Lenovo X300 review
Light, packed with features and with superb battery life: the ideal business notebook.
The svelte Lenovo X300 isn't much thicker than the impossibly slim MacBook Air, but its tiny dimensions hide a much more capable laptop that's ideal for business use.
The chassis, despite its slightly staid, retro style, is crammed with useful ports, features and touches: a fingerprint reader, TPM and bundled port replicator will prove useful for business users, and an embedded HSDPA modem is a useful addition alongside the now-ubiquitous 802.11 draft-n.
It's surprisingly tough for such a slim package, too. The thin screen showed a distinct lack of flex compared with the flimsy panels of the Asus U6 and Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook P8010. And the rest of the machine is just as sturdy.
Inside the chassis is a selection of decent components. The SL7100 processor runs at only 1.2GHz, but it's a low-power part that contributes to superb battery life and portability. And performance is still good enough to cope with business tasks.
Battery life, more importantly, is excellent, with the Lenovo providing the best results in the Labs. In our light-use test, the X300 lasted a fantastic 6hrs 21mins, and 1hr 56mins under heavy use.
Keen business travellers will also be pleased to find that Lenovo's keyboard and mouse arrangement is superb. Keys have plenty of positive, comfortable travel, and there's a choice between trackpad and trackpoint for mousing.
Multitaskers will appreciate the X300's screen. While other similarly-sized notebooks - such as the 13.3in-screened Dell XPS M1330 - have native resolutions of 1,280 x 800, the Lenovo has a more spacious 1,440 x 900.
The X300 also includes the only solid-state hard disk on test. Far more secure than traditional hard disks - there are no moving parts to go wrong - the 64GB of storage space can also be accessed more quickly than platter-based drives. The downside is that it adds cost to the laptop and storage is limited.
But the X300 is worth the extra cost. Fantastic battery life and superb ergonomics all combine to produce the best business laptop money can buy.
|Price ex VAT||£1,527|
|Price inc VAT||£1,756|
|Features & Design||5|
|Value for Money||4|
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Dimensions||311 x 231 x 27mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core 2 Duo SL7100|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel GS965|
|SODIMM sockets free||0|
|SODIMM sockets total||2|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,440|
|Resolution screen vertical||900|
|Resolution||1440 x 900|
|Graphics chipset||Intel GMA X3100|
|Graphics card RAM||384MB|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Hard disk usable capacity||59GB|
|Internal disk interface||SATA/300|
|Hard disk||Samsung MCCOE64G8MPP|
|Optical disc technology||DVD writer|
|Optical drive||Matshita UJ-844|
|Replacement battery price ex VAT||£101|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£116|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Integrated 3G adapter||yes|
|Wireless hardware on/off switch||yes|
|Wireless key-combination switch||no|
|USB ports (downstream)||3|
|PS/2 mouse port||no|
|9-pin serial ports||0|
|3.5mm audio jacks||2|
|SD card reader||no|
|Memory Stick reader||no|
|MMC (multimedia card) reader||no|
|Smart Media reader||no|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad, trackpoint|
|Audio chipset||Legend HD Audio|
|Speaker location||Front edge|
|Hardware volume control?||yes|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||6hr 21min|
|Battery life, heavy use||1hr 56min|
|Overall application benchmark score||0.75|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||Fail|
|3D performance setting||Fail|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows Vista Business|
|OS family||Windows Vista|
|Recovery method||Recovery disc|
|Software supplied||ThinkVantage software suite|