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X200, X200s buying advice: X200s is like better MacBook Air

X200, X201, X220 (including equivalent tablet models) and X300, X301 series specific matters only.
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dfumento
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X200, X200s buying advice: X200s is like better MacBook Air

#1 Post by dfumento » Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:53 am

Laptop Magazine has an X200s review in addition to its earlier X200 review:
http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops ... x200s.aspx

Comparing the three benchmarks: PCMarkVantage, 3DMark03, 3DMark06, the X200 2.4 GHz compared with the X200s 1.86 GHz is 14%, 9%, and 17% faster thus for all intents and purposes roughly the same speed.

X200s is 3.2 lbs with the 9-cell vs. 3.6 lbs for the X200
X200s is 1440x900 vs. X200 1288x800 vs. X61 1024x768 X61
X200s is LED backlit (250 nit) vs. X200 CCFL (200 nit) vs. X61 CCFL 150 nit
X200s 9-cell battery life with WiFi is 10:45 hours vs. X200 8:45 hours (continuous web surfing with WiFi).

NOTE: LED backlit and lower voltage CPU are both responsible for the longer battery life of the X200s over the X200.

There are two recommended configurations:

X200s which has the LED backlit 1440x900 display which with the 9-cell battery, weighs 3 lbs will run for a claimed 12.5 hours with Vista. This is similar to the MacBook Air which also weighs 3 lbs and is without an optical drive but has 1) much longer battery life and 2) higher screen resolution (the same as the 15" MacBook Pro)

The higher screen resolutions of the X200(s) better afford side-by-side document editing, larger spreadsheets, easier computer programming.
Otherwise purchase the X200 with 1280x800 display with a somewhat shorter battery life for less money.

Get the 5300 or 5350 Intel WiFi. 5350 is not offered yet on the X200s or X200 but has the addition of WiMax (for futureprotect).
NOTE: Many pre-built Thinkpads come with the lower quality Intel 5100 WiFi. Be careful.


See Power-efficient notebooks: Get the LED display, drop the SSD.
http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/39486/145/

1. Best to get the Intel 5300 or 5350 when it comes out for WiFi. Many of the pre-built Thinkpads come with the lower performing 5100.. To me it seems odd for Lenovo to offer the lower performing wireless on a Thinkpad, esp. X or T series. See more details in this report:
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/in ... i=3356&p=6
2. On the X200s, the 1.2 GHz CPU is probably going to be too slow, especially as Vista will slow down as the computer gets used more.
3. For some reason, the WWAN (Verizon or ATT) is not offered yet on the X200s but it is available on the X200. Also the camera is not available on current X200s models.

4. The 1440x900 screen of the X200s is 250 nits vs. 200 nits for the 1280x900 screen vs. 150 nits for the X61 screen. The X61T had a 1450x1050 display as an option.
5. The 1.8 GHz CPU of the X61s has 4 GB cache vs. 6 GB on the 1.8 GHz CPU on the X200s for about a 5 to 10% increase in performance. The DDR3 memory on the X200s buys about another 10% increase so 1.8 in the new might be equivalent of 2.2 GHz of the old. That is to say, you may not need the faster speed of the X200 vs. the X200s. Generally a lot of laptop performance is limited by hard drive performance so you are probably better off getting a 7200 RPM hard drive than worrying about increased CPU speed.
6. The GPU is supposed to be 3x more powerful than the X61 GPU and it offers decode for Blu-Ray for low CPU utilization.
7. Using the X200 base one can finally get digital output in the form of DisplayPort which if necessary be converted to DVI with a cheap connector. The DisplayPort will actually drive a 30" Dell LCD at 2560x1600 display resolution.
8. 320 GB 7200 RPM hard drives cost $110 on www.newegg.com
9. 500 GB 5400 RPM WD or Samsung hard drives are going for about $150. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822136314
10. If one wants to go with slower memory, 4 GB RAMMs are available for about $170 on newegg.com. Not certain if you can use slower memories on the Montevina chipset.
11. 2 GB of DDR3 memory for the X200(s) is $75 on newegg.com
12. I use a USB 2.0 external optical drive which is very portable compared with the X200 base. Other options for optical drive is a) X200 base, b) networked through your desktop PC, c) using Daemon tools to "mount" disk images of CD/DVD which you may have downloaded. This is how I install some software, simply by downloading the *.iso image. MacBook Air advertises getting movies by downloading them off of ITunes.

With the current sale plus a 2 day coupon I was able to spec out a nice X200 with 160 GB 7200 HD, 3 GB RAM, Bluetooth, 5300 wireless, fingerprint, 9-cell, Verizon WWAN for $1300 which is a really good price.


Much has been made of the Macbook Air and Lenovo X300/301 but this X200(s) unit is essentially the same for much less money. I take my X61s series with me in a small Waterford bag (or sometimes the backpack). Best to have a bag that doesn't say, "I have an expensive laptop in hear" (No Targus, etc.)

http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com.....t-of-2008/

David Pogue of the NYTimes says:

"* Computer. I live on a MacBook Air. In the five months I’ve owned it, I’ve missed having the built-in DVD drive once; …"

I know there is this rage about using Netbooks, but the keyboards are not large enough for doing a lot of work. The X200(s) solution for a little bit larger size and weight makes a great solutions, especially with the always accessible WWAN or tethering your smartphone.

