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Lenovo already prepping "Air killer" subnote?

updated 12:00 pm EST, Sat January 19, 2008

Lenovo X300 Leak

Lenovo is already developing a notebook that would compete directly with the MacBook Air, as claimed by a tip supplied to Gizmodo. To be known as the ThinkPad X300, the reported ultraportable would also have a 13.3-inch, LED-backlit screen in an "extremely thin" chassis that would weigh just 2.5 pounds while offering a processor with the performance of larger notebooks: a 2GHz low-voltage Core 2 Duo with an 800MHz bus. However, the system would also have advantages such as a sharper 1440x900 display resolution, optional 3G or WiMAX wide-area Internet, and an empty drive bay that can be filled with a DVD burner, ExpressCard slot, or a second battery.

The system is said to ship with a 1.8-inch 64GB solid-state drive as standard and will include both a trackpad and Lenovo's signature trackpoint stick in the middle of the keyboard; it should also have the upgradability of fuller-sized notebooks with up to 4GB of memory, three USB ports, and options for devices as varied as a GPS receiver. No release date or price has been leaked with the X300, though the portable uses current-generation mobile hardware and is likely due in the first half of the year.

by MacNN Staff



  1. dochsieh

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hardly an MB Air Killer

    Look at the specs. It's a wedge shape, but starts at 0.9 inches at max thickness down to 0.73 inches at minimum thickness. Only a 2 GHz Processor. I don't think Apple has anything to worry about it challenging their claim that the Macbook Air is thinner.

  1. BelugaShark

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I think Lenovo is trying to build attention. To make such a thin notebook will cost alot of money, which most PC users will not be willing to pay for. Lenovo cannot use plastics for such a notebook they must use something like titanium, aluminum, or carbon-fiber. all circuitry and components will have to be cutom-made, including the battery, which will bring the price even higher. I don't they realize the difficulty of producing such a device, the cost, or the limited market-share. Heck, I don't think Apple realizes the limited market-share either; although Apple will more-likely succeed because more of their customers are fashion statements Hams.

    I like the idea of WiMax and GPS. WiMax should be widely available in the next two years, but right now it's only available to a select number of customers in the Washington DC Metro area.

  1. boris_cleto

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Most likely $4000 or more.

  1. henryblackman

    Joined: Dec 1969



    A 2 Ghz processor, but the low voltage version... so slower.

    The main drawback is 4 hours battery, but as that's calculated with the SSD that means that it's actually very poor. The Air gets 5 with a hard disk, imagine what it might get with an SSD. This will also be much more expensive as a 64GB SSD starts at at least $1200 separately, Apple charge $1000 which, surprisingly, is very good value.

  1. CIA

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The hidden feature...

    What this report fails to mention, is regardless of specs, you will be stuck running some flavor of Windows or Linux. 1/2 the reason macs are great is the OS.

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I Think Apple Does Know

    I would have to disagree with the comment that Apple is aware of the limited market share. I think Apple's introduction of the 12" PowerBook as opposed to a stripped down road-warrior special was specked out as it was b/c Apple new that with it's limited overall market share there was no way they'd be able to sale anything enough to break even at that time. The 2007 and Apple switches to an Intel processor and a year later a Mac can run windows as well if not better than a PC. Plus, Apple's increase in market share has seen some momentum. So what Apple could not do financially before only makes sense now. And, while I'm sure any company, given the desire and commitment, could make products that would rival Apple's, but they don't, so it's Apple that pushes the limits of technology (in consumer products) and pushes the overall industry to keep working.

  1. pxa270

    Joined: Dec 1969



    > A 2 Ghz processor, but the low voltage version... so slower.

    You seem a little confused here. An LV C2D with otherwise the same specs (2.0Ghz, 4MB cache, 800Mhz FSB) is _exactly_ the same speed as a regular voltage C2D. The only difference is that they're able to run with lower voltage (and thus less heat).

  1. ViktorCode

    Joined: Dec 1969


    different price range

    This notebook will be competing with different machines, not Air. Hardware specs show that Air turn out to be the less expensive one, besides without HDD option Lenovo will miss the bulk of customers - some people might want to wait a year before upgrading HDD to SSD to let flash prices drop further.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No Real Competition

    Anyone who needs/wants a MacBook Air will be purchasing one. This is merely another revision of the existing StinkPads - very few (if any) people eyeing a MacBook Air are going to reconsider buying one because a new StinkPad is coming out.

    Besides, you can run Windows on the Air if you really need to anyway. So (per the "hidden 'feature' " post), why not get the ability to run BOTH in the Air's form factor?

  1. Ethyriel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    vs Macbook Air

    On the contrary, I've been wanting something in this form factor for a long time now. Lightweight, thin, but with more screen real estate and a bigger keyboard than a traditional ultraportable.

    The MBA had me tempted immediately, because it has most things down. It still uses a glossy screen, though, and the internal battery is a huge turn off. There are also serious questions about build quality, Apple notebooks are never great in build, and with that kind of thinness I have serious doubts.

    Thinkpads are very well known for their build and keyboard qualities, and a matte screen is a given. Not only will this thing have a user replaceable battery, but it looks like the bay is modular so I can pop in the optical at home to install an OS and then get maybe 8 hours battery life on the road.

    Speaking of battery life, quoted battery life is never realistic, even with Apple. Apple quotes 6 hours for the 15" MBP, but realistically we see 3-4 hours. We won't know who wins the battle until we see tests, but having a modular battery and being able to carry a spare is a huge upside.

    Anyway, we'll wait and see. I'm worried about price still, if this thing is even real. Unless flash prices are going to drop more than I expect (they're supposed to drop in March) I can't believe they'd go 64GB SSD standard. Plus the CPU may make for heat and noise, I'd be surprised if there isn't a cooler ULV option. Lenovo has been taking heat and noise more seriously with the *61 series, though, and I'd have trouble believing a base model would be more expensive than $2000. So I have high hopes.

    The MBA still has OSX, but I personally haven't spent enough time with it to know if I can use it happily over Linux/BSD. And yes, Apple machines are typically very attractive, but it's not like Thinkpads have these horrific designs that consumer laptops often have. They're just black. I like black.

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