For mobile computer users that want a small and lightweight system, there are really only two options: an underpowered netbook or a more expensive 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, other options are available, like the Lenovo ThinkPad X100e that we will be taking a look at today. Lenovo describes the X100e as something in-between a netbook and a budget ultraportable, both in terms of pricing and performance output.
Along with the 13" ThinkPad Edge that we reviewed earlier this year, the X100e was introduced at CES in January. Lenovo 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. Lenovo sent the Elite for evaluation, which features an upgraded processor and larger hard drive.
Our Elite X100e is equipped with an AMD Turion Neo X2-Dual Core L625 operating at 1.6 GHz with 1MB of L2 cache, 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. Price as configured is $605, which starts to delve into the budget ultraportable territory.
The first thing to notice about the X100e is its classic ThinkPad look. Despite its netbook footprint, it's still a ThinkPad at heart. Our review sample is Midnight Black, but the X100e is also available in Heatwave Red at no additional cost.