Lenovo ThinkPad laptops are known for their superb build quality and professional looks. Here’s a laptop that goes a step further, the Lenovo ThinkPad X100e. Touted as the most affordable laptop in the ThinkPad family, this one is a netbook-sized, light-weight and classy ultra-portable business gadget.
Design and build quality
At the first glance, it comes across as an all-black netbook, but look closely and you’ll notice that it’s a miniature ThinkPad with the typical rock solid ruggedness and a business-like feel. Also, at merely 1.48 Kg, it’s really convenient to carry. So, the overall form factor, design and build quality are the strongest points of the ThinkPad X100e. Ergonomically, despite its small size, it is more comfortable to use than using a netbook. There’s nothing to complain about the keyboard, multi-touch touchpad, pointing stub and mouse buttons, thanks to the well-spaced keys, proper spacing and good tactile feedback. However, there are a couple of notable downsides which are a hinderance while typing. The function key precedes the CTRL key, and, the arrow keys are smaller than what is usually seen in ultra-portables. The machine is available in two colors; midnight-black and heat-wave red, perhaps close to scarlet-red. Nevertheless, a ThinkPad with color options is worth the attention.
When it comes to common features like ports and connectors, this laptop offers only what a standard netbook or any other ultra-portable laptop does. Two USB and a VGA port, a memory card reader, a webcam, a headset jack and a Kensington lock slot is what you get in this package. Even the connectivity, Gigabit Ethernet and Wi-Fi N have become rather common to laptops. In terms of features, it is only the hardware that somewhat differentiates this laptop from others. More than anything else, it’s the roomy 320 GB hard drive and a discrete graphics that stand out in the features area.
Built around the AMD 780G chipset, the laptop is powered by an AMD Athlon MV-40, which is a low-voltage single-core processor, clocked at 1.6 GHz. There’s 2 GB RAM and graphics is courtesy an AMD Radeon HD 3200 GPU, which isn’t very powerful but its presence certainly is a plus point. Finally, the unit ships pre-loaded with Windows 7 Professional.
The performance of this laptop cannot be compared to that of mainstream or even entry-level laptops that feature dual-core processors, because, this one has a much weaker processor. On the other hand, it is more powerful than Intel Atom processors that are common to netbooks. So, essentially its performance is closest to that of ultra-portable laptops that feature similar low-voltage processors such as the SU series of Intel Pentium and Celeron CPUs.
As far as applications are concerned, office and mainstream applications, casual Internet surfing, VoIP, emails and similar tasks will sail smoothly. The discrete graphics is an added advantage when using light multimedia. What’s worth mentioning is the loudness and clarity of the built-in speakers. The speaker grill is in front and the sound well-projected, so watching movies or listening to music is a good experience. We weren’t particularly happy with the battery life. On medium load, the laptop offers about 4 hours 40 minutes of runtime, whereas ultra-portable laptops are meant to offer a bit more.
The bottom line
For Rs. 29,000, the ThinkPad X100e is more expensive than most netbooks, but, it would be unfair to compare a ThinkPad to a standard run-of-the-mill netbook. Also, if you compare it with other ThinkPads, it indeed is the most affordable, as touted on the manufacturer’s website. A ThinkPad fan who wants an ultra-portable laptop for basic computing on the go, will most likely rule out the netbook segment and go with this new tiny entrant, despite the price difference.
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 284 x 30 x 211 mm
- Weight: 1.48 Kg
- Processor: AMD Athlon MV-40, 1.6 GHz
- Memory: 2 GB DDR2
- Hard disk: 320 GB
- Screen size: 11.6-inch
- Connectivity: Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi N
Published Date: Apr 09, 2010 05:20 pm | Updated Date: Apr 09, 2010 05:20 pm