Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Wireless Touch Mouse


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goretsky

Hello,

 

I recently received a ThinkPad X1 Wireless Touch Mouse from Lenovo for review purposes, and thought I would share my impressions and opinions with my fellow Neowinians.

 

Design, Aesthetics and Packaging
The ThinkPad X1 Wireless Touch Mouse (which I will hereafter refer to as "mouse") is a wireless presentation mouse (2.4GHz USB dongle and Bluetooth 4.0) that is the latest in a line of wireless mouses from Lenovo (ThinkPad Precision Wireless Mouse, ThinkPad Bluetooth Laser Mouse) tailored to match the design of their ThinkPad business laptops.  This mouse, however, is meant to be paired with Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Carbon, which is the company's high-end Ultrabook® model.  The mouse will work with any other computer, of course, but it is pretty clear they come from the same design family.

 

All of the ThinkPads, plus parts and accessories I've ever bought from Lenovo came in brown cardboard packaging with labels filled with part numbers and bar codes. Since they are geared for business use, this is not too surprising.  So, I was a bit surprised when I opened the package from Lenovo and found the mouse in a logoed presentation box with a design faintly reminiscent of Japanese bento box, which is clearly a nod to the original ThinkPad design.  It reminded me of the box my Microsoft Zune came in. [Box Shots: UI6Ca78.jpgOne, dvT47N7.jpgTwo, T9rWQFn.jpgThree, BQ1UzA1.jpgFour]

 

Opening the box reveals a note from Lenovo's Chief Design Officer, with a couple of sentences about Lenovo's design ethos.  While Lenovo (and IBM before it) have long been chided for the ThinkPad's boxy look, it is pretty clear there is a strong design language there, and the note hammers this home.  It is pretty clear the mouse is meant to be an aspirational accessory, just like Microsoft's own Surface line of accessories, or Apple's Mac ones. [Shots: LbgAtb2.jpgNotecard, 0fTi7tl.jpgDetail]

 

Removing the card and a sheet of foam rubber gives you the mouse, which is nestled in a foam rubber cut-out.  In the photo the mouse looks more dark gray than black, however, this is more due to the awesome fluorescent lights above and my smartphone's flash.  The slightly-raised red touch strip is used for scrolling and as acts as the border between mouse button one and mouse button two.  In the upper left corner, you can see four gray dots.  These are white LEDs which light up when the mouse is charging, to let you know battery status, Bluetooth pairing and other indicators.  [Shot: fuVHc0I.jpgMouse in box, RHEm3yP.jpgMouse removed]

 

Beneath the foam rubber and some card stock is a slim USB charging cable for the mouse and instructions for use.  The USB charging cable is about 39 inches [99cm] long from end-to-end, with a USB Type-A connector at one end for power, and a USB Type Micro-B connector at the other for plugging into the mouse for charging.  The Micro-B connector is as a right angle and the edges of the connector beveled to make it easier to remove.  The slimness of the cable is likely due to the fact that is only has to supply USB 1.1 levels of power to the mouse for charging (+5VDC, 500mAh).  You can use any USB cable with a Micro-B connector to the charge the mouse, so if you already keep one near your computer, you don't need to use the Lenovo-supplied one.  There is no driver disc in the box, but given its dimensions, plus the fact this is meant to be used with an Ultrabook®, this is not too surprising.  Drivers can be downloaded from Lenovo's support web site.  [Shots:  ZPMCa99.jpg?1USB cable, rySePzb.jpg?1Detail]

 

Once out of the box, it's easy to see (and feel) that the mouse is a combination of straight and curved lines, with a mixture of rounded and chamfered edges to minimize any sharp angles from cutting into your hand when in use as either a traditional mouse on a flat surface, or upside-down while presenting.  Lenovo lists the dimensions as 3.7×2.2×0.8 inches [95×56.8×20.4 mm] LWH.  To give you an idea of how diminutive that is, I have taken a shot with a U.S. quarter for scale. 
[Shots: QPOp26p.pngVertical, QtzS7Q2.pngHorizontal, 19U51vx.pngSide, j1JNGRW.pngSide with quarter]

 

