One factor in a consumer laptop that can't be underestimated is the software bundle, and usually this is an overwhelming negative. In keeping with its business heritage, however, the X100e comes with a minimum of crapware. There's the Lenovo ThinkVantage tools application, a welcome alternative to the ever-sprawling Windows control panel. This provides the usual diagnostics, recovery and driver support, backup and restore, network connections, and a password manager. Apart from Adobe's Reader there are options to instal Symantec and Skype and a 60-day Office 2007 trial. But that's it, really.
Also available in red – shocker
With a size and weight similar to some of its Thinkpad X series siblings that are twice the price, the X100e is going to attract a lot of interest. Particularly with the excellent keyboard and basic, but chunkily robust construction. This is an ideal form factor for a second, occasional use machine. The X100e is in the netbook price range, yet it comes with full Windows 7 Professional, and Lenovo's support options. But it's getting mighty crowded in the market.
Most of the competition that's based on Intel's CULV (Centrino Ultra Low Voltage) chips is priced considerably higher, for example Acer's Aspire Timeline P4810T. Toshiba's T135, which claims a nine hour battery life, is quality competition, as is Samsung's X120, a similarly sized and priced contender. And if you include the grey channel and second hand market, then prices for Toshiba's sub-2lb Portege R500, and even Lenovo's own X200, plummet towards £500.
Compared with these options, your £400-odd doesn't get you a machine with outstanding battery life, or great performance. So for some, the X100e might fall between two stools. But for conservative buyers, or those valuing robustness over whizz-bang features, and for those who find netbooks have too many compromises, the X100e is a strong contender. ®
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Lenovo ThinkPad X100e
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?