Regarding the slower 1.2 GHz CPU:
http://keepingitgrounded.blogspot.com/2 ... to-xp.html

"The machine came with Windows Vista Business Edition pre-installed and when I was playing with it in the shop, it was pretty responsive – the 1.2Gz Core2 Duo processor seemed to be up to the job. When I got the machine back to the ranch and loaded everything onto it, though, I have to admit to being a little disappointed with speed. Nevertheless, it was good enough, so I just got on with using it."

"Over the course of the next four months, however, the performance gradually degraded and the user experience became awful. It eventually got to the stage where it was talking 12 minutes to boot and about 6-7 minutes to shut down, with very sluggish performance in between and frequent hangs requiring a forced shutdown (which in itself was probably making matters worse)"
Last edited by dfumento on Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:21 am, edited 3 times in total.
X201s: 1440x900 LED backlit 2.13 GHz, 8 GB, 160 GB Intel X25-M Gen 2 SSD, 6200 a/b/g/n, BT, 6-cell, 9-cell, Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1, Verizon 4G LTE USB modem, USB 2.0 external optical drive, Lenovo USB to DVI converter
Previous Models: A21p, A30p, A31p, T42, X41T, X60s, X61s, X200s

Jackboot
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Re: X200, X200s buying info/advice

#2 Post by Jackboot » Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:36 am

dfumento wrote:Regarding the slower 1.2 GHz CPU:
http://keepingitgrounded.blogspot.com/2 ... to-xp.html

"The machine came with Windows Vista Business Edition pre-installed and when I was playing with it in the shop, it was pretty responsive – the 1.2Gz Core2 Duo processor seemed to be up to the job. When I got the machine back to the ranch and loaded everything onto it, though, I have to admit to being a little disappointed with speed. Nevertheless, it was good enough, so I just got on with using it."

"Over the course of the next four months, however, the performance gradually degraded and the user experience became awful. It eventually got to the stage where it was talking 12 minutes to boot and about 6-7 minutes to shut down, with very sluggish performance in between and frequent hangs requiring a forced shutdown (which in itself was probably making matters worse)"
This obviously has nothing to do with the 1.2GHz CPU or Vista as the OS. By this logic, a 2.4GHz X200 running Vista for 4 months would take half as long to perform the same tasks (disregarding cache differences, but still). A 2.4GHz Vista machine doesn't take 6 minutes to boot and 3 minutes to shut down. This user's experience of formatting to XP would almost certainly have been the same as formatting to Vista. The difference was in formatting, not so much the OS. There was almost certainly some problem with a program install or a poorly written driver or even malware.

Yes Vista has higher system requirements than XP. Vista will run just fine on any new hardware and claiming that it somehow degrades over time is silly.

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#3 Post by foodle » Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:29 pm

Anyone know if there's a chance the X200 will get the X200s' high resolution LED screen? Alternately, if they could cram a WWAN card into the X200s, that would work for me too ... in either case, Lenovo would have my $2k in a heartbeat.
Last edited by foodle on Sun Sep 28, 2008 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: X200, X200s buying info/advice

#4 Post by dfumento » Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:32 pm

Jackboot wrote:
dfumento wrote:Regarding the slower 1.2 GHz CPU:
http://keepingitgrounded.blogspot.com/2 ... to-xp.html
This obviously has nothing to do with the 1.2GHz CPU or Vista as the OS. By this logic, a 2.4GHz X200 running Vista for 4 months would take half as long to perform the same tasks (disregarding cache differences, but still). A 2.4GHz Vista machine doesn't take 6 minutes to boot and 3 minutes to shut down.
It could be that there is a threshold that the 1.2 GHz CPU is near and that degradation over time brings them below the threshold.
X201s: 1440x900 LED backlit 2.13 GHz, 8 GB, 160 GB Intel X25-M Gen 2 SSD, 6200 a/b/g/n, BT, 6-cell, 9-cell, Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1, Verizon 4G LTE USB modem, USB 2.0 external optical drive, Lenovo USB to DVI converter
Previous Models: A21p, A30p, A31p, T42, X41T, X60s, X61s, X200s

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Re: X200, X200s buying info/advice

#5 Post by dandiep » Sun Sep 28, 2008 4:38 pm

dfumento wrote: 4. For some reason, the WWAN (Verizon or ATT) is not offered yet on the X200s but it is available on the X200.
Anyone have any idea if/when the WWAN option will be supported?

Paul88
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#6 Post by Paul88 » Sun Sep 28, 2008 11:53 pm

Thanks for your effort putting those info in such a nice review. I have clearer insight what I'm looking for right now. If there is an option no camera on the x200 screen, I would love to have one.

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#7 Post by phr » Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:54 am

What's the difference between the X200 and X200s other than the cpu and screen? I don't see $500 worth of difference, that's for sure. FWIW, it looks like both use DDR3. Also, neither one has an expresscard slot.

