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Lenovo ThinkPad X100e (2876) - Performance, Battery Life, Value and Verdict

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

The single-core, 1.6GHz Athlon Neo beating at the heart of the X100e does an adequate job as long as you keep the load light. While we would usually recommend two cores as a minimum to go by, for daily productivity without intensive multi-tasking this will still significantly outperform your average Atom-based netbook (though not the newer 1.8GHz dual core Atoms as found in the Asus EeePC 1215N).

In the chart above you can also see it compared to its dual-core sibling as found in the M101z. You can of course opt for this same dual-core variant in the X100e, but that model is not as easy to find as this 2876 version and demands a significant premium.

As already mentioned, gaming is not really much of an option on the Radeon 3200 graphics, and at best you can expect to run old or undemanding 3D titles. In general use the X100e stays relatively quiet, though it does become more audible and gets rather warm under load.

So far then, it's all very impressive, especially if you're not particularly bothered about the lack of digital video out. However, time away from a socket – or rather lack thereof – is this ThinkPad's biggest failing. Despite looking impressive and sticking out the back, the six-cell, 5,200mAh/57Wh battery will only last you around four hours, if you're lucky (it failed to complete a single MobileMark run and managed only two hours and 50 minutes in our netbook test, with screen brightness at 50 percent and wireless radios turned off).

So we guess the most pertinent question becomes whether it's worth paying the extra £52 over this Lenovo's £367 to get the base configuration of the Dell M101z? For most folks, the answer will be yes. The ThinkPad might have it beat in style, quality and ergonomics, but with the Dell you get better graphics with HDMI-out and significantly better battery life – with the option to expand this further using an optional nine-cell battery.

Verdict

If you don't mind the lack of digital video out and if you don't require battery life longer than around four hours, Lenovo's ThinkPad X100e is an excellent choice, thanks to its advanced OS, superb build quality, decent specifications and class-leading usability – all while remaining easy on the wallet. However, even at under £330 that might just be one if too many, especially with some compelling alternatives available for only a little more.

trueblue

January 7, 2011, 12:49 am

Hi Ardjuna





(Just posting this comment here as well in case it gets missed)





I can wait if you think it would be worth it! How long roughly do you think I should be waiting?





To be honest, I'm not really fussed about HD screens/HDMI ports etc. The main things I want are a fairly fast processor CPU and good amount of RAM etc, a matte screen and an excellent 6 cell battery performance. This is why I wondered if the Asus 1005 might better, as it is £60 cheaper than the 1015 - is dual core really that much better than single core?





I don't really want to spend £300 if I can help it - I'd prefer £250 max as upgrading to 2GB RAM will cost a bit extra - but £300 seems to be the cheapest price that the ASUS 1015 (which meets my above requirements) is selling for?





Does this netbook you're reviewing meet those requirements as well as the Asus? And who is the manufacturer, so I can keep an eye out for your article?





Cheers


TB

Mike Rose

January 7, 2011, 1:58 am

It's a shame Lenovo still continue to put Fn outside. It's just so annoying.


I've owned 3 Thinkpads now and I can't understand why they keep tdoing this. Every time I need Ctrl I hit the wrong key..........every time!

chrism

January 7, 2011, 12:40 pm

I got one of these in red for the wife last Autumn, it only had 1gb ram (which I have now upgraded) but I got it for ~£240.





Nice little machine.

thechile

January 7, 2011, 1:38 pm

agreed about the Fn.. i hate it on my t400. You listening Lenovo!

ffrankmccaffery

January 7, 2011, 5:22 pm

As a Thinkpad purist I certainly wouldn't consider this for myself - the flat display frame being one reason amongst others. However I could certainly recommend this to family and friends if I could get them to appreciate the whole Thinkpad design philosophy.

Lgray

January 7, 2011, 11:38 pm

This model is being superceded by the x120e in February which uses the new AMD Fusion APU , has an HDMI port, has extended battery life and does not have a problem with heat generation. Perhaps you should have mentioned this new model in your review and maybe review this in February?

TechVegan

January 10, 2011, 8:46 pm

@trueblue:


The poor battery life means this Lenovo is not an option for you, I guess. As to dual core, it will help with multitasking and flash/HD video. If your workload is light and doesn't include these, single core should do you. However, with ever more programs becoming multi-threaded, it's not an option I would recommend.





As to how long you should wait, next month should already start seeing machines based on the new platforms emerging, such as the X120e @Lgray mentions.





@Mike Rose:


Yes, it is a shame. They keep doing it to keep traditional ThinkPad owners happy, but it's time to leave that behind Lenovo - risk alienating a few set-in-their-ways die-hards for the sake of many more potential new users.





@chrism:


It is, rather. Were it not for the battery life, Fn key issue and lack of HDMI, this would have received a Recommended Award.





@Lgray:


I didn't mention it because it's likely to come out at a different price point and UK availability is not set in stone, but we will definitely be getting one in to review as soon as possible :)

swegen

June 17, 2011, 7:36 pm

Got myself one x100e one month ago, following the advice of the reviews I saw on the internet, among them, this site. I must have had 14-15 laptops (several thinkpads) and a few netbooks. I still have my eee pc 701 surf, and an NC10.

Well, this thinkpad has been a disappointment in nearly every single area. Yes, it's capable of running things smoothly, perhaps more than the others. But there are big buts. One, up until I updated it with everything (took a couple of days) it freezed for no reason, got constant crashes and the screen would go black. These are things pretty common to every x100e user out there, just google them. Then, it heats up to scary temperatures. I installed a fan app and the temperature never goes below 70ºC while doing light internet surfing. Another thing is it lacks indicator lights. No HD light, no wi-fi light, no nothing. Sometimes, you move it and it freezes for a little bit. When you close the lid, it freezes too (I usually listen to internet radio with the lid closed to fall asleep). Sometimes I'm listening to the radio at night and it freezes, I have to open the lid and then close it again. Also, I hate the function keys. The wifi function keys only brings up a button to switch off the wifi, bluetooth and 3G, which you have to click with the mouse. I want to switch off the wifi with a button, not a combination.

Not to mention the battery. It can last 2½ hours if you're lucky. Not even 2 hours of video time, and that's with a fair brightness setting and wifi, bluetooth, etc... switched off.

Overall, a very big disappointment and a very poor product from Lenovo; it's a huge stain on the fame of the (once) mighty Thinkpads. Not to be bought under any circumstance.

swegen

June 17, 2011, 7:41 pm

Ctrl and Fn keys can be swaped in the BIOS with a firmware update.

That was nice. The only thing.

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