Is thinner better? The ThinkPad X300 challenges the MacBook Air

Lenovo's ThinkPad X300 is almost as slim as the Air, and adds some useful features

Day-to-day use

Over two weeks of everyday use, including a couple business trips, I was impressed with the X300's balance of size, weight and power. It never let me down, and its scores of 396 and 3,415 on the PassMark Performance Test 6.1 and PCMark 05 benchmarks show it to be a reliable mid-range performer. The 4,000 milliamp-hour lithium polymer battery ran for an impressive 3 hours 45 minutes of continuous use with its Wi-Fi turned on, which translates into 6 or 7 hours of stop-and-go use.

The software that comes with these notebooks is a toss-up. The Air has Apple's wonderfully integrated OS X 10.5 Leopard operating system and a slew of useful programs. The X300 can come with Windows XP or Vista and includes Norton Internet Security and ThinkVantage utilities for doing just about anything I could think of.

Neither of these small wonders is cheap, however. The Air, which has a faster processor, starts from $2499 and the Lenovo X300 is priced at $3999.

Conclusions

While it may not be as thin as the MacBook Air, Lenovo's ThinkPad X300 is still one of the slimmest and lightest notebooks available. On top of its DVD drive and high-resolution 13.3-inch screen, the X300 has a good assortment of ports and one of the most comfortable keyboards around.

Both the Air and the X300 are extremely impressive and should satisfy their users, but the ThinkPad X300 is a better device for serious work on the road.

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Brian Nadel

Computerworld
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