Author Topic: Lenovo X62 Laptop Review  (Read 3558 times)


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Lenovo X62 Laptop Review
« on: April 10, 2017, 04:21:24 »
A Rejuvenated Classic? The X62 is a third-party custom-made successor to Lenovo's beloved X61 sub-notebook. Upgraded with a 5th generation Intel chipset and rare 4:3 SXGA+ IPS display, does the X62 meet the high standards its ThinkPad heritage demands among modern competitors? Or is it an amateurish disappointment that is best left in the past?


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Re: Lenovo X62 Laptop Review
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2017, 11:32:46 »
I did not expect to see my LED kits linked here. :-)

The kit is in fact DIY install, but it is only $48 (plus actual cost of shipping), color-matched to the SXGA display, and significantly improves the color gamut by using the latest generation of high-end Nichia component-phosphor LEDs.

It has about 1/4 the power draw at equal brightness to a brand-new CCFL.  At max output , power draw is roughly equal, but the screen is usable in direct-noon sunlight.


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Re: Lenovo X62 Laptop Review
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2017, 15:55:53 »
I love this machine. I bought x62 because 4:3 screen is I needed, and NMB keyboard has the best type feeling I ever used. It's like my x61 was reborned. Thanks Mr.Hope

Jacky zhang

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Re: Lenovo X62 Laptop Review
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2017, 16:11:03 »
Thanks,Douglas Black ,Very comprehensive evaluation, really thank you have such a wonderful article.On behalf of 51 nb, I HOPE, as well as Joni, thank you very much and NoteBookCheck.   Jacky in China!


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Re: Lenovo X62 Laptop Review
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2017, 16:22:14 »
the new product of 51nb is named T70 !based on i7 7700HQ and CM236!!

X62 in Guernsey

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Re: Lenovo X62 Laptop Review
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2017, 17:38:44 »
Beautiful review. If anything a bit harsh, but you are right about the X62 being a love letter to an iconic design.

For me, as a travelling author and heavy user of documents, the X40/X60's sub-A4 footprint, edge-to-edge design, IBM Selectric-grade touch, and tall screen have never been beaten.  I also like the connectivity and sockets, and the easy access into the military-grade shell, for upgrades and replacements. 

However, I began to hate the slow boot speed, the way the chips struggled with multi-megabite architectural drawings, and the increasingly the out-moded resolution of the display.  For many years I was one of those sad, loyal users begging on Thinkpad forums for Lenovo to reproduce their dream hardware with a modern chipset, screen and battery life. Each January I would watch the news from CES in despair. In 2014 I installed a hybrid terabyte drive in my tired X61, and held my breath.

Around that time, I noticed the ripples in China, on the website. Was it a mirage or a miracle? How could the X40/X60 format have found so many fans among on the other side of the world? These fans either had not been born when the firstThinkPad launched, or they would have found it unaffordable.  And yet here they were, a discerning cognoscenti who shared my love. It proved what a design icon we were dealing with.

In surreal increments the news slowly improved, until 51nb's 1st run of X62 motherboards was released to pre-orders last summer.  But I was not the target market - just a second-class consumer.  None of the motherboards were for export.  In the same way that Japan in its hayday released the coolest products on its domestic market first, I would have to wait and hope.

Then suddenly, around August, things became very real: an X62 was selling on US ebay for something like 5000 dollars. I hesitated (it lacked a UK keyboard) and in a day it was gone. I was surprised how much it hurt.

So I contacted the seller, and through him got on the list for the second-release motherboard, with the low-energy i7-5500U chipset. My middle-man told me it was time. I paid him over the odds, and an X62 motherboard duely arrived.  All the hurt of Lenovo's wide-screen, chiclet years was forgotten.

Over Christmas, with an amalgum of pristine X60/61 parts collected off, and the help of a friend, I built my FrankenPad - Frank. 

I gave it Windows 10, a Samsung 850 Pro 1TB SSD and 32 Gig of RAM - hey, if you are going up against the Apple Macbook, you need to make 'em sweat. It also has a half-sized Intel Dual Band AC7260 WLAN card, which lives under the left-hend side of the keyboard, and solves the infamous X61 hot-spot under the right palmrest.

