Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lenovo ThinkPad X220

In the past, the road warriors business ultraportable was a 12.1-inch laptop. With advances in technology, two form factors are now viable, the 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch laptops are now available that weigh in at about 3 pounds or less which battery life of five hours or more.

While I do have a second laptop, that is really an four year old HP Compaq unit which I kept because it really did not make sense to dispose of it, given the low resale values today, which I now use as a test bed for different Linux distributions. Except for this, I really just rely on one machine to be both my everyday carry device and my full time personal computer.

Last time I made this choice, I got a 13.3-inch MacBook Air. When I walk around with it tucked under mt arm in a sleeve, I wonder if I should not have gotten the 11.6-inch Air instead. Not that the 13-inch MacBook is too heavy. At 2.9 pounds, I really would not care if they made it any lighter. It is really light enough. Sometimes its 12.8 inch width just seems a tad bit too long, and the 11.8 inch width of the smaller 11-inch MacBook Air seems like something handier. I know it is not much, but it does make a difference. 

Enter 12.5 inches. Lenovo has used the 12.5-inch form factor in several laptops, none of which really interested me, but now they have brought it to their business ultraportable ThinkPad X220 which is now being sold here for a reasonable Php68,400.
Okay, I now what you are thinking. That costs more than three of the four the new Lion powered MacBook Air's being offered. Before going any further on the hardware, that Php68,400 price comes with Lenovo's three year parts and labor warranty. If you add an AppleCare Protection Plan (add two years to your warranty)to your MacBook Air, it will add Php13,490 to the price of the Air. Sorry for the Apple discussion, but as far as I am concerned, it is the standard by which other ultraportables are measure these days.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X220 comes in at 12 x 9.1 x 1.25 inches, and weighs in 3.6 pounds. While this might sound a bit heavy for a 12.5-inch laptop, the 2.6 pound weight is because the Lenovo ThinkPad X220 is shipped by default with a 9-cell battery which provides you with almost 13 hours of battery life. You can add an optional slice battery which will extend battery life to over 20 hours (Source: See Laptop Mag's Review of the Lenovo ThinkPad X220 here).

The 12.5-inch screen has the expected 1366 x 768 screen resolution most Windows laptops ship with today. Inside is Intel Core i5-2410M Processor, Intel HD 3000 graphics, 2GB's of RAM and a 320GB hard drive. At this price another 2GB of RAM would have been nice.

Like other ThinkPads, this is made from Magnesium Alloy for the top and bottom covers, roll cage, uses metal for the hinges, and a spill resistant keyboard. When it come to building business laptops, Lenovo still does it best. While Aluminum might look durable, Magnesium Alloy is more likely to survive a drop.  
The installed operating system is Windows 7 Professional, which is an appropriate choice for this kind of laptop, so no problems there. I would not mind seeing one without an OS, to drop down the price and allow me to use a Linux operating system on it. I might loose a lot of the ThinkPad software, though so I would probably stick with Windows 7. Unlike most of the bloat you find in manufacturer installed software, Thinkpads come with very useful software which allow for quick restore in case of a problem and protect and secure your data. 

While the new MacBook Airs are all the rave these days, and I am not about to replace my late 2010 model, if I were in the market for a new ultraportable these days, this is the one I would pick.
The sturdy case, compact size and really long battery life seal the deal. Lenovo calls this the "perfect travel companion", and I agree.

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