The Packaging and BundleThe Packaging and BundleThe box is nothing special; in fact, it is almost industrial in nature with no gloss, bells nor whistles. Very drab indeed! For the price one has to pay for this product, I have to question if Lenovo shouldn't take more care and attention to detail in presentation of the package.
The Experience - Video PresentationThe Experience - Video PresentationThis film on YouTube shared the same experience as we had with our Lenovo product, and many of the opinions were an exact reflection of what we were thinking as we tested our X300. It's well worth checking out.
The SpecificationsThe SpecificationsThe X300 notebook has an Intel Core Duo SL7100 (1.2GHz, 4MB L2, 800MHz FSB) CPU. The monitor is a 13.3" WXGA+ TFT (LED backlight). There is a 3x3 UltraConnect II which is a connectivity suite offering wireless LAN, UWB (UltraWide Band), Bluetooth and numerous wireless WAN choices including a system that utilizes native GPS functionality that is built into the X300. The product is designed to support WiMax when it becomes available, however this product was for the Taiwan market and as such this feature was not included. The receiver sensors have been placed in the top left hand side of the monitor. Check it out below.
The Specifications - ContinuedThe Specifications - ContinuedIn something so thin and light (1.42Kgs with the ThinkPad X300 Series 3 Cell Li Polymer Battery), it really is a remarkable engineering feat. The entire package is one powerful neat device for the road warrior, and truly there is nothing to fault the product in terms of functionality. The fact that it is designed for business people means it has to have the right kind of connectivity while keeping as small a profile as possible. The very thin (less than 2cm thick) profile is ideal for portability and convenience when travelling. The below picture of the X300s front view shows the clip mechanism with no other ports to be seen.
The Look and FeelAestheticsAesthetics are not normally something one considers when buying a business notebook, since functionality is primarily the main concern. Despite this, Lenovo has taken care on the product itself, incorporating what I would consider a certain polished upper-class look and feel. The surface of the X300 is plastic, but it has a distinct rubberized feel to it. In addition, the beveled contours make the keyboard stand out. These may not be noticeable at first glance, but once in a while you may be sitting reflecting on your product, and this is where you will notice all the extra love and care that has gone into manufacturing this remarkable device. In the below picture I have tried to capture some of that essence, but truly I just don't do it justice. You will have to have hands on to appreciate what I am writing here.
Why no CDs? And what is ReadyBoost?ThinkVantageThinkVantage is a button labeled very clearly on the X300 notebook, and the reason for this is it single handedly replaces all CDs which are usually shipped with a notebook product. What Lenovo has done is partitioned the SSD and arranged a sector of the SSD to hold all the relevant software required to refresh your device, should something catastrophic ever happen. So, the next time a virus gets past your firewall and infects your entire system, all you have to do is push the ThinkVantage button and allow it to take you back to your last backup. If you prefer, it can start you off from a clean install since all the necessary files are included. It is highly recommended to allow the software to backup your files regularly in the event that something should ever happen. What is really convenient about this system is Lenovo has done all the planning and implementing, and so therefore business people who own the notebook can just go about their business instead of worrying about silly things like backups. For me, this type of innovation separated the men from the boys, and the sheer magnitude of the Lenovo service capabilities worldwide gives a sense of security that few other companies can match.Windows ReadyBoost CacheThis experiment was done not to show up the Lenovo product, but simply to see how much better SSD drives are than traditional HDDs. What we tested was the improvement of benchmarks within the FutureMark PCMark Vantage suite when using a 1GB standard flash memory USB device. Windows ReadyBoost cache is defined by Wikipedia as follows:-"Using ReadyBoost-capable flash memory (NAND memory devices) for caching allows Windows Vista to service random disk reads with performance that is typically 80-100 times faster than random reads from traditional hard drives. This caching is applied to all disk content, not just the page file or system DLLs. Flash devices are typically slower than the hard drive for sequential I/O, so to maximize performance, ReadyBoost includes logic to recognize large, sequential read requests and then allows these requests to be serviced by the hard drive."With ReadyBoost activated, one should see a significant improvement in performance for the CPU, memory and HDD capabilities when using the USB flash drive. This however was not the case. Why? Well let's look at the results and speculate further.
Final ThoughtsFinal ThoughtsLenovo is an excellent brand. It is consistent in manufacturing products of high quality and durability. The company sticks to its strengths, which are business platforms, and so it excels at delivering the end-user what he or she wants. The notebook has heaps of features, starting from a 64GB Solid State Drive, which has been proven to be considerably faster than traditional HDDs, not only in the speed of access, but also in general performance. The 7mm DVD burner on such a small device is an engineering feat worth mentioning, as well as the thin profile of less than 2cm wide, the host of wireless communications and standard LAN, Bluetooth and WAN capabilities. The multimedia aspect is solid and capable, with good working speakers, good connectivity options and also an integrated web camera for VOIP conference calls with families or colleagues while travelling. All in all, the entire product exudes quality and craftsmanship.We have been extremely impressed by this product, mainly due to the engineering feats such as very small profile and footprint, while retaining all the essential ingredients for the target customer. In this case the target customer is a business person on the move, and with almost every aspect of functionality geared towards portability, ease of use and convenience, we have no doubt that it deserves the "Best Features" award. The only area that it is let down in is the price, but since it is a premium product, the above $3000USD price tag is to be expected. What should also be noted is that it doesn't have an SD card reader, or PC Card slot, but these are essentially legacy devices and are seldom needed since most media devices, from cameras to cell phones connect directly through the USB port anyway.
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