Inspecting gadgets

ACN rounds up the latest and greatest executive gadgets, from MacBook Air challengers to Palm's latest smartphone offering.

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By  Imthishan Giado Published  April 25, 2008

ACN rounds up the latest and greatest executive gadgets, from MacBook Air challengers to Palm's latest smartphone offering.

Lenovo ThinkPad X300

It seems that the release of the MacBook Air has caused a case of handbags at dawn for major notebook manufacturers.

Lenovo is first out of the gate with its new ultra-portable ThinkPad X300 - and it's uncanny how it seems to take virtually every one of the MacBook Air's selling points and improve on them ever so slightly.

It's got an LED-based 13.3 inch 1440x900 display (1280x800 Air), three USB ports (just one on the Air), Ethernet and Wi-Fi connections (only Wi-Fi on the Air) and a 7mm thick integrated DVD-burner (which isn't available at all on the Air except as a USB add-on).

The CPU specs largely match up as well, with the X300 being powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo 1.2GHz CPU and available with up to 4Gbytes of DDR2 memory, while the hard drive is a 64Gbyte SSD unit.

The X300 also trumps the Air by coming standard with a wireless wide area network (WWAN), GPS, a finger-print reader and a battery that's both removable - a key perceived flaw of the Air - and good for a claimed ten hours. All the above doesn't even mention the X300's trump card - it's both thinner (1.85cm) and lighter (1.33kg, without the DVD drive) than the aforementioned Air.

It's not quite game, set and match for Lenovo, however. What the Air has and the X300 lacks is a healthy dollop of want-me style.

While the X300 will definitely fit in Steve Job's now-famous manila envelope, it's safe to say that not as many would have been quite so stunned if he had plucked the very traditionally-styled Lenovo out instead.

But the business world is fundamentally different from the consumer one, and the carbon-fibre Lenovo is built tough for the demanding road user, who doesn't care what comments he or she gets when a passer-by gets an accidental peek of a half-exposed laptop.

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