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  • Lenovo Thinkpad X1 vs. MacBook Air: Price, Specs and Power
Technology Articles > Computers > Apple > Lenovo Thinkpad X1 vs. MacBook Air: Price, Specs and Power

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 is second to the Macbook Air in terms of sheer lightness and portability. But what matters more is what you can do with the ThinkPad. In this second part of our review, we'll look at the specs and power. If you're interested in the design an d form factor, read part one of our {{http://thinkpadx1-vs-macbookair.reviews.r-tt.com/|Macbook Air / Thinkpad Comparison}}.


Each of these laptops offer impressive computing power. The MacBook Air comes with the 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB (upgradable to 4GB) DDR3 SDRAM, NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics, and 128GB Flash storage. The ThinkPad X1 offers the Sandy Bridge 2.5GHz Intel Core i5, 4GB (upgradable to 8GB) DDR3, Intel HD Graphics 3000 graphics, and 160GB SSD (solid state drive). As you can see both of these laptops offer superb computing power, but the X1 edges the Air in power. Take also into consideration that the X1 is a fully powered laptop (laptops do not use full power processing in order to conserve battery supply). The batteries for these laptops have been quite the talk. The Air and X1 alike allow close to 5 hours of battery life (depending on how you use it) and 10 hours with the X1’s slice battery add on. Lenovo has also introduced their RapidCharge charger that can charge the internal battery to 80% in just 30 minutes. Both internal batteries are not accessible to the customer though. Another issue that has been widely debated about the new ‘˜ultra-thin’ laptops is that they are not installed with internal Optical Drives (the drive that plays/burns CDs and DVDs). Neither of these laptops come equipped with an Optical Drive. Both companies do offer external drives for sale, but this can drive up the price dramatically. Apple does offer the Remote Disc software for the Air to make transferring files and media to the MacBook easier. Last but not least about these two laptops are the displays. The Air and the X1 measure in at 13.3 monitor size. The Air has a LED-backlit high resolution screen. The X1 offers a LCD High Definition screen. While the Air does not boast the High Definition display the X1 does, the Air has far better view angles and glare resistance (the Gorilla Glass is known to glare and take away from the X1’s viewing angles). Each of them give some and get some on this topic.


The Apple MacBook Air and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 leave for something to be desired in the accessories department. They also have some great features too. Both laptops come with an 802.11n wireless chip for your wireless Internet and are Bluetooth (X1 uses 3.0, Air uses 2.1) ready. The X1 comes with an Ethernet port while strangely the MacBook Air does not. Apple does offer an Ethernet adaptor in that case. Both laptops come with 2 USB 2.0 ports, SD card slot, Mini Display port, and headphone jack. The X1 also comes with a USB 3.0 (for a total of 3 USB slots) and an HDMI port for high definition output. The MacBook Air is not HD, which may explain the missing HDMI port, but you can purchase an adaptor from Apple. Missing from the X1 is a VGA plug that the Air does support. Many of the ports on the X1 are located on the back of the unit, where the Air is on the side. The idea behind this for the X1 was for the traveler. Something that is perplexing about the X1 is the fact that Lenovo could have created additional slots for other ports, but chose not to. The Air and X1 are both excellent for video conferencing and chatting. The Air comes with the FaceTime camera and built-in omnidirectional microphone. The X1 is a step up in the video conferencing area because of the HD camera, customizable noise cancelling microphone, and superior speakers. As stated before the X1 was designed to be a corporate/business laptop and may explain why the X1 is better. Both are very excellent and high quality setups either way you go.


When it comes to overall cost of these products the MacBook Air is the better deal as of now. The 13 inch Air prices at $1299.99 where the X1 comes in at $1399.99 and can quickly jump up to close to $2000 depending on the upgrades. The Air can also jump up in price depending on the customizing you do to it, but not as far as the X1. Lenovo will probably have to drop its price to completely compete with the MacBook Air in the end. Both notebooks will give you a good bang for your buck though.

Overall these are two quality laptops in the ongoing ‘˜ultra-thin’ laptop war. Both have their pros and cons and seem to have what the other lacks. The MacBook Air seems to be targeted more to a college crowd where the ThinkPad X1 is more dedicated to the hardcore corporate business traveler. In the end the MacBook Air seems to be the better buy not just for price, but for the overall specifications and uses.