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Lenovo ThinkPad X200

>> Saturday, February 7, 2009

With the ThinkPad X200, Lenovo brings a wide aspect ratio to its most portable system. The 12.1 inch wide screen display features a sharp 1,280x800 native resolution that's more common on 14.1 inch or even 15.4 inch displays. The resulting text and icons are probably about as small as you can go for comfortable everyday use. Given the ThinkPad's business focus, we appreciate the matte screen finish, which avoids reflections in brightly lit office environments.

Another advantage to going wide with the ThinkPad X200 plenty of room for the keyboard. Whereas Lenovo's previous ultra portable, the standard aspect ThinkPad X61s, had (of necessity) a slightly compact keyboard.

The ThinkPad X200's wider case can accommodate the same keyboard used on Lenovo's 14 and 15 inch ThinkPads. (You can see close up photos of both keyboards in this blog post.)

The difference in size is noticeable on the X200 we never felt like we were typing on an ultra portable machine. Navigation, however, is still a bit limited. With its last few ThinkPad models, Lenovo has tried to accommodate both fans of the red TrackPoint pointing stick and those who prefer a touch pad by including both options. The ThinkPad X200, however, features only the TrackPoint and three mouse buttons (the center acts as a scroll button) touch pad fans, of which there are many, will feel left out.

Above the keyboard are basic volume controls as well as the very helpful blue ThinkVantage button, which launches a suite of system maintenance, power management, connectivity, and other utilities. All the other classic ThinkPad touches are here, including the nifty keyboard light tucked beneath the lip of the lid and a fingerprint reader below the keyboard for quickly logging in to Windows and a company network.

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