Lenovo delays touchscreen option for ThinkPad X240 laptop

Lenovo's X240 laptop is available with 12.5-inch non-touch panels with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels

Lenovo's ThinkPad X240 (1)

Lenovo's ThinkPad X240 (1)

Buyers looking to purchase Lenovo's latest ThinkPad X240 laptop with a touchscreen will have to wait until December.

The company had said in September that laptops scheduled for release this month would include a touchscreen model. The X240 with Windows 8.1 and Intel's fourth-generation Core processor code-named Haswell went on sale last week with a starting price of US$1,049. It has a 12.5-inch screen sporting a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels.

An X240 configuration with a touchscreen and a full high-definition resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels will be available in December, a Lenovo representative said in response to customer queries in the "Answers" section of the X240 page.

The X240 is the successor to X220 and X230 laptops, which have been the top-selling ThinkPad laptops alongside the T400 series. In forums such as NotebookReview, customers have expressed an interest in buying the laptop with either a touchscreen or a full HD screen.

The X240 laptop by default comes with Windows 8.1, which is optimized for touch. Buyers have to pay $50 more for Windows 7 Professional OS.

Lenovo did not respond to requests for comment about the delay of touchscreen models.

Beyond the new OS and faster processor, Lenovo has made many changes with the X240 compared to previous models. The laptop is thinner and can be configured with up to 1TB of storage, an upgrade from 500GB in previous models. But the laptop can be only configured with up to 8GB of RAM, which is a downgrade from the X230, which supports up to 16GB of RAM. The laptop also has a new keyboard design.

Lenovo ThinkPad X240 (2)
Lenovo ThinkPad X240 (2)

Lenovo claims 10 hours of battery life with the X240, and 9.9 hours with the X230, which runs on older Intel processors code-named Ivy Bridge. The X240 has a new dual-battery design with one externally replaceable and one internal battery. This design makes it easier to replace external batteries without powering down the laptop. A base X240 configuration has a three-cell internal battery and a three-cell external battery that can be upgraded to a six-cell battery.

Sometimes PCs are configured to hit a specific starting price and computer makers have to compromise on components like screens and memory capacity, said Roger Kay, president and principal analyst at Endpoint Technology Associates.

It's hard to know why the touchscreen has been delayed, but if Lenovo's X240 specifications aren't competitive, buyers will look at laptops from other companies, Kay said.

The delay comes a few weeks ahead of the year-end holiday shopping season in the U.S., which is when buyers seek deals, Kay said.

"Obviously, it is not good. This is the season where you want to have the product on your shelf," Kay said.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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Agam Shah

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