By Anne Chen  |  Posted 2006-04-10 Print this article Print

IT managers looking to outfit their users with a lightweight notebook that can deliver remarkable performance and fantastic battery life should take a look at Lenovos ThinkPad X60s, which does all this and more.

The ThinkPad X series has always been a favorite of eWEEK Labs, and the X60s (a refresh of the X40) does not disappoint. In fact, we were impressed enough with the new system to name it an Analysts Choice.
Click here to read a review of the HP Compaq Nc6320.
Armed with Intels Core Duo dual-core processors and an eight-cell extended battery, the ultraportable laptop delivers an incredible 7-plus hours of battery life at a weight of merely 3.5 pounds.

The X60s, which was announced in January, measures 10.5 by 8.3 by 0.8 inches at the front and 1.1 inches at the back, and it has a 12.1-inch screen—smaller than that of the Dell and HP systems we tested, but highly usable nonetheless. The laptop also has integrated EvDO from Verizon, an option that adds a small protruding antenna to the right side of the unit.

The X60s that we tested, which lists for $2,299, features a low-voltage 1.6GHz Intel Core Duo L2400 processor, 512MB of DDR2 SDRAM (synchronous dynamic RAM) and an 80GB hard drive. The Core Duo L2400 processor is designed to provide better battery life, but users concerned with processor performance can order the laptop with Intels Core Duo T2400 instead.

The laptop also has Intels GMA 950 integrated graphics, and its screen has a 1,024-by-768-pixel resolution.

Click here to read a review of Dells Latitude D620. As with the other two systems we tested, connectivity is covered well with the X60s. The system we evaluated included a ThinkPad 11/a/b/g Wi-Fi wireless card and Bluetooth connectivity, and its integrated cellular EvDO radio provided broadbandlike speeds wirelessly.

As with all ThinkPads, the X60s features the red TrackPoint mouse. Users familiar with the line will notice that Lenovo has added a Windows key to the keyboard and changed the Access IBM button to a blue ThinkVantage button.

The X60s has all the ports a road warrior could need, including four-pin FireWire, three USB 2.0 ports, and slots for SD and Type II PC cards. A fingerprint reader works with an embedded TPM that manages encryption keys and passwords.

As with all ThinkPads, the X60s comes with the ThinkVantage Technologies suite of tools, including a hard drive active protection system that parks the hard drive in the event of a fall.

Our review model also came with the X6 Ultrabase docking station (priced at $160), which includes an optical drive and additional ports. IT managers should note that the AC adapter, while diminutive, features a different connector than older models and therefore cannot be powered with existing ThinkPad adapters. The adapter that powers the X60s is the same one that powers Lenovos Z60t.

With the extended battery, our unit scored an impressive 462, or 7 hours and 42 minutes of battery life, on the MobileMark test. The battery costs an additional $143, and, as with the X60s itself, we believe its well worth the cost.

Next page: Evaluation Shortlist: Related Products.

As a senior writer for eWEEK Labs, Anne writes articles pertaining to IT professionals and the best practices for technology implementation. Anne covers the deployment issues and the business drivers related to technologies including databases, wireless, security and network operating systems. Anne joined eWeek in 1999 as a writer for eWeek's eBiz Strategies section before moving over to Labs in 2001. Prior to eWeek, she covered business and technology at the San Jose Mercury News and at the Contra Costa Times.

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