Lenovo ThinkPad X100e – Competent Performance, Poor Battery Life

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The Lenovo ThinkPad X100e is different from other notebooks in the thin and light space in many respects. For one thing, it is powered by an AMD Neo MV-40 processor and ATI Radeon 3200 HD graphics. Another distinct feature of this notebook is the Lenovo TrackPoint system which allows a user to move the cursor using either the touchpad or the pointing stick located in the middle of the keyboard. The ThinkPad X100e also sports one of the best laptop keyboards.

Review Laptop Specifications

Lenovo plans to offer dual core processors with X100e. But the models that are currently shipping have single core processors.

Processor: 1.6GHz AMD Athlon Neo MV-40 processor

Memory: 2GB of RAM

Storage: 160GB, 5400 rpm hard drive

Graphics: ATI Radeon HD3200 graphics

Battery: 6-cell, 2,600mAh

Ports and Slots

The ThinkPad X100e has the regular array of ports. There are 3 USB 2.0 ports one of which is charged. Other features include VGA, Wi-Fi b/g/n, integrated webcam, gigabit Ethernet and a combo mic/headphone socket. Bluetooth is optional and costs an additional $20.

Design and Build Quality

In appearance the ThinkPad X100e isn’t much different from other ThinkPad notebooks. The notebook sports the angular, squared off ThinkPad looks. Build quality is average. The X100e isn’t as sturdy as other ThinkPad ultraportables. But to be fair, this notebook is aimed at budget-minded consumers, and when you build something to a price, you will invariably have to make some compromises.

Keyboard and TouchPad

The ThinkPad notebooks are famous for their iconic keyboards. The X100e is no exception. Its keyboard is one of the best you would find on an ultraportable of this size. There is a red trackpoint in the middle of the keyboard. The touchpad supports muliti-touch gestures and features two distinct buttons.

Display

The ThinkPad X100e has an 11.6 inch LED backlit display with 1366 x 768 pixels. The matte display prevents reflections and makes the notebook usable outdoors.

Heat and Noise

The X100e is not a silent machine. In a quiet room you will have no difficulty hearing the fan. As for the heat levels, well, they aren’t very impressive either. But this is nothing unexpected given the fact that the X100e has an AMD processor which is known to cause heat problems.

Performance

Slash Gear recently reviewed the notebook and found the overall performance satisfactory. The ThinkPad X100e performs better than its Atom powered counterparts with integrated graphics. You can perform day to day tasks such as word processing and emailing without any difficulty. Surfing the web with multiple tabs open also doesn’t cause any problems. And the notebook can handle 1080p HD video playback, thanks to the ATI Radeon processor. Gaming and heavy duty image processing are still out of question.

Battery life

The most disappointing feature of this notebook is its below average battery life. Lenovo claims that its 6-cell battery will offer around five hours of uptime. But in reality you will get only around 3 hours.

Verdict

This being a ThinkPad notebook our expectations are naturally going to be high. But unfortunately the ThinkPad X100e disappoints in many respects. Its AMD processor isn’t significantly better than Intel Atom/CULV processors found in cheaper rival notebooks such as Asus UL20A or Aspire 1810. And while Atom powered notebooks offer excellent battery life, the ThinkPad X100e fails miserably in that department. Lenovo does plan to use faster dual core processors on this notebook, but chances are they will further reduce the battery life.

The best feature of this notebook is its keyboard. So if your computing needs are limited to text entry, you will find this machine significantly better than other ultraportable laptops in the market.

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