Turning the mouse over, you can see the power switch, a strip with page forward and backwards buttons for advancing your presentation, while the lower half functions as a TrackPad.  The assembly for the mouse's optics is not visible because it is covered by the power switch when closed.  Turning on the mouse reveals the optics.  [Shots: pwVibaw.jpg?1Mouse obverse, wIVkg4d.jpgDetail]

 

Having looked at both the top and bottom of the mouse, you may have noticed that there is no USB charging port visible, not to mention other issues or import such as a way to toggle between 2.4GHz and Bluetooth modes, or even the 2.4GHz radio USB dongle.  That is because they are stored cleverly inside the mouse!  The mouse actually slides apart by about 0.7 inches [18mm], revealing a mode select switch, dongle storage and Micro-B USB charging port on the now-visible underside of the top half.  The dongle is held in place via magnet, which is (1) the first time I can recall seeing this; and (2) I already like much better than clips or friction since those can eventually wear out.  Not to waste any space, the newly-visible top portion of the bottom half contains yet even more regulatory notices.

 

Testing and Usability

So, I've spent an inordinate amount of time talking about the design of the Lenovo X1 Wireless Touch Mouse and the philosophy behind it. But you shouldn’t buy a mouse for how it looks, you should buy it for how well it works. So, with that in mind, how was my experience using the mouse?  To investigate this, I initially began testing the mouse with a Lenovo ThinkPad P50, which is a workstation laptop, using both the 2.4 GHz radio USB dongle and Bluetooth.  It occurred to me, though, that this might not be an ideal platform for testing what is supposed to be a wireless mouse for presentations, so I switched to a Lenovo ThinkPad X250, which is an Ultrabook® laptop and more likely to be used for presentations.  Because the mouse isn’t just for Lenovo ThinkPads, I expanded the testing to include a couple of desktop systems as well:

 

 

As it turns out, there was no functional difference between using any of the laptops or desktops, all of which ran Windows 10.  Both desktops have on-board Bluetooth, however, the ASUS motherboard’s is based on the older Bluetooth 2.1 specification and was not compatible, leaving the radio dongle as the sole connectivity option.  There seemed to be no difference in behavior regardless of which wireless interface was used from as far away as ten (10) feet [about three (3) meters].

 

I let the mouse charge overnight, and used it for about fifteen (15) hours over the course of three weeks.  I am unsure of the capacity of the internal battery, but it did not need to be recharged during this time.

 

The mouse was identified as a generic mouse and started working immediately when the dongle was plugged in or paired via Bluetooth, and seemed to work fine as a regular two-button mouse in this fashion.  As previously noted, downloading the drivers from Lenovo’s web site installs the Lenovo Mouse Suite, which allows further customization of the mouse’s functionality.  As the ThinkPad X1 Wireless Touch Mouse is geared towards presentations, some of the features are specific to Microsoft PowerPoint. 

[Shots: u7IG99H.pngMain, EFJOS1G.pngButton Detail, VDyit0c.pngPointer Properties, KeblMsL.pngWheel Properties]

 

I used the mouse on a variety of surfaces, and found that it worked as expected in various environments such as the white plastic counter of a conference booth, desks (wood, beige and black plastic), a white tablecloth, and even a beige metal filing cabinet.  It did not work on transparent plastic or glass desks, but this is a limitation of all laser mouses.  In both cases, using a generic mouse pad or even a blank sheet of copier/laser printer paper solved that problem.

 

For business software, I tested the mouse using Microsoft Windows 10 and Microsoft Office 2016.  I used Microsoft Outlook to answer email, Microsoft PowerPoint to edit an existing presentation and present it, and Microsoft Word, where I typed up this review.  At no time did I experience any problems with input lag, mouse pointer accuracy or button-clicking.  When I switched to wireless presenting mode with the mouse help upside-down, I did accidentally hit the Page Forward button several times when I first began presenting before getting used to the mouse.

 

For gaming, I tried playing ARK Survival Evolved, Borderlands 2, and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.  Again, the mouse performed flawlessly.  I did, however, notice some discomfort in my hand after about 45 minutes’ worth of gameplay due to the mouse’s size small size and chamfered edges.

