Lenovo Thinkpad x100e Full Review

Lenovo ThinkPad x100e Display

I was in the market for a cheap netbook with a fairly decent keyboard. I wanted one that I could lug around without having to constantly worry about it being scratched, scuffed or dented. В I babied my Macbook Pro and I noticed when I brought it around, I was a little too obsessed with keeping it clean. All of the reviews pointed out to the Lenovo x120e because it apparently had an amazing keyboard. While it wasnt too expensive, my budget just couldnt afford it. So, I did some research and found some good reviews on its predecesor: the x100e. (Yeah some bad reviews which Ill address below) I was super excited to find the x100eВ on amazon marked down as, Like New for a relatively cheap price. On top of that cheap price, I had just sold some books to receiveВ some amazon credit. And to my liking I was able to apply that credit to the x100e. I could not wait to receiveВ this Like New item because it was bundled up with an extra battery and a niceВ reversibleВ sleeve. The specs were listed as 250gbs, 3gbsВ of ram, and the AMD TurionВ Neo x2В Dual core processorВ L625В 1.6ghz. It was the top of the line x100e so it seemed like an amazing deal. Ive only owned this machine for a few days but rest assure, this review will have my honest opinions and experiences.




First Impressions After Unboxing

Upon opening the box, I was pleased to find it came with everything that was advertised. В However, after careful inspection I did notice that there were many scuff. Not a big deal, I intended to keep this machine as a beater anyways. Once powered on the Lenovos fan kicked right in. I thought it was a going to go away but the fan just increased itsВ intensity. Long story short, I did a CPU check up, and it was up to 84C. After reading many forums I was told that a low voltage computer like the x100eВ shouldnt go anywhere near that heat.В  So basically I got a bad egg. I did read a lot of reviews that suggested the x100e does get hot and loud however, what I got was ridiculous. Super loud fan and super hot bottom. So I filed a claim with Amazon and now Im pretty much just waiting for a response.



Now aside from all of that, here is the full review


With aВ 11.6 1366768 Matte screen this netbook is in a league of its own.В If youve tried to type outside with a glossy screen then you must know the burden it comes with.В My friends and I go to Borders often and it does get annoying trying to get some serious typing done when there is a huge glare on your screen. My previous Macbook Air had this problem. However, with the Lenovo x100eВ even whenВ sitting in direct sunlight the display was still legible. In my opinion, and for my usage, this is a huge plus. I write better outside of my bedroom and in most cases those places always has the sun beaming down on me. There is no doubt that the Matte screen keeps me content with writing.В Aside from any glaring issues the screen itself has a high pixel density which makes the text very crisp. Keep in mind however, at its max resolution the words on the screen are somewhat small.Whats unique about this display is that I can push it back until it is completely flat. Indeed, it doesnt beat a tablet but it still makes it much more comfortable to lay down on my couch and watch videos on it with the screenВ В flat-out.





On the model I have I was surprised to find that I was able to view videos taken at 1080pВ with my canon 60d without any lag. I was also able to watch 720p YouTubeВ videos. I gave 1080p aВ go andВ for the most part it didВ run with a few dropped frames. Sadly, while viewingВ 1080pВ YouTubeВ videos in full screen mode the video froze. (Not in all cases) Ive noticed the dropped frames and freezing more while viewing 1080p trailers as shown in the video below. (The screens resolution doesnt go up to 1080p, soВ regardlessВ 720p is fine.) В Finally , as hot as the netbook already was, the fan only gotВ  louder and hotter.

Multitasking went pretty well. I was able to listen to music, В run a few programs such as Aim and Skype, В internet explorer with a bunch of tabs open,В all while typing this review on Microsoft word.В Im no gamer so I cant tell you from first hand but I have seen this same laptop playing some basic games at low settings with decent frame rates. Nothing amazing, but hey, its there. Ive seen World of Warcraft and Half Life 2 on this machine on low settings run well.В For basic usage, I was overall impressed with performance. I read a lot of reviews rave about how underpoweredВ it is. Some people just expect an Alienware wrapped in a tight netbook package. I thought for a netbook the machinesВ performanceВ was great overall.




To no surprise. I love this keyboard. The only other keyboard that I can say betters this is my friends mechanical one. The x100e has a chicletВ style keyboard with each key curving in slightly to cradle your fingers. The keyboard itself doesnt feel cheap at all and it is extremely fast and responsive. I typed this entire review on the x100e with zero complaints.


