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Lenovo ThinkPad X300  (Source: All Things Digital)

Lenovo ThinkPad X300 Specifications  (Source: Support Community)
Mossberg gets his hands on Lenovo's new ThinkPad X300

Walt Mossberg of All Things Digital is currently in possession of a hot new device that has sparked quite a bit of interest from DailyTech readers: the Lenovo ThinkPad X300.

Given the device's relatively lightweight and small frame, a 2.5" HDD would have been too large and power-hungry to fit, so Lenovo opted for a 1.8" form-factor drive. Most 1.8" HDDs spin at a mediocre 4,200 RPM resulting in subpar performance, so Lenovo opted to use a 1.8" solid-state disk (SSD) for a performance boost.

In addition to the SSD, Mossberg points out the 13.3" ThinkPad X300's three USB 2.0 ports, optical drive, built-in Ethernet port and optional cellular modem support. Lenovo also made the wise decision to give customers the choice of Windows XP or Windows Vista.

Mossberg goes on to note that the ThinkPad X300 weighs 3.12 pounds with a standard battery and optical drive. A comparison is made to the MacBook Air's lighter 3 pound fighting weight, but Apple manages to leave out all the important stuff to get to that figure.

Thanks to images from the Support Community, we've also been able to gather some additional information on the ThinkPad X300. The notebook features a 1.2GHz Core 2 Duo processor (SL7100 LV) rated at 12W using a Mobile Intel 965GS Express chipset -- the leaked specs which detailed a 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo processor were unfortunately wrong. Another feature not previously discussed is the inclusion of Certified Wireless USB over UltraWide Band.

The ThinkPad X300 uses rubber paint on the palm rest for increased comfort and a new, longer-lasting paint for the keyboard (Lenovo says that it last 3-4 times longer than traditional paint). The keyboard is also illuminated via ThinkLight for use in low-light situations.

Given that this is a Lenovo notebook, durability is a key feature. The bottom cover and keyboard bezel are constructed with magnesium while the LCD cover is comprised of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic.

According to Mossberg, the ThinkPad X300 will retail for between $2,500 to $2,800 dollars when it launches. This price range backs up recent leaks by Best Buy for Business concerning the ThinkPad X300's price.

Seeing as how Mossberg has a ThinkPad X300 in hand right now, Lenovo can't be too far from making an official announcement.

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Function over form...
By Bigjee on 2/13/2008 1:13:06 PM , Rating: 5
This model with the SSD will eat the Macbook Air. its all things the Macbook Air could not be. I would definitely buy this over the SSD versino of the M.Air

Oh yeh it has 3 USB ports and a Good job lenovo.

RE: Function over form...
By BZDTemp on 2/13/08, Rating: -1
RE: Function over form...
By TomZ on 2/13/2008 2:52:16 PM , Rating: 2
I have this situation pretty often in meetings:

1xUSB - external mouse/mouse dongle
1xUSB - flash key to transfer files

The 3rd port is a luxury, IMO. Having only 1 is anemic, IMO.

RE: Function over form...
By Samus on 2/14/2008 3:06:09 AM , Rating: 4
The upgradability instantly makes it better than the air. It has dimm slots and a socketed cpu. nuf said.

RE: Function over form...
By Gholam on 2/13/2008 3:24:29 PM , Rating: 3
WWAN and WiMAX for starters.

RE: Function over form...
By Brandon Hill on 2/13/2008 3:28:06 PM , Rating: 5
Assuming that they are both configured with 64GB SSD drives:

The Lenovo is marginally heavier (0.16 pounds) but:

Has an optical drive
Has more USB ports
Has an Ethernet port (that is just common sense)
Has wireless USB
Has optional EV-DO/HSDPA
Has a removeable battery (can also use extended battery)
Has the ability to add a second battery in the optical drive bay
Has a fingerprint reader
Has a higher resolution screen (1440x900 vs 1280x800)
Has upgradeable memory (up to 4GB)
And let's not forget the legendary Lenovo ThinkPad reliability/durability and build quality.