My X62 boots like a rocket and eats architectural drawings for breakfast.  It also looks like new, sporting genuine 3D 5-colour IBM ThinkPad logos inside and out.

4-Cell battery life with the Broadwell chip and Pro SSD is more than doubled over the X61 with the extended 6-cell battery around. With the 4-cell battery I stilll have double the hours, albeit still half what a Macbook would give. Eventually in February, I switched from the old X61 to the X62 full time.

So what is still to fix? I have not yet installed the high-res screen I tracked down, for lack of an LCD to IPS adapter. On the keyboard, the back-slash (\) key was dead - to cure that I installled 51nb's latest BIOS, but now unfortunatley the fan runs constantly (or occasionall not at all): and the Fn and Ctrl keys are reversed. Also I have been unable to activate the mic, headphone and USB ports on the right hand side, and I have no sound from the loudspeaker. Finally, it would be great to have an internal slot for a SIM card, as my old X61 did, although I never figured how to use it.

I will be in Shenzen in early May and hope to find someone to discuss these issues with, and maybe get that IPS adapter.

51nb deserves our praise and respect for picking up the baton of great design.  I would encourage anyone with passion for the X40/60 range to get behind them.

Douglas Black

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Re: Lenovo X62 Laptop Review
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2017, 17:26:59 »
X62 in Guernsey: Nice writing :) I hope you can get your issues sorted out. It sounds like you got one of the first rev motherboards they produced? This review is a 3rd gen, and next will be the 4th (obviously, I suppose). I think they are only getting better and better. It would be great if they could source the kits from Monty and put a package together!

I am still using the X62, but I am waiting for both my larger battery and my backlight kit!


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Re: Lenovo X62 Laptop Review
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2017, 22:46:04 »
Great article about a great product, but please, when talking about non 16:9 displays - they are usually not horizontally narrower, they just use the laptop lid more efficiently, making them taller.  So talking about not having enough space for side-by-side windows is a misinterpretation!  Look at most laptops today - they usually have more than an inch of plastic bars both at top and bottom of the lid - this wasted space could be efficiently used for the screen.  And would the screen be narrower?  No, it would just be taller.


X62 in Guernsey

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Re: Lenovo X62 Laptop Review
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2017, 15:20:19 »
Update to my comment from 15th April:

I was in Shenzhen last week. After browsing the 4000-booth SEG e-market, aka DIY heaven, to build up my courage, I took my heart in my hands and went to the 51nb offices in Shennan Middle Road.  I presented myself without an appointment, but to my amazement Hope was there, and even more surprisingly, he was gracious about seeing me. I had imagined a fearsome dynamo, but he is charming, and appears to have all the time in the world.

We soon had my X62 disassembled. Hope turned over my sound card connector ribbon (I had laid the strip blue-side down), repositioned the speaker plug (stick it in either side but not centrally), and loaded a sound driver (realtek_audio_6018105_x64_45.exe). He also updated my BIOS, exchanged the fan, and phoned out for someone to make me up two LCD-IPS screen connectors, which appeared within the hour!

We discussed why he had not put a SIM card slot on the X62 motherboard. He says it has to do with finding the space. He suggested I could live with Bluetooth and WLAN.  However, he is putting a SIM card into the upgrade for the T60, his "T70", which also gets a Kaby Lake 7th gen processor, hence the name. So he knows what is needed, and even admitted it could be done. I think the domestic market is so much more price sensitive than we international buyers imagine, that we form a seperate up-market segment. If only he can open the pipeline to us, Hope would be more than happy to provide top-of-the-range specs for export.

Hope is so passionate about old-format Thinkpads that he uses a T20 palmrest on his personal T70 so it doesn't have a trackpad. I tell you, this guy has style.

While I was there I bought a X62 motherboard from the latest, 4th, batch and a WLAN card which Hope recommended. He showed me how much cooler the Core i5 set-up runs, which should help battery life too. I also urged him to put an English language link on the website, and suggested some draft text. I explained that everyone outside mainland China can now use google translate on his web page, including the forums.  We Westerners (who after all were IBM's base user group) just need encouragement getting started, and some guidance registering as users.

