Lenovo is taking another swing at the MacBook Air. Having discontinued their X300 ultraportable line, Lenovo seemed content to compete at the 11" and 12" form factor, without sitting a horse at the popular but Air dominated 13.3" form factor. But a listing on a Swiss computer distributor's site leaked and documents released on the Lenovo channel distributors' site confirmed that the ThinkPad purveyor is planning to take on the Air with a 21.5 mm thick ultraportable notebook called the X1. 
 
 
While not quite as thin as the much hailed MBA, the X1 packs impressive specifications, especially for a device targeted at those of us used to sacrificing performance for lightweight. Headlining the device is a 2.5GHz Core i5-2520M CPU, the same processor as can be found in the 34.6 mm thick X220. Let me say that again, Lenovo managed to grow the screen and pack the same processor into a device one third less thick. A 13.3" 1366 x 768 Gorilla Glass screen, 160GB SSD, 8GB of RAM, an SDXC card reader and the excellent keyboard and build quality we've come to expect from the ThinkPad line round out the specifications. But that's not all.

Earlier today, Lenovo released slides from a distribution webinar that reveals that the X1 will sport a new type of battery which promise significant improvements in stamina and charging speed. Lenovo claims an 80% charge in just 30 plugged in minutes, for the sealed battery. This battery technology is expected to be included in all their future ultraportable notebooks including the previously announced Edge 220s and 420s, and the X1 is rated at 5 hours of use between charges. And there's one more thing.
 
 
In the same slide discussing the new warranty policies regarding these new batteries, Lenovo reveals that the battery tech will be included in the X Slate - presumably Lenovo's upcoming Honeycomb based tablet offering.
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  • MrCromulent - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    The specs seem quite nice, not sure if I like the non-CRU battery though. "Outdoor panel" also sounds interesting, but I hope they'll offer a high-res display option. Guess I'll wait for the thorough Anandtech review...

    BTW, it's a Swiss, not a German distributor :)
    Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    350 nits would certainly be a competitive display brightness, and it's possible that they Lenovo will offer another "slice" battery, that will add another 5 hours and will take some of the pain out of not being able to swap the battery out yourself.

    BTW, fixed! Thanks.
    Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - link

    350 nits would be beyond competitive. Most ThinkPad T-series and Dell Latitude E-Series laptops have a display brightness from 200-250 nits (there are a few exceptions like the ThinkPad T520 FHD+ display rated at 270 nits). Reply
  • FATCamaro - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    Why do people want those awful CRUs anyway? Good to see other PC makers copying apple. Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    When you need more than the X hours of runtime provided by the included battery, a second CRU battery is lighter than a second laptop. At only 5 hours of runtime a non-replaceable battery renders it useless for all day use away from a power outlet. Reply
  • Guspaz - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    An external battery works just as well. You don't need a user-replaceable battery in the scenario you describe. Reply
  • praeses - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    An external battery inhibits mobility, generally what you require when you can't plug in somewhere to recharge in the first place. It hardly works "just as well".

    Not to mention, batteries age and die.
    Reply
  • larson0699 - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    The CRU(b) doesn't inhibit mobility but rather slim design, a big 'oh well' for me. And when that battery does age and die, I would love nothing more than to pop in a replacement with 2 clicks or less, as I don't expect to need today's (or tomorrow's, for that matter) IPS or RAM for Web and office tasks. Not to say no one will. There's just no reason to replace an otherwise-perfectly-functional system when a battery will do. Reply
  • randinspace - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    Getting into this kind of form factor with a notebook rather than "settling" for a tablet is extremely tempting, but even though I sometimes can't even use it to browse AnandTech depending on which ads show up I'm going to keep riding my 6 year old Centrino equipped Toshiba until it gives up the ghost. Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    2585 CHF = 2933$

    Otherwise it looks fantastic although the resolution is a shame. If that price is official, it's way too expensive to challenge MBA.
    Reply

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