Even fully maxed out, the X300 would be about $300 cheaper than a MacBook Air with SSD.

Only an Apple fanboy would discount those advantages. Now I will concede that the MacBook Air has a faster processor (1.6GHz and 1.8GHz), but that also eats into the battery life (20W thermal envelope vs 12W for the X300). The MacBook Air is also thinner which is a plus -- but it's only thin b/c it leaves out so much.

Other than that...uhhh, I'm at a loss as to what would make the MacBook Air superior. Uhh, maybe the Multi-Touch trackpad, but that seems more like a gimmick.

RE: Function over form...
By Gholam on 2/13/2008 3:41:15 PM , Rating: 5
You forgot TrackPoint and ThinkLight, which are an automatic win even if everything else is discounted.

RE: Function over form...
By Samus on 2/14/2008 3:08:22 AM , Rating: 2
Totally, forgot to mention the trackpoint. I love my X40.

RE: Function over form...
By ATC on 2/14/2008 9:46:39 AM , Rating: 2
Having used both of those features I don't particularly like their implementation. That's just my person preference though.

I found the Trackpoint to be clunky for practical use and after using the multi-touch pad on the Macbook Pro with the two-finger tapping (right click) and horizontal and vertical scroll it's that much better IMO.

Also, why did IBM/Lenovo bother with the ThinkLight when it could have been much better and practical to use a back-lit keyboard? With the ThinkLight I always had areas on the keyboard that were in the shadow of my hand. Again, IMO the back-lit keyboard is way better in low light use.

I personally have no interest in the MBA but I do believe there's a market for it and interestingly I don't think its target audience are those who would consider the X300.

RE: Function over form...
By murphyslabrat on 2/14/2008 10:57:11 AM , Rating: 2
. The keyboard is also backlit for use in low-light situations.

Read the article before you post.

RE: Function over form...
By ATC on 2/14/2008 1:14:19 PM , Rating: 2
Read my post before replying. I was referring to their previous implementation of ThinkLight when it was used instead of a backlit KB. I still stand by my post that ThinkLight is useless IMO.

RE: Function over form...
By UNCjigga on 2/14/2008 10:47:31 AM , Rating: 2
I only wish they had one spec'd at $1,999--then I could totally use my p-card at work to get it! :)

RE: Function over form...
By Locutus465 on 2/13/2008 5:29:46 PM , Rating: 2
I'd say the option to have a built in 3G cell modem built in gives this thing a huge leg up on the Mac book air. I use a "cheap" HP Pavilion laptop right now and I'm thinking about getting a 3G USB connector for it as it is. Unless there's a way to hack in using my i730 as a cell modem which I doubt.

RE: Function over form...
By Locutus465 on 2/13/2008 5:31:01 PM , Rating: 2
This said, I do much prefer apple's style though. If only we could get a PC laptop with the looks of an apple but the functionality you find in something like this. I'd buy that with Vista on it :D

RE: Function over form...
By anotherdude on 2/13/2008 6:14:25 PM , Rating: 3
In my book the thinkpads have the best style of all - classic black, no girly curves, it's the antithesis of style over function - my kind of style.

RE: Function over form...
By UNCjigga on 2/14/2008 10:50:11 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, that's another thing. Because I work in wireless, all new laptops are required to have integrated EV-DO Rev A. Right now I'm looking at a discounted Panasonic Y7. The new W7 ultraportable is pretty sweet too, I'd like to see it compared against the X300.

RE: Function over form...
By Omega215D on 2/13/2008 6:15:41 PM , Rating: 3
One thing is that ThinkPads are reinforced so they can withstand quite a bit. I wouldn't imagine that's so with the Air. Another thing is that the Lenovo is cheaper because you won't have to shell out $100 for an external optical drive and ethernet dongle that takes the only USB port on the Air.

So ~$2800 for the Lenovo with all features, ~$3100 + 100 + 30. Nice... of course some might want to get OSX which isn't available for the Lenovo.

