Thursday, May 28, 2009

Salient facts about the Lenovo X series notebooks

I get asked about my Lenovo X61s all the time because it's an attractive little computer with a full-size keyboard.

Here's a quick summary for those of you interested in these machines.

1. If you can handle a laptop without a trackpad but only that red pointing device, you can go with the X200 or X200s for a new machine or an X61 or X61s for a used machine (check out the Lenovo refurb site). (I can't use a trackpad because it instantly gives me carpal tunnel.) Difference is that with the switch to the X200 series, they went from a more vertically oriented 12.1 inch screen to a more horizontally oriented aspect ratio--with Lenovo's regret but unfortunately that's the direction other laptop makers are moving and therefore screen manufacturers. You need to get a removable base unit for these units to house the CD-ROM drive. Without the base, these units are a little over 3 lbs. The "s" versions are almost indistinguishable. They run processors which are slightly slower but have more efficient power consumption. They are very slightly shorter in height, very slightly lighter. Also, they have a more rigid screen enclosure. Only the X200 unit has a built in camera (for Skype etc) if that is important to you.

2. If you can't handle a laptop without a trackpad you can get the X301 (or the predecessor X300) which goes up against the MacBook Air. Unfortunately you can only get this machine with a solid state hard drive which raises the price--and you really only want the 128gB, not the 64gB drive, which raises the price further. It weighs about the same as the X200/X61 but has a CD-ROM built-in and a larger 13.3 inch screen.

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