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Lenovo ThinkPad X300 - Lenovo ThinkPad X300
Lenovo has also been smart enough to equip the screen on the X300 with a native resolution of 1,440 x 900, instead of the more common 1,280 x 800, and believe me, that extra desktop space really does make a difference. That said, it's the screen that represents one of the very few weak points on the X300. Like many thin and light notebooks, the X300 employs an LED backlighting system, which brings with it benefits but also problems. When Sony pioneered LED backlights in its TX1XP machine, it suffered from seriously uneven lighting, with significant light bleed running along the bottom edge of the screen. With several generations of development under its belt, Sony has pretty much eradicated those problems and now its LED based LCD screens are, quite simply, stunning. Lenovo on the other hand, clearly doesn't have the same experience with this technology and like the early Sony screens, the lighting across the display surface is fairly uneven. There's also discernable light bleed at both the top and bottom edges.
Let me make one thing very clear though, the screen on the X300 is in no way bad, but compared to the rest of this machine it's not quite as good as I would have liked it to have been. Putting the lighting issues to one side, the screen is very bright and I found myself using it at about half brightness in most situations, which should help boost battery life when you're out and about. Colours are also pretty vibrant, although obviously not as vivid as they would be on a screen with a high contrast coating - clearly Lenovo envisages most X300 users to be sitting in an office environment where multiple ambient light sources can make using a glossy screen for extended periods difficult. Considering that the vast majority of notebooks that make their way through the TrustedReviews office have glossy screens, the X300 took a bit of getting used to, but I know that there are many out there who will see the absence of a high contrast coating as a good thing.
As you might expect, the LED backlight makes for a very thin screen, which itself helps keep the overall dimensions of the X300 down to a minimum. With dimensions of 318 x 231 x 19mm this is a very svelte machine - maybe not as thin as the MacBook Air, but then Apple had to sacrifice a ludicrous amount of features in order to make the claim of manufacturing the thinnest notebook in the world. And despite not being as thin as the MacBook Air, the X300 is actually lighter, in its base configuration at least.
The weight of the X300 is up for debate, and it's worth remembering that the 1.33kg headline figure that Lenovo quotes is for a machine with a three cell battery and an empty expansion bay. The configuration that I have here, which includes a six cell battery and a DVD writer in the expansion bay weighs in at 1.54kg, which still makes for a very portable machine.
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