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Thinkpad X300 Specs Leaked 372

Posted by Zonk
from the little-tiny-thinker dept.
Kyokushi writes "Gizmodo reports that some specifications of a new ultralight Lenovo X300 have been leaked. 'It appears that Lenovo have themselves a new ultralight X300 series Thinkpad — and outside of the price and release date, we have all of the specs that you need to know. At a glance, some of the major features include: a 13.3-inch LED backlit 1440X900 screen, an ultralight 2.5 pound form factor, and Intel Merom Santa Rosa Dual Core CPU (2.0 Ghz / 880 Mhz ), a 64 GB SSD, up to 4GB of DDR2 PC2-5300 memory, and 4 hours of battery life.' If this is true, then Lenovo looks to have some heavy competition for the Macbook Air." Update: 01/20 22:55 GMT by S : Corrected Gizmondo->Gizmodo.
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Thinkpad X300 Specs Leaked

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 20, 2008 @03:25PM (#22118726)
    Gizmodo is the tech blog reporting this.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I went to the jizzmondo site to read up on this, but all I can find is information on young willing east european babes who want my hot manmeat now!
  • Light? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    But does it run OS X?
    • Behold! (Score:4, Informative)

      by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @03:53PM (#22118990) Homepage Journal

      But does it run OS X?
      The Mighty iATKOS! [uphuck.com]

      Black Air.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by rxmd (205533)

        The Mighty iATKOS!

        OS X Intel does not work all that well on Thinkpads if you actually want to use them as a laptop. It installs just fine and some people actually use theirs that way. However, sleep mode doesn't work due to an incompatibility between OS X and the Thinkpad's ACPI implementation regarding power states S1 vs. S3; the computer will fail to wake up and give a BIOS error message that the system configuration has been tampered with, after which you need to go into BIOS setup, go out again and

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Mad Merlin (837387)

      But does it run OS X?

      I hope not.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mdwh2 (535323)
      No - it doesn't run AmigaOS either. I'm not sure that running or not being able to run another platform's OS affects how much publicity it should get or how good it is. (And I find it ironic if being able to run Windows is now touted as an advantage for Macs...)
  • by Jim Hall (2985) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @03:29PM (#22118774) Homepage

    This sounds really interesting, but I'm waiting to hear more about video and wireless card. Thinkpads have been very good for me in running Linux, but Linux on laptops these days often comes down to the video card, modem, and the wireless card. Modems are usually winmodems, which are hard to support - but I haven't used a modem in years. Anyone have other details to point to?

    • by Evanisincontrol (830057) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @03:49PM (#22118958)
      TFA has all kinds of info. Check out this table of specs [gizmodo.com], as well as these tidbits here [gizmodo.com]. It appears to sport integrated graphics; Discrete graphics are listed as "not supported", along with PCexpress cards and other card readers. As a side note, new laptop having neither an express card slot or any other card reader is quite surprising to me -- especially a high-budget product like a Lenovo.
      • by gnuman99 (746007) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @04:46PM (#22119482)
        All extra peripherals are replaced with USB devices. There is no need to complicate the interface anymore. USB is ubiquitous. Maybe firewire would have been a better solution, but Apple butchered it by requiring manufacturers pay royalties while USB had a royalty-free implementation from the start. Clearly, free-market spoke and USB is king.

        Card readers and express card slots went the way of the floppy and serial port.
        • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @05:21PM (#22119804) Journal
          USB is okay for a lot of things, but the CPU requirements and the bloated protocol make it unsuitable for high-bandwidth tasks. With an ExpressCard slot you can:
          • Add a(nother) GigE port.
          • Add a discrete GPU and a second monitor port.
          • Add an external disk interface with enough bandwidth to run a RAID array.
          There are probably a few others I haven't thought of.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by gradedcheese (173758)
      With ThinkPads it's just a matter of whether you get "integrated" (Intel) or "discrete" (ATI/NVidia) graphics, and in this case I doubt they'll jam "discrete" graphics into a smaller form factor, especially where battery life and heat count so much. My guess is that it has Intel graphics, in which case things should work fine. The WiFi will probably be a MiniPCI / ExpressCard deal as usual, in which case you can choose Intel's chipset.
    • by Zeinfeld (263942) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @04:04PM (#22119098) Homepage
      The key selling point of Windows over Mac in the laptop area as far as I am concerned is the tablet form-factor. Tablets are very good for collaborative whiteboarding during a brainstorming session.

