ThinkPad X61s is a small and light—but powerful—system

REVIEW: The X61s offers compelling security and management features in an ultralight form factor.

For companies that want to provision employees with lightweight, full-featured, secure and centrally manageable notebooks, Lenovos ThinkPad X61s ultralight fits the bill nicely.

The X-series ThinkPads are Lenovos smallest notebooks—8 ¼ inches by 11 inches by 1 inch with the standard four-cell battery. (A system with the eight-cell, high-capacity battery adds another inch at the back.) At just under 3 pounds with the standard four-cell battery, a ThinkPad X can be easily toted around.

That said, ultralights such as the ThinkPad X61 arent for people looking for a desktop replacement.

The X61s model has a number of useful features—some obvious, some more subtle. The optional integrated fingerprint reader is a nice touch, letting you authenticate during boot-up or returning from sleep mode with a quick finger-swipe (once you get the hang of it), rather than having to remember and type a password. Other features I liked include the physical on/off switch for wireless (Wi-FI and Bluetooth) and the power-saving modes and settings.

X Series notebooks start at about $1,500. The unit I tested was configured with Intels 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo L75002GB, 2GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, Windows Vista Business Edition, the eight-cell, high-capacity battery, the UltraBase docking station and the DVD burner that goes in the UltraBase bay. (Lenovo offers a choice of Windows XP Professional or Vista Home Basic, Business or Ultimate.)

With the standard 1-year warranty, the system I tested costs about $2,000. Longer and on-site warranties can add several hundred dollars to system prices.

Next Page: A highly usable ultralight