 

Closing Thoughts

It is important to remember that at 3.7×2.2×0.8 inches, the Lenovo X1 Wireless Touch Mouse is one of the smallest travel mouses on the market, let alone one with integrated presentation features.  As such, it occupies something of a niche market and is priced accordingly (about $65, street).  It works equally well with all computers, not just ThinkPads, provided your computer supports Bluetooth 4.0 or via the included 2.4GHz radio dongle.

 

If you need a very small, very lightweight mouse for travel that includes presenting, it would be hard to beat the Lenovo X1 Wireless Touch Mouse.  However, users with larger hands may find it difficult to use because of its size and shape, including the relatively small control surface areas when the mouse is used in wireless presentation mode.  Likewise, it’s size and shape do not lend itself to prolonged gaming.  But, that said, this is a device designed for professionals and not gamers, which have very different needs when it comes to mouses.

 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Wireless Touch Mouse web pages and documentation:

 

Purchase links (non-affiliate):

 

NOTE:  This mouse was provided to me by Lenovo.  The opinions expressed are 100% my own. 

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 

Edited by goretsky
embedded all the linked images
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ultimate99

This a nice and organized review. Well done, Aryeh.

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      Gallery: Huawei Mate 40 Pro samples
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      I took those pictures in a variety of lighting conditions, and they all came out pretty good. It goes from pitch black near the woods to indoors at night with dim lighting to daylight. It's impressive.

      Performance, battery life, and Huawei services
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      Conclusion
      Once again, Huawei has produced a winner in the Mate 40 Pro. However, it's a rare time that it doesn't have a key feature that would have me tell you to upgrade from its predecessor. The 90Hz display is new compared to the Mate 30 Pro, but the Mate 30 Pro had those beautiful waterfall edges. And besides, I'd like to see a 120Hz refresh rate in something this premium.



      It's also a real shame that benchmarking apps were blocked. One of the key features of the Mate 40 Pro, or any Mate series device for that matter, is that it has the latest Kirin processor and we get to see how it measures up against what Apple and Qualcomm have to offer. Sadly, we don't get to see how it measures up this time. Obviously, Google services would offer an easier experience, although that's not a deal-breaker for me.

      But overall, like I said, it's a winner. Benchmarking apps aren't what make a phone great. This thing has a beautiful 90Hz OLED display, even if I want 120Hz. It's also got a unique and bold design, something that Huawei is second to none at providing. And finally, it's got one of the best cameras on the market.

      If you want to check it out, you can find it here.

      As an Amazon Associate, Neowin may earn commission from qualifying purchases.

    • By indospot
      Samsung Galaxy Watch3 review: Stellar hardware, but I don't love Tizen
      by João Carrasqueira

      Samsung's summer Unpacked event brought with it quite a few new devices, including the Galaxy Note20 Ultra - which I just reviewed earlier this week - and the Galaxy Watch3. Samsung actually hadn't released a new standard Galaxy Watch since 2018, and in 2019 we only got the Galaxy Watch Active2.

      The biggest difference between the standard Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Watch Active is that the latter is more so designed for a sportier lifestyle, while the former has more of a business look to it. Samsung's smartwatches are often seen as some of the best options available for Android smartphones, so I was excited to try out the Galaxy Watch3.

      The most notable features added with this model are blood pressure monitoring and electrocardiograms (ECG), but these are only available in select markets, and that doesn't include Portugal - where I live. There are also things like blood oxygen monitoring and fall detection, and those do work regardless of region.

      Specs
      Chipset Exynos 9110 (dual-core 1.15GHz) Case 45mm x 46.11mm x 11.1mm, 53.8g, stainless steel case Display 1.4-inch Circular Super AMOLED, 360x360, Gorilla Glass DX Battery 340mAh

      RAM 1GB Storage 8GB Strap 22mm, black leather Connectivity Bluetooth, Wi-Fi Durability Water resistance up to 5ATM, IP68, MIL-STD-810G OS Tizen-based Wearable OS 5.5; OneUI Watch 2.0 Price $429.99/€447-€469.90/£419 Day one
      Design and display
      The Galaxy Watch3 is 14% thinner, 8% smaller, and 15% lighter than the previous generation of the Galaxy Watch, and I'm glad that's the case. Even with those reductions, the Galaxy Watch3 is significantly thicker than the OPPO Watch I reviewed in the summer, and I'd say that's a noticeable difference. It's not necessarily uncomfortable, though, and there are definitely bigger watches out there.



