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In a throwback to the ThinkPad days, the X300 retains the familiar trademark black boxy body with the magnesium construction. The lid however is different from other ThinkPads; it has a silky smooth matte finish that feels incredibly good to touch. The same finish has been used around the keyboard area and gives the laptop a sexy appeal despite the monotonous all-black color.
We've seen that the X300 is pretty slim, but the question is: how secure is its body? The answer is "quite hardy". Since it retains the magnesium construction build of its predecessors, it’s got a tight finish all over that does not squeak and gives the appearance that it will weather well over time.
As for the mouse, the company's gone for a typical dual-pointer approach, and the X300 has both a touchpad and a track-point. Using either is easy; the only irritant is the horrible location of the touchpad. It’s positioned at an odd angle which makes using the track-point kind of hard as the user’s hand will keep brushing against the touchpad, making the cursor wander all over the screen.
Connectivity-wise the X300 simply blows away the Macbook Air. As opposed to the Air’s approach of external-everything units, the X300 packs in 3 USB ports, a gigabit-ready Ethernet slot, audio/mic jacks and, importantly, an integrated ODD. Factor in the well-performing 802.11n support and you have a clear winner here.
In keeping with its lightweight status, the X300 has been equipped with a power-saving CPU. It utilizes an Intel 1.20GHz Core 2 Duo L7100 processor, has 2GB of RAM, 64GB SSD, and an Intel X3100 graphics chipset. This rules out any form of gaming, but does leave it perfectly positioned as a business computing laptop.
The PCMark score of the X300 was quite healthy at 3743. The battery life was simply phenomenal and this can be directly attributed to the CPU. On a full charge it easily delivered 4 hours and 15 minutes of battery life on four separate runs, and even under full load lasted well over 3½ hrs.
The audio subsystem of the X300 deserves a special mention. Thanks to the clever positioning of its nicely designed speakers, the sound output is really good. It delivers rich, clear sound with reasonably well-defined highs. We tested it with a variety of HD content and were surprised at its performance.
Another pleasing factor was the performance of the 64 GB SSD. Thanks to this, OS boot-up times were a good deal faster than in standard HDD solutions. Though storage is of course limited, this can be alleviated partly by the use of an external drive, as the laptop offers no less than three USB slots.
The X300 is everything that the Macbook Air could have been. While the Air certainly looks better, the X300 equals or surpasses it with its solid construction, great battery life, and overall incredible sound. Even if it's priced at Rs 1.45 lakh, we feel the X300 is an incredibly good buy. That's if you are in the market for a high-performance ultraslim portable and have deep pockets.