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Head to Head: Lenovo ThinkPad X300 vs. Apple MacBook Air

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Apple may have stolen some thunder with today's MacBook and MacBook Pro upgrades, but Lenovo isn't about to let Mac fanboys have all the fun. Today it unleashed the new ThinkPad X300, a 13.3" ultraportable hoping to pull the carpet right from under Apple's smug feet. We compare the two notebooks to see which system offers the best bang for your buck.

Lenovo ThinkPad X300
Apple MacBook Air
Price
$2,548
$1,799
Weight
2.9 pounds
3.0 pounds
Width (at thickest)
0.75"
0.76"
Screen
13.3" 1440x900 widescreen LCD with LED backlight
13.3" 1280x800 widescreen LCD with LED backlight
Processor
Intel Core 2 Duo 1.2GHz dual-core processor with 800MHz front side bus
Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6GHz dual-core processor with 800MHz front side bus
Memory
1GB PC2-5300 667MHz RAM
2GB PC2-5300 667MHZ RAM
Hard Drive
64GB Solid State Drive
80GB 4200 rpm IDE hard drive
Video Card
Intel GMA X3100 with VGA output
Intel GMA X3100 with mini DVI output
Optical Drive
Optional DVD burner
(none)
Wireless Networking
802.11n
802.11n

Lenovo's offering is roughly $749 more than the MacBook Air, but one thing worth noting is that all configurations of the X300 include a 64GB Solid State Drive. (Configure the base MacBook Air with the same drive and you'll be shelling out $2,798.) This means you'll experience faster boot up times and enjoy an overall speedier laptop. Theoretically, the Solid State Drive should also improve the system's overall battery life since there are less moving parts that need to be powered. In fact, Lenovo claims up to 10 hours of battery life with its 6-cell battery, double what Apple touts for the MacBook Air with its IDE hard drive-equipped model.

Under the new ThinkPad's hood you'll find the same miniaturized Core 2 Duo CPU found in the MacBook Air, albeit at a slightly slower clock speed. Fortunately, Lenovo makes up for that by giving the X300 a sharper WXGA+ screen than the MBA.

Feature-wise, the X300 also offers more options and connectivity. For starters, the X300 can be configured with a built-in DVD burner. It has a built-in gigabit Ethernet port accompanied by three USB 2.0 ports. There's even an option for Wireless USB (UWB). Most importantly, however, is that you can swap out the X300's battery (or load it up with an extended battery), something that you simply can't do with the MacBook Air.

Both notebooks come with an integrated camera and Bluetooth, but only the ThinkPad integrates a biometric fingerprint sensor into its laptop. The X300 can be configured with either Windows XP Professional or Windows Vista Business / Ultimate (we recommend sticking with XP).

Granted, the ThinkPad X300 lacks some of the MacBook's panache, but if it's battery-saving technologies you're after, the X300 is the more tempting option. It has a power-saving CPU, LED-backlit LCD, Solid State Drive, and a removable battery making the X300 the better, though pricier, alternative.

Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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