The Lenovo ThinkPad X300, released earlier this year, was quite an exciting product and Hot Hardware wasn't the only publication to award it an Editor's Choice (our review). With its svelte form-factor, LED backlighting, solid state hard drive and unique, ultra thin optical drive, the X300 is a standout product packed full of cutting edge technologies that is unmatched by many other notebooks in its class. Even Apple's lauded Macbook Air is no match, when it comes to pure utility and function.
While the X300 may be a best-in-class product, with its relatively slow 1.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SL7100 processor and a $2,300 price tag, it probably isn't the most sensible purchase if power and function are your primary concerns. However, if you really want an ultraportable ThinkPad but just can't quite justify an X300, Lenovo has another option for you with the ThinkPad X200 we're looking at here today.
Lets get things in perspective right away, the X200 isn't quite in the same league as the X300. The X200 is not as stylishly thin or technologically advanced as the X300 and its missing a few of the X300's novel features like an ultra compact optical drive. However the X200 still has plenty going for it, not the least of which is twice the processing power and half the price, compared to the X300. With a compact 12.1" chassis, full-power Core 2 Duo processor and ThinkPad durability at a starting price of $1,434, the ThinkPad X200 could just be an X300 for the rest of us.
Intel Core 2 Duo Processor P8600 (2.40GHz,3M L2 Cache,1066MHz FSB)
Windows Vista Business SP1
2GB DDR3-1066 (533MHz)
12.1" WXGA (1280x800)
Intel GMA X4500 HD
Built-in speaker and microphone
160GB 7200RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
Only available with optional ThinkPad X200 UltraBase docking station
Intel WiFi Link 5300 (802.11 a/g/n)
Integrated Bluetooth™ V2.0+EDR
Integrated 0.3 MP web camera
9-cell 84.2Wh Li-Ion Battery
65 Watt AC Adapter
3 x USB 2.0 ports
1 x VGA port/Mini D-sub 15-pin
1 x RJ45 Ethernet (10/100/1000) port
1 x 3-in-1 card reader
1 x headphone port
1 x stereo line-in (microphone) port
Weight & Dimensions
Width: 11.6" (295 mm)
Depth: 8.3" (210 mm)
Height: 0.8"-1.4" (20.7 mm - 35.3 mm)
Weight: 3.58 lbs (1.63 kg) - includes 9-cell battery
Warranty And Support
1-year depot warranty
1-year battery pack warranty
Price: $1,798.00 USD (as configured here)
It is obvious from its feature list that the X200 isn't quite as advanced, in terms of its mechanical design, as the X300. Despite being of similar weight and size as the X300, the X200 doesn't have an internal optical drive, nor is it as thin and it doesn't even have a touchpad. It also sports a 12.1" screen like the X61, rather than the 13.3" LCD that the X300 is equipped with. However, the X200 isn't lacking in its base hardware specification, that's for sure. It incorporates all of the same communications, networking and connectivity options and features as the X300. In addition, it's also built on Intel's new Centrino 2 platform which offers support for the new Penryn-based Core 2 Duo mobile processor. The X200 is available with the Penryn P8000 series, which is an upgrade of the original Merom mobile Core 2 Duo processors and it offers 3MB L2 cache, a 1066MHz FSB, front-side bus throttling, and the SSE4 instruction set. Most impressive of all, it has a TDP of only 25W, 10W lower than Merom, despite packing more features and higher frequencies.
The rest of the specifications will look familiar to anyone who has owned a ThinkPad X61. The X200 is roughly the same size and shape as the X61 although the lid design takes obvious design cues from the X300. The X200 is also a widescreen laptop while the X61 employed a standard 4:3 aspect ratio.
Overall, the X200 looks like a solid update to the X61, at least on paper. Read on to find out if these updates translate into real-world improvements.