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Lenovo ThinkPad SL300 13.3-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC

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Lenovo ThinkPad SL300 13.3-inch Ultraportable Laptop

Lenovo ThinkPad SL300

©Lenovo

The Bottom Line

9/13/08 - Lenovo does a great job of balancing features, performance and price with the ThinkPad SL300. It gives a true alterntive to those looking for a fully functional business class ultraportable laptop without the extremely high price tag of their ThinkPad X series. It isn't quite as portable or lightweight and it uses a plastic instead of magnesium exterior, but it does a great job for the price.
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Pros

  • Strong Performance
  • Dedicated 3D Graphics
  • Good Battery Life

Cons

  • Primarily Plastic Exterior
  • Large and Heavy for 13-inch Laptop
  • Less Responsive TrackPad

Description

  • Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 Dual Core Mobile Processor
  • 2GB PC2-5300 DDR2 Memory
  • 250GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
  • 13.3" WXGA (1280x800) Wide LCD Panel With 1.3MP Webcam
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9300M GS Graphics with 128MB Memory
  • Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth 2.0
  • Three USB 2.0, FireWire, HDMI, ExpressCard/54, Fingerprint Scanner, 5-in-1 Card Reader
  • 12.5" x 9.4" x 1.5" @ 4.6 lbs.
  • Vista Home Premium, Norton Anti-Virus 2008

Guide Review - Lenovo ThinkPad SL300 13.3-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC

9/13/08 - The ThinkPad laptops have always been about durable exteriors but that that also carries a high price. The ThinkPad SL300 looks to balance this durability with a more affordable price tag. To do this, Lenovo has decided to go with a glossier plastic exterior instead of a magnesium shell. This gives the SL300 a different look and feel from other ThinkPads but should stand up to usage.

Performance is one of the better aspects of the ThinkPad SL300. Equipped with the new Intel Core 2 Duo P8400, the system easily outperforsm many other ultraportables. This makes it excellent as a primary system for those that still want to have a high level of mobility. Performance could have been stronger if Lenovo used DDR3 memory with the new platform but the goal is also to keep costs down.

Graphics are really quite good with the ThinkPad SL300. It can use the new Intel GMA X4500 graphics but the NVIDIA GeForce 9300M GS graphics give it a bit of an edge over most ultraportables. It won't give it performance for 3D gaming but does improve such tasks as high definition video decoding and playback. The 13.3-inch screen is very bright with good color. Since it uses an LED backlight, it also helps reduce power consumption.

The reduced power consumption of the LED panel and various power states of the new CPU/chipset combination along with a 6-cell battery pack give the ThinkPad SL300 some above average battery life for an ultraportble. This gives users plenty of time to work between charging.

One of the big downsides of the ThinkPad SL300 though is its size. It may have lots of performance and a very reasonable price tag but it ends up being heavier than many other ultraportables that use 13.3-inch display panel.

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