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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  • Jambe - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    1366x 768 elicits a sadface from me.
  • MrSpadge - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    I wouldn't mind this resolution in this form factor. It's terrible in 15", but for 13" it's.. well, just alright. Sure, 1400x900 would be an interesting option.

    Personally I'd rather have the IPS panel of the X220 as an option rather than a higher resolution.

  • larson0699 - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    You too?

    I hold onto my 16:10 laptops dearly.. 'Twould be nice to see more..
  • Belard - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    Yep... I really DON'T like 16:9 displays.

    In the "old days" (last year) - the Thinkpad T4xx (14" screen) LCD display was as tall as their T500 (15.6") - enough that it made more sense to buy a 14" T series to save 1 pound and a thinner notebook.

    Nowadays, the 14" is 16:9 and now it makes a bit more sense to get the 15" model.
  • PeterO - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    Hopefully the X1 ships with performance oriented Input/Output ports to tap all that SSD glory.
  • ramianreynolds - Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - link

    The biggest flaw of this design is the CPU they chose. Seems idiotic to take a sleek, lightweight, energy-efficient machine but saddle it with a power-hungry 35W TDP 2.5GHz Core i5-2520M, when a 25W 2.3GHz Core i7-2649M -- or better yet, a 17W 1.6GHz Core i7-2657M -- would provide near equal performance with the benefit of lower operating temperature and longer battery life. Fail.
  • Chloiber - Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - link

    The performance isn't "near equal". But other than that, I tend to agree with your statement ;)
  • seapeople - Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - link

    Yeah, what were they thinking. It might be ok when doing normal tasks, because the Sandy Bridge has great power efficiency and low idle draws, but doing something like running Folding@Home on this ultraportable laptop that draws 100% CPU would destroy battery life.
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - link

    @seapeople, I really hope there is a mobile Folding@Home community out there. No doubt, they're expecting a big influx from the FOF'd Seti@Home crowd.

    Either way, I think the Lenovo goal here was to raise the bar from "just enough" computing to "plenty," and to that end, the 2520M should do well. It will be interesting to see what the thermal performance of this device is, and remember, while we are happy to report the above as confirmed, we cannot confirm that this is the only specification the device will come in.
  • Osamede - Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - link

    Once again Lenovo dumps a low end 1355 x768 screen into what would otherwise be a decent laptop. Will they EVER learn? *shakes head in disgust*

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