Lenovos Famous (Or Infamous) Nub

If you dont already know, the ThinkPadВ seriesВ all come with a little red nub in between the BВ  G and H keys to essentiallyВ be your trackpads replacement or secondary option. One first usage, I thought that the nub wasnt anything impressive. I, personally, wasnt accurate at it, compared to the trackpad, so I thought that there was no reason to use it. However, Ive quickly learn to love it. With the nub, you technically never have to leave the home rowВ keys. Just type away and when you need to click on anything just move your index finger to the nub and there you go.В  To compliment the nub you have a secondary right and left click above your trackpad.




Im actually surprised to find how loud these speakers are. I didnt expect much from a netbook at all. But at about 60% volume I was able to listen to my favorite tracks while there was a ton of noise in the background.



Design And Aesthetics

Some people find the ThinkPadВ series, including the x100e, to be an outdated look. However, I, along with many others, appreciate the look. I find it professionalВ looking. A nice black compact laptop with a matte finish. Its simple, which to me, makes it all the more appealing. My friend and I conversedВ on the aesthetics of the x100e. We came to the conclusion that, at times its better to have a laptop that looks low-key. Youll have no distractions and youll В get some work done.



The Lenovo Thinkpad x100e comes with 3 usb drives, one of which is powered. It has an SD card reader which has been very useful considering I own a Canon 60d. An ethernet output for those who still need it. (Wireless for the win!) While it doesnt have an HDMI output it does still have a VGA out. The x100e В has a webcam which to my surprise is actually very good considering its a .3 megapixel camera. It also faired well in low light. Nothing jaw dropping but I was still fairly impressed.


If youve read my above paragraph then you must know by now what Ive gotten a bad egg. It gets extremely hot, and the fan runs loud. IveВ seen plenty of reviews of the machine, including video reviews, and while not the most silent, they are more or less quiet. Time to time the cpu may heat up causing the fan to crack up. But aside from my case, I honestly dont see this being a deal breaker. I got the bad egg,В  I wont base my experience and say that all x100es have my problem.



Battery Life

To be blunt: Bad. I have both the 3 cell and 6 cell battery. True story, just today, I took the x100eВ out with the 3 cell battery fully charged. My friend and I tampered with it a bit in my car and then we were off to BarnesВ and Noble. We probably stayed there for about an hour and the computer already warned me that the battery was going to run out soon; it had about 5 percent battery left. So in total with the 3 cell battery, Id say it lasted 1 and a half hours to 2 hours TOPS. With the 6 cell battery it does give it a decent 4 hours. While 4 hours is decent, in comparisonВ to other netbooks, (Yes, Im calling the x100e a netbook) the x100es battery is poor. My friends Asus run about 7-8 hours while my other friends HP netbook rans about 9.

6 Cell Battery. Check our Flickr channel for a comparison with the 3 cell battery.

You also get the option to expand your battery life by under clockingВ the system. You just choose one of the many options the x100eВ offers such as, Video mode, Maximum Power Energy Saver etc. On the 6 cell batteryВ  On the 6 cell battery the best Ive seen on energy saver mode was about 4 and a half hours of battery. The brightness on energy saver is automatically turned down and the overall performance of the system drops. But even with the drop performance I was still able to do my basic task fine: typing, music and chatting. On maximum power it dropped to about 2 hours. (On the 6 cell!)


On the 3 cell maximum power gave me about 57 minutes. While on energy saver mode it was around 2 hours and 15 minutes.

The 6 cell battery does protrude a tad bit but its not a huge deal breaker. (Above picture has the 6 cell battery)





I like the x100e.В  It doesnt have the processingВ and graphic power that todays netbooks are pushing out, but it still does what I need without any lag.В I was able to type word files while doing some basic web browsing. It does all of this with the company of a bright sunlight on my back. At the end of the day its a netbook so itsВ no gaming machine but its graphic capabilitiesВ are enough to watch hd videos.В If battery life isnt a HUGE issue, and 4 hours is fine, then this is the netbook to consider. If you can find this netbook for about 200-300 bucks then I say go for it. Its a great machine that you wont be disappoint with especially if you intend to do a lot of typing. В If you cant find the x100eВ for about 200-300 bucks tops, then I would say get the x120eВ at around 400 dollars. Its essentiallyВ the same exact build withВ better specs. I hope you enjoyed this review. The TechShift team and I gives Lenovo a huge thumbs up forВ giving typist like myself an amazing product.

Len Thou

Len is a full time college student who enjoys creative writing, photography, and from time to time boxing. He is an ongoing contributor and publisher to the site. His motto is simply, "Hard Work."

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