Delving a little deeper into the X360 you’ll find a very well specified machine. At the centre of it all is an Intel Core 2 Duo SU9300. This is an ultra-low voltage processor that runs at 1.2GHz and features an 800MHz front side bus and 3MB L2 Cache. This obviously has its limitations, but even though it has a lower clock speed than an Intel Atom processor, it’s still significantly more powerful. It is, after all, a dual-core chip that has a faster bus speed and most pertinently, six times as much cache.
Behind this you’ll find 3GBs of 1,066MHz DDR3 RAM, while network connectivity is taken care of by an Intel Draft-N Wi-Fi module and Gigabit Ethernet. Bluetooth 2.0 is along for the ride, too, and there’s a 1.3-megapixel webcam for video chatting, conferencing and whatever else you might want to get up to.
By far and away the most important component, though, and definitely the most expensive, is the 128GB SSD. This in particular has a fairly dramatic effect on performance. Its fast access speeds mean shorter boot-up times and generally snappy performance, something that tends to suffer when a ULV CPU is paired with a standard mechanical hard drive. Consequently, though you can’t churn through processor intensive tasks, everyday multi-tasking is no real obstacle.
It’s a fact that’s borne out in our benchmarks. PCMark Vantage, which does tend to favour SSDs, shows the X360 putting in an excellent performance. It comes out ahead of the ThinkPad X300 and even manages to match the Sony VAIO Z11WN in the productivity test, where multi-tasking comes before raw number crunching.
Still, when it does come to raw number crunching, as our in-house image editing and video rendering tests show, the limitations are more obvious. Here, the Sony is just under twice as fast as either the ThinkPad or the X360, so if image editing and video authoring are high on your agenda then you should clearly look elsewhere.
Battery life, on the other hand, shows the predictable strengths of a low-power processor. In the productivity segment of MobileMark 2007 the X360 delivers just shy of five hours, coming to a halt at four hours and 54 minutes. In the lower intensity reader test this extends comfortably beyond five hours and were you to decrease screen brightness below 40 per cent, the level we test at, you could easily achieve a similar result when multi-tasking. These are very good results and are more or less identical to those of the ThinkPad X300, even if the likes of the VAIO TZ and TT are still in a league of their own in this department.