      Light is nice but Steve Jobs seems to have a bit of a Clive Sinclair complex. He just pushes the envelope one bit too far. Sinclair did it on cheap (microdrive not a floppy), Jobs does it on practicality (no exchangable batteries).

      The Lenovo looks like it is slightly less cool but a lot more practical. I bet you can swap out the battery. In fact I bet that nobody even thought of not allowing the user to swap it out.

      Looks to me like this is a deliberate, sanctioned leak in response to the Air. Looks like solid state drives are becomming mainstream. Getting rid of the mechanical components from the board is going to make it much easier to do thin.

      I suspect that the actual battery life is 3 hours and 6 with the extended battery pack, my T43 still does that reliably with two year old battery packs.

  • by the_humeister (922869) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @03:29PM (#22118776)
    It even has wired ethernet. But Apple still has the branding that the general populace flock to nowadays.
    • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @03:33PM (#22118812)
      Apple also has OSX, and Lenovo has Windows. The difference in operating systems is more than branding (I don't own a Mac, but let's face it, Microsoft is still playing catch-up.)
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Yeah, someday Microsoft may hope to sell more copies of their software than Apple does. Catch up indeed.
        • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @03:46PM (#22118930)
          Yes, but we aren't talking about the relative financial success here: we're talking about the usability and sophistication of the product itself. And there Microsoft is way behind. Make no mistake ... I don't like Apple, I don't like Jobs, and it's unlikely I'll ever own an Apple product again (the last one was an Apple ][.) So I'm not defending Apple Computer, per se, but as a Windows programmer I'm more than familiar with the shortcomings of that particular OS.

          Catch up, indeed.
          • by gnuman99 (746007) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @04:56PM (#22119574)
            Apple doesn't have the panacea of the OS world. And I own a Mac. Seriously, Vista is not that bad and can be comparable to Apple. The annoying popups shouldn't actually be experienced in properly written software for end-users anyway.

            Windows API/ABI at least is stable. Apple's new OS is less so. I wander how long it will take for 10.0 apps to be unusable. The only "problem" with 64-bit Vista is you can't run Windows 3.1 apps anymore. :)

            I know you can argue that manifests are nasty and all that, but at least the overall situation with manifests is a little better than the old DLL-hell we used to experience. Apple has a better solution from user standpoint, though it has its shortcoming (ie. app bundles).

            But if you are speaking from a programming world (as someone that writes software for all 3 OS - OS X, windows and Linux), Linux's userland is way ahead in the programmer friendliness. Stuff just works. Tools just work. Automation just works. In this light and my experience, both X and Windows are light-years behind.
    • by mobby_6kl (668092)
      No shit, it even has twice as many USB ports. Now that's impressive!
    • I'm a Mac fan but 8% of the market hasn't hit flocking yet. Granted if they maintained their percentile increases for a few more years they'd pass Microsoft. That can't happen for a lot of reasons but they are likely to settle into a 15% market share eventually which would be impressive. They really aren't competing head to head since computers are like political parties and religions. Some people are independents or agnostics and float between but for the bulk of the people using computers there isn't a ch
  • FunctionForm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tainek (912325) * on Sunday January 20, 2008 @03:37PM (#22118844)
    I still cannot understand the rabid obsession with thinness the most people have, the two most importent things for me are weight and battery life, the laptops thickness is its least problomatic dimension. i would rather have this over the Air, this should also be tougher than the Air, which cannot be too tough. This also has 4G Ram, which is a must for any media work. The Air is more of a fashion accessory than a serious laptop IMO
    • by darkwhite (139802)
      And the most important things for me are battery life and durability. And for others, it may be performance and expandability. Everyone has different priorities... so why not thinness? I'd rather have a wide range of slightly imperfect models to choose from which prioritize different things, than one that prioritizes the thing I least care about...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Phat_Tony (661117)
      I agree that I don't understand the super obsession with size (size doesn't matter, right?) but clearly to some people it does. I guess that, as a luxury product, it's just cool and sexy to have something really sleek and thin.

