It's a chiclet-style design, and a slightly better-sprung feel than similar Apple keyboards, for example. The sculpted keys and ample travel make for excellent typing, as does the sensible keyboard layout. It's a world apart from the cramped compromises of netbooks, even the best of these cannot claim all these features.
The keyboard is arguably this ThinkPad's best feature
So the X100e is going to attract interest from people who don't need to need to lug their gigantic media libraries around with them, but want to use a second (or third) machine primarily for document creation, and I found the keyboard to be as good as any ThinkPad I've used. It's spill-proof, too, meaning coffee slops drain away. Incidentally, the X100e and Edge both abandon the Page Back/Forward keys for smaller, lower PgUp and PgDn buttons.
Construction is well up to expected standards. The hinges are stiff, and there's no flex on the keyboard, or LED-lit screen. Almost all netbooks or laptops at this price suffer the curse of gloss, a fashion abberation to match flared trousers. Since there's no gloss anywhere, here, it's no fingerprint magnet.
There's no compromise with the inclusion of both trackpad and TrackPoint, but the former is marred by buttons flush with the front side of the machine. Unfortunately, when the case is shut, these provide the only natural recess with which to prise it open. There's no latch, so pulling open the machine is more difficult than it needs to be, because care must be taken not to apply any pressure to the underside of the buttons. It's a very un-Thinkpad like design flaw.
On this model, Lenovo skimps on the indicators: the charging light is fitful. The machine features integrated 3G support and 802.11n Wi-Fi. Lenovo's excellent connections toolbox means switching between radios, and internet connections, was easy. The X100e found a signal in reasonably good time, although this isn't one of Windows 7's strong points. Unusually for a Trackpad, and perhaps with the netbook audience in mind, there's an integrated webcam.
Still looks the business
The X100e is powered by a single core Athlon NEO MV-40, with an ATI Radeon HD 3200 chip. 2GB of memory is fitted, with 1776MB available to the system. The rear of the machine gets pretty warm, but the cooling system pumps out the heat efficiently, and quietly too: the X100e was inaudible in our office even during the Benchmark tests. It's really a tale of two chips: connected, and disconnected. Out of the box performance on the battery was poor. Yet after a week, and on mains, the X100e proved itself perfectly capable.
My NC10 also does duty as a home media server - runs WIn7 HP with the media center, I leave it plugged in to the 42" Plasma in the living room and play all my ripped DVDs off it. It's a great little machine.
Like AC above, 720p is no problem in practically any format, but 1080p is only possible in MP4 and then it's a bit stuttery. Depends on the level of detail on the screen; lots of waving tree branches and it chokes back to about 5fps so I tend not to use that mode.
But we're talking about a 1.6GHz Atom with no discrete GPU - so pretty good going in my book.
I should hope so...
"has no trouble playing 720p MKV video (I haven't tried it with an external display, so I don't know about 1080 output)."
My Samsung NC10 can do BOTH 720p MKV (and MP4, FLV etc) AND 1080p MP4 (only format I've tested at 1080p) via the VGA port WITH Dual-View active! Admittedly it doesn't do it "out of the box", it does take a bit of fiddling with codecs/splitters, but it DOES do it.
Incidentally, I have found I CAN use my NC10 as a "main" computer replacement. It does everything I need it to, which is more a LOT more than just web/email. Yes, when it comes to raw number crunching it is slower than a full desktop/laptop but I knew that when I got it, so I don't really mind. For me its about the size, it goes literally everywhere with me.
I bought the X100e to replace the Ideapad S9e that i'd had for just over a year.
I love that fact that i can take it away on business trips and not feel like a tw@ when i have it on the desk in front of me.
Everyone would go "ooh, that's nice" and then 10seconds later be laughing as i strugled to type anything on the S9e's microscopic keyboard.
The X100e has Win7 Pro, can use 3GB of RAM and has 'Lenovo ThinkPad' on the case.
It's small, fairly light and most importantly no one rips the piss out of it in meetings!
What more do you want for £400?
Oustanding keyboard??? The arses STILL stick the damn Fn (function) key in place of where the damn Ctrl key is on every other damn keyboard. You get used to it, but it causes a lot of keyboard usage mistakes when switching to normal systems.
Lack of features, lack of performance, definitely a Lenovo
No DVI/HDMI? A standard feature on every other notebook for the last 4-5 years? This is why I can't stand Lenovo, even their docks don't have a DVI on the X-series up until this year's model. And the T-series only got it with the T60. I have one VP constantly complaining about the wiggly screen, but I can't even buy a better dock to give him DVI.
The only saving grace for the x100 would be if it was as rugged as the larger models. Why no test for that?