For mobile computer users that want a small and lightweight system, there are really only two options: an underpowered netbook or a pricey ultraportable. Netbooks offer great battery life and portability but are usually limited to light tasks like word processing, checking e-mail, chatting online and watching standard definition video content. Meanwhile, ultraportables are pricier, but are small enough for daily travel and pack more power than netbooks. Intel's Dual Core Atom N550 is just now starting to hit the market but early reports are only showing a 20% or so increase in performance over single core Atom chips. Fortunately for consumers, other options are available, like the Lenovo ThinkPad X100e that we will be taking a look at today. Lenovo describes the X100e as something between a netbook and an ultraportable. They claim it "has the portability and price of a netbook with the power of an ultraportable."
The company currently offers three different base models for the X100e: an introductory version priced at $449, a $509 Enhanced edition, and the Elite model which starts at $529 with an upgraded processor and hard drive. We are using the latter for our review, configured with a few extras that bring the price up to $605. Specs include a 1.6GHz AMD Turion Neo X2 dual-core L625 CPU, ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics, 2GB of PC2-5300 DDR2 memory (single stick), a 250GB 5400 RPM Fujitsu hard drive, integrated WiFi, a 6-cell Li-Ion battery, and an 11.6" 1366 x 768 display. The first thing you'll notice about the X100e is its classic ThinkPad look; as despite its netbook size, this is still a ThinkPad at heart.
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