      To me, the Thinkpad looks like a better laptop than the Macbook Air, because it's got an optical drive, three USB ports instead of one, built-in ethernet, and a faster processor. But why even compare these two laptops, instead of comparing a Macbook or Macbook Pro to whatever model
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 (641858)
        I really have trouble working out what market segment the Air is aiming for. It's small, but the size shrink is not that significant. I have to carry my current laptop in a bag, and the Air would also need to be carried in a bag. Sure, it's slightly lighter, but that's it. Shrink it to the size where I can fit it in my pocket and then we'll talk - I currently use a Nokia 770 (stupid product name) and a ThinkOutside foldable Bluetooth keyboard for when I don't want to carry a laptop around with me. In an
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by NoMaster (142776)

          I really have trouble working out what market segment the Air is aiming for.

          It's easy.

          The Air isn't a notebook; it's a wireless portable screen & keyboard for your network (& limited stand-alone use). You walk in, sit down, open it up, and work on files stored on the network. It's not aiming at a market segment; it's aiming at a paradigm.

          It's a bold and interesting idea. And it's not quite there yet; at the very least Apple needs to put some work into VPN, automount, & sync support in OS X bef

      • by xSauronx (608805)
        As for thinness: Its nice, to me, its not a big enough deal to ooooh and aaaahhh over the Air (and Id far sooner have the lenovo) but it was a factor last time I bought a laptop, and probably will be when I get to buy another one. I last had a Dell Inspiron 1100. In addition to it being slow (celeron, bah) it was heavy (over 5lbs) and very bulky. I can only fit so much into a bag, and when I had it I was a field tech for a wISP. I had plenty of tools and parts to carry, the dell was heavy. So i bought a
    • by ceoyoyo (59147)
      Well, if you want to have a particular size screen then two of your three dimensions are fixed. So if you want to make your notebook smaller, thinner is the only way to go. In general that will mean lighter as well.

      Thickness is kind of a concern. I can slip my MBP into a bag and it fits quite well, leaving room for books and things. My old Hitachi notebook didn't leave much room for anything else. My father's Dell even less.
  • Unfortunately much to the chagrin of the Gizmodo reporter, tv-b-gone remotes don't seem to have any effect on the new laptop.
  • by drtsystems (775462) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @03:41PM (#22118878)
    Why do all thinkpads look like they are from 1995? I know they are targeting businesses, and are great laptop's, but seriously, that laptop looks the same as my 300mhz Pentium 2 thinkpad
    • by Grey_14 (570901)
      I like how they look, it's look functional and simple. what's so wrong with that?
    • by phoxix (161744) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @03:57PM (#22119024)
      Why do all thinkpads look like they are from 1995? I know they are targeting businesses, and are great laptop's, but seriously, that laptop looks the same as my 300mhz Pentium 2 thinkpad

      Ugly?

      Some of us think the black boxy design is incredibly sexy. The design behind the Thinkpad is based of the elegant design of the Japanese Bento Box [quickspice.com]. One of think Thinkpads is even on permanent display at New York Museum of Modern Art!

      The day these machines stop being black and boxy is the day many of us stop buying them.

      • by toppavak (943659)

        The day these machines stop being black and boxy is the day many of us stop buying them.
        I know that a lot of my friends were outraged when they started selling them in silver. I just ain't a thinkpad if it ain't black.
        • by sethstorm (512897) *
          Unfortunately, they rolled what was in the Z series into the T series, quality going by the wayside.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by eMartin (210973)
        I agree, but one thing i don't like is the cluttered keyboard.

        My Macbook Pro's keyboard does all that I need in both OS X and Windows, and doesn't have all of the extra keys and extra writing on them that the Thinpads do.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by manekineko2 (1052430)
          Yow! I think that's just the first time I've ever seen someone not like the keyboards on Thinkpads.
      • by syousef (465911)
        Agreed. White, round and shiny is good if you're buying an egg, not a laptop. Oh great now I have visions of a twit in a black turtleneck pulling an egg out of a manila envelope. Yoke included, but not the eggwhite. Price only $20 per egg. *shudder*
      • by Flavio (12072)
        I agree with everything you say, but the Thinkpad's looks don't seem to be very popular, at least in my experience. I've had people exclaim "wow, it has wireless internet?", thinking my T42 was some sort of museum piece.

