Apple's MacBook Air introduced the world to the thinnest notebook to date. Released in January of 2008, it is known as "ultrathin, ultraportable, and ultra unlike anything else." With the recent announcement of the new ThinkPad X300 from Lenovo, analysts are predicting that the ThinkPad will give Apple a run for it's money. The following is a brief review of each.
The new Apple MacBook Air comes in a bit thinner than the Lenovo ThinkPad X300, measuring only 0.16 inches at its thinnest point. Steve Jobs actually introduced the new laptop to a crowd of onlookers at the Macworld Conference in San Francisco, by pulling the ultra thin notebook out of an office envelope. With a price tag of just under $ 2000, this notebook is a bargain in a class of laptops that are typically a bit more pricey.
Because the MacBook Air is so thin, the battery must be built in. Early tests are reporting about two to three hour battery life between charges. Other drawbacks include no built in GPRS / Edge etc, no optical drive, one USB port, and no choice of pointing device. Although it was designed for an SSD flash drive, it can also be purchased with an iPod drive, and Apple is expected to upgrade the drive by the end of the year. Despite some of these early drawbacks regarding features, overall this is a beautiful looking and very durable laptop, which should ideally improve over the coming year.
Although not as sexy as the MacBook Air, the ThinkPad is built with the business user in mind. While the MacBook air is a consumer machine, this laptop is built more to be a business tool. The ThinkPad has a replaceable battery, replaceable optical drive, and three USB ports, compared to only one on the MacBook Air. The ThinkPad keyboard includes both Touchpoint and Touchpad pointing devices, a very durable / industrial strength built frame, a full set of management tools, and a more advanced flash drive. The ThinkPad also complies with EPEAT Gold, meaning it is one of the most "green", eco-friendly laptops on the market.
Which one is better?
Along with all of the executive minded features of the ThinkPad, comes an executive level price tag. The ThinkPad X300 will be initially made available for around $ 2,799. So if cost if your main bargaining point, then the sub $ 2000 MacBook Air is your best bet. Otherwise, your decision should be based on needs. The ThinkPad is designed for the top executive that is always on the run. ThnkPads have never really been known for being "sexy" products, but they have always been thin, while still being reliable. But if you are looking for something ultra thin and ultra cool, at a great price, and you do not need all of the high end business type features of the ThinkPad, then the MacBook Air may be your best bet.
Only time will tell which one comes out on top, but these are both great, innovative products that should spur the ultra thin laptop market for years to come.