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Lenovo's X300 vs. Apple's MacBook Air

Introduction

When Apple launched its MacBook Air, it was rumored that Lenovo would follow up with a 13" ultra-portable laptop. Lenovo did just that in February when it launched its X300. We focus on the X300, but include comparisons with the MacBook Air.

Lenovo’s high-end portable PC is comparable with the MacBook Air in two ways: its price, which is well over $2,500, and its 13.3" size. But that is where the comparison between the two systems ends as the X300 clearly targets a different market than Apple’s machine does. That being said, it still didn’t seem unreasonable for us to compare the two.

Our article focuses on the technical aspects of the X300, a later article on Tom’s Guide will concentrate more on ergonomics and the machine’s operating system.

A professional demographic

The X300 targets a different crowd than the one that the MacBook Air does. While Apple’s machine is more geared for the general public (it is based on Apple’s classic style), Lenovo’s laptop was designed more with professionals in mind. The X300’s design is sober and much less in-your-face than Apple’s is. Some of the X300’s features also indicate that the machine wasn’t designed for the general public but for users with work-related application needs. Still, the X300 should appeal to non-professional users as well, with its 13.3" screen and light weight of 3.5 lb.The X300 puts its Intel Core Duo 2 processor to use for power savings and offers an abundance of features.

  • anonymous x
    I would say its better than the macbook air.
    The air is so limiting (you can't even change the battery- its an ultraportable without flexible battery options!
    Reply
  • CptnVortex
    Did you forget about the 3 year Lenovo Warranty? And the optional 6 Cell main battery? The X300 is an amazing laptop, got one myself! $2550 CAD. Also, mine came with a single 2GB module installed, so I upgraded to 4GB for $39!!
    Reply
  • CptnVortex
    What about the 3 year Warranty the Lenovo comes with? Also, the one I ordered and recieved came with a single 2gb module isntalled, so $39 CAD and I was at 4GB! A great deal for such an AWESOME and rigid notebook. Dont forget there is also an optional 6 Cell Main battery available too
    Reply
  • kalpesh
    Mac Great show of your money and style
    Reply
  • huafi
    Have you mixed up some of your data? For instance, the article says that "The time it takes for Photoshop CS3 to load up is comparable on both machines, even if the Windows version is faster", but the data shows that the MBA launched Photoshop in 8 seconds, vs 46 seconds for Windows. That makes the Mac nearly 6 times as fast! And if you're going to show the data for the MBA with mechanical drive, you should note more clearly that that model is much, much cheaper than either SSD machine.

    Don't get me wrong; I think the X300 is a fantastic machine. It's a bummer that they didn't give it a good screen, and I hope that some of the quality issues with recent Lenovos don't manifest with this one, because it's an amazing engineering accomplishment. It has several features (especially WWAN and much better expandability/connectivity) that I really wish the MBA hadn't compromised on. Then again, aesthetically there's no comparing the two; the MBA is simply an amazingly desirable object, where the X300 just comes across as...competent. Whether that matters to you or not is purely personal.
    Reply
  • LikesMacsToo
    The thing that I would like to know is......in what way did you actually compare the two machines? This is a lenovo review with the mac used as merely reference to something of similar size. My beef here is not that its mac vs pc but it's just a lousy article with a misleading title. WTF THG, this is not up to your standards.
    Reply
  • croc
    I have a sony vaio that's about the same specs, and it's two years old! I just don't see what's so 'new' about this lappy from Lenovo. The MBA is cute, but the lack of devices and options just makes it impractical for my uses. BTW, my Sony has one of the best screens for the size that I've seen. Much better than the MBA, (I've done a side by side comparison, really pissed off the Apple store folks) but have yet to compare the Lenovo.

    The MBA is 4400 AUD with the solid drive, I can get a Mtron 64GB for about 1400 AUD, making my Sony cost about 3900 AUD. Battery life? My non-extended battery can play two DVD's without needing a charge, (barely) or just about enough time to get me from SYD to HI :-)
    Reply
  • bitburn
    Since they are both way to expensive, I would still pick the Air just for its style and OS superiority. But that's just me ;-)
    Reply
  • MadHacker
    strange that they compare load time of 2 different OS's
    they should have installed vista on the macbook or MAC OSX on the x300
    that would give a proper benchmark of the hardware.
    Reply
  • TechieXP
    What was Apple thinking? A laptop with no CDROM? So how am I suppose to install application/game? Oh I have to go out an buy one? Why? For the price of teh laptop they didnt include and external one? Thay only cost $20 to make if that much. And why external anyway. In the sleek design they couldnt have squeezed in a slot loading one? Come on Apple and you wonder why you're at the end of the computer gene pool. A laptop is suppose to be a portable computer with some of the features of my desktop. What happens if I am in class and the teacher hands us an instruction CD? I dont want to have to carry an additional component.
    Reply