Lenovo's ThinkPad brand has been successful and durable, but also a bit staid. The company's recent announcements on the ThinkPad Edge brand and the compact X100e are attempts to shake up the landscape a little for professionals, and for those who desire Netbooks in the corporate world.
Starting at $449, the X100e doesn't feature an Intel Atom processor--rather, you have your choice of AMD Athlon Neo (single or dual-core) or Turion dual-core CPUs. Notably, this is the first ThinkPad to use an AMD processor.
A full-size raised keyboard, similar to the design in the new Edge line, features slightly concave keys for more comfortable typing. The build is sturdy, and the X100e comes with a standard suite of ThinkPad professional software.
Other features include ATI Radeon 3200 HD graphics, an 11.6-inch 1366x768 display, three USB ports, 802.11n, and optional Bluetooth/3G. Oh, yes: it also comes in black or racy red.
The X100e is currently advertised on Lenovo's Web site, and goes on sale starting Tuesday. Does a "professional grade" Netbook sound like your cup of tea? We'll provide a hands-on review when we return from CES and tell you if it's worth it, but we truly appreciate a full-size keyboard on a tiny notebook.