updated 12:15 am EDT, Tue July 15, 2008
Lenovo X200 and U330
Lenovo tonight had its turn at upgrading to Centrino 2 with two new notebooks that are billed as blurring the lines between ultraportables and full-power models. The ThinkPad X200 is Lenovo's first major X series update since the X300 but is smaller than both the X300 and its rival MacBook Air while keeping many features and only thickening a tenth of an inch to 0.8 inches. Although it uses just a 12-inch display, the X200 still finds room for up to a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo on the new Intel platform as well as up to a Blu-ray optical drive.
On top of the performance and room for optical storage, the new mini ThinkPad is also more flexible with the choice of either the X300's 64GB solid-state drive or a conventional, rotating 320GB hard drive. GPS mapping, ultra-wideband for short-range peripherals, and WiMAX access will all be optional. Weight is competitive with the Air and most other ultraportables at just under three pounds but climbs to about 3.6 with a nine-cell battery, which also extends the X200's battery life up to nine hours.
Base systems start with a 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo and lesser storage, and should be available in August for $1,199.
Lenovo's IdeaPad U-series has also been given its second model with the update. The U330 (not yet pictured) enlarges the screen size to 13.3 inches and adds a new-generation 2GHz Core 2 Duo as well as 802.11n wireless to the equation. The computer is slightly thicker (0.9 inches) and heavier (four pounds) than the smaller U110 but will have dual-mode graphics that switches between Intel's integrated hardware and unspecified dedicated AMD video to either save power or boost performance.
The company claims the U330 is still too far from release for pricing or full launch details, though the details should put its cost well below the $1,849 of the U110 when the IdeaPad is ready to ship before the end of the year.