RE: Function over form...
By winterspan on 2/14/08, Rating: -1
RE: Function over form...
By Omega215D on 2/14/2008 12:19:55 PM , Rating: 2
You gotta go take a look at Slashdot in the article about the X300. Some posters shoot this machine down because it comes loaded with un-needed extras, that it is only for showing off and that Apple makes better hardware. They even get modded up as insightful.

Battery life?
By archcommus on 2/13/2008 2:44:14 PM , Rating: 3
Why is the battery life so much less with Vista installed? So running one OS versus another during standard use shaves an hour or more off my battery? That doesn't make sense.

RE: Battery life?
By Brandon Hill on 2/13/2008 2:46:15 PM , Rating: 2
Vista eye-candy? OS bloat?

I have no idea, but I was wondering the same myself.

RE: Battery life?
By TomZ on 2/13/2008 3:01:11 PM , Rating: 2
Aero will drive the GPU a little harder, but probably not to the degree that Lenovo are claiming.

RE: Battery life?
By aos007 on 2/13/2008 3:10:16 PM , Rating: 1
I can't see why not. I hope no one would claim that a GeForce 7600GT is not sufficiently fast for Aero, but I have seen noticeable increase in "smoothness" (less jerkiness) of some GUI operations when I upgraded to 8800GT. Which would mean Vista indeed uses quite a bit of 3D power which would lead to considerably lower battery life - that is, if you use win+tab feature a lot. Then there's the Dream Scene desktop... Don't many video card have a drastic difference in power usage when doing 2D and doing 3D? I'd imagine Vista always uses 3D even if the screen is static.

RE: Battery life?
By Omega215D on 2/13/2008 7:59:10 PM , Rating: 3
That's odd because I installed Vista Home Premium on my MacBook which has the Intel GMA X3100 GPU and it ran fine. Then I moved Vista to my main desktop rig with the 8800GT and didn't notice any difference.

The Lenovo ThinkPad I played with at a store had Windows Vista Business installed and it ran smoothly as well. Same Intel X3100.

With that title...
By HakonPCA on 2/13/2008 12:56:09 PM , Rating: 2
With that title the picture should be that "to catch a preditor" guy.

Detailed info about X300
By Gholam on 2/13/2008 1:17:39 PM , Rating: 2
You can find full specs, including weight in different configurations and battery lifetime here:

Fondle this.
By Fnoob on 2/13/2008 7:04:30 PM , Rating: 2
If the Air is too "metro" for you, but you still need your "props" at $tarbucks :

Possibly made by real ninjas.

Too bad no 2.5" SSD
By daftrok on 2/13/08, Rating: -1
RE: Too bad no 2.5" SSD
By Xodus Maximus on 2/13/2008 1:01:45 PM , Rating: 5
it uses less nano-technology

actually both use the same flash chip tech, at whatever manufacturing process is currently the most prevalent, they may have different packages, but that is mostly a preference. Just so you know a SSD is not some amazing amorphous memory material inside, it has a circuit board with these standard chips soldered onto it, the price differential is mostly market driven and not based on true manufacturing costs.

RE: Too bad no 2.5" SSD
By daftrok on 2/13/08, Rating: -1
RE: Too bad no 2.5" SSD
By TomZ on 2/13/2008 1:19:35 PM , Rating: 2
How did you figure out that it "can fit in this device"? You do realize that designing a notebook is a bit more than comparing two particular dimensions?

The total thickness is reported as 0.73-0.92" which also includes the bottom of the case, the keyboard, the LCD, and the top lid.

In addition, there's a lot more that needs to fit into the overall frame than just the HDD - maybe considering the total volume it didn't fit either?

Bottom line, you're making a pretty bold assumption that it "can fit."

RE: Too bad no 2.5" SSD
By deeznuts on 2/13/2008 1:18:53 PM , Rating: 3
Are you an engineer for IBM? If not, how could you make such a statement? I'm sure if they could have they would have. You do understand there are components other than a HDD that goes into a laptop right? I'm sure they could have fit it if they made it wider or deeper.

total offtopic but wow...
By Pirks on 2/13/08, Rating: -1
"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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