        I'd only trade my Thinkpad for another, newer Thinkpad. It's simple, lightweight, elegant and extremely reliable.
      • by rilister (316428) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @06:33PM (#22120472)
        The original old ThinkPad design is the one in MOMA - designed by Richard Sapper.
        http://images.businessweek.com/ss/05/10/richard_sapper/index_01.htm [businessweek.com]

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ThinkPad [wikipedia.org]
        It's a nicely detailed design. His most famous design would be the Tizio lamp, as seen in flash offices in movies from the 80's:
        http://land.liquid-light.org/tizio/tizio-treff.jpg [liquid-light.org]
        You can kinda see the same aesthetic carrying over: simple, straight lines, technical, precise.

        Sapper is an interesting guy - no industrial design training, just picked it up and got world famous.

        Since then, IBM/Lenovo seem to have diluted the original design intent until now all you've got is the fact that it's black and boxy. I don't think they really understood the design language they inherited, and most of the stuff in the ThinkPad line is just darn hideous. Lines and edges all over the place, arbitrarily mixed with curves (NO curves in the original). The fact they claim lineage in that he 'influences' their current design doesn't convince me he actually creates it.

        mod (-1): pretentious - go ahead...
      • Damn right. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by goldcd (587052)
        The appeal of the Thinkpad (to me at least) is the complete lack of any gimmicky styling. It looks like a thinkpad. My thinkpad from 5 years ago looks like a thinkpad and the one I buy in 5 years will also just look like an f'in thinkpad.
        Also I love the 'nipple' pointer. So much nicer to use than a trackpad (although mysteriously I find myself in a greater minority on this every day). If I want to move the cursor across the screen, it's easier/faster and doesn't leave me pawing away like a cat at a window.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by RedBear (207369)

        Some of us think the black boxy design is incredibly sexy.

        I don't think the ugliness I see comes from the black boxy design of the outside, which isn't too bad. It's kind of nice all closed up, except for that stupid multi-colored logo on top. But when you open it up the damn thing is full of various holes, marks and different colored buttons that make it look almost like they forgot to put the final case on it. Personally when I opened the linked article the first thought that came to mind was, "How do they manage to make these things so damn ugly?!" with the ne

    • by asc99c (938635) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @04:09PM (#22119158) Homepage
      Lenovo do have some nicer looking laptops with glossy coatings everywhere. One thing I've noticed though, is that the Lenovo / IBM look is a very durable look. The nearly black, matte mottled surface doesn't show fingerprints, scratches or grime and the plastic is the same colour underneath the surface.

      My laptop is about a year old and only travels occasionally. It looks great except for all the scratches, discolouration, chips etc. Unless you always store your laptop in a padded laptop bag, in a separate compartment from the power adaptor and other accessories it will only stay pretty a few months.

      You can just throw a Lenovo in the boot every day and a couple years later it will come out looking the same - see your comment above :)
      • One thing I've noticed though, is that the Lenovo / IBM look is a very durable look. The nearly black, matte mottled surface doesn't show fingerprints, scratches or grime and the plastic is the same colour underneath the surface.

        Generally, yes, but that's not entirely correct. The color/finish of the keys reflects light to the point of glare when using the built-in light thingy, and keyboard wear is more noticeable because the lettering is white against black. Moreover, lint, dust, dead skin, and in my ca
      • I have two laptops, a Mac and a ThinkPad (R31). The Mac I bought new, and treat with respect. The ThinkPad I bought second hand and really don't. It's been dropped off the top of a chest of draws (while compiling) onto a hard floor, stood on, kicked, and generally abused. The Mac has been in for repairs a few times. The ThinkPad stubbornly refuses to die (although I did manage to snap the trackpoint off recently).
  • by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @03:42PM (#22118884) Homepage
    There are of course people going for the specs, but they are just as much about branding. The target markets has very little overlap.

