updated 01:40 pm EDT, Sat April 23, 2011
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 shows early at stores
Lenovo's decision to back out on the ThinkPad X301 may have just been a temporary measure as a pair of Swiss stores have prematurely shown a sequel built more consciously to take on the new MacBook Air. Billed as the ThinkPad X1, it would switch to a 160GB solid-state state drive to slim down to about 0.85 inches at its thickest point. The system would try to bring over Lenovo's reputation for strong designs by making its 13.3-inch display cover out of jab- and scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass.
Performance would also be an emphasis and would manage to fit a full-power, 2.5GHz Core i5 notebook chip instead of the low-voltage processors currently in Apple's line. Only one RAM slot would exist, but a singular 8GB stick would give it enough RAM to stay ahead of demand. Expansion would be modernized as well with a mix of USB 3.0, eSATA, an SDXC card reader, and a hybrid "Digital Display Port" that could output to either DisplayPort or HDMI.
The thin size wouldn't preclude a 10-hour battery life, although it's not certain that Lenovo is following the tougher testing standards Apple is using for its seven-hour figure.
A roadmap uncovered at the same time has the X1 arriving in May and most expecting the date to be narrowed down to between May 17 and May 20. Swiss pricing has the configuration costing the equivalent of $2,920, though an American price could well be less. [via Notebook Review and ThinkPads.com]