Lenovo’s latest ultraportable is the ThinkPad X100e, set to be launched in the Philippines this February 3. A ThinkPad under Php30k is unheard of so we check out if the X100e is worth all that wait.
The ThinkPad retains its signature design — sturdy, cold and not a hint of glossy finish. We’ve known the ThinkPad line to be very strong in the business segment but it’s also got its following with consumers because of the solid construction.
The unit is not really that thin but it’s already light for its size. The 6-cell battery protrudes at the back and not at the bottom which, I think, is a better positioning. The keyboard is nice and spacious with an almost chiclet-type form — it’s slightly curved at the bottom end and has a concave surface. This allows for better touch-typing experience which helps prevent your finger from slipping into two keys at a single tap.
My only gripe is that Lenovo still insists that the function key (Fn) is placed on the leftmost edge rather than the control (Ctrl) key. I use the Ctrl key more often than the Fn keys and putting it on the leftmost helps me hit it easily. The arrow key on the right are more prominent and they even added a dedicated Page Up and Page Down keys in between. This is probably one of the best keyboards I’ve ever tried on a laptop.
The trackpad has that same unique features of the ThinkPad — multiple sets of clickers with a dedicated scroll button — but all that seemed that have eaten a couple millimeters of the area of the trackpad. That nipple mouse (the track-point) is still there in the middle — a classic ThinkPad symbol and serves as alternative mouse pointer for those who still loves using it.
The ThinkPad X100e comes in different flavors — the one I had was a single core AMD Athlon Neo MV-40 which runs at 1.6GHz. It’s not as fast as the dual core Athlon X2 L335 on the Wind U210 but it’s still performs quite well. It can’t play YouTube HD 1080p (a bit choppy) but runs YouTube HD 720p just fine.
The rig came with an ATI Radeon HD3200 with 256MB dedicated RAM so it scored high in the graphics department. Results from Windows Experience Index gave the GPU a 4.8 for 3D gaming while the CPU got a decent 3.1 (will have some benchmark results between the MV40 and Neo X2 in the PCLabs later).
The 11.6″ screen, with a resolution of 1366×768 pixels, is bright but not very crisp (probably because of the matte finish). It’s more usable in the outdoors or bright environments compared to other glossy screens that attracts glare and fingerprints.
The other essential specs like the 2GB RAM and 320GB HDD are adequate as well as connectivity options with WiFi 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1 (and no, there’s no ODD in here). The RAM is upgradeable to 4GB and there are models with 3G options too. The system comes with Windows 7 Home Premium pre-installed.
Lastly, the 6-cell battery is rated at about 5600mAh and Lenovo claims it could last up to 5 hours. However, on normal use with WiFi on and average display brightness, it only lasts just a little over 3 hours. BatteryBar shows the same with a full lifetime of 2:52. That’s really the trade-off you get with the MV40 and HD3200 which eats up a lot of juice.
Lenovo’s already got the ThinkPad T series in the thin and light category but those are targeted to enterprise users and businessmen and has a pretty hefty price tag (in the vicinity of Php100k) so seeing another ThinkPad at 1/4 of the usual price is an attractive offer. That’s with a starting price of Php28,990.