Lenovo Thinkpad X220

Intel’s second generation of core processors, like the Sandy Bridge series of processors, offer users energy efficiency, improved graphics, and high performance. This spring, several manufacturers will release laptops based on Sandy Bridge processors, the Intel Core i3, i5, and i7.

Lenovo just announced the Thinkpad X220. It comes in 5 different models based on the Intel Core i3, i5 and i7. CPU speed range start from the Intel Core i3 at 2.1 Ghz to the Intel Core i7 at 2.7Ghz. The screen is 12.5 with resolution at 1366 x 768. The X220 comes standard with 4GB RAM with upgrades up to 8GB.

What’s interesting about the X220 is, it comes with both hard drive and solid state storage. Hard drives range from 160GB to 320GB, and up to 160GB of solid state drive. It comes 3 USB 3.0 slots, a SD port, and 54mm express card slot.

The X220 weighs just under than 3 lbs, and boasts 15 hours of battery life. It’s 24 hours with a purchase of an external battery. The X220 will range from $900 to $1200 starting this spring.

Lenovo Q110

Back in early December 2009, I bought a Lenovo Q100 nettop. Lenovo recently released the IdeaCentre Q110. So, what’s the difference between the Q100 and Q110? It’s essentially the same as its predecessor except for two things: The nettop comes with 2GB instead of 1GB RAM. It’s also equipped with a HDMI output. Everything else is the same: 160GB hard drive. 6 USB ports, 1 mic and stereo output.

One thing I still haven’t tried is running Ubuntu Remix on it.

Canon MX330 $50 Rebate

Two months ago, I bought a Lenovo Q100 nettop running on Windows XP. I thought about installing Ubuntu Linux on it, but I needed a Windows desktop since I don’t have one. Believe it or not, there are valid reasons for having a Windows desktop around the house, albeit an underpowered one.

The Lenovo Q100 runs on 1.6 Ghz Intel Atom 230, not necessarily a speed demon. It’s a bit sluggish, but it’s perfect for email, browsing and writing simple documents. I love it. The only issue I had so far was the latest version of Avast Anti-virus program. The Avast program used up a large part of the CPU resources of the Q100.

I picked up one of those bundled multi-function printers along with Lenovo Q100, a Canon MX330 printer for only $60. What a bargain. Even better, it comes with a $50 rebate. So, today, I received my $50 rebate, almost two months after the initial purchase. It was worth the wait.

Technically, the printer was only $10. Can’t beat that price anywhere.

Avast Anti-Virus and Atom N230

My Lenovo Q100 is a bit underpowered running on an 1.60 Ghz Intel Atom 230. Recently, I updated my nettop to the latest Avast Anti-Virus software. The result is  disappointing. The latest Avast software seem to gobble up the CPU utilization of the Q100. Videos are choppy and the sound stutters. I uninstalled Avast at the moment. I might install an older version of Avast or just leave the nettop unprotected. In the meantime, the Q100 is back to humming along quite nicely.

Lenovo Q100 Review

I had a chance to play around with the Lenovo Q100 nettop. It’s a tiny computer about the size of an average external CD player. The footprint is impressively small at 6″w X 0.8″d X 6.80″h. We are talking inches here. It’s small enough that it comes with an installation plate that can be mounted on the back of flatscreen monitor as seen here. It can also stand up vertically  on its own stand as seen here. You can place it anywhere in your house, in the bedroom, living room or in the kitchen. It weighs only 1.67 lbs, and that includes the stand.

It’s very green. It consumes only 14 watts when in idle mode and 40 watts when fully loaded. So, what’s inside? It’s comes pre-installed with Windows XP SP3 Home Edition. It’s powered by a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom 230 processor with single-core Hyper-Threading technology, Intel 64 Technology, 533Mhz system bus and 512KB L2 cache. It has 1GB PC2-5300 667 MHZ DDR2 of RAM.  The hard drive is a 160 GB SATA 5400 RPM disk.

It contains 6 USB 2.0 ports, 2 front and 4 back. It has 2 speaker outputs, 1 front and 1 back, and 1 mic input in front. The audio is a High Definition (HD) audio, RealTek ALC662 codec. The network port is a built-in Gigabit ethernet RealTek RLT811DL.  Last but not least, it comes with a VGA port powered by an integrated Nvidia ION chipset MCP7A-ION.

The system is not a speed demon considering the price and footprint, but it performs admirably. It’s ideally suited for basic computing such as email and internet. I’ve used it for streaming videos with a videocam at ustream.tv. It worked great. Fry’s currently sells the Q100 for $189 pre-tax. While at it, you can get a Canon Pixma MX330 All-In-One Printer, Copier, Fax, Scanner for $59 with a $50 dollar rebate.  Technically, only $9.95.

Lenovo S10

I recently bought a mini laptop, a Lenovo S10. I love it. I’ve been searching for an affordable mini for several months now. I’ve looked at Asus, Dell and HP the past few months. Last week, I just happened to be at Frys Electronics down at Anaheim looking for audio cables and I came across the Lenovo S10. I fell in love with it from the start. It took me a better of 10 minutes to decide I needed to buy it.

That’s how much faith I had in the product because I haven’t seen any reviews when I bought it. I am glad to know that the Lenovo S10 had nothing but rave reviews from several sources. Here is a list of reviews from Lenovo’s website. There are plenty more reviews from third party vendors and technology blogs and websites. The Lenovo S10 have faired very well.

What’s in the Lenovo S10? Well, the Lenovo S10 is based on a 1.6Mhz Intel Atom Processor with 1GB of RAM and 160GB hard drive. It runs on Windows XP with a 10.2 inch LCD screen with a resolution of 1024×600. It weighs only a measly 2.4 lbs. The S10 has the following ports: VGA, Ethernet, mic, and headphone and a 4-in-1 card reader. It comes with 2 USB ports and ExpressCard slot. It also comes with 1.3mp built-in webcam. The laptop comes with a 3 cell battery good enough for 2.5 – 3 hours of uptime.

Performance has been great. I love the fact that it runs on Windows XP and not Vista. The S10 is fast enough for web browsing, chat and for editing documents. I even use it for live streaming. It works great. The other reason I didn’t have any hesitation to buying the S10 was it was a Lenovo. It’s built well which is typical of Lenovo’s line of products. Not bad for a mini that only costs $349. I absolutely love it.

In addition, one of two USB ports that is available is bootable. Maybe one day, I can install Ubuntu Linux on it. The ExpressCard is also a great option for adding Firewire, a SATA drive or a Wireless 3G device. Ah, the fun. If you are looking for a mini, be sure to check on the Lenovo S10. It might be the one you want.