Lenovo ThinkPad X60s
At a Glance
Lenovo ThinkPad X60s Notebook
Strong performance, battery life, and keyboard make this expensive business notebook a winner.
The Lenovo Thinkpad X60s is a fast, well-designed ultraportable notebook geared toward business users. The unit replaces the ThinkPad X41, and while it leaves out a few features you'll find on comparable laptops--such as a built-in optical drive--it's still one of the best ultraportables you can buy.
Our shipping unit included an Intel 1.66-MHz Core Duo L2400 processor with 512MB of RAM, and was one of the fastest ultraportables we've tested, earning a WorldBench score of 83. The X60s's performance exceeds that of units running the 1.73-GHz Pentium M 740 chip, and generally matches those with 1.86-GHz Pentium M 750 CPUs. The X60s also provides outstanding battery life: 8 hours, 21 minutes from its 8-cell lithium-ion unit.
In addition to its strong performance, this ThinkPad is wonderfully well designed. The keyboard is superb; typists will love the layout and deep keystrokes. You'll also find dedicated keys for volume and for Lenovo's ThinkVantage Productivity Center, which offers excellent on-board help, a tour of the system, and other useful utilities. The 3.5-pound X60s includes three USB ports, one FireWire port, and slots for SD and PC Cards.
Adding the X6 UltraBase docking station (included in the $2299 price) supplies the DVD-ROM/CD-RW combination drive, as well as one parallel, one serial, and four USB connections.
However, one aspect of the docking station tripped me up: When you dock the machine, the main unit's ethernet port turns off. I wasted a little bit of time troubleshooting my "dead" network connection, until I switched to the dock's port, which worked fine.
The X60s retains the clever ThinkLight LED, which resides in the top edge of the bright 12.1-inch screen, and shines on the keyboard. I've used a USB light on a flexible cord, but it can't hold a candle to the handy ThinkLight for seeing the keys in the dark.
I have two main gripes with this otherwise very impressive notebook: It includes only an eraserhead pointing device; though I know it's a matter of preference, I'd rather use a touchpad. I also prefer a laptop, even an ultraportable, to have the optical drive built into the unit. To include the DVD drive, I have to lug along the dock (or an optional external drive), which increases the weight to 6.1 pounds. There's also no option for a DVD burner, and the $2299 price is high.
That said, if you can swallow the cost and don't mind my other quibbles, this ThinkPad is an outstanding ultraportable laptop for business users and anyone else who wants a terrifically well-designed machine.