    The guy on the Gizmondo blog that compared it with Volvo vs Porche got it right (a car analogy always helps :-), someone in the market for a new Volvo is unlikely to be swayed by a Porche, and vice versa.

    The rest of the bloggers aso got it right, they focused on how ugly, boring, old fashioned, and conservative the Thinkpad looked (it looked like every other Thinkpad), which is exactly what the Thinkpad market wants. They don't want something looking flimsy and flashy as they would consider the MacBook Air to look.
  • If this is true, then Lenovo looks to have some heavy competition for the Macbook Air.

    It can't be a competitor until Lenovo releases pricing, and I doubt Lenovo considers the very niche-market Macbook Air to be a competitor. Also, Apple's shipping units in a week or two, and Lenovo hasn't officially announced their product yet (and they missed doing so at CES, not a good sign.)

    I know it's hard to resist the comparison, but just because they're both ultralight doesn't mean they're competitors. Success

  • At a glance, some of the major features include [...] an ultralight 2.5 pound form factor

    Good it's not one of those ultraheavy 2.5 pound laptops.

  • by toppavak (943659) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @03:45PM (#22118922)
    As someone who's used IBM Thinkpads for a while, I have to ask: is it actually a Thinkpad, or is it based on Lenovo's own designs (like the ideapad)? If it comes with the titanium-alloy reinforced case, the HDAPS and support from IBM's standard thinkpad support line I'm sold. If not... *shrug*

    A quick glance at the picture suggests it could be either way- it has the keyboard light that most thinkpad users come to love and adore yet the screen hinge looks plastic instead of the heavy duty metal hinges that give thinkpads that smooth and secure feel while adjusting the screen you just don't see with most other laptops.
    • by sethstorm (512897) *
      You forgot the option of S-IPS. Once you've become the many to own one with it, you don't go back.
    • by Zeinfeld (263942)
      As someone who's used IBM Thinkpads for a while, I have to ask: is it actually a Thinkpad, or is it based on Lenovo's own designs (like the ideapad)? If it comes with the titanium-alloy reinforced case, the HDAPS and support from IBM's standard thinkpad support line I'm sold. If not... *shrug*

      According to TFA the top is carbon fibre, the base is magnesium alloy. That is the same as regular Thinkpads. Its a functional choice.

      I suspect that they have other models comming out, they just decided to leak the

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by EVil Lawyer (947367)
      All I need to know: It's got the trackpoint! That means I want it. But moreso, that means it's likely to be pretty Thinkpad-y.
  • Target Market (Score:3, Insightful)

    by konohitowa (220547) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @03:48PM (#22118946) Journal
    It's only competition for the Airbook (yes - I know it's a "MacBook Air") if the intent of the Airbook was to lure droves of Windows users. As to the idea that it was "leaked" - please - this was nothing more than a press release in the guise of a leak. It was stunningly reminiscent of the Windows "yeah - we've got that too - next week! - so don't go anywhere" tactic.
  • by sentientbrendan (316150) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @03:55PM (#22119012)
    >If this is true, then Lenovo looks to have some heavy competition for the Macbook Air

    Lenovo already has a computer in the ultralight space, the X61. The X61 has almost identical specs to the macboook air, at a much lower price and significantly higher clockspeed.

    http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=3765 [notebookreview.com]

    Looking at this new machine, I really like that they've lowered the weight more and slightly increased the screen size; however, I have to wonder what the point of a 1440X900 resolution is at 13' inches.

    I also have to ask what the point of including a touch pad is, when you have one of those "keyboard nipple" trackpoints. The trackpoints are so ridiculously and unambiguously superior to a touch pad, that it just seems like a waste of space.

    The third issue with the new spec, is that it is still VGA output instead of DVI output. Pretty much all modern monitors have DVI inputs, so I don't see the point of going with the old standard.

    Finally, I'm not convinced of the benefits of a flash harddrive. If they are saving weight, that's nice (although I'm not sure they are lighter). However, it's a pretty small drive, and it is a myth that flash drives are faster. Flash drives have better random access, but slower sequential access, and most accesses are sequential. Things are going to seem *slower* moving to flash, not faster.
    • Trackpad/trackpoint is a matter of preference, they don't even function in similar regimes. No pointing device is for everyone. Sometimes I've used both within minutes of each other on my Compaq. I don't see it as one as so superior that the other shouldn't exist, I think that's a silly claim.

