Rob Tiffany

The ThinkPad x120e is a Pocket Rocket!

ThinkPad x120e

I just picked up a Lenovo ThinkPad x120e for around $500 last week and have been using it as my only computer for the last 7 days.

It features the new AMD Fusion E350 dual-core processor with integrated Radeon HD graphics and Windows 7 Pro x64.  This ultraportable has 4 GB of RAM, an 11.6″ screen, a 7200 RPM hard drive, built-in webcam, 3 USB 2.0 ports, and a full-sized HDMI port.

ThinkPad x120e

While it may appear to be competing with high-end Netbooks, there’s actually no comparison. The AMD Fusion processor blows the latest Intel Atoms out of the water.  The snappy performance leads you to believe you’ve got a Core i3 under the hood, but the 5+ hours of battery life reminds you that this is something different.  This laptop has the fit and finish that you would expect from a $3,000 ThinkPad.  It’s super-sturdy and comes with an unparalleled scalloped / chiclet keyboard that feels like you’re typing on a Selectric typewriter.  This thing is absolutely tiny and only weighs around 3 lbs with the 6 cell battery, so I don’t feel it in my backpack when I running through airports.

I’ve been using Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, IE9 (with 8 tabs open), Tweetdeck, Visio, Live Writer, Chrome, and Lync without issue.  In fact, they were all very responsive.  HD videos were great.  Since I also write software, I installed Visual Studio 2010, plus the Windows Phone 7 tools and emulator.  This is where things ran out of gas.  I totally get that Visual Studio is a giant piece of software, but the x120 just wasn’t up to the task when it came to fast compiles and having a responsive IDE.  Running Windows Phone 7 apps in the emulator was also a very sluggish experience.  Yes, all the tools worked as expected, but you might lose patience.

To be fair, this tiny laptop was not designed to be a developer workstation but I thought I’d see how far I could push it.  Actually, it might be possible to make the x120e fast enough for giant tools like Visual Studio and Eclipse by bumping up the DDR3 RAM to 8 GB and swapping out the spinning hard disk with a fast SSD.  I’ll probably give it a try.

To sum up, the ThinkPad x120e is a pocket rocket of a business productivity and I highly recommend it.

-Rob

Sharing my knowledge and helping others never stops, so connect with me on my blog at http://robtiffany.com , follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RobTiffany and on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/robtiffany

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4 Comments

  1. Janez

    Did you actually upgrade machine with ssd and ram?

    Reply
    1. Rob Tiffany (Post author)

      I did, and the performace rocked!

      Reply
      1. Cleon

        I am glad to see this review. Just what I was looking for because it is exactly the kind of thing I would do to test a netbook. gonna swap my Motorola Xoon tab for one of these and thro eclipse on it right away. I do primarily PHP stuff so it should be fine after the upgrade as you have done. Thanks again for the informative review.

        Regards,
        Cleon

        Reply
        1. Rob Tiffany (Post author)

          Cleon, you might want something with more horsepower if you’re going to run Eclipse.

          -Rob

          Reply

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