updated 12:00 am EST, Mon January 3, 2011
Lenovo intros ThinkPad X120e and Edge E220s, E420s
Lenovo's first notebook unveilings for CES tonight brought out three ultraportable ThinkPads all using the wave of new processors due at the show. The 11.6-inch X120e is one of the first notebooks to use AMD's Fusion chips and runs on up to a 1.6GHz E-350 processor whose Radeon HD 6310 graphics help it outrun not just earlier Intel notebooks this size but the earlier X100e by about 65 percent. Battery life has grown further and now goes up to six hours with a six-cell pack, even with a weight at 3.3 pounds.
The design still has a relatively thin design at 1.16 inches thick as well as a full-size chiclet keyboard. Lenovo hasn't given out full baseline specs, but the X120e will approach netbook levels with a sub-$400 price that includes at least the 1.5GHz E-240 chip, a three-cell battery, a 160GB 7,200RPM hard drive along with HDMI output and a webcam in its lightest 2.9-pound configuration. Options exist for up to 4GB of RAM, a 320GB hard drive and a Gobi 3G modem. Shipments start in February.
Higher-end users can move up to the ThinkPad Edge E220s and E420s. They use larger 12.5- and 14-inch screens respectively but also take leaps forward in speed with Intel's Sandy Bridge-based, second generation Core i3, i5 or i7 chips. Intel's long expected graphics speed up helps keep them running smoothly despite using integrated video. Either has Lenovo's refreshed boot optimizations and has the option of an SSD, possibly the Intel SSD 310m to speed up the boot time by as much as 30 percent while still leaving room for a full rotating hard drive.
The E220s is the true lightweight with a sub-one inch thick frame, a 3.5-pound weight and no optical drive. Lenovo acknowledges the E420s as thicker (one inch) and heavier (four pounds) but builds in a slot-loading DVD writer. The larger of the two systems costs the least at a $749 starting price, while the 12-inch system costs $899. Regular, non-slim E420 and 15-inch E520 systems will ship in April but have few details apart from their $599 minimum price.