For mobile computer users who want a small and light system, there are only two options: a low-powered netbook or a more expensive ultra-portable. Netbooks offer great battery life and portability, but are typically limited to light tasks such as word processing, checking email, chatting online, and watching standard definition video. Ultraportables are more expensive, but small enough for daily travel and offer more performance than netbooks.
Intel's dual core Atom N550 is only just getting onto the market, but initial reports show only a 20% increase in performance over single core Atom chips. Fortunately, other options are available, like the Lenovo ThinkPad X100e that we're going to be looking at today. Lenovo describes the X100e as something between a netbook and an ultra-portable budget, both in terms of pricing and performance.
Together with the 13 "ThinkPad Edge, which we tested earlier this year, the X100e was presented at the CES in January. Lenovo currently offers three different base models for the X100e: an introductory version priced at 449 US dollars, an enhanced edition for $ 509 and the Elite model Lenovo sent the Elite for evaluation, which has an updated processor and larger hard drive.
Our Elite X100e is equipped with an AMD Turion Neo X2-Dual Core L625 with 1.6 GHz, 1 MB L2 cache, ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics, 2 GB PC2-5300 DDR2 memory (single stick) and a Fujitsu hard drive equipped with 250 GB and 5400 rpm, integrated WiFi, a 6-cell Li-Ion battery and an 11.6 "1366 x 768 display. The configured price is 605 US dollars.
The first thing you notice about the X100e is its classic ThinkPad look. Despite its netbook footprint, it's still a ThinkPad at heart. Our test unit is Midnight Black, but the X100e is also available in Heatwave Red at no additional cost.