These guys deserve support from all lovers of Classic Thinkpads. Hope has met with the Lenovo top brass and they are not going to shut him down.  He is not out to prove anyone wrong, he just does what he loves. "I don't want to win", he said, when I said Lenovo would see he was right. What he and his small team need is encouragement and sales. He needs to hear that if he did an X70 motherboard with a Kaby Lake chipset and an on-board SIM card slot, the Retro Thinkpad community would beat a path to his door.

Now I just have to get home to Guernsey to fit that IPS screen, and start work on the second X62.

Greetings from Hanoi.
Written on my X62

X62 in Guernsey

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Re: Lenovo X62 Laptop Review
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2017, 08:16:48 »
IPS screen fitted last weekend.

It is a subtle improvement which permeates the whole package, like going from an Audi to a Bentley.

The X60's slightly fuzzy 1024x768 screen was the original reason for starting this hunt.  In fact I bought the HV121P01-100 panel a year ago, even before I knew how to track down 51nb. But I doubted that converting from LCD to IPS could work. Being told it was impossible by the stallholders in the SEG e-Market in Shenzhen three weeks ago didn't help.

So on Sunday when I took the old screen out, I was fully expecting to be putting it back. I tested the new panel before reassembling everything. The moment when the exposed motherboard lit up the naked screen was a joy I shall not forget in a hurry.

Now here it is. The SXGA+ panel glows crisply across the keyboard at me as I type. The improved viewing angle means I am not fussing with the slope of the lid. The matt screen is particularly satisfying. As anyone who has grappled with replacing their old Thinkpad will know, the trade-off from reflection-free to glossy screen is one of those sacrifices you bite your lip over. And the higher definition? 1400 x 1050 may not be Retina quality, but it's enough to charm the eye. Perhaps because my replacement panel is brand new, it is plenty bright, and I have yet to try the backlighting adaption above.

What I had not expected was that when the eye is pleased, the sense of touch sharpens too. The cripsness of screen enhances the responsive action of the keyboard. To revert to the car analogy, it is as if the seats feel firmer because the dashboard is well laid out, or the clunk of the door satisfies more because the all-round visibilty is good. 

Knowing that these screens are becoming rare, last night I ordered two spares from the supplier.

My donor X60 is now ten years old. That should keep me going another decade.


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Re: Lenovo X62 Laptop Review
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2017, 02:03:10 »

To the person that posted at the bottom of this thread, regarding his visit to 51nb offices, that's really interesting.

I'm curious as to how they are connecting the SXGA+ screen to the motherboard, does the new motherboard have the new eDP connector or it's using the old style the original X61 motherboard had?

I myself tried modding my X61 using the HV121P01-100, I bought it from here:

and used this cable to convert the signal from the LVDS cable:

the conversion didn't work as I cracked the LCD on some parts on the screen, the image went blurry and not correctly displayed.

Do you know if hope sells the panels and the converters only?

Could you put some pictures on your installation of the screen? are you active in any other forum, such as, or reddit/thinkpad?

X62 in Guernsey

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Re: Lenovo X62 Laptop Review
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2017, 16:47:25 »
Yes, I should have said explained.

HOPE made a phone call when I was there, and two screen-connectors were delivered within 30 minutes.

The connector is a ribbon of 20 wires, about 10 cms long, going in parallel from a flat 20-pin female socket to a matching 20-pin male plug.  The sequence changes, so that some of the wires cross over each other.


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Re: Lenovo X62 Laptop Review
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2018, 20:48:18 »
Excellent review
I had no idea this was a thing until just now

I'd fallen under a nostalgic glow when looking for photos of my old X61, and remembering the partially disassembled heap I'd left it in when I had last tried, unsuccessfully, to replace the failing inverter board. It's a half a world away now, and I won't see it for many more months still, but I will put her back together and perhaps give her new life as an X62.

Come to think of it, I have an X61s and an X61 that a friend donated to me as a parts laptop for the X61s. I think the X62 motherboard might only be compatible with X61, so either way this gives me a way forward.

I've contacted the team who makes these motherboards but nobody's replied. Has anyone had more luck than me?


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