Lenovo X100e Review
Terrific design, Great keyboard
Low battery life
The Lenovo X100e is an 11.6 inch business class netbook coming from the Thinkpad line and is currently priced at $514.95. The keyboard is terrific featuring the chiclet style keys with edges slightly rounded upwards on the edges prevent finger slipping and they contribute to one of the best netbook keyboards on the market. The performance in this netbook is much higher than average netbooks in part because of it’s dual core 1.6 GHz AMD Turion processor; however, with the upcoming 11.6 inch netbooks featuring Nvidia ION 2 (even better graphics) it could be better to wait. The battery life is also a little underwhelming which clocked in at about 4.5 hours compared to other netbooks that can do around 8 hours – that being said, most 11.6 inch netbooks have lower battery life than their 10 inch counterparts. Overall the good things outweigh the bad and if you want to sacrifice a little battery life for a larger netbook this is a great option to investigate further.
Quick Product Specs:
AMD Neo 1.6 GHz Dual Core Processor, 2 GB RAM, 250 GB Hard Drive, Windows 7 Pro (see full specs)
The netbook is only 1 inch thick, and unlike most other netbooks the battery extends out the back about an inch instead of contributing to a bulge on the bottom. This is a welcome change and one I wish more netbook manufacturers adopted. The case of the netbook is the typical business black that Lenovo is known for in it’s Thinkpad line so while I believe it lacks a bit of personality it still looks incredibly sleek. There are two sets of touchpad buttons (one set if you’re using the regular touchpad and another if you’re using the «eraser» style center mouse pointer). The island style keyboard looks spectacular and I’ll get to how great it is in a later part of the review.
The Lenovo X100e (like the Lenovo S10-3) has one of the best netbook keyboards I’ve ever laid my hands on. Lenovo designed a new island style chiclet keyboard that has raised edges on the sides of the keys to make it easier to prevent fingers from slipping off and hitting incorrect keys while typing. This keyboard feels incredibly expansive and it’s a noticeable change using this 11.6 inch netbook over the 10 inch netbooks. Unlike it’s smaller brother the Lenovo S10-3 – the X100e has a fantastic touchpad that is plenty large and easy to use (I’m a stickler for small touchpads and don’t tolerate them). The improved components in this netbook (1.6 GHz dual core processor and 2 GB RAM) make this a very snappy netbook and it loads programs much faster than my old ASUS Eee PC 1008HA. This netbook features an 11.6 inch 1366 x 768 resolution screen and I was very impressed with the clarity. Perhaps this is because I’m so used to 1024 x 600 10 inch netbooks, but in either case the higher resolution screen is a very nice feature and what makes it even better is that it is a matte screen as well! I could see easily and without any glare when I took it outside and turned the brightness up.
The Lenovo X100e has a 6 cell battery that provides the netbook an average battery life of about 4.5 hours. As I’ve said before, I would prefer to have seen a slightly higher battery life than that number, but most competing 11.6 inch netbooks fall in that range. When it comes to deciding whether you purchase this netbook or not you should just ask yourself if you prefer something a little larger with a lower battery life or can settle for something smaller (10 inch) in exchange for a longer battery life.
Overall I think the Lenovo X100e does a few things wonderfully for $514.95 Lenovo X100e available at Amazon.com: the keyboard, design, screen and solid build quality. The only thing you really need to decide is if 4.5 hours of battery life will be enough for you. I personally would have liked to see at least a couple extra hours, but if in the end you need more juice to get you through the day I’d look at some of the 10 inch options via our netbook comparison grid.