Lenovo ThinkPad X220: A Look at What's Coming

New Lenovo ThinkPad ultraportable laptops are headed your way in April, sporting Intel's speedier Sandy Bridge processors, longer battery life and improved graphics. Lenovo has announced that the ThinkPad X220 will be available as a standard 12.5-inch laptop or convertible tablet with starting prices at $899 and $1199, respectively. Lenovo has also squeezed in new features such as an optional USB 3.0 port, a 45 percent larger trackpad and a maximum 8GB DDR3 RAM.

Lenovo has yet to announce specific launch dates or device models for the X220 series, but based the company's announcement as well as a spec sheet found on Lenovo's website here's a breakdown of what's coming your way in April.

Sandy Bridge

Intel's second-generation Core processors promise improved energy efficiency, better graphics capabilities and overall improved performance. You can identify Sandy Bridge chips as Core i3, i5, and i7 with four-digit model numbers that start with a 2. Sandy Bridge-powered laptops are just starting to hit store shelves now. You can find out more about Sandy Bridge here, and deal hunters can check out some sale prices on non-Sandy Bridge laptops here.

Lenovo X220 laptop models will have five different options for Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 processors from the lower end 2.1 GHz Core i3-2310M to the zippy 2.7GHz Core i7-2620M.

Display, RAM and ports

The X220 will offer a standard 12.5-inch LED backlit display with 1366-by-768 resolution. You will also be able to get your hands on an upgraded display called "Premium HD" that offers the same resolution but features in-plane switching for a wider viewing angle.

The base model X220 will come with 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 RAM upgradable to a maximum 8GB.

For all your peripheral equipment, the X220 offers a DisplayPort, VGA, 54mm express card slot, SD card reader, and three USB 2.0 ports. Select models will offer the option to upgrade one USB port to USB 3.0, but this requires an X220 running the 2.7 GHz Core i7-2620M processor. There was no mention of an HDMI port.

Storage

The X220 will offer both hard disk drive (HDD) and solid-state drive (SSD) options for storage. HDD storage includes options ranging from 160GB to 320GB, and a maximum 160GB for SSD storage.

The new X220 also promises up to 24 hours of battery life if you purchase an external battery, while the laptop's standard 9-cell battery offers up to 15 hours of battery life. Of course, as with any manufacturer's battery life claim, it's best to wait for independent tests to see what the battery's real-world results will be like.

Lenovo's convertible tablet laptop will sport a lot of the same specs as the laptop. One difference, however, is the tablet's screen will feature scratch resistant Gorilla Glass (the same material used in the iPhone 4).

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