      Out of the box, my review unit came with a black leather strap, but I exercise with my smartwatches, and I couldn't bear the guilt of ruining the leather with sweat, so I ended up buying a cheap rubber strap at a local watch seller. That's the big advantage of watches that use standard strap fittings, you can easily find a replacement strap and you're not stuck in an ecosystem of potentially more expensive straps.



      Easily the thing that makes this watch stand out the most is the design of the case, particularly the bezel. Samsung uses a rotating bezel on its watches, which serves as a navigation method, and it's just so good. The precision of the clicks as you rotate the bezel make navigation feel natural, which is helped by the UI Samsung uses, and you don't have to smudge up your screen to do it. This is my favorite thing about this watch, it's just so cool to use this bezel and it has a premium feeling to it that's just great. I generally prefer rectangular displays, but this is the right way to do a circular one.



      The right side of the watch has two buttons - one to go back and one to go to the home screen. You can also hold the Home button to summon Bixby, or double-press it to see your recent apps. Between the two buttons is a microphone which you'll use when taking calls.

      On the left side, there's a tiny speaker grill, which you might think results in less than stellar sound, but it works just fine for calls, I had no issues whatsoever. The watch also has a feature to eject water out of the speaker if you take it swimming or something, which is cool.



      On the back, you'll notice that there are no charging pins, and that's because the watch charges wirelessly, a very welcome addition for anyone who's had chargers malfunction because of sweat building up in the connectors. You can charge the watch off the back of the Galaxy Note20 Ultra too, though I explained in that review why that might not be a good idea.



      The main attraction is, of course, the display, and as you'd expect from Samsung, it's pretty great. The 45mm variant of the Galaxy Watch3 has a 1.4-inch Super AMOLED display, though there's a 41mm variant with a 1.2-inch display. Both have the same resolution, so the pixel density is actually a bit higher on the smaller model. Like all AMOLED displays, blacks are truly black and colors look vibrant, everything is great here. The watch supports automatic brightness, so there's never any issues when I'm outside or anything. There's also an option for an always-on display, but I personally don't care about it.



      Tizen and its problems
      Like most of Samsung's smartwatches, the Galaxy Watch3 runs on Tizen, Samsung's own operating system designed primarily for wearables. What I hear most often is that people prefer Tizen over Google's Wear OS, but I have to be controversial here and say I prefer Google's offering.

      Tizen has a lot of great things to it, though. The amount of options for watch faces on this watch is incredible, and not only were there some faces I really like out of the box, there are even more great ones you can get from the Galaxy Store. I love informational and colorful watch faces, and I could find a few without too much trouble.

      Gallery: Galaxy Watch3 screenshots
      Samsung has also made it very intuitive to navigate the UI with its rotating bezel, making everything work together perfectly. You rotate the bezel to the left to see your notifications, or to the right to go through your widgets, which can be for weather, exercise shortcuts, sleep information, and more. Opening the app menu, you also see the circular layout for how apps are presented, and this too feels natural with the rotating bezel of the Galaxy Watch3. Every time I get to use that bezel, using this watch is a joy.

      Tizen offers some smart features I appreciate, like music playback controls (from your phone or the watch itself), and the ability to respond to notifications from the watch. I don't love the typing experience on the Galaxy Watch3, but it's nice to be able to do it if I want to, and not every smartwatch has that option. It also works especially well with Samsung phones, since apps like Reminder sync between the two devices, and you get access to Bixby just like on your phone. In fact, I'd say Bixby on Tizen works better than Google Assistant on Wear OS, in my experience.

      Samsung also has its own Health app, which is responsible for tracking workouts, monitoring your heart rate, stress levels, blood oxygen, and so on. Exercise tracking is pretty good here, with detailed insights into your performance and all the information I could want. There's also a running coach exercise option, which lets you set a specific level of exercise and guides you to achieve it, including the ability to detect asymmetry in your running patterns. On top of that, Samsung provides a ton of health tracking features, like stress monitoring, blood oxygen measurements, fall detection, and, in some markets, blood pressure monitoring and ECG.



