Lenovo, would have us think it has raised the bar with its latest launch in India – its first professional grade entry ultra portsable, the ThinkPad X100e. We prefer to look at this as lowering the bar – in the best sense possible – lowering the bar on small businesses and lay users, going in for a Lenovo laptop because they were still being made ands priced the “IBM way”, which meant chunky, unsexy design, solid features, but targeted at professional users who rarely if ever had to buy their own machines, and didn’t have to watch the rupees.
Finally the truth has sunk in, it seems: small and medium businesses in India spent Rs. 5,275 crore Rs 52.75 billion/ $1.14b in 2009 a number expected to touch Rs 55.15 billlion/ $ 1.194 in 2010. According to IDC, PC spends accounted for 30.74 per cent of the total spends on IT by SMBs in India in 2009. Hoping to woo this sector with affordable portable computers, Lenovo has unveiled a machine that is a sort of NetBook-Notebook crossover – ie offering the portablility of the Netbook without downscaling the processing power. To deliver better value for money it has also broken with its IBM-derived Intel-only tradition to port AMD’s alternatives
The platform comes with a choices of AMD Athlon Neo single and dual core processors and Turion dual core processors with AMD’s own ATI GPU graphics processor. The HD ( 1366 by 768, not quite full HD) display is a comfortable 11.6 and the full-size keyboard based on Lenovo’s recent design, has a nice multi gesture touchpad and Trackpoint that makes navigation easy when you are using the machine on your lap. This and the spill proof feature, makes this far ahead of the sort of cramped keyboard that NetBook users have to live with. Memory and hard disk are about standard : up to 4 GB memory and a hard drive between 160 GB and 320 GB depending on what you pay for. The laptop comes with 802.11n WiFi and optional Bluetooth and 3G; webcam and mike The 3-cell battery is rated to give about 2 hours use while the 6 cell version promises 5 hours… neither spectacular, but then this is a more heavy-duty cruncher than an ultra basic Netbook. There is a price to pay though – weightwise: 1.5 rather than 1.36 kg.
With Windows 7 starter edition, the basic machine costs just under Rs 30,000 – but we are betting the target small biz user is going to need at least Windows Home Premium and will be boosting memory and hard disk beyond the entry specs. That will probably make the X100e around Rs 35-38K to take home. This might still be considered a good buy – considering the ergonomic features and the good AMD CPU ticking away inside. - Jan 25 2010