Archive for January 2009

Review: The Lenovo Thinkpad X300

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When Apple launched MacBook Air, little did we expect that Lenovo is also about to launch it’s super thin and lightweight laptop, the Lenovo Thinkpad X300. The X300 is the PC’s equivalent of MacBook Air, except it pack more punch.

The Lenovo X300’s thickest point is 2.34cm. Compare that to MacBook Air’s 1.94cm thickest point, there is barely much different. Weight wise, X300 is 1.42kg (With DVD burner) while Macbook Air is 1.36kg (Without DVD burner). The X300 is so light that I have to open the bag to confirm that I packed the laptop inside. Do try to get your hands on a unit if you can. You will be amazed by it’s lightness.

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Compared to the MacBook air, the Lenovo X300’s spec is pretty impressive. For that extra 60grams and 0.4cm, you get a lot more features. For a start, there is a DVD burner. It’s amazing that they managed to squeeze a DVD burner into such small package. Then there is 3 USB port. (FYI: My existing T43 notebook only has 2 USB Port and it weighs a lot heavier) There is a fingerprint scanner for better security and faster login. Good for people like me who are just plain too lazy to type my password for login. The X300 also comes with a user removable battery, a Ethernet port and Monitor out port. This are essential to the business class users which the MacBook Air missed.

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But processor speed wise, the X300’s Intel Core 2 Duo 1.2GHz lose out the the MacBook Air’s Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6GHz. The Macbook Air also comes with a bigger SSD Harddrive. I sure hope Lenovo will refresh the specs on the X300 soon. Oh, talking about SSD Harddrive, the 64gb SSD Harddrive that comes with the X300 is great. Personally, I feel that SSD is on its way to replace our standard Harddisk. SSD has faster startup, fast read/write and low power consumption. It’s great that X300 decided to adopt this “Harddisk for the future”.

The X300, like most Thinkpad, also comes with Roll Cage. In fact, this is the first time Lenovo included Roll Cage in its X series. The Roll Cage makes the X300 durable and at the same time still remain light. I was told that they are using a very light and strong advanced carbon and glass fibre construct for the Roll Cage, the same material used in Formula One race car and airplane. Which makes me wonder…. is the X300 bulletproof too?

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I tried out the Lenovo X300 for 2 weeks and the experience was great. The X300 is very light and portable. The keyboard, like all Thinkpad, is very comfortable to type with. I love the fact that it has SSD. This makes the X300 bootup faster despite it’s slower processor. And having a SSD also means that I can shake the laptop during operation without fear of any harddisk scratches. You must be wondering, why would anyone shake their laptop during operation? Have you tried using your laptop on a bumpy taxi ride? Most laptop will have some lags because the harddisk cannot operate when on the move. But X300 doesn’t have this problem since it is using a SSD.

Lenovo is generous to provide 3 USB port on this machine. The video port is useful too although I didn’t get to use it. But I do know that a video port will come in handy when doing presentation. I’m also glad that it comes with a trackpoint. Yes, I’m a huge fan of trackpoint. Battery life is good. The review set that I got comes with an extended battery (6 cell) which provides around 4.9hr battery life. OK, I know that’s cheating. But even with standard 3 cell battery, it can also deliver 3.3 hr battery life.

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There is a 3G SIM card slot in my review unit. But from what I understand, the review unit doesn’t comes with the mobile broadband module. In fact, the set being sold in Singapore all doesn’t comes with that module. Which is kinda disappointing actually. 3G mobile broadband is very useful for mobile warrior. The Lenovo X300 is positioned as a ultimate tool for the mobile warrior, but it lacks the 3G mobile broadband.

One thing to note, the Trackpad for X300 is rather small compared to most laptop in the market. For me, it doesn’t really matters since I’m using the Trackpoint.

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The X300 is currently selling at $4,171. It’s very expensive but worth every single cent. The question is, do you need such a high end laptop. If you are always on the move and can afford the price tag, then X300 is the notebook for you.

In Short:
The Lenovo Thinkpad X300 is light on weight, heavy on features. Definitely a mobile warrior’s best friend.

Likes:
Slim and light weight
Durable
Feature packed

Dislike:
Price tag
Small trackpad
No 3G broadband built in (For Singapore)

For more pictures, check out my first look at Lenovo Thinkpad X300.

Many thanks to Derrick from Lenovo for making this review possible. It was hard to return such a wonderful unit to you.

Many U.S. Parents Outsourcing Child Care Overseas


Report: Many U.S. Parents Outsourcing Child Care Overseas

OK, it’s a joke. But sometimes must really respect the script writers to come up with such interesting stories.

Low Thia Khiang and Sylvia Lim has facebook page

Another sign that the local politics scene is entering the new media. Low Thia Khiang and Sylvia Lim have their own facebook page.

Its good to see the opposition parties embracing the new media. As we all know, they don’t get a lot of coverage on the mainstream media. So I guess the new media is the way to go. And after looking at how Obama used the new media during the US presidential election, I can’t wait to see something similar happening in Singapore.

It’s good that the government is starting to ease up on the regulations. Now that they have a presence in the new media, I’m sure voters would be able to make a better decision before casting their votes.

The leap second

If you are at UK, your 2008/09 countdown will most likely go something like this.

“….5 ….4 …..3 …..2 …..1 …. *hold 1 second*…. Happy New Year!!!”

That’s because the International Earth Rotation and Reference System Service (IERS) has introduced a leap second at 23:59:60 (UTC) on December 31, 2008. The rest of the world will also be adding the extra 1 second at that same moment. For Singapore, we will be adding the extra 1 second on 1 Jan 2009, 07:59:60.

A leap second is a second, as measured by an atomic clock, added to or subtracted from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) to make it agree with astronomical time to within 0.9 second. It compensates for slowing in the Earth’s rotation and is added during the end of June or December.

So for those super paranoid people who always adjust their watch to be super accurate, its time to minus 1 second on your watch.

PS: This blog entry is posted on the leap second. The previous leap second was in 2005. The next leap second is not known yet.

Happy 2009

5…. 4…. 3…. 2…. 1…. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
Happy 2009 to all my blog readers. May you have a great year ahead.

Auld Lang Syne played on a Ocarina.