Keith Combs' Blahg

Ramblings from another nerd on the grid

Lenovo ThinkPad X301 first impressions

Lenovo ThinkPad X301 first impressions

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x301 Wouldn't you know it?  The day I get back from Hawaii a nice new Lenovo ThinkPad X301 arrives at my doorstep.  I sure wish it had arrived a couple of weeks earlier but it just wasn't in the cards.  Anyway, I've been using it for the past couple of days and I thought I would offer some quick thoughts on the unit I received.  I'll offer a more detailed review in a few weeks after I've had a chance to really put it through it's paces.

Weight

OMG!  After using the T60p and T61p's with their extended 9 cell batteries for the past couple of years, I could not believe how light the X301 feels in your hands.  It only weighs 3 pounds.  It's so light I threw it in my backpack with all my other stuff for the event I delivered last week in Costa Mesa, California and didn't even notice the extra weight. 

Just for grins I took the ThinkPad T61p out of my backpack along with it's "travel" charger.  I left everything else in my backpack.  I could not believe how much lighter the backpack felt.  So I left the hotel room and went downstairs to the event location and handed my backpack to Chris Henley and Harold Wong and asked them to tell me what was different.  They took the bait.  They said I didn't have a laptop in the bag.  Then I pulled the X301 out and shoved it into their hands.  Ha!

I've been using the X301 almost the entire weekend as my web surfboard.  The X301 brings the lap back to laptops.  The reduced weight and heat means you won't need any lap protection like you do with most other laptops.  In fact, I wore shorts most of the weekend and had it sitting on my legs.  The machine barely gets warm.  Certainly not hot. Nice.

Drive Storage

Bryan Von Axelson was hanging out with Harold and Chris and was fondling the X301.  He asked me what type of hard drive the slim light machine has.  I told him I hadn't actually checked before I got on the plane.  So he whipped out the phillips head screwdriver and we pulled the drive cover and drive.  Sure enough, this little bad boy has the 64GB SSD drive.  64GB seems small to me, but I could deal with it.  The SSD drive is nice and fast and doesn't appear to generate a lot of heat.  Those are big plusses in my book.

Screen

The machine I was shipped is model 2774-18U.  This model has the 13.3" WXGA+ (1440x900 native res) LED backlit screen.  That screen, like the T400 I tested, is super bright when cranked up to max.  1440x900 is a nice resolution for a 13.3 screen.  I must admit however I do prefer my T61p 15.4" screen better, but that's because I enjoy the 1680x1050 resolution.

That's it for now.  I'll write a more detailed review of all of the features in a few weeks.

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  • Keith, you are one lucky individual.

    Starting at a whopping 2300$ this little guy will remain a pipe-dream for a lot of us. :-/

  • How do you find the Battery life. I want to buy this laptop but want to make sure I get at least 4-5 hrs. I mainly use it for buisines working on excel & using outlook

    Many Thanks

  • Umesh,

    If you want that kind of battery life, you would need at least the 6 cell battery.  The machine I have only has a three cell and I think the max for it is going to be about 4 hours.  They also have a battery that will go into the slot where the DVD drive is.  With the 6 cell and the extra battery in the DVD slot, it appears you'll get 9-10 hours.

  • Hi Keith

    Thank you for your prompt reply

    I am not sure how fast the processor will work with SSD drive & processor 1.4GHZ. Will it be the same speed if I go for 2.4GHZ laptop. I like the X301 because it's light. You response will be appreciated

    Thank you

    Umesh

  • Oops.  I made a mistake.  I thought the model I received only had a 3 cell battery.  It actually has the 6 cell battery.  I don't know what I'm doing wrong to only get 4 hours of battery life.

    Regarding the performance differences of the processors, I'll be posting some thoughts in another blog post shortly.