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Portables Hardware

The ThinkPad Takes On The MacBook Air 433

Posted by Zonk
from the battle-for-the-skies dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Walt Mossberg has an early look at the ThinkPad X300, Lenovo's answer to the MacBook Air. He says the ThinkPad is almost as skinny and light as the Air, but has many of the ports and features lacking on Apple's machine. The biggest downside: it costs much more and will be limited to a paltry 64 gigabytes of storage. 'Unlike the Apple, which can be ordered with a higher-capacity, lower-priced hard disk, the new ThinkPad will only be available with the expensive, limited capacity solid-state drive. So it will start at between $2,500 and $2,800-up to $1,000 more than the Apple's base price.'"
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The ThinkPad Takes On The MacBook Air

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  • by Clockwurk (577966) * on Thursday February 14, 2008 @09:42AM (#22419072) Homepage
    The price for an Air with SSD is $3100. The thinkpad also has a nicer display (1440x900 vs 1280x800), removable battery, a faster processor (2.0ghz vs 1.8ghz), and weighs less (2.5lbs vs 3lbs), more ports (ethernet, usb), better speakers (LOL Airbook has mono), a microphone, and a built in DVD burner.
  • by Calinous (985536) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @09:46AM (#22419130)
    The Thinkpad X300 comes at 3.15 or so lbs (granted, it includes an optical drive)
  • by Renegade Lisp (315687) * on Thursday February 14, 2008 @09:51AM (#22419168)

    I think only a Slashdot Poll could answer this definitely.

    Further anecdotal evidence, though: I've had a Lenovo T61 now for about two months, after having had a Pre-Lenovo T40 for more than four years, which had been my sturdiest Thinkpad up to that time. So far, I see no difference in the build quality of both machines, but only time will really tell.

  • by costas (38724) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @10:32AM (#22419640) Homepage
    Well, Lenovo just released this [engadget.com], which looks very nice to this road warrior...
  • by Saint Fnordius (456567) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @10:52AM (#22419874) Homepage Journal
    Thin is in, but mostly only with those who do a lot of travelling. Reporters, sales reps and others who are often on the road feel that every ounce matters, and a laptop you can place in your briefcase with your papers and books counts for a lot among these people.

    I feel Lenovo and Apple are aiming to two different sorts of professional users. Apple is geared more towards the writers and mobile creatives, and the workflow the MacBook Air is supposed to fit into is one where the user has a larger "mothership" computer that he can sync with, or already works in a MacBook-friendly environment. The Lenovo looks and feels more like a device that tries to be as light as possible but still be a "full-featured" notebook computer.

    So what is the difference between the two? Apple's notebook looks and feels like it was designed around a task, a need, and Lenovo's laptop looks more like it was designed around the tech specs.
  • by Brian Gordon (987471) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @11:19AM (#22420240)
    Nope, they're inset within the lid and go directly down into the back of the laptop. They don't stick out the back or anything- the whole back of the lid and back of the laptop is a flush surface.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 14, 2008 @11:36AM (#22420476)
    You're wrong about the processor and weight.

    The Thinkpad uses a 1.2GHz ULV processor - significantly slower than the Air. And the Thinkpad weighs just OVER 3 lbs, so the difference may be negligable, but it's not .5 lb lighter.

    So if you're running any long processing task, the Air will spank the Thinkpad, as long as it's not bottlenecked by that hard drive.
  • by dal20402 (895630) * <dal20402@@@mac...com> on Thursday February 14, 2008 @12:04PM (#22420886) Journal

    The MBA (and MBP) aren't silver-painted plastic (except for the touchpad), they're anodized aluminum. I'd rather have a natural metal finish than yet more black plastic, although ThinkPads are about as nice as non-Apple laptops get.

    Largely agree with you on the glossy screens, though.

  • by businessnerd (1009815) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @02:33PM (#22423450)
    Your CEO doesn't sound like the typical globetrotting exec. Most globetrotting execs (or at least globetrotting businesspeople) need as much utility out of their laptop as possible. I should know, I'm a globetrotting consultant. Right now the only appeal that the Air has is weight. Most globetrotting execs don't just check e-mail and surf the web. So let's paint a picture of what a real globetrotter uses a computer for...

    Wake up (at 4am) and quickly check e-mail and print boarding pass. Off to the airport. Check e-mail again while waiting to board. Get on plane. Cruising altitude reached, so out comes the laptop and start working on that presentation (here's where battery life and being able to replace that battery when it dies comes in). Arrive at destination, and off to client. Arrive at client and walk straight into meeting. Hook up laptop up to projector (here' where all of those external ports come into play). Meeting finishes. You do some more things at a guest cubicle. You break out a mouse for comfort (1 usb port) then someone comes by with a document on a memory stick (need another usb port, but the Air is all out of 'em) They want you to view a presentation that's on DVD or VCD (here's where that optical drive comes in handy and not so you can watch a hollywood movie - there's no time for that). End of day, go back to hotel. You need the internet. No wireless here, so it's gotta be wired (yeah that wired ethernet port really comes in handy right about now). Go to sleep.

    So let's recap. What is really important to a globetrotting exec? Versatility. You need lots of standard ports (VGA, lots of USB, etc.) and an optical drive, which Air doesn't have. You need reliable battery life. This means that when the battery is dead, as in won't hold it's charge, you can replace that battery. My 1 year old Dell already has 32% health, which means 1 hour of battery life. Tomorrow when I'm actually in the same state as my office, I'll pick up a new one and off I go. Air does not have a removeable battery. And at the end of the day, you need durability. Usually I'm not checking my laptop (or anything) with the airlines, but it gets crammed in to overhead bins, kicked under the seat, thrown into TSA x-ray bins, dropped, bumped, etc. ThinkPads are known for their durability. I can't speak for Mac on this, so I won't knock the Air for this, but it is a concern for the globetrotter. In closing, your CEO is not a good example of the globetrotting exec. A real globetrotting exec demands much more from their laptop.
  • by Lost Engineer (459920) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @04:46PM (#22425444)
    I had a Sony with a huge brick around the same time frame likely.

    The new Lenovo ones about the same in volume as a MacBook power supply with a different design. The big part is in the middle of the cord, so as to keep the end the size of a say a lamp plug. It's black and boxy, not unlike the machine itself. No appreciable weight.

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

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