Lenovo X300: 13.3″ LED Backlight Notebook PC

Lenovo X300

LCD Size: 13.3″
Aspect Ratio: 16:10
Pixel Format: 1440 x 900
Backlight: LED
CPU: Intel Merom Santa Rosa Dual Core Hybrid LV CPU at 2.0GHz
SSDRAM: Up to 4GB DDR2 PC2-5300
Ports: USB 2.0 (3), Firewire, DisplayPort, ExpressCard, Ethernet (Gigabit), etc.
Wireless: WiMax or HSDPA
Battery Life: 4 hours
Weight: 2.5lbs
Other: GPS

Lenovo X300

Computerworld: Ultra-light and ultra-thin notebook PCs are, as expected, getting more publicity. You can thank Apple for that. Apple sparked a new genre of ultra-thin notebook PCs with its introduction of the MacBook Air at MacWorld 2008.So, Lenovo has entered the ring with the X300. The X300 might not be as sexy as the MacBook Air, but it is lighter, by 0.5lbs.

The LCD is more advanced as well, sporting 1440 x 900 pixels compared to just 1280 x 800 in the MacBook Air. The X300 also has a faster CPU: 2.0GHz versus 1.6GHz or 1.8GHz. The wireless options are quite a bit better too giving you the choice between WiMax or HSDPA compared to just WiFi, even if it is the improved 802.11n variety.

The X300 got the MacBook Air beat in another area as well: 3 USB ports versus just one. Finally, and the knock out punch is a built-in GPS for the X300.Feature wise, the X300 offers significantly more than the MacBook Air.

However, there is just one thing that the X300 doesn’t have: sex appeal. Now why is this important? Well, if you are pitching a mega project to your client and you pull out a X300, the X300 is a non-issue, meaning that it doesn’t hurt you but it doesn’t help you either. On the other hand, if you pulled out a MacBook Air, my guess is that the potential client would be slightly impressed. The MacBook Air, by design, simply exudes sexiness that most cannot ignore.

Am I down on the X300? As long as the price is reasonable, no. I think the X300 is a very smart buy for corporate folks that need a durable box that says, “I’m solid, durable, reliable!” In my opinion, the MacBook Air is for folks that would rather drive a red two-door convertible rather than a fully-optioned SUV. The convertible is a one-trick pony: drive in the sun with style. On the other hand, the SUV can get you almost anywhere in comfort.

Update 2008.06.23: Lenovo has cut the price of its ThinkPad X300 by around $160, bringing down the total cost of owning the ultra-portable notebook PC to around $2580 for the lowest package (additional 3 cell bay battery).

Update 2008.12.13: Walt Mossberg had some things to say about the X300. The X300 weighs only a bit more than the MacBook Air but has all the ports, an optical drive, and a removable battery. Mr. Mossberg correctly points out that the X300’s SSD-only configuration makes it an expensive box, starting around $2500. I like the $1800 price of the MacBook Air that uses a traditional HDD (4200RPM is a bit slow though), and that’s why I purchased one a couple of days ago.

Update 2008.12.14: A thinkpads.com Support Community user, moore101, posted some pictures of the X300. The user disassembled items that are removable including the optical drive, SSD, battery, and keyboard. He noted how quiet and light the X300 is.

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