25.02.2010 09:07

Lenovo updates its Athlon-based ThinkPad X100e with a Pinetrail processor

Category: new notebook models
By: Morgan Jones

Lenovo's website now lists Intel's Atom N450 processor as a possible configuration option

Lenovo's ThinkPad X100e is already widely available as an Athlon-based sub-notebook for business users. However, a detailed specifications page has appeared on Lenovo's website, which lists the Intel Atom N450 processor as a possible configuration option. The AMD model has a 11.6” HD (1366 x 768) display, but the website states that a 10.1” (1280 x 720) display is now a possibility for the X100e. It's not clear whether this new screen size is the only one available to the new Intel X100e, or whether the new model can also be fitted with an 11.6” screen.                                                      

The X100e has impressed reviewers with its durable and lightweight design, moderate performance, excellent keyboard and low price bracket (currently ~$449 to ~$649). However, one of its significant weaknesses is its relatively low operating period when using the default 6 cell battery. Lenovo states that the X100e should run for up to 5 hours on battery power, which is very low by modern standards.

The X100e's reasonable performance level is due to its 1.6GHz AMD Athlon Neo Single Core MV-40 processor, which is ranked 258 in our processor benchmark list, and its ATI Radeon HD 3200 GPU, which is ranked 164 in our GPU benchmark list. The MV-40 has a TDP of only 15W, but the fact that it has a reasonably powerful GPU means its power requirements are quite high. However, these two components alone shouldn't contribute to the majority of the system's energy inefficiency, but they are still a significant factor. Lenovo's decision to place an Atom N450 processor inside the X100e is possibly wholly motivated by the company's desire to improve the system's previously poor battery life.

The Intel Atom N450 has an integrated DDR2 memory controller and an Intel GMA 3150 GPU within its housing, which has a TDP of only 5.5W. This should increase the X100e's battery life dramatically, although it may have a negative impact on the system's overall performance. The N450 is ranked far lower than the MV-40 on our processor benchmark list, at 310. The GMA 3150 is also ranked lower than the Radeon HD 3200 on our GPU benchmark list, at 213. Nonetheless, the N450 package is able to deal with most basic business-related tasks, and the theoretical performance difference between the core components in the AMD and Intel X100e may not be noticeable in practice.

Whilst Lenovo hasn't specified which configurations will be available in the Intel X100e, it's likely to have the same specifications as the AMD X100e. The X100e normally has around 2GB of DDR2 RAM, but it can be fitted with up to 4GB of DDR2, using two SODIMMs. Users can choose a 160GB, 250GB or 320GB hard drive. The networking capabilities of the X100e are comprehensive and include LAN 10/100 and WLAN 802.11 b/g/n support as standard, with options to equip the notebook with a 802.11 a/b/g/n + WiMAX Combo; a WWAN MiniCard (EV-DO/HSPA, HSPA), or a Qualcomm Wireless Gobi 2000 3G adapter with GPS; and a Bluetooth v2.1 adapter.

The 11.6” model has a light and slim design, weighing only 2.9lb and measuring 1.2” thick. The 10.1” model is likely to have these dimensions too, which means it will have a larger bezel around the screen but users will still have the benefit of the large and comfortable keyboard. The pricing of the Pinetrail machine shouldn't differ that much from the AMD model. Visitors to Lenovo's online store aren't given the option to fit an X100e with a Pinetrail processor yet, and there is no suggestion from Lenovo when users will be able to do this either. However, considering that computer manufacturers and consumers alike are capitalizing on the new Pinetrail processors, Lenovo is likely to release the Intel X100e very soon.



AMD X100e

Intel X100e


1.6GHz AMD Athlon Neo Single Core MV-40

1.66GHz Intel Atom N450



Intel NM10 Express


Up to 4GB DDR2 (667MHz) SDRAM (2 x SODIMMs)

Graphics adapter

ATI Radeon HD 3200

Intel GMA 3150 GPU


11.6” HD (1366 x 768) LCD, 16:9, anti-glare, LED

10.1” (1280 x 720) LCD, 16:9, anti-glare, LED (estimate)

Hard disk

160/250/320GB (5400rpm) 9.5mm SATA 3.0Gb/s, shock protection


HD audio, Conexant CX20582-11Z codec, audio-in/out combo

Intel HD Audio


3 x USB 2.0 (1 powered); 4-in-1 card reader (MMC, MS, MS Pro, SD); docking port; RJ45; VGA (DB-15)


LAN 10/100; WLAN 802.11 b/g/n, or 802.11 a/b/g/n + WiMAX Combo; WWAN MiniCard (EV-DO/HSPA, HSPA), or Qualcomm Wireless Gobi 2000 3G with GPS; Bluetooth v2.1

Optical drive



6 cell 2.6Ah 10.8V, up to 5 hours

3 cell 2.2Ah 10.8V; 6 cell 2.6Ah 10.8V; 6 cell 2.8Ah 11.1V


0.3MP, fixed focus


282mm (11.1”) x 209mm (8.2”) x 16 to 30mm (0.6” to 1.2”) (WDH; approximate measurements)


~1.33kg (2.9lb)


Black, (also appears in red at

Additional features

Multi-touch function touchpad

Operating System (32bit)

Windows 7 Home Premium or Professional


Windows XP Home Edition; or Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, or Professional


1 year, mail-in/carry-in


$449.00 to $649.00

Not specified

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Author: Notebookcheck, 2005-09-20 (Update: 2011-05- 3)