First it was the T Series, now Lenovo is going all Core i7 on its X200 and X700 lines as well.
As you might expect, little has changed on the outside of these models with the familiar love/hate Thinkpad design (I'm feeling the love) of the new 'X201', 'X201s' and 'X201T' (tablet) and 'W701'/'W701ds' all much the same as before.
Where they do get interesting, however, is inside with the X201 given a choice of dual-core 2.66GHz Core i7 and Core i5 2.4GHz and 2.53GHz CPUs, while the thinner X201s and X201T given low voltage 2GHz and 2.13GHz Core i7 processors. 1200 x 800 resolution screens are also familiar (the X201s has a 1440 x 900 option), though 8GB RAM can now be specified alongside 2MP webcams, 500GB HDD/128GB SSD storage and the extras of WiMAX and 3G.
Irritants? Lenovo still refuses to put HDMI ports on its so-called 'business' range (hey, business-types still hook laptops up to projectors and big screen TVs y'know?) and reliance on Intel integrated graphics. We await UK pricing and availability, but in the US Lenovo will start selling them any minute with the X201, X201s and X201T starting at $1,199, $1,599 and $1,549 respectively.
As for the W701 and its crazy dual screen counterpart the W701ds (successors to the W700 and W700ds) - they follow a similar pattern with Core i7-920 Extreme and Core i7-820 QM Quad Core CPUs bringing desktop-class performance. Graphics get a significant boost too with the new choice of Nvidia Quadro FX 3800M and 2800M GPUs while those with limitless funds can RAID together a pair of SSDs.
The W701 arrives for a wince-inducing $2,199, while the W701ds gives us all the shakes at $3,799.
So all in all I'm now going to take it personally: Lenovo where is my X300 series upgrade?!