Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable vs. Microsoft Surface Pro 8

The Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable is a great detachable tablet that took over the top spot on our list of best 2-in-1s. It beat out the Microsoft Surface Pro 7, which had a great run but got a little long in the tooth.

Enter the Surface Pro 8, which was released in early October 2021 and makes some meaningful and long-overdue improvements to the Surface Pro line. Can the ThinkPad X12 Detachable keep its place on top against the new and improved Surface Pro 8?

Specs

Lenovo ThinkPad X12 DetachableMicrosoft Surface Pro 8
Dimensions11.15 inches x 8.01 inches x 0.34 inches11.3 inches x 8.2 inches x 0.37 inches
Weight1.67 pounds1.96 pounds
ProcessorIntel Core i3-1110G4
Intel Core i5-1130G7
Intel Core i5-1140G7 with vPro
Intel Core i7-1160G7
Intel Core i7-1180G7 with vPro
Intel Core i5-1135G7
Intel Core i7-1185G7
GraphicsIntel UHD graphics
Intel Iris Xe graphics
Intel Iris Xe graphics
RAMUp to 16GBUp to 32GB
Display12.3-inch 16:10 Full HD+ (1920 x 1280) IPS 60Hz13-inch 3:2 2880 x 1920 IPS 120Hz
StorageUp to 1TB solid-state drive (SSD)Up to 1TB
TouchYesYes
Ports1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
1 x USB-C 4 with Thunderbolt 4
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
1 x Nano SIM slot (optional)
2 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4
1 x Surface Connect
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
WirelessWi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1
Webcam720p1080p
Operating systemWindows 10 Home or ProWindows 11 Home
Battery42 watt-hour51.5 watt-hour
Price$2,016+$1,399
Rating3.5 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars

Design

The Surface Pro 8 maintains the same basic shape and excellent integrated kickstand as the Surface Pro 7, only with more rounded corners and smaller display bezels. The latter allowed Microsoft to squeeze in a larger display, 13-inches versus 12.3-inches, requiring the slightest increase in size and thickness. In addition, Microsoft switched from magnesium to recycled aluminum, adding just a smidgeon of weight. As before, the Surface Pro 8 is available in Platinum and Graphite colors.

Microsoft Surface Pro 8

The ThinkPad X12 Detachable also adopts the iconic look of its line, with the usual ThinkPad all-black chassis with just a few red accents such as the LED dot over the “i” on the front logo and the red TrackPoint nubbin and red-striped buttons on its detachable keyboard. Lenovo borrowed Microsoft’s kickstand, extending from the center of the tablet’s backside like the Surface Pro 8 and allowing the tablet to lie almost flat on a surface. The ThinkPad X12 Detachable also enjoys the same soft-touch coating over its magnesium casing as other ThinkPads, making it very comfortable in hand.

The two tablets are close in width and depth, with the Surface Pro 8 being just a little thicker than the ThinkPad X12 Detachable at 0.37 inches versus 0.34 inches. It’s also heavier at 1.96 pounds versus 1.67 pounds. As mentioned above, the Surface Pro 8 benefits from its smaller display bezels in managing to fit a larger display into a similarly sized chassis.

Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Both tablets are incredibly well built. You won’t find any bending, flexing, or twisting with either the Surface Pro 8 or the ThinkPad X12 Detachable — both feel like solid fusions of metal and glass. Lenovo subjects its ThinkPads to military-standard durability testing, but that doesn’t really give it an advantage over the Surface Pro 8. These are premium machines through and through.

Connectivity is similar between the two tablets. The Surface Pro 8 (finally) includes two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 support, the proprietary Surface Connect port, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The ThinkPad X12 Detachable offers one USB-C port, one USB-C port with Thunderbolt 4, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a nano-SIM slot for optional WWAN support. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 perform wireless duties on both, while the ThinkPad X12 Detachable supports optional 4G LTE WWAN.

Keyboard and pen

The Surface Pro 8’s detachable keyboard is optional and extra cost, either the $179 Signature Type Cover or $179 Surface Pro X Type cover, both of which are similar. They’re covered with Alcantara fabric for extra comfort, and the keyboards enjoy deep travel with snappy and precise switches. There’s some bounce when you have the keyboard magnetically attached at an angle, but it’s not egregious. The ThinkPad X12 Detachable’s keyboard is included, and it utilizes a smaller version of the usual ThinkPad keyboard with its sculpted keys and excellent ThinkPad mechanism with its