I am clearly not the only person aggravted by Lenovo deciding not to sell the X120e in Europe – seeing as my original post on the topic is my most popular post so far!
I have been doing a fair amount of reading the Lenovo forum post that I linked to in my previous post, and things just aren’t looking any better. The X120e product page, that I also linked to, has had all information wiped – although the page still exists?! Now I don’t want to get anyones hopes up, but it could be that they are keeping it there but just hiding the information until they are ready to release the laptop – or finally sold off the last of those X100e’s! Perhaps Lenovo will change their mind, as they have been getting a fair amount of stick on this Facebook page of theirs!
What is interesting, is that Lenovo did seem to originally plan to sell the X120e in Europe, so something has made them change their mind. Perhaps the overwhelmingly positive feedback from CES meant that they wouldn’t beable to meet the demand or perhaps it would be a great way to flog off the last off the X100e’s – I mean it is the same chassis so some people might have got confused!
I have been seeing if I can get hold of it in Africa, seeing as that is still a continent that is on the list of authorised selling continents, but unfortunately I have been met with confused looks! Lenovo Partners my ****.
The keyboard on the X120e is the same as the one I have on my ThinkPad Edge at work, and as much as it’s pretty good, I still don’t think it is as easy to type on as my trusty old X41 Tablet. Lenovo have updated the other X series laptops with the same keyboards as what I have, plus they have the solid Intel i Series CPUs. They are slightly wider that what I currently use and I originally thought they may be to wide to use as I lie in bed (….which is what I am currently doing now!).
Perhaps when I head off to New York at the end of April, I will try and find a Walmart that has them all in stock and I can try and get a proper hands-on before purchasing; especially as the X2** range is twice as much as the X120e!
For a reason that I don’t fully understand, Lenovo have decided not to release the ThinkPad X120e for purchase in the UK, the rest of Western Europe or even Australia.
I don’t know why they would do this, perhaps Intel have told Lenovo that they can’t sell a AMD chip in Europe? To make matters worse, Lenovo suggest either getting the X100e, a model that is older and has known overheating flaws, or choose their Edge 11 – which is ghastly and a bit more expensive. I use an Edge at work, and they are cheap, with glossy screens, and just aren’t comfortable to use.
I do have options open to me…
- Buy a X120e in South Africa
- Buy a X120e when I visit the USA in April/May
- Buy a X201 – put up with the extra inch of space
I was looking at the X120e, because I don’t need anything large anymore. I don’t need mass computing power; considering that I get most work done pretty responsively on a Pentium 4!
The one benefit of going for the X201, is the additional features that just would not have been able to be squeezed into the X120e – however that will come at a cost, possibly double!
UPDATE: I have just found this forum thread on Lenovo Forums, that goes through a number of reasons behing the lack of release. Some mention that it is an AMD issue regarding the Fusion processor, others say it is to allow Lenovo to clear dead stock, etc. The positive note is that someone posted that they had spoken to a Lenovo exec, and the X120e is planned to be released at some point…just not yet.
I think it is finally time to move on from my immortal ThinkPad X41 Tablet. Since CES 2011, I have been captivated by Lenovo’s update to the x100e netbook – the revised X120e.
Below is the Lenovo promo video for the new netbook. Doesn’t really show much of what it can do, but does show how small and portable it is – which is what I want.
I have watched videos, looked up specs, and read reviews and I think this ticks the boxes for what I want in a new device. Throughout my searching, I found a link on the Lenovo UK site that seems to point to a half-complete product page for the new device.
The screenshot below seems to show the basic specs of the device on the right, but has Intel logos next to it….I am sure AMD will have something to say if those end up staying! It looks like the main part will hold some of sort of Flash video or large image. There is even a Customise & Buy button, but is inactive at the moment. Further down the page is a lot information and videos regarding the X201 Tablet that will be replaced with new X120e-based marketing material.
Reports I have read point to a 15th February release date….almost there!
After my previous post, I thought I would dig through all my original blog posts I originally wrote on theSpoke whilst doing my MSc and see what sort of stuff I wrote, and perhaps repost on some of it to view how things have change in the past five to six years. Very much like a time machine. Ironically I came across this:
IBM Tablets (10/05/2005)
After going to the Microsoft Tablet PC UK launch way back in 2002, I have always been intrigued about a Tablet and am looking to buy in the future.I have always used desktop replacement laptops, always being ThinkPads as I will happily pay the extra for the reliabiltity and extras that come with.Happy to say coming across this article that says IBM are going to move into the Tablet area. I think this will come as good news for Tablet developers and enthusiasts as if IBM are prepared to invest into it then they should bring alot more custom – primarily because alot of the sell their expensive equipment to a niche market and maybe looking to broaden…I don’t know but this move has made my day!
Looking back now, it appears that IBM couldn’t help Microsof’t flagging Tablet OS – especially as the X41 Tablet was voted Laptop of the Year for 2005! It did take Microsoft a while to get the word recognition software right, but I think it was the hardware vendors that killed the Tablet before it really started as they made it just too darn expensive; I suppose on the idea that people would snap them up and they would make a killing. The only differentiating the hardware is the touchscreen LCD – but they couldn’t have been that expensive, could they?
