The much talked about and leaked ThinkPad x100e from Lenovo has finally gotten into the hands of reviewers and if first impressions are anything to go by, we are looking at poor judgment on Lenovo’s part. It seems to be riddled with all the curses of the netbook and that doesn’t really help the ThinkPad line’s core audience — serious businessmen. To risk a cliché here — ThinkPad users mean business and they are not going to get it from the x100e.
But that does not mean that the x100e is a badly made device. Far from it. Almost all of the reviews agree that if it weren’t for the sluggish performance, this is probably one of the best small 11inch portables ever made. The keyboard is deemed as excellent and has good ergonomics. As is usual with ThinkPad series devices, the convenience and ease of use during long sessions really comes out on top. The x100e is also build very well and the quality is undeniable. The trackpad has also received praise for being one of the best performers in its class. The industrial built and the matte finish sure wins brownie points for being very much the machine that business owners would want to carry around.
But then comes a list of poor performance complaints. The processor, while being faster than your average netbook offering, is only a marginal improvement over the usual fare. That translates into really bad application performance and noticeable slowdowns. The ATI Radeon graphics does help a bit but only when it is 2D.
Actually, had it not been for the ThinkPad branding, this would’ve been a really great 11inch portable. But as the case stands — Lenovo already has your average netbook and ultraportables. ThinkPads have always been something special and this one simply does not cut it.
The Lenovo X100e rumored into existence in our minds much long before the official happened at CES 2010. So now that the X100e is official, there is something to be said about the first netbook from the ThinkPad series — it is not a netbook. No. It is the first ever ThinkPad series Ultraportable form Lenovo. but with an 11.6″ form factor and those bold new colors (white and red), it is hard not to think of the x100e as a powerful new netbook offering for those who need the muscle for business applications.
Getting down to the raw specs of the device, you will get to choose between the AMD Turion or the AMD Athlon Neo (AMD’s Atom competitor that faield to gain much traction). In fact, the other new ThinkPad — ThinkPad Edge — also has AMD processors powering it. Looks like Intel has done something to upset Lenovo or may be AMD had a better deal.
Coming back to the X100e, the device’s main claim to fame is its ThinkPad branding, full sized keyboard and Lenovo’s unique ThinkVantage suite. Yes, this being a fully featured (as much as possible actually) business class portable, Lenovo is offering its much renowned ThinkVantage suite of enterprise applications. The trackpad on the x100e is multitouch enabled and there’s also WiFi. Along with all this, you have optional Bluetooth and 3G. The x100e comes with a fully featured version of the latest Windows OS — Windows 7 Professional edition. As we all know, this is the edition that Microsoft uses to flog its enterprise customers by stuffing it full of enterprise features and leaving all other editions completely barren.
The starting price for the X100e is $500, which is not too bad a deal considering what you are getting for that price. All the hardware signatures of the ThinkPad series, like the highlighted keys and the trackpoint, are fully intact. It basically looks like shrunken ThinkPad.
Not only is the ThinkPad netbook real, it seems like the one that has been leaked so far is not the only model that Lenovo is planning to make. According to a recent FCC filing by component manufacturer Realtek, there are at least two other netbook models that carry the ThinkPad branding. These netbooks are called ThinkPad Mini 10 and ThinkPad Mini 11. Together with the ThinkPad X100e that has been the talking point of ThinkPad lovers everywhere, we now have 3 different ThinkPad netbook models.
The FCC filing that started all this is actually very scanty in detail and it only produces these names and the details of one component — the WiFi. That’s because these devices use a Realtek chip for equipping the devices with WiFi. Realtek’s filing was probably a startegy on Lenovo’s part in order to hide the actual components that these new netbooks are using.
Reverting back to what we already know — the X100e seems like a powerful netbook that will be equipped to handle as much business as a netbook possibly can. The leaked photo of the X100e shows that the build of the netbook(s) is very much like the current (full sized) ThinkPads. It has the look of a sturdy machine that can take some beating. These new models thus can be expected to have similar builds. The difference in naming of the X100e from the Mini10 and Mini 11 might have some significance but right now there’s nothing the actual specs yet.
Businessmen have apparently been wanting something like the netbook in order to make it easier to carry work with them. Even they realize that you sometimes have to carry notebooks for really light work that does not need anything like a notebook. So why not carry a netbook instead? Of course, businessmen can’t just pick up any silly old netbook. Hence the ThinkPad netbooks. It’s a brand that has many a loyal corporate following and hence the netbooks might be met with a lot of success.
After being leaked earlier this month, Lenovo’s ThinkPad series netbook is getting more and more real as time passes by. A fresh new leak has finally released the specifications of this alleged ThinkPad branded device and so far, it looks pretty good.
The device has been identified as the X100e and it is rumored to be slated for the 5th of January next year, which is approaching soon. If the latest rumors are to be believed, we are actually looking at a non-Atom, 11inch netbook device made by Lenovo.
The x100e apparently uses an AMD Athlon Neo MV-40 CPU and supports up to 4GB of RAM. The display is 11.6” and has a native resolution of 1366×768. There are exactly 3 USB ports, one VGA out port and a 4-in-1 card reader.
For storage, you get options between 160GB/250GB/320GB 5400rpm HDDs. It has WiFi (b/g/n) with Bluetooth and 3G as optional. The touchpad will have multiouch support and we had already seen the trackpoint in the previous pictures. There will be a webcam but it will be pretty bad at only 0.3MP. You can choose from either a 3-cell or a 6-cell battery.
As for the OS, you will get a choice between Windows 7 Basic, Home Premium and Ultimate. So it pretty much covers all your needs. The last thing to know about it is the price and since this is a ThinkPad series device, the starting price is on the higher side at $449.
While a business netbook might be an oxymoron, Lenovo is surely looking to capitalize on the demand for a capable netbook device that is designed like a business notebook but has the advantages of a netbook. Besides, Lenovo is not the first company to do this. It was only last month when Asus announced its own business netbooks. But those were just normal Eee PC models running the Windows XP Professional OS.