The testing sample we received was more of a demonstration of the concept and construction quality. There are several differences between this version and the final one, two of which are major. The Lenovo X300 only had an empty slot instead of an optical drive, and data storage was “supervised” by a classic HDD, not an SSD, as stated in the final version specs.
Light and complete
Lenovo ThinkPad X300 is an ultra-mobile portable PC which sports really much functionality. The biggest flaw in this device class is the absence of an optical disc drive, which is sacrificed for the dimensions and weight of the device.
Lenovo answered the challenge very successfully and created a laptop which has all of the necessary elements while retaining the characteristics of an ultra-portable notebook. While it's on the desk, this notebook doesn't attract too much attention. Its looks remind pretty much of the bigger models from the ThinkPad series, but the surprise comes when you lift it up. Inside a device weighing 1.3 kg, Lenovo placed a 13.3” display with LED backlight, the entire fully-functional Centrino platform and a battery which scores 2.5h in PC Mark 2002 battery test. This is the “load”-type of test, which means that the autonomy of the battery will be greater by far in ordinary circumstances. If you thought even for a second that this is a large capacity battery, you were wrong. With its 273 W (it only has three cells), it actually belongs to the “weak” category. The secret of its longevity are the components that were chosen. Beside the low power consumption LED display, there is also an Intel Ultra Low Voltage Core2Duo U7600 CPU which operates at 1.2 GHz. Models with twice the battery capacity will also be featured in retail.
AIR or X300?
The comparison with Apple's MacBook Air notebook was inevitable, which is also Lenovo's opinion, so they placed this model as a sort of competition against the aforementioned Apple product. However, after having tested X300, it doesn't seem as if the two are running the same race. It's a fact that both laptops have two common features – low weight and high price. Still, the differences are too great for anyone to seriously wonder about the final choice between the two. MacBook Air is (admit it or not) primarily a status symbol, whereas the X300 is a far more functional device.
The biggest advantages of the X300 are the interchangeable battery and an integrated optical device, not to mention that MacBook Air has no LAN connector and only one USB port, while the X300 has three USB ports, a gigabit Ethernet controller and a fingerprint reader.
When creating this particular model, Lenovo was using advanced technologies which they are already famous for, such as a liquid-resistant keyboard, a next-gen “Roll Cage” which provides excellent firmness, and the materials that were used in assembling it are all ecologically acceptable. The non-glossy finish is also leaning towards the business population.
The keyboard is very good, although inconsistent with some keys (Space in particular). The touchpad has a rather strange construction. A part of the enclosure above it is lower than the touchpad itself, so you actually “climb” onto the touchpad, which implies that it doesn't have the usual edges we are used to. All of this causes the finger to slip from the touchpad on a few occasions, but only from the upper side. Luckily, this ThinkPad also has the double command system, so we believe that users who are already familiar with the concept are likely to switch to TrackPoint. Edges of the enclosure have pictograms which mark where the ports are.
| Lenovo ThinPad X300|
|CPU|| Intel Core 2 Duo U7600 1.2GHz|
|Chipset|| Intel 965GM|
|Memory|| 1 GB DDR2|
| HDD (GB) ||120|
|Optical|| empty slot|
| Display ( " )||13.3 (1440x900)|
|Connectors|| 3xUSB, VGA, empty slot for Express card, Wireless 802.11a/b/g|
| PC MARK05||2622|
| 3D MARK05||663|
| HD Tach Average/Burst||33.3 / 83.2MB/s|
| Battery Test|| 2h 26' 40''|
Potential owners of Lenovo's X300 would receive a fully-functional notebook in a small and compact device. The quality is top-notch, and the only significant drawback is the notebook's final price, which is not as unusual with exclusive laptops such as this one. All we can say at the end is that we are rather disappointed that we cannot afford ourselves a PC like this one, which is slightly less than 3000$.