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Lenovo ThinkPad X200 ultraportable laptop

This outstanding ultraportable delivers full-featured performance, great battery life and a good keyboard.

By Carla Thornton
August 11, 2008 12:00 PM ET

PC World - Equipped with the new Centrino 2 processor, Lenovo's ThinkPad X200 looks a mild-mannered ultraportable, and yet it can leap tall workloads in a single bound. Its battery life is phenomenal, and the keyboard is huge. In short, this is a much better notebook than the ThinkPad X61, which it replaces, and a surefire winner for on-the-run execs.

Because it bears a lower model number, you might imagine that this is a less-powerful version of the ThinkPad X300, but the X200 actually has a more recent processor. The X300 has a 13.3-in. display, however, while the X200 has a 12.1-in. screen. Ah, but what you'll see when you fire this baby up!

At just under 3 pounds with its lightest battery installed, the X200 weighs a few ounces less than the ThinkPad X61, despite offering the same 12.1-in. widescreen and a bigger keyboard. The bright little screen has an easy-to-read 1280-by-800-pixel resolution, making it quite comfortable for work on the go. And the built-in webcam keeps you in visual touch with your colleagues.

The redesigned keyboard is as big as the ones that members of Lenovo's ThinkPad T series carry, and it has all the same amenities: spill resistance, dedicated page-up and page-down keys, and the all-important ThinkVantage button. The ThinkVantage application suite offers one-touch access to the onboard user manual as well as to recovery, security and other crucial utilities. A fingerprint reader rounds out the package. What's missing: a touchpad. Many ThinkPads offer both a touchpad and an easerhead as pointing devices, but not the X200.

The review unit Lenovo sent us came with 2GB of RAM and a 2.4-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8400, and it notched a WorldBench 6 score of 88, putting it only 14 points behind the fastest laptop we've tested to date. As you might expect, the X200's integrated video graphics can handle only simple games. But the X200's battery life soars. Lenovo has expanded its battery line to three choices, topped by the powerful nine-cell model that our X200 carried. Though this battery extends the back of the notebook by about half an inch and brought our unit's weight to 3.7 pounds (not including power adapter), the payoff was almost nine hours of juice on a single charge.

Unless you already have a spare external USB optical drive on hand, you'll have to shell out $219 extra for Lenovo's Ultrabase docking slice to get an internal drive bay. (A Blu-ray optical drive costs even more.) On the bright side, the modular bay accepts other devices like a second battery or second hard drive. But the docking slice also offers some nifty new connections, most notably a place to charge yet another battery and a DisplayPort display interface that combines high-def audio and video in a single connector.

Reprinted with permission from PCWorld.com. Story copyright 2012 PC World Communications. All rights reserved.
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