      I agree on the flash drive, they're mostly hype with respect to weight, power and heat. Where a flash drive is beneficial is if it's dropped, the flash is more likely to stay.\

      I'm not that convinced of the "wear l
    • I also have to ask what the point of including a touch pad is, when you have one of those "keyboard nipple" trackpoints. The trackpoints are so ridiculously and unambiguously superior to a touch pad, that it just seems like a waste of space.
      Can you please elaborate? I've never seen anybody using the nipple. I attempted to use it more than once but it feels weird and it's really slow and imprecise.

      Is there something to know to effectively use those things?
      • by Justus (18814)
        Years ago (about 1998-1999), I played Team Fortress Classic on my Thinkpad with the trackpoint (nipple). It does actually work fairly well once you get used to it, and for some time afterward I preferred it to the touch pad. I seem to recall early touch pad implementations to be somewhat poor, as well, at least compared to the Thinkpad I was used to; this has undoubtedly improved since then.

        My current laptop is a Macbook Pro, and I use the multitouch scrolling and context-sensitive click capabilities of i
        • by darjen (879890)
          You can scroll with the Thinkpad's nipple if you hold down the middle button above the trackpad. Quite handy on my Thinkpad T60.
    • I also have to ask what the point of including a touch pad is, when you have one of those "keyboard nipple" trackpoints. The trackpoints are so ridiculously and unambiguously superior to a touch pad, that it just seems like a waste of space.

      I've used the windows laptop nipples before, and Apple's trackpad implementation is far superior eve when you can only use it for two finger scrolling and panning - never mind the additional gesture controls Apple added to the Air. If you want superior how about instead
  • Only if you intended to run your favorite FOSS *NIX or Windows on it in the first place.

    For those looking for OS X in a similar form factor won't be buying the Thinkpad. I thought that to be obvious.
  • by FudRucker (866063) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @04:01PM (#22119070)
    why is one core 2.0 Ghz and the other 880 Mhz?

    looks lopsided to me = O o
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by russlar (1122455)
      2.0 GHz is the clock speed of each core. the 800 MHz is the front side bus.

      on multi-core processors, each core runs at the same clock speed. unless one of the cores burns out, in which case its clock speed becomes 0.
      • This is true in the Intel world (I think), but a few other architectures have implementations that allow running multicore chips with different speeds. The idea is that you quite often have a single, single-threaded, process wanting to chew up all of your CPU time, and it makes sense to clock the other one down to save power while running the first one at full speed.
  • Nice, but like what they've done to the R/T series (without a suitable model out there that even comes close to the 2623DDU) is nearly unforgivable. That's where the title of "The ultimate Thinkpad", as you could get that quality you wanted.
    Now you might as well just extend the warranty on an IPS T42p, R50p(unless you've done 1900x1200 screen work), or T60p. The models where you could get quality that you wanted seem not to exist thanks to them.

    This is just another distraction.
  • by markdavis (642305) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @04:27PM (#22119318)
    Looks like a fantastic machine, could compete very well with the Sony TX ultra-small, full-powered laptops (models I have used for several years). The only thing obviously missing is the option to buy it with no OS and/or with Linux. Before someone cries about "Linux isn't ready" or "Linux isn't mainstream", I would stress the word *OPTION*. Let consumers decide what they want, if it means no OS, so be it... Lenovo doesn't HAVE to offer Linux support, although that would be even more courageous.

    MS-Windows can be preinstalled but licensed separately, meaning there only has to be a single packaging, model, inventory, etc. They could even choose a free, redistributable Linux distro and install that too and the user can have a working machine in minutes, even if they opt to not spend money on Vista. Initialization of the machine can automatically remove the space consumed by either, based on the user's choice.

