Lenovo is taking another swing at the MacBook Air. Having discontinued their X300 ultraportable line, Lenovo seemed content to compete at the 11" and 12" form factor, without sitting a horse at the popular but Air dominated 13.3" form factor. But a listing on a Swiss computer distributor's site leaked and documents released on the Lenovo channel distributors' site confirmed that the ThinkPad purveyor is planning to take on the Air with a 21.5 mm thick ultraportable notebook called the X1. 
While not quite as thin as the much hailed MBA, the X1 packs impressive specifications, especially for a device targeted at those of us used to sacrificing performance for lightweight. Headlining the device is a 2.5GHz Core i5-2520M CPU, the same processor as can be found in the 34.6 mm thick X220. Let me say that again, Lenovo managed to grow the screen and pack the same processor into a device one third less thick. A 13.3" 1366 x 768 Gorilla Glass screen, 160GB SSD, 8GB of RAM, an SDXC card reader and the excellent keyboard and build quality we've come to expect from the ThinkPad line round out the specifications. But that's not all.

Earlier today, Lenovo released slides from a distribution webinar that reveals that the X1 will sport a new type of battery which promise significant improvements in stamina and charging speed. Lenovo claims an 80% charge in just 30 plugged in minutes, for the sealed battery. This battery technology is expected to be included in all their future ultraportable notebooks including the previously announced Edge 220s and 420s, and the X1 is rated at 5 hours of use between charges. And there's one more thing.
In the same slide discussing the new warranty policies regarding these new batteries, Lenovo reveals that the battery tech will be included in the X Slate - presumably Lenovo's upcoming Honeycomb based tablet offering.
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  • beysl - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    Electronics are (sadly) more expensive here in switzerland. My guess is around 2k-2.2k dollar.
  • Andrew Rockefeller - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    Lenovo's MBA challenger is the Thinkpad X120e. At half the price ($579) but 1/4" thicker, I know which option businesses will go with.. by the pallet-load.
  • Eothred - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    This looks massively great! Regarding the price, I wouldn't be too worried just yet. I've seen prices on Lenovo in Norway which are sometimes twice the regular price. Dunno why, but in any case wait until a normal US shop has it in and see the price then.

    Love the idea of having the buttons above the trackpad only. I remember when I used my T61p the buttons below were never used. I want this! :)
  • Eothred - Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - link

    Hah, here is the Norwegian price in what is normally considered a decent priced web shop: http://www.komplett.no/k/ki.aspx?sku=634242

    21k NOK is a massive 3900 USD. I'd love to know why that is, but anyways. I agree with the other statement above, the price will probably be around 2k USD
  • Gunbuster - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    Is that a windows key I see in the photo?
  • Chloiber - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

  • glindner - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    I love it! But, can they make it in a bigger screen size for us that like the real estate? 15.6 or even better 17.3?? 1600x1200ish res. Backlit keyboard. Imagine the extra space for more batteries! Please...?
  • larson0699 - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    Those of us *who* like the real estate... use our HDMI ports or buy larger :-/

    Larger screen and backlit keyboard are NOT features of slims/ultraportables.
    Nor would I complain about mainstream-Sandy Bridge's TDP because that only tells the power ceiling of the proc, if you will. I read not long ago that the 35W i3-2100T and 65W i3-2100 (both desktop parts) draw 5 Watts apart at idle, and given what I've seen on AT and elsewhere, SNB wipes the floor with its predecessors in power efficiency at any load -- furthers that Lenovo's choice of a normal-voltage proc in a slim bothers me none. But there's only so much room for the battery. If I could, I'd configure it without (and without reading the full specs on it, so some of these features may already be absent) all the amenities such as the webcam, Bluetooth, optical drive, anything non-essential.

    15.6, 17.3 = 16:9
    15.4, 17 = 16:10
    15 (such as your 1600x1200) = 4:3. You may get that kind of pixel density out of Apple, but the full-frame AR might be hard to spot anywhere..
  • 8steve8 - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    It may be thin, but its big in the other dimensions. A full inch wider than Toshiba's 13.3" r83x.

    35W tdp CPU+gpu seems excessive... wish they chose a 25w tdp sang bridge instead, for less battery drain and less heat. Also wasted volume on a full 2.5" hdd space. For a laptop this size they should commit the chassis to small footprint adds, msata.

    Looks like a step in the right direction, but we need a few more from Lenovo.

    LGs nearly bezel-less panels are going to allow for some exciting ultraportables soon... 14" screens on laptops with 13.3-ish dimensions.
  • 8steve8 - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    Typo: meant to type small footprint adds, msata. More volume for larger battery.

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