I have always had ThinkPad laptops; my first was a A20p (p for Performance!), followed by the A31p and then/now, the X41 tablet. My Dad bought me the A20p with Windows 2000 when I first went to University in 1999, and since then I have had an everlasting love. Ironically, that laptop had to be dismantely/put down less than 2 years ago after my 3 years usage, followed by 2 years of usage by my Dad and then a further 2 years of usage by a brother. It met it’s match when given to a rather wreckless Australian in a work environment!
I have had the X41 since January 2006. It was the top spec model, priced at almost £2500, yet I was lucky enough to find a brand new demo model on eBay for £1200!
The model is 1866-6SG, with the following specs:
- Intel Pentium 4 Mobile 758 (1.5GHz)
- 512MB RAM (I have since upgraded it to 3.5GB)
- 60GB 4200rpm HDD
- 12in LCD (1024×768 res)
- Intel 900 onboard graphics card
- Intel Gigabit Ethernet
- Intel 802.11 abg wireless
- 56k Modem
- Secure Chip
- Fingerprint reader
- 8 cell Li-Ion battery
Unfortunately, it came with a horrible IBM-hashed version of Windows XP Tablet Edition 2005. IBM had bundled in a number of 3rd party software than was horrible and just couldn’t be removed. Luckily, Windows Vista and now Windows 7 both had all the Tablet features built in, that were automaticllay enabled during the installation of the OS.
I bought the Tablet to act as a more portable device to take on the road as the A31p I had at the time was a desktop-replacement design and weighed almost 3Kg. Anyone with one of Lenovo’s ThinkPad W500/W700 will relate!
I actually did use the Tablet to its full potential, flipping the screen around and using it in slate-mode. Five years later and the hinge is still just as good as when I got it. In fact, the only other part to be replaced is the battery – which I upgraded to an 8-cell for longer power life.
The Catch-22 flaw with the Tablets was that Windows Tablet was pretty much bog standard Windows, yet with the additional Tablet features. The OEMs however designed the hardware on less powerful processors to preserve power for better battery life to make the Tablet more mobile. So run a more powerful version of Windows on less-powerful hardware…..clever!
I have since sold the A31p, and use the Tablet with Windows 7 as my primary device. Remarkably, it works pretty well. I have full Office 2010, Adobe Photoshop 7, MySQL and IIS running for dev work, Lenovo add-ons, Microsoft Security Essentials plus a load more and it seems to handle it all. The only program that makes the laptop show its age is iTunes.
When I moved to Cape Town, I need to buy an external DVD drive for the Tablet as it doesn’t have the space for one. I ended up getting the ThinkPad X4 Ultrabase Dock for the laptop.
- Key lock security features and security key hole
- Hot/warm docking support
- Built-in stereo speakers
- Parallel, serial, USB, RJ-11, RJ-45, VGA, one PS/2
- Keyboard/mouse port
- Second battery support (for optional ThinkPad Ultrabay Slim Li-Polymer Battery)
- Ultrabay Slim device support
- 3 USB 2.0 ports
It seems to add an additional level of stability to the laptop, and the angled base made typing more comfortable on the unbeatable ThinkPad keyboards.
The Tablet really is a testament to IBM (it was one of their last designs before Lenovo took over), as it really has taken a few knocks in its time and has been in use everyday for the past five years and still looks better than most laptops half its age!
Yes, I have been fortunate to be able to afford to buy myself exceptionally expensive laptops, however it has allowed me to skip the average three year hardware recycle. Secondly, the hardware design provides better features that even most modern day laptops don’t offer:
- Wireless aerials built in to the top of the LCD screen for better reception
- Reliable fingerprint reader and accompanying software
- Unbeatable keyboard
- Liquid drainage built in to the underneath of the keyboard
- Strong hinge (…and this hinge goes up/down and rotates 360°)
This Tablet, does however have a few gremlins:
- The HDD spins at a measily 4200rpm
- The HDD makes a clicking sound when under heavy use
- Missing DVD-ROM (to save space and weight) but 5 years ago there were quite necessary
- Resolution is only 1024×768
- The screen has 7 status lights that can be a little distraction (wireless, bluetooth, numlock, caps lock, HDD status, hibernation/awake status, battery status)
As I write this post, my mind wanders towards something new and shiny…I always thought I needed a big laptop with all the power, like a new Thinkpad T410S. But when I really think about it, I really actually don’t need all that raw power and something that big. I do need some power, but I actually like the smaller, lighter designs. I have loved my Tablet, but I just don’t use the Tablet features as I did when I was in the UK so can free up some expense. The new ThinkPad X120e’s have definaltey caughy my attention. They have a smaller form factor, better resolution (than what I have now), new AMD CPUs with an improved GPU, options for 3G WAN and 802.11 abgn connectivity, as well as the ThinkPad trackpad. Maybe my first gadget buy for 2011…
A persistently tormenting person, force, or passion: The demon of drug addiction;
One who is extremely zealous, skillful, or diligent: Worked away like a demon;