    I kinda doubt Microsoft would allow such competition, though... but it seems a reasonable objective to combat such restrictions based on an anti-trust lawsuit.
    • by sethstorm (512897) *
      They don't seem to mind much on warranty support, as long as it shows some evidence of booting up and working as it should. They do have a SuSE option if you haven't been paying attention lately.
      • by markdavis (642305)
        Most companies that do offer some type of Linux option rarely offer it on most of their models. Looking at the leaked specs, MS-Windows is mentioned, so this might be one of those models that have no other option. Personally, I would rather have a "no OS" option, so I can install what I want and save the money. Let them just include a bootable diagnostic DVD for use with warranty issues.

        I don't really want to spend money on a commercial SuSE Linux (or Redhat Linux), since that isn't the Linux I would use
        • by sethstorm (512897) *

          I would choose keep the MS-Windows as a "just in case", even though I would install Linux anyway and use that 99% of the time.
          Unlike some manufacturers, they won't even mind if you do that. I wouldn't be surprised if an onsite tech knew well enough about it to not care what distribution was on there. Just burn the restore media (DVD or a few CD's), shrink it down to a manageable size, and do a reinstall off the/those disc(s).
    • Linux ... Linux ... Linux ... Linux ...

      Hrmph. For the record, the BSDs work great with Thinkpads. And believe it or not, there's lots of BSD users, and lots of BSD users who use BSD exclusively on Thinkpads and elsewhere.

      Did I mention BSD? ;-)
      • by markdavis (642305)
        >Linux ... Linux ... Linux ... Linux ...

        LOL!

        Well, that is why I support a "no OS" or "free Linux" option, so that users can install whatever they want, including BSD, without being financially penalized. I would rather see a commercial Linux than no Linux or no "no OS" option at all, but I think complete freedom is better.
  • by setirw (854029) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @04:31PM (#22119352) Homepage
    I'm personally not a fan of ultraportable laptops with the footprints of ordinary laptops. If a laptop is going to be minimalistic, its manufacturer ought to go all the way. A subnotebook will never replicate the functionality of a typical 14" computer, so it's pointless to give it the footprint of one. I'd much rather see a diminished footprint than a minuscule thickness. I would personally prefer an updated version of my Thinkpad S30 [nifty.com] than this MacBook Air competitor.
    • Oh how I wish I had mod points. Take a look at the MacBook and MacBook air dimensions and one thing leaps out; apart from the height, they are exactly the same! This means there are almost no situations in which the Air can be used or carried but the MacBook (which costs half as much, has better specs and a longer battery life) can't. Give me an Air with a 10" or 8" screen and you'll deserve the buzz.
  • Figures (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nightfire-unique (253895) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @04:45PM (#22119474)

    Why is it every time you buy a new piece of hardware, the next day something cooler is announced? :)

    I've owned various thinkpads since '98, and they have never let me down. I'm currently running a t21 (850mhz, 14.1" 1400x1050, 512mb) that's suffering from case fatigue. I bought it almost 7 years ago, and it's been running the same Debian/sid install the entire time. I use it for at least 6-8 hours a day (home machine) in all kinds of awkward positions (laying down, on the easy chair, etc)... it's travelled around the world, and to many a datacenter.

    I did have to deal with IBM service once. At one point in 2003, I sent it to IBM (their cost) with what I believed to be a bad hard disk (I/O errors). After they ripped it open, they told that I'd spilled coffee in it.... I was quite upset at this as I didn't believe them, so they sent me pictures. At some point, probably while it was on the floor (I really abuse my machines), I must have kicked over a mostly empty cup of coffee or something.

    After apologizing to them in a phone call, they explained to me that they didn't find anything immediately wrong with it at that point (it was booting), except the coffee spill. I told them about the I/O errors, and they ran a thorough scan, confirming the problem. Because the coffee was unlikely to have caused a disk failure, they offered to replace the drive, but after doing so, found that the problem persisted. It was the controller (or connector)... and, to my astonishment, I received an email later that day along the lines of: "Sir, we just need to get you back up and running. You're a long-time valued customer, so we're going to replace whatever parts need to be replaced."

    3 days later, an express shipped package arrived with what used to be my laptop - 90% of the components had been replaced (except, amazingly, the original hard drive, which was fine). I was floored, and wrote a quick thank you note to the CSR's boss.

    Here I am, 5 years later, with the same machine chugging away. I can't even hazard a guess to how many hours it has on it. It's starting to make funny noises, and 850mhz just ain't cuttin it anymore. :) Time for a new box.

