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Old 02-07-2011, 10:30 PM
Michael Knutson
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Default ThinkPad X120e: Nearing Greatness!?

"Most things deserve a second chance, right? Hey, if they promise improvement, we think so, and that's exactly what we're giving Lenovo's ThinkPad X120e. If you recall, the previous X100e was quite a disappointment, and that's actually putting it rather nicely -- not only did the 11.6-inch system redefine the term "lapburner," but it struggled to last 3.5 hours on a charge. It was bordering on tragic, but Lenovo's ready to right all those wrongs with the X120e. While it has kept the chassis and the wonderful chiclet keyboard unchanged, it's subbed out AMD's older Neo chip for the long awaited Fusion Zacate APU."

As a mostly happy former owner of a ThinkPad x100e, the x120e follow-on (or fixed version, if you prefer) keeps the best features from the x100e, and has fixed the worst offenders, so may be a system to consider in the light-but-not-a-netbook (or notbook, as Engadget calls them) ultraportable category. The former's anemic processor has been upgraded to AMD's Fusion Zacate, battery life is significantly improved to about five hours, and the x120e no longer roasts the hand. A couple down-sides mentioned: fan is a bit loud; battery life is still not "all day" and still juts out the back; touchpad could use some improvement; and the speakers sound a bit tinny. In the plus column: 3.3-pounds; the keyboard and screen (matte, 1366x768) are still first-rate; construction is plastic but solid; it runs Windows 7 Professional 64-bit without a hiccup; its multitasking and performance is superb; it's not burdened with much crapware; it has HDMI-out; and pricing starts at $399 ($579 as tested by Engadget). Lenovo does listen to user feedback! Availability is shown only as "starting in February."


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