Lenovo X300 review

Light, packed with features and with superb battery life: the ideal business notebook.

Mike Jennings
17 Sep 2008
5
Price when reviewed 
1,756
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The svelte Lenovo X300 isn't much thicker than the impossibly slim MacBook Air, but its tiny dimensions hide a much more capable laptop that's ideal for business use.

The chassis, despite its slightly staid, retro style, is crammed with useful ports, features and touches: a fingerprint reader, TPM and bundled port replicator will prove useful for business users, and an embedded HSDPA modem is a useful addition alongside the now-ubiquitous 802.11 draft-n.

It's surprisingly tough for such a slim package, too. The thin screen showed a distinct lack of flex compared with the flimsy panels of the Asus U6 and Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook P8010. And the rest of the machine is just as sturdy.

Inside the chassis is a selection of decent components. The SL7100 processor runs at only 1.2GHz, but it's a low-power part that contributes to superb battery life and portability. And performance is still good enough to cope with business tasks.

Battery life, more importantly, is excellent, with the Lenovo providing the best results in the Labs. In our light-use test, the X300 lasted a fantastic 6hrs 21mins, and 1hr 56mins under heavy use.

Keen business travellers will also be pleased to find that Lenovo's keyboard and mouse arrangement is superb. Keys have plenty of positive, comfortable travel, and there's a choice between trackpad and trackpoint for mousing.

Multitaskers will appreciate the X300's screen. While other similarly-sized notebooks - such as the 13.3in-screened Dell XPS M1330 - have native resolutions of 1,280 x 800, the Lenovo has a more spacious 1,440 x 900.

The X300 also includes the only solid-state hard disk on test. Far more secure than traditional hard disks - there are no moving parts to go wrong - the 64GB of storage space can also be accessed more quickly than platter-based drives. The downside is that it adds cost to the laptop and storage is limited.

But the X300 is worth the extra cost. Fantastic battery life and superb ergonomics all combine to produce the best business laptop money can buy.

Warranty

Warranty1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions311 x 231 x 27mm (WDH)
Weight1.530kg
Travelling weight1.8kg

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo SL7100
Motherboard chipsetIntel GS965
RAM capacity2.00GB
Memory typeDDR2
SODIMM sockets free0
SODIMM sockets total2

Screen and video

Screen size13.3in
Resolution screen horizontal1,440
Resolution screen vertical900
Resolution1440 x 900
Graphics chipsetIntel GMA X3100
Graphics card RAM384MB
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
HDMI outputs0
S-Video outputs0
DVI-I outputs0
DVI-D outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0

Drives

Capacity64GB
Hard disk usable capacity59GB
Spindle speedN/A
Internal disk interfaceSATA/300
Hard diskSamsung MCCOE64G8MPP
Optical disc technologyDVD writer
Optical driveMatshita UJ-844
Battery capacity4,000mAh
Replacement battery price ex VAT£101
Replacement battery price inc VAT£116

Networking

Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a supportyes
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportyes
Integrated 3G adapteryes

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switchyes
Wireless key-combination switchno
Modemno
USB ports (downstream)3
PS/2 mouse portno
9-pin serial ports0
Parallel ports0
3.5mm audio jacks2
SD card readerno
Memory Stick readerno
MMC (multimedia card) readerno
Smart Media readerno
Compact Flash readerno
xD-card readerno
Pointing device typeTouchpad, trackpoint
Audio chipsetLegend HD Audio
Speaker locationFront edge
Hardware volume control?yes
Integrated microphone?yes
Integrated webcam?yes
TPMyes
Fingerprint readeryes

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use6hr 21min
Battery life, heavy use1hr 56min
Overall application benchmark score0.75
3D performance (crysis) low settingsFail
3D performance settingFail

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows Vista Business
OS familyWindows Vista
Recovery methodRecovery disc
Software suppliedThinkVantage software suite