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Lenovo ThinkPad X300 - Lenovo ThinkPad X300
Running MobileMark 2007 on the X300 turned in some reasonable results - the heavy duty Productivity test turned in a time of four hours and 47 minutes, which is pretty good considering that the X300 isn't running an ultra-low-voltage CPU. The DVD playback test resulted in a time of two hours and 45 minutes, which should see you through most movies that don't involve hobbits and elves. That said, it's important to remember that my review sample arrived with the six cell lithium-ion battery, rather than the standard three cell lithium-polymer unit, so unless you specify the higher capacity battery at purchase, you won't be seeing similar numbers.
PCMark in both 05 and Vantage flavours highlighted, as already mentioned, just how ridiculously fast the 64GB solid state drive in the X300 is. In fact, not only did the X300 wipe the floor with the Sony TZ31MN when it came to PCMark, it also beat the Samsung Q45, which doesn't even employ a low-voltage chip! It's fair to say that the SSD gave the X300 a hefty advantage in a number of the test areas though. However, running our in house Photoshop and VirtualDub tests showed the Q45's faster CPU puling it ahead in real world application use.
The ThinkPad X300 only comes in two flavours and neither of them are cheap - the other model doesn't sport integrated HSDPA, but considering how useful mobile broadband is, you really wouldn't want to buy a machine like this without it. So, the model that you see here will set you back around £1,925 on the street, including VAT and delivery.
It's clear that this is an expensive notebook, but it's also a very good one. The X300 is very thin and light, while retaining that ThinkPad build quality that long term fans have come to know and love. Flip this machine over and you'll instantly notice two drip ports adjacent to the battery, so that if you happen to spill a cup of coffee over the keyboard, the liquid will flow straight through without damaging the internals.
Despite the high asking price, I still feel that the X300 offers good value. You're getting a beautifully built machine with a superb feature set and one of the best notebook keyboards on the planet. If I could have any notebook out there, without the worry of cost, I'd take the ThinkPad X300, no question.
Lenovo has given Apple an object lesson in how a thin and light notebook should be designed and constructed. The ThinkPad X300 is stuffed full of cutting edge features, is svelte and light enough to be carried around every day and boasts the sleek, minimalist looks that ThinkPad users love.
It may be expensive, but this is a truly great notebook to use - the keyboard is first rate, the solid state drive makes for very swift operation, while you also get all the connectivity you could ever want. If there's one thing that lets the package down, it's the uneven lighting on the LED backlight screen - it's not awful, but it's not up to the standard of the rest of the machine.
If it wasn't for the screen issue, the ThinkPad X300 would have grabbed Editor's Choice, but as it stands it gets a resounding Recommended award.
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