    While I did take a good look at various others (dell, hp, acer) - some of which less than half the price - I eventually settled on a refurbished t43p (2.13ghz, 2gb ram, 1400x1050). I want the trackpoint, and 3 mouse buttons. I want the rigid case. I want the support (we'll see how Lenovo does) and I want the well tested, mature components (particularly for Linux). Can't wait!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by darjen (879890)
      I never used to be all that big on Thinkpads until I started to work for a consulting firm that's a partner of IBM. They give all their employees Thinkpads to work on. I started off with a T43, and they recently upgraded me to a T60. I have to say, they have grown on me quite a bit since I started using them. My only gripe is the models I've had only use a 4200 rpm hard drive. My personal laptop, and Asus model purchased about 3 years ago, still has its original 7200rpm drive... makes quite a noticeable dif
  • If it has a wired NIC it already has +1 on the Macbook Air.
  • by Simon Brooke (45012) <stillyet@googlemail.com> on Sunday January 20, 2008 @05:13PM (#22119740) Homepage Journal

    Is that it has both GPS and WIMAX on board. That is what makes it a more interesting and forward looking design than Mac Air. Physically, it's boring. The cornucopia of ports is boring. Laptops have these things. It looks so like every other Lenovo laptop that there's nothing 'must have' about the appearance. But I am convinced that the next killer application will be location sensitive and require ubiquitous mobile connectivity. WiFi doesn't have it and 3G isn't very fast.

    Steve Jobs isn't going to lie awake tonight kicking himself because Lenovo have brought out yet another dull black corporate laptop. He's going to be kicking himself about the GPS and the WIMAX.

  • NO thinkpad has DVI, yet. Huge LDCs are getting common and don't like VGA (use DVI2VGA adapters instead for projectors).

    Maybe the dock will have it (like the ones for the T-series). And by the way: what about eSata? /g.

    ps: never had a notebook which wasn't a thinkpad

  • by crhylove (205956) <rhy@leperkhanz.com> on Sunday January 20, 2008 @05:40PM (#22120000) Homepage Journal
    For everything I want to do:\

    Firefox
    Watch Movies
    Skype
    Urban Terror
    Audacity
    Thunderbird
    Abiword
    Civilization 2
    Burn CDs
    Play mp3s

    That system is overkill. Don't get me wrong, extra horse power is always a good thing, but aside from burning a cd, a EEE will do everything I want and (I'm sure) is much cheaper and smaller, and easy to carry. I'd like to see more competition in the ultra cheap department, once I can get something of EEE functionality for $150, I'll be considering lots of extra fun little projects.

    I mean, other than running Vista (why would you do that to yourself, anyway?), is there a point to spending more for that much horse power? Ubuntu runs well on a pentium 3 and does 99% of what most people need!!!
  • by toppavak (943659) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @05:59PM (#22120196)
    I'm surprised nobody mentioned that this apparently has a DVD-RW built-in. That makes it, in something a little thicker than the Air, less weight, a swappable battery, an optical drive and a heck of a lot more ports.
  • SSD not ideal (Score:3, Informative)

    by hey! (33014) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @07:25PM (#22120898) Homepage Journal
    If we get out of the realm of special purpose laptops, I don't think the current low cost SSDs are up to snuff. Try working off a fast thumb drive if you don't believe me. There's good points and bad points but the bad point is very bad: very slooow write times. Finding the information is great, getting into the SSD (and to a lesser degree getting it out) is not so great.

    It's not that I'm against SSDs, but I'd prefer to have both flash and regular hard disk, or a hybrid disk. I've been experimenting with fast thumb drives and CF cards up to 166x, which is rated just like a CD-ROM drive: 1x = 150kb/second, so 166x is 24 MiB/sec. You can go higher form more $$$, maybe 40 MiB/s? Not shabby for flash, but orders of magnitude below a cheap hard drive.

    I'm considering going with a SSD for booting and most static data, a nice hunk of RAM with 64 bit linux to avoid much swapping, then a very modest hard disk for thing where there's a writing, including swap space. Why wear out your flash drive to experience frustration.

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