Lenovo's ThinkPad X130e is small, but chunky. It very much wears its business face, as all ThinkPads forever have done. With its matte screen, distinctive Lenovo keyboard and track stick, you know already whether this is the sort of laptop that appeals to you.
The 11.6-inch, 1366x768 screen is decent enough, the matte screen a welcome addition to ward off glare. While the keyboard is excellent, Lenovo's hinged click pad is frustrating, sometimes actuating right button clicks when you don't want them, and the textured surface impedes two-finger scrolling, often not registering the movement. You'll end up using the buttons above the touch pad, intended for use with the track stick, purely to increase reliability.
Options are modest port-wise, with three USB 2.0 ports, an SD card reader, VGA and HDMI out, gigabit Ethernet and a headset jack. Bluetooth and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi give you wireless connectivity.
Our review sample is intended for the education market; a Celeron 857 at 1.2GHz, 2GB of RAM and 320GB hard drive is a step down from the retail model, which includes a Core i3 2367M at 1.4GHz. Spend a little more, and you'll get a 128GB SSD swapped in, and 4GB of RAM.
Handbrake encoding test (in seconds)
Apple MacBook Air 11 (Core i5 2467M @ 1.6GHz, 4GB RAM)
Lenovo Thinkpad X130e (Celeron 857, 2GB RAM, 320GB HDD)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
The Celeron chip falls almost approximately halfway between AMD's E-450 and the Core i5 chip that's contained in most ultrabooks.
Battery life (time)
- Heavy battery test
- Light battery test
- 5h 57m
- HP Pavilion dm1 (E-450 @ 1.6GHz, 2GB RAM)
- 5h 52m
- Lenovo Thinkpad X130e (Celeron 857, 2GB RAM, 320GB HDD)
- 3h 21m
- Asus ZenBook UX21 (Core i7 2677 @ 1.8GHz, 4GB RAM)
- 3h 19m
- Gigabyte S1080 (Atom N750 @ 1.66GHz, 2GB RAM)
- 3h 2m
- Apple MacBook Air 11 (Core i5 2467M @ 1.6GHz, 4GB RAM)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Battery life is quite good on the X130e, but, given the low specs, we'd expect that. It manages to get almost as good battery life as HP's Pavilion dm1, despite being a better performer.
For a rugged, throw-around portable laptop, the X130e fills a role. Fashion aside, the only real irksome point is the touch pad. If you're a ThinkPad lover, you'll likely enjoy using it.