Lenovo readies affordable ThinkPad X130e for clumsy kids

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There are few academic tools more important than a sturdy laptop, and Lenovo is hoping to keep K-12 students well-equipped this holiday season and beyond. The company's new ThinkPad X130e is "specially ruggedized for education," including rubber bumpers to absorb impacts to the side of the laptop, 33% stronger corners (no word on what they're 33% stronger than), robust hinges rated for up to 30,000 cycles, reinforced and recessed ports, as well as a bezel with 1.2mm-thick plastic to protect the screen.

The extra fortification is revealed when you glance at the 11.6-incher's weight, but 3.9lbs is still very manageable. We haven't seen a full spec sheet, but the system will be offered in Intel and AMD configurations. The company specifically mentions the Core i3-2367M ULV along with the AMD E300 and E450 Zacate APUs. It'll also come with up to 2GB of RAM, as much as 500GB of mechanical or 128GB of flash storage, as well as a six-cell battery that provides up to 8.5 hours of runtime -- or an entire school day.

Other noteworthy features include a sub-20-second startup with Lenovo's RapidBoot technology and a low-light webcam. In case there are any school administrators reading, Lenovo says you'll appreciate the X130e's customizable asset tags (to help keep track of machines), BIOS options and Accidental Damage Protection Services. Connectivity includes three USB 2.0 ports, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, HDMI and VGA-out, Ethernet, and a 4-in-1 card reader. Pricing starts at only $469 and systems will ship on December 20.

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