      But there are some things about Tizen that just don't feel right to me for multiple reasons. Let's start with Samsung Health. Yes, it can track plenty of workouts, but one thing I was used to tracking with Google Fit or Huawei's LiteOS was my time playing Ring Fit Adventure. Since this goes over plenty of exercise types, I usually began tracking it as CrossFit, which both of those systems offer as an option. Tizen doesn't, and the only way I could track that kind of exercise would be if it individually recognized each type of workout, and even then I'd have to be switching between workout types constantly. There's also no high-intensity interval training (HIIT) option.

      Another thing Samsung Health does is automatically track workouts, something I first experienced on the Honor Watch GS Pro. It's usually a cool feature, but here, not only does it sometimes detect workouts when I'm not doing anything, automatic workouts don't work like regular workouts. Once the watch starts detecting a workout, you can't pause or cancel it yourself like you would with a workout you start manually. At that point, I'd rather just disable automatic workouts. Also, as you'll see in the screenshot below, some of these workouts were recorded in the future.

      But it gets even more annoying. Like most watches, this can track your heart rate, and like the aforementioned Honor Watch GS Pro, it can monitor your stress levels. Cool, right? Except that, out of the box, the watch measures your heart rate every 10 minutes, and for some reason, that doesn't allow it to measure your stress level automatically. To do that, you have to measure your heart rate continuously, which kills the battery in less than a day. You either have to constantly charge the watch or be limited to monitoring your stress levels manually. Coming from the no-frills stress monitoring of Honor watches, this just feels pointless.



      There's also sleep tracking here, which is cool since not every Wear OS watch offers it, and it's more detailed than what I tried with the OPPO Watch. But for some reason, I've had multiple instances where the watch asks me to confirm if I slept at the times it thinks I did, which was odd. But not as odd as the fact that it just didn't record any sleep at all over the weekend, even though I always wear the watch to sleep. There's no clear indication as to why this happens.

      Outside of Samsung Health, there are more things that bother me. One thing I've noticed is that sometimes the raise-to-wake gesture just stops working for no apparent reason. Disabling and re-enabling the gesture in the settings fixes it, so I don't think it's a hardware problem.

      I had also hoped that connecting all-Samsung devices would enable some useful features, specifically using my Galaxy Buds Live to start a workout on my watch through the Galaxy Note20 Ultra. It doesn't work, and Bixby says that's due to privacy reasons, so maybe I can't blame that on Samsung. Also, as I mentioned above, Samsung Reminder can sync with your Samsung phone. But as I mentioned in my review of the Note20 Ultra, creating a reminder with the phone syncs it with Microsoft To-Do. If you use the Galaxy Watch3, it will sync to your phone, but not to Microsoft's service.



      It's also worth mentioning that yes, connecting to a Samsung phone is required to enable Samsung Messages, which gives you the most complete SMS experience on your watch. But in reality, this just makes me feel like using a Wear OS watch would be much less limiting, since I can get a proper SMS experience on most Android phones. Samsung also says that you can see photos and emoji directly on the watch when using a Samsung phone, but using Telegram for instance, I could see images in my notifications when I connected the Honor 10X Lite. Weirdly enough, that doesn't work the same way when connected to the Galaxy Note20 Ultra.

      This may not be the fault of Samsung necessarily, but I'll just lay out all my frustrations with this watch. I was really happy to see that my preferred maps app, HERE WeGo, is available on Tizen, and when I set it up, I got this notification on my phone saying that the apps were linked between the two devices. But when I actually tried to use it a few days later, I couldn't get the connection to happen again, and the watch told me that using navigation without connecting to my phone would use more battery. But the watch was connected to the phone, the app just wasn't recognizing it anymore, and there's no way to force it to connect between devices.

      You may say that some of these things also can't be done on Wear OS, but I personally prefer it because it knows its limits. The OPPO Watch can only track sleep between 8PM and 10AM, so when I go to sleep at 5AM on the weekend, I know why the watch says I only slept 5 hours that night. On the Galaxy Watch3, I have no idea why no sleep was recorded at all. At the end of the day, these quirks just made me not enjoy using the watch, and it's heavily impacted my perception of it, even when it has some solid qualities.

