Lenovo set to take on Apple's MacBook Air
Analysts say new ThinkPad ultrathin laptop could help spur the ultraportable market
Computerworld - Watch out, Apple. The MacBook Air now has some serious company.
Apple Inc. announced the MacBook Air in January, when CEO Steve Jobs pulled the Hollywood-thin notebook out of an interoffice mail envelope in front a foot-stomping crowd of Apple devotees at the Macworld Conference in San Francisco. The Apple machine is thinner than Lenovo's X300, measuring just 0.16 in. at its thinnest point.
Nonetheless, analysts expect the new ThinkPad to give the MacBook Air a run for its money.
"I think this is pretty exciting. It's Lenovo carrying on with the innovation legacy it inherited when it acquired the ThinkPad business from IBM," said Richard Shim, an analyst at IDC. "Together, the two machines are helping to reshape the ultraportable category. From a market share perspective, this category has been stuck. Part of the reason is when you buy an ultraportable, you're paying a premium but sacrificing performance. If you pay more, you should get more. These two machines challenge that obstacle."
Shim noted that both the ThinkPad X300 and the MacBook Air have 13-in. displays, compared to most ultraportables, which have 12-in. displays and are slightly heavier, at 3 to 4 lbs.
However, while the MacBook Air is consumer machine, the ThinkPad, as always, is built to be a business tool.
The new ThinkPad has replaceable batteries and a replaceable optical drive. It also has three USB ports (compared to one on the MacBook Air) along with a VGA port that can be used to hook it up to a monitor.
The ThinkPad, though, also comes with an executive-level price tag. Available immediately, pricing for the Lenovo machine starts at $2,799.
This is a product for a top executive who's always on the go, according to analyst Rob Enderle, president of Enderle Group. "In all seriousness, anybody buying the MacBook Air is doing it because it's sleek and cool. Anyone buying the Thinkpad is doing it because they really want to do some work with it.... This is the product you give your very top people. It's not going to be for everybody because of its price."
Enderle, though, noted that even as a business machine, the ThinkPad X300 is a sexy device.
"It's the first ThinkPad since the mid-'90s that I actually think is sexy," he added. "Thinkpads are known as solid products, but not really for being sexy. It's just very thin, very light. It's kind of a technology showcase. This thing has all the bells and whistles that you could possibly aspire to in a notebook."
Shim noted that Lenovo's new thin design for the ThinkPad should work with Apple's sleek MacBook Air to move the ultraportable laptop market forward. "It will help to redefine the ultraportable market and help to spur some growth," he added. "They push the bar on thinness, allowing some of this innovation to trickle down in the market over time."
Read more about Laptops in Computerworld's Laptops Topic Center.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
Red Hat Enterprise Linux - The Original Cloud Operating System
Linux adoption is growing against a number of measures, such as the
number of supercomputers that run Linux and the size of the contributing...
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- Building a Bridge to the Next Generation Data Center Selecting a widely adopted operating system is a foundational component of a standardization strategy.
- OpenStack and Red Hat: IDC White paper Most OpenStack deployments are by public cloud providers that are early adopters of technology and use OpenStack in a do-it-yourself deployment and support...
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All Laptops White Papers | Webcasts