1 is is Lenovo’s answer to the very good Microsoft Surface Pro 7+. Both are tablets with detachable keyboards and a business bent. While the Surface Pro 7+ has high-end cachet, however, the ThinkPad X12 is more about value.

This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best laptops. Go there for information on competing products and how we tested them.

Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable Gen 1 primary plain Mark Hachman / IDG

Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable Gen 1 (20UW0012US) basic features

Of the seven different configuration options of the ThinkPad X12 Detachable Gen 1 on Lenovo’s website, our review unit (the 20UW0012US, $2,229 on Lenovo.com) seems to be popular, going in and out of stock as we wrote this review. The tablet sold out on Amazon, as well. Lenovo offers other basic configurations of the X12 Detachable that start with 8GB of RAM, which we’d consider a bit skimpy if other options are available.

It’s very much worth noting that unlike the rival Microsoft Surface Pro 7+, Lenovo bundles a keyboard rather than making you pay extra for it. A pen is extra-cost (the keyboard comes with a pen loop). A Lenovo pen with 2,048 levels of ink sensitivity is the cheaper option; a separate Lenovo pen with 4,096 levels of ink sensitivity is about the double the price. 

Here are the rest of the main specifications. Where there are many options (such as with CPU, RAM, etc.), the features on our specific model are indicated by the words “as tested” in parentheses after the item.

Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable Gen 1venting Mark Hachman / IDG
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-1110G4, Core i5-1130G7 (as tested), Core i5-1140G7, Core i7-1160G7, Core i7-1180G7
  • Display: 12.3-inch (1920×1280 touch, anti-reflective)
  • Memory: 8GB-16GB LPDDR4x 4267MHz (soldered) (16GB as tested)
  • Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB PCIe SSD
  • Graphics: Intel UHD (Core i3), Iris Xe
  • Ports: USB-C (Thunderbolt 4/USB4, DisplayPort, Power Delivery, Data Transfer, 40 Gbps), USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps), 3.5mm jack, optional nanoSIM
  • Security: Windows Hello depth camera / fingerprint reader 
  • Camera: 5MP (user-facing) / 8MP (rear facing)
  • Battery: 42.2Wh (design), 41.9Wh (full)
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax 2×2), Bluetooth 5.1
  • Operating system: Windows 10 Pro 
  • Dimensions: 11.15 x 8.01 x 0.34 inches
  • Weight: 1.67 pounds, 2.4 pounds with keyboard (measured)
  • Colors: Black
  • Prices:  Starting at $1,829 (less with discounts, if active) at Lenovo and Amazon ($2,229 as tested)


While Microsoft’s Surface tablets have always been aimed at a broad market of creators, consumers, and professionals, Lenovo has aimed its ThinkPad purely at professionals—and it shows in the design.

Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable Gen 1 kickstand lip Mark Hachman / IDG

Your fingers will have to find the small lip to pull out the kickstand, a solution which I found somewhat annoying. Unlike the competing Microsoft Surface Pro tablets, there’s no microSD card slot hiding underneath.

The ThinkPad X12 Detachable Gen 1 maintains the boxy, black ThinkPad aesthetic, using a magnesium alloy for the chassis material. Though just a smidgen thicker than the Surface Pro 7+, the squared lines really contribute to the idea that this is indeed a “detachable,” which favors keyboard use, rather than a traditional tablet that could take it or leave it. 

A wedge kickstand reclines almost flat, to about 10 degrees off the horizontal. You’ll have to do some fumbling about to find the small tab that folds it out, though. The kickstand supports the ThinkPad X12 Detachable firmly until its point of greatest recline, where it becomes somewhat springy. 

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