updated 12:25 pm EST, Wed February 13, 2008
Mossberg on Lenovo X300
The Lenovo ThinkPad X300 is real and should have distinct advantages over the MacBook Air, Walt Mossberg says in a preview of the portable. Like its Apple cousin, the X300 will include a 13.3-inch screen and a full-sized keyboard but in a far thinner shape compared to other notebooks in the class through the use of a 1.8-inch hard drive; online store leaks and reports have also suggested the computer will share the MacBook Air's CPU design, albeit at a slower 1.2GHz clock speed.
However, the new ThinkPad should distinguish itself by eliminating most of the Air's drawbacks, according to Mossberg. The system will have room for a DVD burner, an Ethernet connection, and three USB ports; it will also live up to wireless claims with the option of a 3G modem or a GPS receiver in addition to Wi-Fi. The battery will also be user-replaceable, addressing a common complaint about the MacBook by frequent travelers.
Lenovo nonetheless is now known to have made some sacrifices to achieve this profile. The system is generally thicker than the MacBook through the lack of a tapered front (though is still less than one inch thick) and is also heavier when the DVD drive is installed at just over 3.1 pounds; early claims have the system at 2.5 pounds with the optical drive removed. Pricing will also be an issue, says the journalist. While Apple leaves its solid-state drive (SSD) as an option, the X300 will ship with a 64GB SSD as its only hard drive, lifting the minimum price to between $2,500 and $2,800.
Mossberg does not say when the X300 is expected to ship, though a succession of leaks suggest a release within days or weeks.