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Hands on X300 from Lenovo

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Dale Davies | Monday March 24, 2008 2:50AM ET
Lenovo ThinkPad X300When you see what's inside Lenovo ThinkPad X300 you will agree that it is a cheap notebook.

As I wrote before, and I fell I will repeat that many times this year, many exciting things happen on the market of ultra small notebooks. Some manufacturers design "you don't have everything inside and you don't need it" notebook, and others design "everything is inside and you need it". Since I like on computer to rule the all, I prefer more the later. I see no point in carrying an ultra-portable laptop just to discover that it has no functionality that I need at that particular moment. But, this is highly personalized statement, and you may feel the other way around.

Lenovo ThinkPad X300No matter shall we agree or not, Lenovo ThinkPad X300 is an interesting device for both types of users. X300 is ultra-light notebook but with all amenities built-in. First, it is a ThinkPad. That fact alone is enough for me to know that X300 will survive the accidental drop on the floor or smash against airport doors. Indeed, a little beast just one inch thick is built using carbon-fibre and glass-fibre, and there's unavoidable Lenovo roll cage and anti-liquid keyboard.

Lenovo ThinkPad X300Technical specification of 1.5 kilo (3 lbs) are impressive for the engineers built in everything they had in factory. In short: the heart is 1.20GHz Intel Core 2 Duo L7100, graphic is Intel X3100, screen is 13.3 inch 1440 x 900 pixels, RAM memory goes up to 2 GB, for data storage a 64 GB SSD is used, standard battery will hold for 3,4 hours in real life, it has wireless of all kinds, three USB 2.0 ports, external monitor port, headphone, microphone, Ethernet...

No, I'm not drunk. Yes, you read it right. Lenovo engineers designed and built a one-inch machine that has plenty of ports and weight as feather. Lenovo ThinkPad X300What make me laugh at Steve Job's statements about designers' achievement and enormous amount of work needed to build Mac Air. Sure, it looks nice, but it has nothing.

OK, I got carried away... Lenovo ThinkPad X300 follows older ThinkPad brothers in sense of robust case and black colour, yet it has some nice touches that make him a bit joyful like illumination of power button and ThinkVantage button. X300 is heavier than Air but it has an optical drive (and option to move it out and slot in another battery), and all the ports you need. The only thing left to be desired is SD card slot; should it been built-in we could use it for memory expansion. Now, we are "doomed" and left with 64GB solid state drive. (If you take in account that SSD drive, similarly equipped Air costs approximately the same). When we are talking about SSD, which means that there are no moving parts like in classic hard disks, why X300 has a hw/sw that parks HD's read/write head in a case of fall? Will X300 get a hard disk in the future?

Lenovo ThinkPad X300Of all other stuff, I'll briefly mention processor (fast), keyboard (excellent), screen (very, very good). Lenovo ThinkPad X300 is the thinnest ThinkPad, has all you need (and something you may not need, as GPS), may carry the name ThinkPad with pride. Someone may argue its price, but there's in nothing to be argued about. First, if you must save money be aware that similarly equipped Air cost equally. On the other side, if the money is not objection, go and buy it. And if I'm free to say so, when you see what's inside, X300 is cheap notebook.

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