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#8 Post by dfumento » Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:41 am

phr wrote:What's the difference between the X200 and X200s other than the cpu and screen? I don't see $500 worth of difference, that's for sure. FWIW, it looks like both use DDR3. Also, neither one has an expresscard slot.
Both have the Express Card slot. There are two versions of the X200s:
1. Mostly just a change in lower power CPU over the X200 but otherwise has the same screen resolution (1280x800).
2. The other X200s model with the 1440x900 screen resolution is LCD backlit which has longer battery life and brighter (250 nit vs. 200 nit), has a lighter weight material in the screen lid. The X200s 9-cell with the 1440x900 screen weighs 3lbs and lasts about 12.5 hours using Vista vs. X200 9-cell weighs 3.5 lbs with about 9 or 10 hours battery life.
X201s: 1440x900 LED backlit 2.13 GHz, 8 GB, 160 GB Intel X25-M Gen 2 SSD, 6200 a/b/g/n, BT, 6-cell, 9-cell, Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1, Verizon 4G LTE USB modem, USB 2.0 external optical drive, Lenovo USB to DVI converter
Previous Models: A21p, A30p, A31p, T42, X41T, X60s, X61s, X200s

R60eX200
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Re: X200, X200s buying info/advice

#9 Post by R60eX200 » Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:18 pm

dfumento wrote: 9. 320 GB 7200 RPM hard drives cost $110 on www.newegg.com
10. 500 GB 5400 RPM WD or Samsung hard drives are going for about $180.
Hi, a noob question ... any help would be appreciated. I got an X200.

Would it be possible to replace the original 160GB/5400rpm with a 320GB/7200RPM hard drive(for instance a Hitachi from newegg) ? Should I update the firmware of the HDD or the laptop to make it work?

dfumento
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Re: X200, X200s buying info/advice

#10 Post by dfumento » Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:36 am

R60eX200 wrote:
dfumento wrote: 9. 320 GB 7200 RPM hard drives cost $110 on www.newegg.com
10. 500 GB 5400 RPM WD or Samsung hard drives are going for about $180.
Hi, a noob question ... any help would be appreciated. I got an X200.

Would it be possible to replace the original 160GB/5400rpm with a 320GB/7200RPM hard drive(for instance a Hitachi from newegg) ? Should I update the firmware of the HDD or the laptop to make it work?
Yes, you can do it without a firmware upgrade. Use Acronis TrueImage 11 and by buying a 2.5" external USB 2.0 enclosure which is capable of handling the high capacity drive. Check the "T6x" or "X6x" forums for procedures to do this correctly by doing a search.
X201s: 1440x900 LED backlit 2.13 GHz, 8 GB, 160 GB Intel X25-M Gen 2 SSD, 6200 a/b/g/n, BT, 6-cell, 9-cell, Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1, Verizon 4G LTE USB modem, USB 2.0 external optical drive, Lenovo USB to DVI converter
Previous Models: A21p, A30p, A31p, T42, X41T, X60s, X61s, X200s

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#11 Post by Hudson » Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:42 am

Does anyone who has an X200 use it for school? My main reason for buying it is for my online classes, I have an apple MBP for photos and video. Thanks in advance for any input.

H.
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Macbook Pro 15" 2.4 Ghz 2gb Ram, 200Gb
Thinkpad X200 160gb, 3gb RAM, 2.4 Ghz

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#12 Post by lightweight » Sat Oct 11, 2008 2:46 am

Great post. Thanks.
3. On the X200s, the 1.2 GHz CPU is probably going to be too slow, especially as Vista will slow down as the computer gets used more.
But for *nix users, the user who thinks Windows 2000 was Microsoft's best operating system, and the like, stepping down such a CPU is advantageous for battery time, while the dual core processor and modern fast disks are more than adequate for a fast, responsive, and productive desktop.

(This is also why x60s with its LV Core Duo,WWAN option and perfect dimensions/weight is still in the discussion for best consumer laptop available.)
Have: x60s ultralight 1705-CTO, Debian SiD, Linux 2.6.25-2 | x61s ultralight 7668-CTO, Debian SiD/Experimental, Linux 2.6.27-git5 | Model M 1391401, white label, 07-17-91
Had: x22, Debian Testing/SiD, Linux 2.6.18-22

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Re: X200, X200s buying info/advice

#13 Post by dfumento » Sat Oct 11, 2008 4:07 pm

dfumento wrote:(snip)

mod note: why did you quote your entire first post?
X201s: 1440x900 LED backlit 2.13 GHz, 8 GB, 160 GB Intel X25-M Gen 2 SSD, 6200 a/b/g/n, BT, 6-cell, 9-cell, Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1, Verizon 4G LTE USB modem, USB 2.0 external optical drive, Lenovo USB to DVI converter
Previous Models: A21p, A30p, A31p, T42, X41T, X60s, X61s, X200s

codek
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#14 Post by codek » Tue Oct 14, 2008 7:16 pm

when are they phasing out the x61s? x200s is way too expensive

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