      Performance and battery life
      Battery life on the Galaxy Watch3 is one of its notable upsides compared to Wear OS. Even with a relatively small 340mAh battery, the watch always lasts me two days comfortably, sometimes three days. That's not incredibly long, but it's much better than my experience with Wear OS, which only lasts me one day. Of course, that figure doesn't include using an always-on display and is based on heart rate monitoring once every 10 minutes instead of continuously. And because there's no great way to track CrossFit-like training, it's also not tracking exercise as often as other watches I've tried.



      Like I mentioned at the start, the watch charges wirelessly, which is great, though it doesn't charge as quickly as I'd like. Placing it on the charger at around 10% battery means I'll be waiting almost two hours for it to charge completely, which is a bit longer than I'd like.

      In terms of performance, there isn't much to say with smartwatches. For the most part, it works just fine, though I do find it a little strange that sometimes I'll raise my wrist and it takes a couple of seconds for the time to update from the last time I looked at the watch. Sometimes the watch will be quite a few minutes behind for a brief moment. It can also happen that some animations are laggy immediately after waking the watch, but that's not exclusive to this particular device.

      Conclusion
      The Samsung Galaxy Watch3 has some great qualities. The premium design is great and I absolutely adore the rotating bezel, it's easily the most unique thing about this watch, and also the best control interface for a smartwatch. It feels natural and prevents your screen from getting too dirty. It has a beautiful AMOLED display and solid audio for calls as well.



      And Tizen isn't a bad platform necessarily. It has all the smart features I love to have on a smartwatch, like notification replies, music playback, tons of watch faces to choose from, and solid exercise tracking with cool features like the running coach. But there are many quirks to the software and decisions or errors that I just don't understand. I know Tizen is one of the older wearable platforms, but as someone who experiences Google's Wear OS and Huawei's LiteOS first, it feels like Tizen tries to take bits from one and add it to the other, but most of it ends up feeling undercooked.

      With the Samsung Galaxy Watch3 being one of the most expensive smartwatches you can get, and with it requiring a Samsung phone to make full use of its features, it's hard to wholeheartedly recommend it. But it does have a stellar design, and while there are a few flaws, Tizen still offers a lot of what you'd expect and want in a smartwatch. It's still a fine choice if you're okay with its limitations.

      If you're interested, you can find it on Amazon UK, where it's currently starting at £339 instead of £399 for the 41mm size. The 45mm variant in this review is going for £349 instead of £419. In the U.S., the 41mm variant is discounted to $339 instead of $399.99, and the 45mm version is $369, down from $429.99. Those prices are for Bluetooth versions, and can go up from there.

    • By Rich Woods
      Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 unboxing and first impressions
      by Rich Woods

      Announced at IFA this year, Lenovo's Yoga 9i is the company's flagship convertible, and it makes some really interesting improvements on an already-great laptop. For one thing, it's getting the improvement that pretty much all Intel-based laptops are getting: 11th-generation processors. Intel Tiger Lake not only brings faster CPUs and more powerful Iris Xe graphics, but it also supports Thunderbolt 4 and faster memory. It's pretty great.

      It also comes in a new Shadow Black color with a leather cover, and I never realized how much I wanted this from Lenovo. I've criticized the firm for making laptops that are magnificent, but have designs that just feel bland. Seeing this in black is sexy, and then adding in the leather cover really gives it a nice touch.

      That's not all though, because it has a haptic Smart Sensor Touchpad and an Ultrasonic fingerprint reader. The entire palm rest is completely smooth, and if you click the touchpad, it gives a vibration to make it feel like it's moving. Of course, if you power down the PC, you'll realize that there are no moving parts.

      The Yoga 9i still has the other bits that make it an excellent convertible, such as the rotating Dolby Atmos soundbar. It comes with four 2W speakers, including two woofers and two tweeters. It's also got a 14-inch 4K touchscreen that supports Dolby Vision HDR. That touchscreen has pen support, and the pen is stored inside of the device, which has a pen garage.

      Check out the unboxing video below: