Here come the "MacBook Air killers"

SANTA BARBARA, CALIF. -- Leaked info on a new Thinkpad from Lenovo has started the inevitable "MacBook Air killers" category of ultra-thin notebooks. As you might expect, the Thinkpad is more functional for business, but fuglier than the Air.

There are two kinds of people: those who care how thin their laptop is, and those who don't. Personally I tend to care, not only because thin-notebook technology is neato, but also because I like to carry more than one laptop in a single bag, or take trips where packing light is a must.

And because I'm one of those people, I think the upcoming Thinkpad X300 looks pretty compelling so far, if leaked specs are accurate.

The X300 is three-quarters of an inch thick, sports a 13.3-inch LED backlit 1440X900 screen and weighs just 2.5 lbs. It's powered by an Intel Merom Santa Rosa Dual Core Hybrid LV CPU (2.0 Ghz / 880 Mhz ), a 64 GB SSD, up to 4GB of DDR2 PC2-5300 memory. Lenovo will claim 4 hours of battery life, according to the leak. It has three USB 2.0 ports, Firewire (why?), three internal PCI-E slots, DisplayPort, an ExpressCard slot and other goodies.

The emergence of "MacBook Air killers" is no surprise. The biggest news here is the X300's "Dual Core Hybrid LV," which, to the best of my knowledge, nobody's ever heard of. Some are speculating online that it sponges off of the Intel/Apple development effort for the MacBook Air.

No pricing or availability yet (stay tuned).

Meanwhile, it's time to brace yourself for a year of banal "MacBook Air killer" headlines and a heated public war between the Apple fanboy aesthetes and the who-cares-what-it-looks-like-I-need-three-USB-ports business/practical crowd.

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