Pros: Good battery life; fully featured but lightweight; good security features; excellent keyboard
Cons: Expensive; heavier than Macbook Air; small trackpad; little available hard disk space
Bottomline: One of the best portable workhorses around with an excellent keyboard and compact chassis
According to Lenovo’s “hot air” advertising campaign, this is the PC answer to the Macbook Air.
At 1.55kg, it weighs nearly 200g more than the Air, but what you lose in flair you gain in functionality, as the X300 has a DVD writer fitted whereas the Mac does not. The X300 also has three USB ports and an Ethernet port; the Macbook Air has just one USB and no Ethernet. The X300’s CPU is a new edition to Intel’s range.
Called the Core 2 Duo SL7100, it marries a 1.2GHz clock speed with 4MB L2 cache and a frugal 12W TDP. This combines with a GM965 chipset (with integrated X3100 graphics), 2GB Ram and a Samsung 64GB solid state drive to produce plenty of grunt for office software.
The solid state drive ensures quick boot-up times (reflected by a notebook-record of 12,461 in PCmark05’s hard disk section) and good battery life. Apart from the function and control keys being in reverse order, the X300’s large keyboard is superb for typing. A track-point and trackpad serve for navigation but the latter is squashed between the mouse buttons.
The rubberised chassis has little flex to it, despite measuring just 27mm at its thickest point. The
matt-finished 13.3in (1,440x900 pixel) screen is also pleasing to work with and the stereo speakers produce a reasonable sound. An HSDPA slot sits just beneath the 4,000mAh battery, which powered the X300 to four hours five minutes in our productivity test – just a little longer than the Macbook Air managed.
The X300 has a similar price to the Macbook Air with a 64GB solid state drive, but with just 44GB left once Lenovo’s tools and Windows are installed, we’d be tempted to wait for a cheaper and more spacious mechanical hard disk version.