Lenovo X Series ThinkPads Feature Intel 'Sandy Bridge' Chips

Lenovo's lightweight X Series ThinkPads feature Intel's "Sandy Bridge" chips and, in the case of the X220 laptop, the option of 24 hours of battery life.

Lenovo has introduced the ThinkPad X220 laptop and X220 Tablet PC, its second new round of thin and light business ThinkPad notebooks, in the last few weeks, to be updated with Intel's "Sandy Bridge" 2nd Generation Core processors. The chips are said to be 20 percent faster than previous generations and to offer twice the graphics performance.

Running Microsoft Windows 7, the X220 notebook weighs just under 3 pounds and features a 12.5-inch high-definition or Premium HD display, a Trackpoint and a button-less Touchpad that's 45 percent larger than on earlier models.

The X220 Tablet PC is a laptop with swivel hinge, enabling its display to be turned and folded flat, for use like a, well, writing tablet. It weighs 3.88 pounds, with a four-cell battery, and features a 12.5-inch HD display with Infinity glass, two-finger touch and five-finger gesture capabilities, or Gorilla Glass with pen input. It has also passed eight military-spec tests for durability and reliability, making it appropriate for outdoor tasks and untraditional environments.

As with Lenovo's Feb. 22 ThinkPad introductions, the new Intel chips help enable big-time battery life. The ThinkPad X220, with its standard 9-cell battery, gets 15 hours of battery life. Add the external battery, and that rises to 24 hours-enough for a flight to Asia, as one analyst has pointed out.

(By comparison, the Sony Vaio S Series, introduced March 7, can also offer 15 hours of battery life, but that's with an Extended Battery Sheet, which sells separately for approximately $150 and adds about a pound).

Through a combination to Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, which increases processor speed during arduous tasks, and Lenovo Turbo Boost+, designed to enable the PC to stay in Turbo Boost mode longer by keeping processor temperatures in check, the new laptops reportedly achieve up to 30 percent longer battery life for tasks such as playing movies. (One can't be expected to prepare PowerPoint presentations during the whole flight, after all.)

"These speed-optimized PCs fit the same full-powered CPUs as bigger 14- and 15-inch laptops for full performance, while similar weight competitors offer only low-powered CPUs," Lenovo said in a March 8 statement.

Both notebooks feature Lenovo's Enhanced Experience 2.0, for rapid boot-up, shut down and resuming from sleep, and an Instant Resume function that maintains connections during sleep mode for up to 99 minutes, so users don't need to login and reconnect again. Both also feature Webcams, microphones with various private chat and conference-call modes, and keyboards with noise-suppression technology, to reduce distracting typing sounds during video calls. Finally, both offer the option of a USB 3.0 port, said to transfer data at 10 times that of a USB 2.0 port, WiMAX, WiFi, WLAN and WWAN connectivity options, and multiple hard drive and solid-state drive options.

The tablet comes with "never-lost-pen" technology that can notify a user when the tablet is being moved without the pen in the pen holder, and a hinge design that's said to save space and enable better antenna and speaker placement. The X220 notebook features a spill-resistant keyboard with wider drain holes and a 50-percent improvement in drop-test performance.

The ThinkPad X Series has everything a modern road warrior needs without compromises," including low weight, long battery life and high performance, Dilip Bhatia, vice president of Lenovo's ThinkPad marketing, said in a statement.

Arriving in April, the X220 laptop will start at $899 and the X220 Tablet PC at $1,199.